100 Years of Waldorf: Antioch University Professor Shares the Legacy with the World
Dr. Torin Finser is sharing his expertise with educators around the world to commemorate 100 years of Waldorf Education.
Dr. Torin Finser has speaking engagements planned all over the world to share the challenges, successes, and changes needed in Waldorf Education. He recently returned from Amman, Jordan, where he and his wife, Karine Munk Finser, worked with Palestinian refugees and introduced practicing teachers to Waldorf education. Dr. Finser’s appearance was sponsored by the Jordanian Royal Family and served as a celebration of the publication of his book, School as a Journey, now translated into Arabic by Antioch student Ruba Asi. The Middle East, in particular, has had very little exposure to Waldorf education up to now and Dr. Finser’s book is the first Waldorf book translated into Arabic.
The philosophy of Waldorf education is child-centered and holistic. Lessons incorporate “head, heart, and hand” and feature in-depth study of subjects in “main lessons” that are taught by a class teacher over as many as eight years. Through lectures and workshops, Dr. Finser is spreading the word about the legacy of Waldorf education and seeking out new ways for the field to change and adapt in the future.
“That demarcation [of 100 years] is an opportunity for recognition, celebration, and also self-assessment,” says Dr. Finser. “Where have we succeeded [and] where have we not succeeded? I’m happy to be self-critical…everything we do has room for growth and further development.”
Dr. Finser’s lectures have focused on the theme he calls Beyond 100: What will it take for Waldorf schools to flourish?
“This is an opportunity to sound some of our major themes. Waldorf Education for social justice in particular.”
Jordan was the first of many trips he has planned. As part of the recognition of the centennial, Dr. Finser is scheduled to attend events in Taiwan, Australia, New Hampshire, and Europe this year — by November, he will have spoken on almost every continent.
Dr. Finser has been an educator for over four decades and has pioneered teaching methods for educator development. For nine years, he served as the Chair of Antioch University New England’s Education Department, and he is a founder of the Center for Anthroposophy. He is the author of twelve books, including School as a Journey: The Eight-Year Odyssey of a Waldorf Teacher and His Class, which is the bestselling book on Waldorf Education in the world.
His next engagement will be in February as the keynote at a national conference at MingDoo University in Taiwan as part of his international Beyond 100 initiative for Waldorf Schools.