A packed theater at the Adele Grage Cultural Center in Atlantic Beach, FL welcomed renowned Waldorf educator and author Dr. Torin Finser from Antioch University New England on March 12 to a lecture on Dr. Finser’s new book, Education for Nonviolence: The Waldorf Way.
The event was free to the public and hosted by The Playgarden Preschool and Spring River School. Dr. Finser opened with a moving description of his 16-year-old son placing 17 daffodils outside the fence of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL in commemoration of those who lost their lives on February 14th. Although he wrote Education for Nonviolence prior to Parkland, it was evident to everyone in the room how vital and timely this discussion was not just in Florida, but in our nation. Dr. Finser called upon the audience of parents and local educators and tasked them with dedicating themselves to the future of our young generation.
Dr. Finser went on to discuss the connection between the ever increasing violent world that meets our children, and what parents and educators can do to move toward a society that is less violent and more compassionate. He touched on many subjects such as meeting the needs of boys, the influence of media, nature based education, and how Waldorf curriculum, in independent and charter schools, provides a pathway to a more peaceful world. In conclusion, Dr. Finser offered a “Children’s Bill of Rights” that, if adopted, could lead to a greater protection and cherishment of today’s children. He included in those rights: experiential learning, the joy of storytelling, free play, good nutrition, teachers who are inspired to teach, exposure to the arts such as drama and music, access to the great outdoors, and a developmentally appropriate education.
For more information about Dr. Finser and his work, please visit his webpage.