Friday, March 23, 2007


Why I am starting this blog and what are my initial plans for the site? Enquiring minds want to know!

I send my kids to a Waldorf school, and I am going to be reviewing journal articles from a variety of fields (mostly neuroscience) that seem relevant to this educational model. Am I biased? I hope not! However, you need to understand this about me: I chose a Waldorf education for my children because I already knew that the vast majority of the brain research supports it. If I do manage to find a study that questions Waldorf methods, I will still review it.

We recently had an all-school parent meeting, focused on satisfaction and retention. The point that I brought up was that it can be very alienating to keep hearing the curriculum explained in terms of "because Steiner said so". I happen to think that the guy was a genius, and way ahead of his time, but the fact remains that when a parent asks "why?" and the answer is that some guy who has been dead for 80 years said so, it actually gets interpretted this way: "Steiner said so and no one has come up with a valid justification ever since." Which isn't true! After this meeting, a number of people urged me to write an article (or a series) for the Waldorf parent magazine, Renewal. The thing is, with 4 kids aged 8 and under, I don't have 40 hours to sit undisturbed and hammer something out.

Hence, the blog format. I am hoping to review 1 or 2 articles per week; after 6 months or so, I ought to have something of sufficient depth and breadth to work with. In the meantime, if you all could tell me how clear my writing is, ask me questions that are most pertinent to you, and suggest articles to review, I would greatly appreciate it! All of this will help make my eventual article(s) of the highest possible quality.

At first, I will be reviewing papers that are lying around my house. I graduated from MIT nearly 10 years ago, and then spent 2 years in grad school, so the freshest papers that I have around here are at least 8 years old. But this is not a problem! Cutting-edge research may play a small part in this enterprise, but bodies of work that span decades will probably end up being more useful, so the age of the materials is nothing to worry about. And then, after exhausting my in-house collection, I will go seeking other papers; I suspect that a lot of them will be recent.

So, that is my modus operandi. I look forward to working with you to make this site as useful as possible!

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