Ask Kytka Archives: March 6, 2003
Are you associated with AWSNA
Q. Dear Kytka, I have just found your web site and it is quite good. I am a trained Waldorf teacher of many years experience currently living in Oklahoma where there are no Waldorf schools. I know many parents here are interested in homeschooling their children and your site may be a very good resource. My question is: What is your relationship to AWSNA? I understand they are very careful with the word Waldorf and I wonder how they relate to your work. I’ve surfed through the questions you’ve answered and the statements you make seem to be accurate, so far. But in skimming your biography…
I don’t see that you have studied Anthroposophy or Waldorf education formally. I’d like to be able to recommend your site to the families I work with but I’m still looking carefully into your credibility. So far, so good. A response will help.
A. I discussed your question with Rahima Baldwin Dancy, with whom I’m frequently in contact, and she had the following reply when I asked her about your question. By the way, her husband is Administrative Coordinator of AWSNA:
With regard to your question about AWSNA and Waldorf Home Schooling, when they get inquiries, they forward them to me to share with people about the resources that are available (I’m going to be getting my web site up by the time the ad in the Utne reader comes out—I hope). Donald Bufano, the chair of AWSNA, spoke at the Waldorf Home Schooling Conference last September, so AWSNA is beginning to make outreach efforts to home schoolers as well as with the charter schools. I know Rainbow has been up and shared his curriculum books with the AWSNA staff, but they don’t authorize or endorse any of the programs—they don’t have either the time or the mandate!
It is my understanding that AWSNA, as an association of schools, has trademarked the name “Waldorf” as it applies to schools’ using the word Waldorf in their name or second line. Schools that are not yet AWSNA approved may refer to Waldorf education or Waldorf methods in the materials that describe what they are doing, but not call themselves a Waldorf school. The Association isn’t trying to regulate the words “Waldorf education” as they appear in print or on the web (as in the relatively new book Understanding Waldorf Education by Jack Petrash, my upcoming article in Mothering Magazine on “Educating for the Future: The Waldorf Approach,” websites with newsletters like yours or chat rooms)—that would be a real limitation to the movement rather than trying to assure quality in the schools that are calling themselves Waldorf.
All the best, Rahima
Although I did not have any “formal training” I did assist teach at three schools, I ran a parent toddler group, had an initiative in my home for a time period, I have taken several workshops and attended many conferences, I have a full library of almost all books written on Waldorf and by Steiner, and I was a Trustee, on an Advisory Board and a School Administrator at Waldorf Schools as well. My movement within the “waldorf world” are going on 10+ years now… and I have made many contacts and had many experiences with teachers, directors, people at AWSNA, etc…
I hope this answers your inquiry…..