Embracing the Earth - The Developmental Importance of the Practical Arts in a Digital Society [Fri Feb 14, Chestnut Ridge, NY]

Public Lecture with Jon McAlice — opening a three-day conference on “Looking Towards the Future with Enthusiasm” — a winter renewal course for those who work with adolescents, and the Fiber Craft Studio

Jon McAlice will be the featured speaker Friday evening. He will share his thoughts on working with young people, engaging their imagination and will, helping them connect with nature and feel at home in the world they will inherit. 

McAlice has worked in the international Waldorf schools movement for many years as a teacher and lecturer. He has been involved in teacher training institutes throughout Europe and in the United States, focusing primarily on questions of human development and the psychology of learning. Jon is also skilled in practical work including farming, boatbuilding, and carpentry.​

Young adolescent students awaken to a world with many daunting problems that they will inherit. Can we look with them into the world and help them to embrace it? Is it possible to engage them and find a way to confirm the situation and yet build hope as we learn skills in a collaborative project? Working with natural materials brings a connection to natural world allowing a pathway for solutions to be discovered.

​Waldorf education has a strong, tried and true curriculum in the realm of hands on activities. Thinking a bit out of the box, we can enliven our projects to help students feel connected to the greater world and confident to meet the future. This work would require the teacher to find her own authentic interest and concerns, and her unique skills that create her connection to the world. We will spend our time together this weekend in two different workshops exploring the possibilities.

Please bring samples or photos of projects you may already do with students to share with us.

"When we transform natural materials with our hands...we enter into relationship with the outer world."  Renate Hiller  

The full weekend course:

Looking Towards the Future with Enthusiasm

The practical arts: developing judgement, confidence, and flexibility in the middle school student.
A winter renewal course for those who work with adolescents

February 14, 15 and 16, 2020
Friday evening to Sunday afternoon

(Friday 6pm registration, 7:30 Lecture)

Tuition:  $265 includes materials

Register Now

Activities for the weekend will include felting and an up-cycled sewing project that will inspire collaboration and an opportunity to address the global textile situation – working together and connecting to the greater world. Then on Sunday morning, we will share our experiences from the weekend and the work we are already doing in the middle school.

Friday, February 14

6pm registration
7:30pm Lecture with Jon McAlice (Open to the public)

Saturday, February 15

8:30am – Movement with Will Crane
9:30am – Working groups first session
12 - Presentation by Jon McAlice
1pm – Lunch Break
2 – 5:30pm Working groups second session

Sunday, February 16

9am Movement with Will Crane
10am gather for sharing
12pm Closing