Tradition &

Waldorf Faculty & Alumni Featured in Book about the Importance of Arts Education

Congratulations to faculty member Maria Ver Eecke and other community members whose writings are featured in The Swing of the Pendulum: The Urgency of Arts Education for Healing, Learning, & Wellness. Co-edited by Adelphi University arts education professors Diane Caracciolo, a former faculty member at the School, and Courtney Lee Weida, the book explores how imaginative, creative, and artistic experiences are essential to the individual and collective heath of students.

Current Eurythmy teacher, Maria Ver Eecke,  authored the chapter entitled, “Balance Arises out of Movement and Stillness,” about how eurythmy helps students develop through form and motion. She explores how movement allows students to find rhythmic balance in their lives to better help them understand themselves and the world around them. “In today’s fast-paced world, our children need rhythmical activities and movement to allow them to integrate and process all learning modalities,” she states.

Former faculty member and head of the School’s Foundation Studies Program, Leonore Russell, also contributed a chapter entitled, “What Ails Thee: Stories that Strengthen.” Here, Leonore explores how stories can serve as metaphors to give students strength in times of crisis. In the chapter she discusses the story of Parzival (still read by 11th grade Waldorf students to this day) and how questions discussed in her classroom 20 years ago are still relevant to her life today.

Dr. Steven Sagarin ’80 is also featured in the book. In his piece, “This School Saved My Life: Therapeutic possibilities for the Dramatic Arts in Education,” Dr. Sagarin tells the story of Mike, a student at the Berkshire Waldorf School, who applied to the school during a time of great challenge, and found it to be a transformative experience. Dr. Sagarin reflects on the ways that the Waldorf approach helped the student succeed in the right way at the right time to change the course of his life.

In addition to co-editing the book, Diane Caracciolo also wrote the chapter, “Transformation and Renewal Through the Arts” where she recounts the story of Deirdre Hurst Du Prey, a founding member of the Michael Chekhov Theatre Studio of Dartington Hall, England.  Du Prey was a lower school teacher at the Waldorf School of Garden City from 1954 to 1971, and is an alumni parent of the School. In the chapter, Diane explores Du Prey’s history and transition from the world of theatre to education, and how she impacted lives through her unique work to awaken the creative spirit of students and educators alike. To Diane, story serves as both inspiration, and a challenge to shepherd the creative and artistic spirit in students for generations to come.

You can find the book on Amazon at this link. Congratulations to all who were featured.