The Bulletin

Douglas Gerwin on Cultivating Imagination

Monday, February 2011

Root, Shoot, and Fruit: Cultivating Imagination in Childhood & Adolescence

Wednesday, March 2 at 7:30 pm

A Presentation for Parents and Friends
by Douglas Gerwin, Director of the Center for Anthroposophy, Wilton, NH

Children typically go through three major phases along the path of their development, starting with birth and early childhood, passing through the elementary years, and culminating with puberty and adolescence. During each of these developmental phases they learn in radically different ways, partly for reasons of their changing physiology––including the maturation of the brain––and partly because of their burgeoning inner life.

A Waldorf program responds to these inner and outer changes by helping children unfold their nascent capacities. Chief of these is the imagination as a faculty of cognition.  Imagination can be trained to perceive truth and reality just as effectively as rational intellectuality. Out of childhood imagination, cultivated in the lower school, arise in the high school teenager those crucial abilities to weigh, to assess, and to arrive at truth.

Through examples drawn from the artistic as well as the academic curriculum, we will explore in a practical way what it means to learn “from the inside of things” rather than to be instructed about them from the outside.

 

Douglas Gerwin, Director of the Center for Anthroposophy, has taught history, literature, German, music, and life science at the Waldorf high school level since 1983. He presently divides his time between adult education and teaching in various North American Waldorf schools. Douglas is the founder of the Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program at the Center for Anthroposophy and editor of several books related to Waldorf education.