Waldorf education ...
... places the child at the centre of all educative efforts. It enquires into the gifts and potential available in each child, and tries to nurture and develop these. It tries to help the child unfold his or her full potential, to care for children in the community context in which they grow up, and to prepare them for the tasks facing them in the modern age.
Media in early education
Computer usage in childhood has become common-place, even among toddlers. Yet children pay a price for this alluring entertainment. They spend far less time in face-to-face relationships with others than in the past, and businesses now remark that their young employees are very tech savvy but lack social skills. They also lack hands-on skills, and many schools now hire occupational therapists to help children develop normal hand skills. This lack of "handiness" is also a major problem for engineering firms who find that employees who played with real objects and tinkered with them as children and teens are better problem-solvers than those who did not.
In addition, children in the U.S. between the ages of 8 and 18 now spend over 7 hours per day in front of screens with very little time spent outdoors. This imbalance has a strong impact on children's physical and mental health. Computer games have become a standard part of childhood, with very little attention paid to their negative effects. The Alliance commissioned an analysis of computer games by board member and former technology teacher, Lowell Monke.
Computers have an important role in contemporary life, but in childhood we recommend first things first: real relationships with people and nature, real hands-on activities, and lots of time for child-initiated play and artistic activities.
How and when to use screen technologies in education
This guide is designed to help educators and parents make informed decisions about whether, why, how, and when to use screen technologies with young children. Just because products are marketed as “educational” doesn’t mean they are. How do we best support children’s growth, development, and learning in a world radically changed by technology?
(© 2012 The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Alliance for Childhood, more information: www.allianceforchildhood.org)
An Analysis of video games
In a new wave of publicity, the video game industry, backed by many university professors, argues that the games are highly educational. Actually, video
games promote overly rational modes of thought and remove young people from the interaction they need with real people in the real world.
(published in Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice, Volume 22, no. 3, 2009)