Nurturing the Center Place

Recently we stumbled upon a passage in Parker Palmer's book "Healing the Heart of Democracy" that speaks directly to our WSSB community and our Waldorf education:

"Heart comes from the Latin cor and points not merely to our emotions but to the core of the self, that center place where all of our ways of knowing converge -- intellectual, emotional, sensory, intuitive, imaginative, experiential, relational, and bodily, among others. The heart is where we integrate what we know in our minds with what we know in our bones, the place where our knowledge can become more fully human. Cor is also the Latin root from which we get the word courage. When all that we understand of self and world comes together in the center place called the heart, we are more likely to find the courage to act humanely on what we know."

What should we teach our children in 2019? How should we teach our children in 2019? What values might we spotlight as worthy values? What habits? What skills? If we are honest with ourselves, such questions are difficult to answer tidily. But perhaps we all sense the power in what Palmer says above, sense the import of cultivating in our children an integrated-ness: a fledging of the mind, body, and spirit equally and indivisibly. (For a rich exploration of a one-sided approach to our human-ness, the "headist" approach [the approach the interviewed writer -- Philip Shepherd -- sees as dominant], please check out the following interview from The Sun magazine: Parker Palmer calls the integrative core of all human faculties "heart" or "the center place." It is our deep belief that Waldorf Education helps each child nurture this center place.

The integrated center place was on bright display this morning in the Great Room: what joy we all felt seeing the second graders do their performance, a performance that honored all their faculties! The involving memorization of lines and movements; the strong clear singing; the zestful acting; the earnestness of spirit: all of it came together as beauty! (And thank you Mr. Gebeau and Story Dorie for your direction and support!)

Alexis Schoppe