Lectures & Special Events
WSL's Parent Community Association (PCA) invites speakers to share their expertise in support of child development, parenting, and family life for parents and educators. Topics often include intellectual, emotional, and physical development as well as current trends in media, education, and parenting. The school also hosts distinguished musical groups and events.
All talks and performances are free (unless noted otherwise), open to the public, and held in the auditorium at the Waldorf School of Lexington. Seating is general admission.
Beyond 100: A return to the social justice roots of Waldorf Education
Featuring: Dr. Torin Finser, Ph.D.
Date: Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Time: 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Throughout the 2019-20 school year, schools and communities around the world will celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Waldorf education. Dr. Torin Finser, an authority in teaching Waldorf principles, has worked to mark this centennial milestone in two distinct ways: by sharing the story of how and why Waldorf was founded and by looking forward to determining what role Waldorf ideals have in the future of education. We invite the Waldorf community, and anyone interested in knowing more about this time-tested approach to learning, to join Torin as he discusses his vision for the future of Waldorf education.
Dr. Torin M. Finser received his Ph.D. in educational leadership from Union Graduate School, his M.A. in education from Adelphi University, and his B.A. from Bowdoin College. He taught at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School, where he also served as faculty chairman. Torin has done extensive consulting with schools in organizational dynamics and leadership development and has been a keynote speaker at conferences all over the world. He is the author of eleven books, beginning with School as a Journey, which has now been translated into Mandarin, Farsi, Thai, Arabic, Korean and Spanish. Other books include: School Renewal, Organizational Integrity, A Second Classroom, Parent Teacher Relations in a Waldorf School, Leadership Development and Education for Non-Violence. His Guided Self Study is used by many as an introduction to Anthroposophy. Torin has served as General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America and Chair of the Education Department at Antioch University New England. A founder of the Center for Anthroposophy, he has recently pioneered their new Building Bridges Program for practicing teachers in independent and charter schools.
Decolonizing the Mind: Through Conversations We Were Never Meant to Have
Join Claudia Fox Tree and Debby Irving for an onstage conversation as they explore how U.S. narratives shaped their understanding of themselves, one another, and the complex world we live in. Claudia and Debby’s conversation will be unstructured, modeling the nature of authentic cross-racial conversations. Topics they move in and out of may include: “What word should we use? American Indian, Native American, First Nations, Indigenous People? What is it like, as an indigenous person, to reach out to a white person who may or may not have developed racial awareness? What is the earliest memory you have of Native Americans? What did you learn about First Nations people in school? How did our knowledge of “other” evolve over time? How is this related to the idea of racial identity development? What stereotypes have we internalized? (mascots, too) and how do we decolonize? What is the most difficult thing to address/cope with on the journey of learning/knowing about indigenous people?
Claudia Fox Tree is a multiracial/multiethnic Native American whose father is Native American (Arawak-Yurumein) and mother is German (from Mannheim-Feudenheim). Although she spent the first five years of her life in Germany and speaks German, she was born in Boston, has primarily grown up in the U.S.A., and been educated in Massachusetts, where she is active in the local Native American community. She earned a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts (Boston), majoring in Anthropology and Psychology; Elementary (gr. 1-6) and Moderate Special Education (gr. 5-12) certifications from Fitchburg State College; and a M.Ed. from Northeastern University in Educational Research, focusing on Native American identity development. Claudia is on the board of the Massachusetts Center for Native Americans and the Massachusetts liaison for the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP), headquartered in New York. She has been a presenter at numerous conferences and workshops at colleges and civic organizations across New England, and has also made appearances both in Germany and the Caribbean, the lands of her ancestors. She has spoken to all ages from preschool to adult. In January 2017, Claudia was the first speaker at the Boston’s Women’s March, spoke to over 125,000 thousand people on the Boston Common, and introduced her daughter who sang, “Amazing Grace” in Cherokee and then lead the crowd through the first verse in English. In 2016, Claudia was the 58th woman to be featured by YM (Eliminating Racism/Empowering Women) Boston Women of Influence Series for the YWCA’s 150th year anniversary. In 2015, Community Change, Inc. recognized Claudia with the Drylongso Award for significant anti-racism work.
Debby Irving is a white woman, raised in Winchester, Massachusetts during the socially turbulent 1960s and ‘70s. After a blissfully sheltered, upper-middle-class suburban childhood, she found herself simultaneously intrigued and horrified by the racial divide she observed in Boston. Her book Waking Up White is the story of her two-steps-forward-one-step back journey away from racial ignorance. Debby continues to study racism and strategies for its undoing while working to educate other white people confused and frustrated by racism. She is passionate about transforming anxiety and inaction into empowerment and action, be it for an individual or an organization.