The Waldorf Promise - a DVD

Landfall Productions, Inc.
315 Sparks St.
Burbank, CA 91506

Noted author, Margaret Wheatley, Ed.D, suggests that "Every parent, teacher and adult who wants children to relish their education needs to see this video." She is not alone.

Yesterday afternoon I watched a DVD made by a man named Eric Stacey who was inspired by his daughter's Waldrf experience to make the award-winning film. I planned to write a review of this film, but realized, reading the spare, unadorned text of the website whose URL is above, that I couldn't possibly do better than it does, and that it would be "gilding the lily" to try. Here is the full text of this site - but what you really need to do is to buy a copy of the film - which is available either on DVD or video - and see for yourself what real education is about - PEOPLE! This view of teachers, children, schools, educators, is one of the most inspiring I've experienced in my 84 years!

Here's a challenge to you, dear teacher/viewer. Buy the film and look at it. If you are financially unable to take on this training, but would love to enroll in the Steiner College in Sacramento, California, and are willing to make a commitment to teach in an inner city school using these methods in the teaching of these vulnerable children, I will put up half the cost of your tuition for one year.
First, read the text below. Then order a copy of the DVD from Down-to-Earth Books*. It costs $19.95, with free shipping, from Landfall Productions - but you can order it from me for $10 each for three or more copies - also with free shipping. But it, look at it and send your extra copies to your favorite elementary school teacher - or friend with kids in elementary school! It covers junior high-age kids too, but that's not a good age group to begin with, I believe.
From the Website:
Children who love to learn become students who achieve.
As consumers, Americans are provided more choices than anyone on the panet. We are presented with a cornucopia of pre-packaged products from pretzels to presidents. Everywhere we look - on TV, on radio, on billboards, newspapers, magazines - we are bombarded with reasons to select an infinite and endless stream of products.
As parents, we are not nearly as well informed about our choices regarding one of the most important decisions of our lives - the education of our children.
Isn't it odd that the one choice which affects not only our childrens' entire lives, but also the future of the world should receive such little attention? For nearly 100 years, the educational choices parents have been offered have been limited to only a few basics - public vs. private, and if private, the choices multiply - religious vs. non-religious with alternative emphasis on themes such as arts, Montesori or perhaps military. And these are for those fortunate enough to be able to afford educational choices at all. But of all the parents who have wrestled with selecting the type of school they will send their children to, how many have ever considered that there may be choices between teaching methods?
Eric Stacey has thought about it - a lot. He made a documentary film about one method of teaching that is, according to one expert, "The best kept secret in America." Stacey's CINE Golden Eagle Award winning documentary is entitled "The Waldorf Promise," which, since its first release in 1998, has grown in popularity at over 1,000 colleges and universities with teacher education programs allowing student teachers an opportunity to see for themselves what Stacey was so excited about - Waldorf teaching Methods as used by 8 very enthusiastic teachers in as many U.S. public schools from California to New York.
In 1997, Stacey was so inspired by the teachers he had oberved over the first 9 years of his daughter's K-8 (private/non-religious) "Waldorf" schooling that he loaded his pickup truck full of equipment and drove coast to coast filming teachers using the Waldorf methods in U.S. public schools in rural Washington, in Sacramento and San Diego, California, in Flagstaff, Arizona, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and on the West Side in Manhattan. The result was his award winning documentary, which has been selling to colleges and universities for $150 a copy since 1998.
The program is now available nation-wide at the more affordable price of $19.95 on DVD, providing parents of every social and economic level an opportunity to see what can be achieved when a community of like-minded adults decides to found a public charter school using Waldorf methods. The special features section provides contact information on a growing number of demonstration schools and key groups supporting citizens interested in starting similar schools in their own communities.
A look behind the scenes of "The Waldorf Promise" reveals some interesting background. The film's Consulting Producer, Joan Jaeckel, is the founder of a national group called CEED ("Citizens' Endowment for Education and Democracy") which is a national campaign to help bring K-12 education in America into alignment with 21st Century consciousness and today's values. Some of the CEED coalition include well known educators and thinkers - Dee Dickinson (New Horizons for Learning), Paul D. Houston (American Alliance of School Administrators), Elaine M. Lamy (Educators for Social Responsibility), Tim Seldin (Montessori Foundation), David Marshak (Seattle University), Arline Monks (The Waldorf Approach for Public School Teachers at Rudolf Steiner College), [Mary Leue, Founder of Albany's Free School,] and Steve Bonchek (Harmony Education Center), among others.
So, although "The Waldorf Promise" was made by just one filmmaker whose most recent film is a low budget comedy horror movie, what his documentary points to is nothing less than a growing grassroots movement of schools in the public sector attuned to the way childhood works and how we think and operate in the 21st Century. The documentary is being offered as a tool to help America's parents and teachers make informed choices about what the school experience could be, as citizens about our public policy options, and as socially conscious investors about options in targeting philanthropic gifts. "The Waldorf Promise" gives us hope knowing that an important transformation in education is already well on its way to becoming a fact in the United States.
Noted author, Margaret Wheatley, Ed.D, suggests that "Every parent, teacher and adult who wants children to relish their education needs to see this video." She is not alone. The documentary has received praise from Library Journal, Booklist and Video Librarian. Even Waldorf graduate Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express, has endorsed the video. With "The Waldorf Promise" now priced at $19.95, pro-active parents, teachers and adults across America will become better equipped to take a more active role in re-enlivening public schools able to deliver primary eduation which produces children who love to learn and students who achieve.
Click here to read an article from Teacher magazine, and here for one from the Atlantic.
Back to the bookstore