Tango on a Tightrope: Adolescents on the Path to Freedom, A Talk by Douglas Gerwin, Ph.D.

September 2013

Tango on a Tightrope: Adolescents on the Path to Freedom

Along their path of development, adolescents face two archetypal temptations: to grow up too fast or to remain young too long. The first can be seen in physical or material guises, such as the earlier advent of puberty, teen pregnancy, adolescent consumerism and independence--the "hurried child". The second appears,perhaps more subtly, through psychological or social disguises, such as slowed emotional maturity or deferment of life choices about career and family--the eternal "Peter Pan". These two temptations will frame a discussion of the Waldorf high school curriculum and how it addresses the needs and longings of youth today.
About Douglas Gerwin:
Douglas Gerwin, Ph.D., is Director of the Center for Anthroposophy–including Chair of its Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program–and Co-Director of the Research Institute for Waldorf Education. A Waldorf graduate, Dr. Gerwin has taught for more than 30 years at university and high school levels in subjects ranging from biology and history to German and music. He is editor of four books related to Waldorf education as well as author of various articles on adolescence and the Waldorf curriculum.  Dr. Gerwin has collaborated and conducted several research projects on graduates of Waldorf schools, as well as on developing a Waldorf high school, with the late David Mitchell. He is one of the editors of the Research Bulletin, a journal of Waldorf educational research. He has given lectures nationally on the adolescent. He currently resides in Amherst, Massachusetts with his wife Connie, a Waldorf high school teacher of mathematics.


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