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Lecture Series

The New Amsterdam School holds  parent lectures on topics ranging from child-rearing to Waldorf education and frequently involve outside speakers with expertise in a specific aspect of childhood.  In order to help parents focus on the lecture and discussion, these events are for adults only.  All are welcome to attend! Unless noted, all lectures take place at 62 Avenue B (between 4th & 5th Streets). 

For more information about our lecture series, please call the school at 212 533-1820 or email admissions@newamsterdamchildhood.org


Upcoming Lectures & Workshop

The Silence Workshop

What is the Silence Workshop? We are too often drowned in our busy lives and the noise of the modern world. Come join for sessions of detox, relaxation, and restful silence. We will also explore the “art of listening” – conscious, purposeful listening involving various sound instruments. The workshop will focus on slowing down, embracing silence, controlling our impulses, and “feeling” the vibration of sounds.
Donation based
Date: Every Thursday Feb – June 7 (No Workshop on Feb 22, April 5)
Time: 7:00pm-8:00pm
Sign up: anna.park@newamsterdamschool.org

 The Four Lower Senses: Movement, Balance, Touch, and Life

  • April (date TBD) 7pm
  • Speaker: Cynthia Lang, Waldorf Early Childhood and Educational Support Teacher


 Past Lectures

Plant Dye Cafe Special Workshop

“Explore the Colors, Plant Dye Master Course”

  • Friday, September 29, 8:45am- 12:15pm
 Plant dye works with the essence of the plant. When you see, touch and wear plant-dyed clothing, you will receive the energy of the plant, which grows, blooms, fruits and falls. Ms. Kaori encourages you to question, “Why plant dye?” and “How to plant dye?” in this workshop. If you choose ten silks, you will be given a variety of different sizes and qualities of silks to experience different colors. The silks include, veils, playsilks and scarfs. They will make a one-of-a-kind gift for your loved ones!
Some things you will learn about:
  • Why plant dye?
  • Mordant-Key of Plant Dye
  • Various techniques for dying
Workshop instructor: Kaori Yamashita
Ms. Kaori fell in love with plant dye ten years ago and has been practicing plant dye ever since then. She plant dyed all of the silks in her classroom and all of the material for her puppet shows. She is running two plant dye trainings “Plant Dye Cafe” at New Amsterdam School and “Rainbow Factory” with some of her plant dying friends.

How to Help Your Child WANT to Cooperate without Yelling, Bribes, Threats or Punishment

  • Tuesday, October 24, 7pm- 9pm
  • Speaker: Dr. Laura Markham

Are you tired of battling with your child? Do you wish you knew how to get your child cooperating without yelling and threats? Are you trying to find the sweet spot between spoiling and strict? Dr. Laura Markham gives you practical everyday strategies to help you raise a child who WANTS to cooperate, by working with your child rather than trying to manipulate or control. This talk will include 1 hour of Q&A to help parents apply these ideas to their own families.

Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. She writes extensively about parenting as the founding editor of AhaParenting.com, the website of Aha! Moments for parents and kids from birth through the teen years. Tickets are $30 for individuals and $50 for couples. You can register to this event through the following link:
Discount for New Amsterdam families and friends available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dr-laura-markham-peaceful-parent-happy-kids-how-to-help-your-child-want-to-cooperate-without-tickets-2864280540

Promo code for New Amsterdam School Families: NEWAMSTERDAMFAM15

Holy Mama, a workshop to support, honor and inspire the inner life of mothers

  • Wednesday, November 15, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
  • Fee $50.00 please pre-register to attend: jerilynbrownstein@gmail.com
  • Workshop led by Jerilyn Brownstein, who has been working with mothers and their “inner lives” for the past twenty years—supporting women in growing themselves while they grow their families.
  • www.jerilynbrownstein.com

 The Vital Role of Art in Educating Our Children: Developing Our Full Humanity and Creating a Human World

  • November 15, 2016, 7pm
  • Speaker: Michael Howard

We all want our children, individually and collectively, to develop their full human potential so they can have fulfilling lives, but also so they are better able to serve the needs of the world. As parents and educators, it behooves us to ask ourselves ever and again what does it mean to be fully human? What is the full scope of our human capacities? And as a practical matter, how can we better serve each child in unfolding her individual potential.

This presentation will focus on the vital role of art in developing our full humanity. It will include some simple artistic experiences as a basis for introducing and discussing the practical implications of engaging in the arts. We will touch on how art can expand the way we perceive and know the world, how art awakens and develops inner freedom as the compliment to outer freedom, and how art develops empathy as the fundamental social capacity.

Born in Vancouver, Canada, in 1946, Michael began sculpting at the age of fifteen. He studied sculpture at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and received a BFA from Eastern Michigan University, and a MA in Fine Arts from Columbia Pacific University in CA. He met the work of Rudolf Steiner in 1969 when he attended Emerson College in England. Since then Rudolf Steiner’s worldview has informed his striving as an artist, a teacher and an evolving human being. Although mostly known as a sculptor, he also paints and draws. His recent creative efforts have led him to explore the possibility of creating visual speech and visual music. He has also been developing the medium of rice drawing as a way to explore the social art. In addition to writing articles and essays, he edited and introduced a collection of lectures on art by Rudolf Steiner entitled, Art as Spiritual Activity: Rudolf Steiner’s Contribution to the Visual Arts, as well as a book on the role of art in education called, Educating the Will.  Visit his website: livingformstudio.com for more info!


Diversity and Inclusion in a Waldorf School

  • A panel discussion with Howard Dulaney and Kaori Yamashita
  • Thursday, September 22, 7pm

We warmly invite our entire community to share in this conversation. We will hear a faculty presentation about working with gender in the classroom and join in a broad conversation about diversity and inclusion at New Amsterdam.

Real Food: What to Eat and Why

  • Monday June 13th, 7pm
  • With speaker Nina Planck

Learn What to Eat and Why: Conception to Age Two From Nina Planck, acclaimed author of “Real Food: What to Eat and Why” and “Real Food for Mother and Baby” comes a lively, myth-busting discussion on what to feed mother, father, and baby.

When Nina became pregnant, she took a hard look at the nutritional advice for pregnancy and newborns, finding a tangle of often contradictory guidelines that seemed at odds with her own common

Nina will explain why many commonly held ideas about pregnancy and infant nutrition are wrongheaded and why real food is essential for growing minds and bodies. For expecting mothers and babies up to age two, the body’s overwhelming requirements are fat and protein—not vegetables, cereals, and low-fat dairy. She’ll talk about giving your baby traditional real foods such as red meat, fish, eggs, and even raw-milk cheese and raw milk

Nina (“a cross between Alice Waters and Martha Stewart” —Washington Post) takes up traditional diets for fertility, pregnancy, nursing, first foods, and weaning. She dismantles common misconceptions and fears about prenatal and weaning foods in her easy-to-grasp, direct style. Mothers call it life-changing. This may be the only prenatal book you will ever need.

“Real Food for Mother and Baby will leave you empowered, encouraged, and optimistic.”                        —FoodRenegade.com

Praise for “Real Food: What to Eat and Why,” now out in an updated 10th Anniversary Edition: “Persuasive and invigorating” —Michael Pollan.

“Planck has written an important book, and her timing may be perfect. With any luck, Real Food will resonate with Americans (starved for so long on low-fatdiets).” —LA Times Book Review.

“Compellingly smart.” —Mark Bittman

Open House: “An Exploration of Math Education” in the New Amsterdam Grades Classroom

  • Thursday May 5, 7pm
  • With speakers Jamie Loftus and Rob Gilson

Find out why New Amsterdam children love math!

With an emphasis on joy in learning, New Amsterdam math education meets the physical, emotional and intellectual life of each individual child, and thus engages the hands, heart and mind.

The curriculum at New Amsterdam School is unlike any other in downtown Manhattan. It weaves art, movement and music into academic pursuit. It engages not only the intellect, but also the heart and hands. It nurtures reverence for the wonders of nature, gratitude and respect for others and the development of self-discipline. Our teachers are dedicated to inspiring students with a genuine inner enthusiasm for learning – fostering academic excellence, artistic expression and critical thinking skills. We educate the whole child – enabling children to take initiative and change the world.

Jamie Loftus, with many years of experience teaching the Waldorf approach to Math from First Grade through High School, and Rob Gilson, formerly a math teacher at a New York City Charter School and who now teaches at the progressive Blue School, will be speaking of their experiences and their shared belief that Math can and should be accessible, engaging, creative and fun.

Join us for this evening to learn more about our unique approach to math education!

RSVP to admissions@newamsterdamchildhood.org

Electronic Media in Family Culture and School Life: How working together can build community and protect our children’s childhood

  • Tuesday, April 12, 7pm
  • A presentation by Carol Grieder

Electronic and social media is creeping into the lives of our families at an increasing speed. This talk will focus on a developmental framework in respect to our children’s childhood and electronic media use. This approach can help guide schools and families to decide how and when to integrate electronic media into their children’s lives. If we do not decide ourselves, others will. A community building approach is helpful and the presenter will speak about an example of a media policy and media literacy curriculum, and the ongoing work involved in building community around our children’s media use.


Carol Grieder is an early childhood teacher at Green Meadow Waldorf School (GMWS) and is also a pediatric nurse and women’s health nurse practitioner.  She is a co-chair of the Media Resource Group at GMWS. Over the past eight years, this group has articulated a media policy for grades K through 8. This policy articulates a media literacy program which gradually guides children from the realm of an electronic media free childhood to becoming knowledgeable and competent citizens in the electronic media world. She has recently presented at the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America.  Carol’s publications include “Michaelmas in the Nursery: A Celebration of Courage” and “Bringing Easter into the Nursery: A Universal Celebration of Spring”. The Seasonal Festivals in Early Childhood: Seeking the Universally Human. The Gateway Series, edited by Nancy Foster. The recently published book “Tell Me a Story,” edited by Louise DeForest, includes a number of Carol’s original stories.

Working Holistically with Gender and Sexuality for the Young Child through to Puberty and Beyond

  • Speaker Lisa Romero
  • Tuesday, March 22, 7:30pm

This lecture introduces teachers, parents, health professionals and those working with children and adolescents to an understanding of how gender differences and similarities work in childhood development, human relationships and spiritual development in the changing needs of our time. It recommends a way to bring a healthy picture of development in the context of Waldorf pedagogy, which keeps the child united to the whole and does not cause a division in consciousness. When working out of anthroposophy we are asked not to judge the other by gender and to teach in a unisexual way. Only through a deep understanding of the un-freedom of being man or woman can we contribute to the education and development of others in freedom.

Lisa Romero is a complimentary health practitioner and adult educator who has applied anthroposophy to her practice since 1990 and delivered education enriched with anthroposophy since 1998.


Strengthening Our Thinking, Feeling, and Willing Capacities Through Waldorf Education

  • Wednesday, February 10
  • With speaker Jamie Loftus

We have all heard the famous quote that “there can be no understanding between the head and the hands unless the heart acts as mediator.” We have also grown used to talking about the whole child: head, heart and hands (the thinking, feeling and willing capacities) in Waldorf circles. But what do these terms mean? And how does a healthy balance between these forces effect a child? And how does one go about achieving a healthy balance in one’s child and in oneself?


Art and Form in Waldorf Education

  • Wednesday, January 13th
  • With speaker Jamie Loftus

Many people marvel at the beauty of our students’ artwork, and admire the emphasis Waldorf schools place on art and the appreciation of the natural world. Join grades teacher, Jamie Loftus for an exploration of art and form as it is understood through the lens of Waldorf education.