2. Starting strong: building a solid foundation in early childhood to navigate through the digital age
Moderator: Clara Aerts, International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education (IASWECE)
What competencies and values mark out mature digital users and how are they developed in early childhood? Tomorrow’s world requires people with tolerance, empathy, creativity and common sense. This workshop will identify how these core human virtues are developed in early life and how they are endangered by a lack of awareness for the effects of digital technology on the development of children.
Joan Almon, Alliance for Childhood
Joan Almon was born in the United States and studied sociology and psychology at the University of Michigan. She then worked for leaders in the civil rights and anti-poverty movements. She later became interested in early childhood education and was deeply engaged as a Waldorf educator for over thirty years.
She co-chaired the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America and represented it in international meetings. In the 1990s she became very concerned about the decline in children's health and well-being in the USA and Europe, and worked with physicians and educators to found the Alliance for Childhood in 1999. The Alliance addresses a number of childhood issues including the overuse of digital technologies and the need for restoring play.
Christopher Clouder, Director research SEE, Botin Foundation, Ed.
Christopher Clouder FRSA is a freelance speaker and consultant and is the founding director of the Botin Platform for Innovation in Education. From 1989 to 2012 he was the founder and CEO of the European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education. Before this he was a Steiner high school teacher for about 20 years. He is co-founder of the Alliance for Childhood, a Fellow of the Learning for Well-being Community, member of the International Forum for Steiner Education, a visiting lecturer on many teacher education seminars around Europe and the supervisor of the Steiner school in Florence. He has lectured globally at international conferences, not only on Steiner education but also on other educational and cultural subjects, written and compiled books and articles. He sees his educational work as serving to build bridges between educational cultures, be they political, social, cultural or academic and creating a sense of solidarity, renewal and understanding for the benefit of children worldwide.