Gateways Series

The Gateways Series: The Seasonal Festivals in Early Childhood

Seeking the Universally Human

Edited by Nancy Foster



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In the introduction, editor Nancy Foster explains that many of the beautiful festival celebrations we may think of as "Waldorf" originated not in the first Waldorf schools, but in the European cultural and religious tradition in which they were embedded. This presents a challenge for us today as we strive to renew our celebration of the seasons of the year, bringing the healing forces of a rhythmic life to the children. As Nancy says,

The inner and outer work of teachers continues to be guided by our commitment to anthroposophy and Waldorf pedagogy. The growth and development of the children in our care still follows the archetypal laws revealed to us by Rudolf Steiner's research. At the same time, the realities of our school communities present us with a context that challenges and inspires us to re-examine some of our cherished festival traditions in order to welcome and include fully every child and family.

This bountiful collection of articles, stories, songs, circles, and puppet plays provides thoughtful reflections on the cycle of the year and on the nature of each season, along with many practical ideas and materials to bring into the classroom.

Freya Jaffke, Joan Almon, Holly Koteen-Soulé, Steve Spitalny, Helle Heckmann, Nancy Foster, Barbara Klocek, Cecilia Karpoff, and Marjorie Thatcher are just some of the contributors who have lovingly shared the fruits of their research and practice.

This is an extremely valuable, thought provoking and inspiring book.  Very highly recommended.

The Gateways Series: The Young Child in the World Today

Compiled from articles published in the Newsletter of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America



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Wonderful! Some of the best articles published by Gateways on some of the most pressing concerns of the day.

Topics covered include new health problems of children and youth, sexual abuse of children, ADHD, violence and electronic media, TV and ADD, virtual reality and the child's growing mind, and child development and television.

Putting all these article inside one cover is a great idea - thank you, WECAN!

The Gateways Series: Working with the Angels

The Young Child and the Spiritual World

Compiled from articles published in the Newsletter of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association



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Working with the Angels is clearly the result of intense, deep, sustained love: the love of each article's author for children and the world; the love of those responsible for publishing each article in its turn over the years; the love of the current editors in gathering all these remarkable insights and experiences together in one place; and, of course, the love of the angels for us.

This is a collection that is almost palpably alive with love and with love's possibilities. And with that, I'm going to let the contents speak for themselves:

Working with the Angels

  • Working with the Angels, Archangels and Archai - Helmut von Kügelgen
  • Conversation about Angels and Human Beings - Helmut von Kügelgen
  • Finding a Connection to the World of the Angels - Helmut von Kügelgen
  • The Meaning of Angels in Education and Self-Education - Michaela Glöckler, M.D.

The Destiny of the Child in Our Times

  • Working with the Karma of the Young Child - Margaret Meyerkort
  • Walking and the Incarnation of Destiny - Joan Almon
  • Continuing the Work of the Hierarchies - Werner Glas
  • Early Childhood and the Consciousness Soul - Joan Almon
  • Threshold Experiences of Children and Adults - Helmut von Kügelgen
  • Religion of the Young Child - Elizabeth Moore-Haas

The Gateway of Birth - the Sistine Madonna

  • Raphael's Sistine Madonna - Is It Approriate in the Kindergarten? - René Querido
  • The Sistine Madonna in the Waldorf Kindergarten - Joan Almon
  • The Sistine Madonna - Symbol of the Eternal in Humanity - Rudolf Steiner

The Gateway of Death - Working with Death in the Kindergarten

  • After-Death Care in the Home - Beth Knox
  • Helping Children in a Time of Trouble - Nancy Foster
  • Helping Our Children and Loved Ones at the Threshold of Death - Nancy Jewel Poer
  • A Festival for a Threshold Crossing - Patricia Owens
  • Birth into the spiritual World - Nancy Blanning
  • A Story for Mia - Louise de Forest
  • Grandma's Dream - Sheila Rubin
  • For Anastasia and Her Dear Grandmother - Cynthia Aldinger

The Inner Path

  • Self-Development as a Basis for the Relationship Between the Child and the Adult - Michaela Glöckler, M.D.
  • Through the Eye of the Needle - Felicitas Vogt
  • The Path of Inner Schooling - Jorgen Smit
  • The Spiritual Foundations of Waldorf Education - Michaela Glöckler, M.D.

The Gateways Series: The Developing Child: The First Seven Years

Compiled from articles published in the Newsletter of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America



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WECAN has produced another wonderful collection of past Gateways articles, this time focusing on child development from birth to age 7. Some of the best and most insightful experts in the field are now all gathered in one place, offering their wisdom and guidance together. I am especially pleased to see articles explaining kindergarten and first grade readiness guidelines. The Developing Child is an outstanding contribution to the world of early childhood education; and a resource that can bring a wealth of experience right into your living room or classroom.


Stages of Development in the First Seven Years

  • The Laws of Childhood - Dr. Helmut von Kügelgen
  • Stages of Development in Early Childhood - Freya Jaffke
  • The Young Child form Birth to Seven - Dennis Klocek

Birth, Infancy and the First Years of Life

  • Child Development: Conception to Birth Embryology
  • Making Sense of Uprightness - Bonnie & William RiverBento
  • The Wonder of Acquiring Speech - Dr. Michaela Glöckler
  • Movement, Gesture and Language in the Life of the Young Child - Bronja Zahlingen
  • Supporting the Development of the Human Hand - Ingun Schneider
  • Toward Human Development: The Physiological Basis of Sleep - Lisa Gromicko
  • Laying the Physical Foundation of the Consciousness Soul - Dr. Jenny Josephson

The Development of Consciousness: Imitation, Play and Learning

  • Forces of Growth and Forces of Fantasy: Understanding the Dream Consciousness of the Young Child - Dr. Michaela Glöckler
  • The Vital Role of Play in Childhood - Joan Almon
  • The Genius of Play - Sally Jenkinson
  • Understanding Imitation - Joop van Dam

Readiness for Kindergarten and School

  • Kindergarten Readiness - Dr. Elizabeth Jacobi
  • The Birth of the Etheric: Transformation of Growth Forces into Thinking Forces - Dr. Michaela Glöckler
  • First Grade Readiness - Joan Almon
  • Some Guidelines for First Grade Readiness - Nancy Foster

El Desarollo del Nino y la Educacion Preescolar Waldorf

(The Devleopment of the Child and Waldorf Early Childhood Education - Spanish Language only)

Editado por Louise deFores

A WECAN Publication

NOTE: Imperfect copies currently discounted on the clearance page.


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Louise selected six essential, fundamental articles for Waldorf early childhood educators by Joan Almon, Joop van Dam, Helmut von Kügelgen, Susan Howard, Roberto Trostli, and Freya Jaffke. We hope this little volume will become a valuable resource for our colleagues in Mexico and elsewhere in the Spanish speaking world, who do not yet have an equivalent of the English-language Gateways newsletter.


  • Prólogo - Susan Howard
  • Las Leyes de la Niñez - Helmut von Kügelgen
  • Las Etapas del Desarrollo en la Primera Infancia - Freya Jaffe
  • Comprendiendo la Imitación a Través de una Mirada más Profunda al Desarrollo Humano - Joop van Dam
  • El Papel Vital del Juego en la Educación Preescolar - Joan Almon
  • El Jardín de Niños Waldorf: El Mundo de la Primera Infancia - Roberto Trostli
  • Conceptos Esenciales de la Educación Preescolar Waldorf - Susan Howard

NOTE: Imperfect copies currently discounted on the clearance page (scroll down to find them).

The Gateways Series: Mentoring in Waldorf Early Childhood Educaton

Compiled from the workof the WECAN Mentoring Task Force

Spiral Bound


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When I first saw the title of this book, I confess I expected some fairly dry essays as its content. I am delighted to report that the articles it contains are warm, lively, beautifully and deeply considered and come from a rich selection of those who have mentored in many different settings. In short, if mentoring is something you or your school is ready to explore, you couldn't find a better guide than this one.


  • Self-Education as the Basis for the Art of Mentoring
  • The Role of Mentoring Early Childhood Teachers and Caregivers: Context and Purpose
  • Laying the Bass for the Mentoring Visit
  • The Essentials of Waldorf Early Childhood Education
  • The Mentoring Observation: What Do We Look For?
  • The Art of Fruitful conversation
  • Pearls of Wisdom: The Role of Advice in Mentoring

Accountability: Written Records

Meeting at the Eye of the Needle: Mentoring on the Path of Adult Learning

The Gateways Series: A Warm and Gentle Welcome

Nurturing Children from Birth to Age Three

Compiled from the work of the WECAN RIE/Pikler Working Group



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The Gateway's Series just gets richer and richer and more and more useful. WECAN's newest offering, A Warm and Gentle Welcome is packed with some of the best articles I've seen addressing the needs of the youngest children and what adults in a wide variety of situations can do to meet them.

I don't think there is anyone who cares about children and about the future of our world who is not deeply troubled and concerned about what I will simply call the general insensitivity and lack of wisdom that seems so widely rampant when it comes to the care of young children.

What I love about A Warm and Gentle Welcome is that rather than simply saying that we must recreate our world from scratch, the authors one by one address modern necessities (for instance, the fact than many mother's quite simply must work outside the home in order to help provide for their family and children), and offer suggestions and approaches for working with them out of their own successful experience. For me, this is an invigorating, health-giving breath of fresh air, one which I believe will serve our children and world very well indeed. In this book is hope, and the direction and help to make it a reality.


  • Foreword by Susan Weber
  • Introduction by Trice Atchison and Margaret Ris
  • The Changing Needs of the Family - The Fundamental Needs of the Child
    • Meeting the Needs of the Times by Cynthia Aldinger
    • Do We Know Why We Do What We Do? An Interview with Helle Heckmann by Margaret Ris
  • The Developing Child in the First Three Years
    • Emmi Pikler's Trust in the Wise Infant by Jan Swain
    • The Wonder and Complexity of Motor Development in Infants by Vanessa Mitchell Kohlhaas
    • Fostering Healthy Language Development in Young Children: A Journey in Relationships by Susan Weber
    • Thinking and the Consciousness of the Young Child
  • Caregiving as an Art
    • The Sacred Art of Observation by Theresa Catlin
    • In Their Shoes: Reflections on Cooperative Caregiving by Kristen Fiegl
    • What's All the Talking About? by Kim Lewis
    • Making Peace with Toddler Conflict by Trice Atchison
    • Tending and Cherishing the Living Spiritual Forces in Childhood by Joyce Gallardo
  • Working with Parents
    • Building Bridges: How Infant-Child Classes Can Help Support Families by Donna Stusser
    • A Gradual Transition to the Nursery by Marilyn Pelrine and Kirsten Carr
    • A New Vision for Creating Partnerships with Parents by Margaret Ris
    • In Praise of Simple Joys by Carol Nasr Griset

The Gateways Series: Professional Review and Evaluation in Waldorf Early Childhood Education

Holly Kotten-Soulé
with contributions by Patricia Rubano



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Out of years of experience as evaluator and mentor, and out of a lifetime of love for children and the goals of Waldorf early childhood education, Holly Kotten-Soulé has offered an enormously helpful guide to creating a healthy teacher evaluation process for the Waldorf kindergarten and nursery. Here is guidance and love where they are often most needed - very highly recommend.


  • Foreword by Susan Howard
  • Introduction
  • Why Review?
  • Cultivating Review
  • The Self-Evaluation
  • The Role of the Evaluator
  • The Role of the Institution
  • Obstacles and Hindrances
  • Conclusion
  • About the Authors
  • Appendices

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