Open reviewing process

(Re)inhabiting Waldorf Education

Picture of Jocelyn Demirbag
(Re)inhabiting Waldorf Education
by Jocelyn Demirbag - Thursday, 27 April 2017, 7:55 AM

Neil Boland and I are pleased to submit a paper for consideration.  We have worked with Jackie and Jack's comments to present our research as a living theory account.  We welcome all comments.



Picture of Neil Boland
Re: (Re)inhabiting Waldorf Education
by Neil Boland - Wednesday, 20 September 2017, 2:01 AM
Here is the second version of Jocelyn and my article. It was written after a very helpful conversation with Jack and contains a number of videos. These appear not always to work on every machine - if they do not, please let us know and we will send it as a linked PDF.

Many thanks
Picture of Jack Whitehead
Re: (Re)inhabiting Waldorf Education
by Jack Whitehead - Wednesday, 20 September 2017, 1:57 PM

Dear Neil and Jocelyn - I'm enjoying very much reading your submission and I want to access the 5 video-clips, but at the moment they are just black rectangles with no live link. I'm sure that we will be able to sort this out. If you can upload a linked pdf file please do but if this doesn't work you could send the live links to my email - .

Picture of Neil Boland
Re: (Re)inhabiting Waldorf Education
by Neil Boland - Wednesday, 20 September 2017, 10:26 PM

Hello Jack,

I am sorry that the videos were not working for you. They seem to for some people and not for others. I am attaching another copy of the article with the videos as hyperlinked images, rather than embedded Youtube videos, and have also put the URLs underneath the captions so I hope you can view them by one means or another.

Many thanks,


Picture of Marie Huxtable
Re: (Re)inhabiting Waldorf Education - accepted for review
by Marie Huxtable - Sunday, 24 September 2017, 2:48 PM

Hi Neil and Jocelyn

This is the version I have consulted on with the Editorial Board and they have accepted for review. I am gathering your review team and they will be responding soon I hope. We are trialling the rubric attached to see if that helps authors and reviewers to be clear about the publishing criteria and help focus the conversations.


Picture of Jocelyn Demirbag
Re: (Re)inhabiting Waldorf Education - accepted for review
by Jocelyn Demirbag - Thursday, 28 September 2017, 12:47 AM
Thank you, Marie!

Picture of Pip Bruce Ferguson
Re: (Re)inhabiting Waldorf Education - accepted for review
by Pip Bruce Ferguson - Saturday, 14 October 2017, 2:57 AM
Dear Jocelyn and Neil

I saw an earlier version of this paper and have followed its progress with great interest. This is because not only is it a fascinating account of teachers investigating their own practice as a group, with a view to improving it, but because of the Pacific indigenous aspect to the work. It is a good example of the kind of challenge I put out in a short paper to Research Intelligence in 2008 to take better account of forms of knowledge that are not encapsulated in traditional forms of representation.

Accordingly, the inclusion of photos and videos, and the drawing on writing from authors with a thorough knowledge and grounding in local contexts, makes me want to wholeheartedly recommend this paper for publication. I can see you have taken on board your discussion with Jack about living educational theory, and you are certainly overt in your description of held values. I’d like to have seen more reference to LET in the paper but do not feel inclined to withhold recommendation to publish on that basis.

To my way of thinking, there is a raw honesty on the account of teachers’ reactions to what must have been very challenging work. They recognized, variously, feeling “rogue against the traditions” and feeling that by following the established paths they “didn’t have to think” and these admissions ring with honesty in my mind. 

At one point, almost as a throw-away comment, you mention that Waldorf schools are self-governing and that administration and governance takes a larger part of teachers’ time than perhaps they would wish. I do wonder, if you should do a further iteration, if you would be wise to expand on this a bit, as it is so foreign to the usual hierarchical, sometimes dictatorial ways in which most other schools of my acquaintance work. I did find myself wondering if the introduction of Neil as an “outsider” to the group, albeit one with a very solid background in Steiner Education, might  have caused problems, but then reflected that the self-governing aspect may have meant that he was invited by the group (or that his invitation was affirmed by the group) rather than being someone imposed by a principal as a speaker/facilitator who would be “good for you” rather than invited by the group itself. Just a thought.

Usually, when I review papers for EJOLTS, I put track changes on and work through the document. The fact that I haven’t done this in your case is a tribute to the very high standard of proofreading you have exercised, and which meant that this pedant didn’t feel the need to follow her usual procedure!

Obviously, you will need to wait for your other reviewers but my reaction is ka pai, tumeke, let’s see it in print soon! (Neil may need to translate those words, grin).

Warm regards


Picture of Bernie Sullivan
Re: (Re)inhabiting Waldorf Education - accepted for review
by Bernie Sullivan - Sunday, 15 October 2017, 9:56 AM

Dear Jocelyn and Neil,

In your paper you have given a comprehensive account of the research you have undertaken. You have each outlined the background to your research, and you have provided a narrative of your coming together and of how the points of intersection of your common interests formed the basis for undertaking the research. You have articulated your values and indicated that these will be used as the standards of judgement in evaluating the research. The detailed description of the main tenets of the Waldorf Steiner approach to education includes a critique of some aspects that you felt needed improvement.

My impression of the paper is that, while it fits the descriptor of action research, it does not meet all the requirements of living theory research. I had a sense that you were positioned outside the research, observing the other teachers who were participating in the audits, and so the investment of self, which I feel is paramount in living theory research, was not in evidence. It seemed to me that you were engaging in second and third, rather than first, person research. This could have been the result of focusing on Steiner’s description of action research, which you quoted as follows, ‘We will practice teaching and critique it through discourse’. Your paper certainly measures up to this description and is a good example of a cooperative and collaborative research approach.

I also had a feeling that the research was unfinished, that it never got to the end point where I could see the improvement in your practice, in your understanding of your practice or in your thinking. What I feel could move the paper more in the direction of living theory would be for you to state explicitly your learning from undertaking the research, your specific influence in the learning of the other teachers or other Steiner schools and the living educational theory that you have developed through carrying out your research. These themes may be present at an implicit level, and so just need to be more evident to the reader.

I hope these comments are helpful and look forward to seeing how you include your selves more emphatically in the paper.


Kind regards,

Bernie Sullivan.

Picture of Jocelyn Demirbag
Re: (Re)inhabiting Waldorf Education - accepted for review
by Jocelyn Demirbag - Monday, 16 October 2017, 10:23 AM

Bernie, thank you for your comments.  It has been a kind of back and forth process to work with various readers on just what LET is and how it is expressed, yet it has been a good process for Neil and I to keep working on.  Your comments regarding first vs third person are useful to me, as are continuing to make everything explicit.  

Neil and I are both out of town this week and will resume our work with your helpful comments soon.



Picture of Jocelyn Demirbag
Re: (Re)inhabiting Waldorf Education - accepted for review
by Jocelyn Demirbag - Monday, 16 October 2017, 10:20 AM

Pip, thank you so much for your response to our article.  You are correct in regards to using Neil to follow up on our curriculum during our audit--faculty wanted to continue working with him!  In combination with the comments from our other reviewers we will look at how we might more overtly discuss LET.  When Neil and I get back from our travels next week, we will resume our work!



Picture of Jacqueline Delong
Re: (Re)inhabiting Waldorf Education
by Jacqueline Delong - Tuesday, 17 October 2017, 4:35 PM

Review of (Re)inhabiting Waldorf education: Honolulu teachers explore the notion of place

Hi, Jocelyn and Neil,

First, let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed this article. I am hoping that teachers and administrators around the world will be inspired by it, as I have been. It is ready to be published. Having said that, I have three suggestions that I believe would strengthen the paper:

1.     The references to Living-Theory could be strengthened. I have made some notes on this:

Abstract and Key Words: I think that Living Theory should be referenced.

“This conference invited Waldorf practitioners from around the Pacific region, and as we are both active in promoting our living theories”- I THINK THAT THIS REQUIRES A REFERENCE TO WHITEHEAD

‘In this study we use our values of aloha and lived spirituality as standards of judgement by which we document and observe steps taken along the path by a community of teachers (K-12) exploring notions of place and belonging within the structure of the Waldorf curriculum taught in Honolulu’- COULD THIS BE A PLACE TO INCLUDE ‘USING A LIVING-THEORY METHODOLOGY (WHITEHEAD, 1981)?

“We chose action research as the basic methodology of this study. It is a model highlighted by Steiner in the initial address to teachers when the school was being founded: “We will practice teaching and critique it through discourse,” (Steiner 1919a, p. 31). It is a method that acknowledges that the standards we bring to research are socially constructed (Thayer-Bacon 2003). HERE ACTION RESEARCH IS CALLED BOTH A METHOD AND A METHODOLOGY. I FIND IT TO BE A METHOD AND THE METHODOLOGY TO BE LIVING-THEORY.

2.     Values as standards of judgment are referenced early in the paper but not clarified/articulated in the rest of the paper. How were your values used as standards of judgment? Were there times that they were negated? We hear some implicitly of Jocelyn’s but little of Neil’s. It would be helpful if they were explicit.

3.     The videos are very helpful is seeing this process and the values being lived. For example, the last video in which Jocelyn shares the importance of the value of aloha and its significance in her life. Maybe a script of that video or even part of it …where she says “OMG….. would strengthen this value as a standard of judgment.

Again, these are suggestions. I am recommending for publication. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

Love, Jackie