The course has evolved to include a balance of artistic activities and curriculum study, with a view to developing the qualities and faculties every teacher needs:The course has evolved to include a balance of artistic activities and curriculum study, with a view to developing the qualities and faculties every teacher needs:
- An awareness of the developmental needs of children at all ages,
- An awareness of the needs of individual children at any age,
- The confidence, resources and skills to meet those needs in a creative and imaginative way.
The course is structured around three main strands:
1. Artistic Development of the Student (Teacher development)
The course includes music, in the form of singing and recorder playing; speech development through recitation and story-telling and clay modelling. In addition, the course offers regular sessions in painting, drawing and handwork as well as various other artistic activities within the timetable.
2. Anthroposophical Study
Studying Steiner’s education and other lectures support and deepen course students’ understanding of Anthroposophy as the basis of Steiner/Waldorf education. Essential texts include The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy and The Foundations of Human Experience and Balance in Teaching. These are supplemented at various times by The Kingdom of Childhood, Waldorf Education for Adolescents, Practical Advice to Teachers and Discussions with Teachers, as well as individual lectures and passages from other books and lecture cycles, chosen by individual tutors. The background to festivals and inner development is also an important part of the study curriculum.
3. Child Development
The course offers an in-depth study of the development of human consciousness in the individual and how its parallel in history is reflected in the curriculum to support the child at each stage. This includes a broad picture of the curriculum from this point of view, e.g. how the subject curriculums of Music, History, Geography, Mathematics etc develop to reflect the child’s changing consciousness.
These three streams continue throughout the course with a change of emphasis from the first to the second year so that the students gain a good balance of theory and practical knowledge along with their continuing personal development.In the second year, the focus is on the study of Child Development, supported by:
- Classroom observation and practice so that the students get used to presenting work and speaking in a classroom setting
- Artistic development
- Study of Foundation of Human Experience plus one or two additional texts (see above).
Those students who continue on to become Class Teachers are required to complete 3 – 4 weeks of teaching observation during their second year and 9 – 12 weeks of teaching practice under the guidance of an experienced Class Teacher during their third year of training. Third year students are also required to complete a dissertation on a subject of their choosing which requires observation and independent research and analytical development.Throughout the course, various aspects of working in a Steiner school will be explored in detail including how each school is managed collectively by a College of Teachers rather than by a head teacher. Tutors also examine the purpose of different school meetings and the running of effective Parents’ Evenings.
On successful completion of all course requirements, students will receive a Certificate of Steiner/Waldorf Teacher Education. This qualifies the individual to teach in most Steiner schools in the UK and Northern Ireland.Those students who are not moving on to become Class Teachers and therefore do not complete the teaching practice element of the course will receive a Statement of Course Completion.
Although internationally recognised, some additional qualifications may be required to teach abroad and in the state funded Steiner Schools.