Radical and Relevant News

February 2016

Working with the First Waldorf School in Madagascar #1

I recently returned from a 16 day visit to Madagascar where I was invited to work with the first school working out of Waldorf impulses on this island nation. It was a beautiful and transformative experience for the teachers there who have built this thriving school from the ground up and for me as well. Over the following weeks I will be posting reflections on these experiences in the hopes of making their good work more visible and as a means for helping me to develope a closer understanding of the essence of Waldorf education and how can it serve unique communities anywhere in the world. I welcome your thoughtful feedback as a means of filling out this important research. 
- Warren Lee Cohen

Working with the First Waldorf School in Madagascar #1

Madagascar is a world apart, almost a continent unto itself with rich flora and fauna much of which is found no where else on earth. Madagascar has a growing population that is joy-filled and yet amongst the poorest in the world. The Malagasy people have endured the hardships of colonialization, slavery, economic exploitation and intensive environmental degradation as well as more recent political instability. The majority of the population are subsistence farmers who remain illiterate in both their native Malagasy as well as in French, the country’s official language. Schools are run mostly in French and are geared towards three major exams written only in French. Malagasy schools are however poorly resourced and remain inaccessible to children in much of the country. And, where schools do exist, the $1 to $5 monthly fees are more than most families can afford. Access to any education let alone quality education is a big issue facing this nation whose median population is now younger than 20 years of age.

Kathy Lucking, a 25 year veteran Ontario elementary school teacher is deeply inspired by Waldorf pedagogy. Kathy is currently deepening her understanding of Waldorf education as a student in RSCT’s Professional Development for Waldorf Teachers part-time program. She is already using the knowledge, insights and inspiration she is gaining from this program to transform education in Madagascar, to plant vital seeds of hope for the future.

Seven years ago Kathy visited Madagascar where she worked in an orphanage. She soon realised that if she really wanted to make a long term difference in these children’s lives, she would need to create educational opportunities for them. Thus was born the Madagascar School Project. For the past seven years she has been steadfastly working to create hope and educational opportunity for these children who otherwise would not have any access to formal education. The Madagascar School Project has built two schools in underserved rural communities. The latest school, Sekoly Tenaquip educates and feeds over 650 children from kindergarten through grade 12. These children walk to school along dirt tracks from neighbouring villages as far as one and a half hours away. Kathy and her colleagues at the Madagascar School Project are trying to make Sekoly Tenaquip a model of what Malagasy education can be. They can already see that the creative and culturally sensitive approach of Waldorf pedagogy is helping them to create a truly Malagasy school that will prepare students to gain all the skills and vision they need step into their lives and take leadership in their communities.

Village Life

Just 20 km outside of Antananarivo, the loud and sprawling capital city of Madagascar, lies the village of Ambohiborosy (Ambu-ee-bruce). This mud brick village lies at the very end of a gullied dirt road more suited to ox carts and pedestrians than four-wheel drive trucks. Surrounded by rice paddies at the feet of rapidly eroding hills, the people of this village, similar to other villages spread across the vast central plateau, farm for their living on the depleted red soil. They grow rice, an assortment of fruits and vegetables and raise chickens, pigs and their prized “zebu” humped cattle. They live much the way their ancestors lived 800 years ago in mud brick homes thatched with rice straw. Most of these villages know neither plumbing nor electricity. Their homes are dark and filled with thick wood-smoke from the indoor cooking fire. Due to a scarcity of fuel, they often burn wet wood. Their homes have no chimneys. It is not surprising then that many people suffer from respiratory ailments. Whole extended families often live in one house, along with their chickens and oxen. I was invited into one small home 3 x 3 metres that housed a family of nine with just two small beds and only three blankets. At dusk everyone goes to sleep and the villages are completely silent except for the daily thunder shower during the rainy season. No one ventures outside after dark as it is feared that this is the time that bad spirits roam the land.

Sekoly Tenaquip

The Madagascar School project was invited by the mayor of Ambohiborosy to build a school on the side of the mountain for the local children. The closest public school is more than an hour’s walk away. Half of it was destroyed and never rebuilt after a recent cyclone. The mayor helped the new school to find an appropriate site. The Madagascar School Project then procured the land and started building classrooms with funds raised from Canada. Each year they have added new buildings to house the growing school. In just seven years the school has grown into five large multi classroom buildings able to serve 2 classrooms at each grade level kindergarten to grade 12. They have also built a kitchen, canteen and housing for some of the teachers, farmers and volunteers. One more classroom building is still needed to complete the campus and is already in the planning stages. It is an impressive school that now employs over 50 teachers, cooks and farmers, effectively making it the largest employer for many miles around as well as the largest school I saw outside of the capital, Antananarivo.

Rice! Rice! Rice!

Sekoly Tenaquip has committed to offering the children who attend a nurturing and filling lunch, perhaps the largest meal of the day for many of them. They also offer rice pabulum for babies and younger children every afternoon. The traditional Malagasy diet - breakfast, lunch and dinner - is boiled rice served heaping on a plate with a little dollop of a well boiled vegetable: green beans, cassava leaves or pumpkin - whatever might be available. Occasionally meat may be served, but this is considered a very special treat. February to May is considered the “Hungry Season” when many families run out of rice from their last harvest and before the next harvest is ready. Many families literally run out of food at this time of the year. The lunches that Sekoly Tenequip offers make it possible for the children to have enough energy to learn. Without this lunch program learning would be severely limited by hunger and malnutrition. With this sustenance the children are able to focus on their lessons and get the most from school every day.

In the next article I will focus on what Waldorf education has to offer Sekoly Tenaquip and how this creative pedagogy can be uniquely tuned to work with these rural Malagasy people in their unique context to help them to enliven their education and their culture. Waldorf may just be the key to help this next generation step beyond the challenges they now face.

Waldorf Teacher Education, Waldorf Schools, Consulting   2 Comments
  

International Education Forum

RSCT Director of Teacher Education, Warren Lee Cohen, was invited back to the International Education Forum at Kobe Shinwa Women's University in Japan to speak about Waldorf Education and to share perspectives on how to best tend the school transitions between kingergarten, grade school and high school. Rather than just speak about Waldorf education, Warren led them through singing a canon called Compassionate Heart. This piece of music speaks to the "gentle spark" that lives in all of us. It fosters healthy social dynamics while also working quite well with the Waldorf science curriculum in 6th and 7th grade. Singing together is a wonderful example of how art/music can enliven and deepen science curriculum while also helping to make it all relevant to the inner life of a developing adolescent.

Presenters and participants were eager to stand up, stretch and sing and this they did quite harmoniously. It was a welcome interlude from all the presentations. People came from as far away as China, South Korea, Italy, USA and Canada representing teachers, professors and school leaders from both public and independent education.

Here are the presenters, Shinwa organizers and translators, which had the challenging task of buiding bridges between languages and concepts in English, Chinese, Korean, Italian and Japanese.

Fortunately, after this 10th International Education Forum, there was also some time to explore the beautiful wonders of Buddhist Temples and Shinto Shrines that sparkle like fewels in the beautiful Japanese landscape. Thank you friends for a warm and inspiring welcome.

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Thinking about Multiculturalism in Japan

On his recent visit to Japan, Warren Lee Cohen, codirector of Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto and director of its Waldorf teacher education programs, was asked to address the theme of multiculturalism in the context of a Waldorf education at Osaka Prefecture University.  Although there are people living in Japan from many different countries, their numbers are relatively small, and most are from East Asia.  Japan does not grant work visas easily, has quite limited immigration, and has very few established foreign communities.  People from other cultures are called outsiders (gaijin). Even Japanese who are of mixed heritage or have lived outside Japan for a time are considered as gaijin.  Prejudice against such people, residents and citizens, is not uncommon.  In the most recently reported census, in 2010, 98.7% of the respondents stated they were Japanese.  Even the largest groups of non-Japanese, from Korea and China, made up only 0.36% and 0.33%, respectively, of the resident population of 127,007,000 people.  Why was Warren invited to speak about multiculturalism? 

In 2013, Osaka City, where this talk was held, reported that foreigners made up only 4.4% of its population, making the city quite homogenous as far as the nationality of its residents is concerned.  However, two ethnic neighborhood communities, one Korean and one Chinese, have emerged there in the last few decades, and Osaka has a number of non-Japanese schools, for example, Korean, Chinese, and International.  Also, the demographics of Japan are not nearly as homogenous as they were 150 years ago, or even 35 years ago.  Although the number of non-Japanese living in Japan has been decreasing, the number of Japanese who grew up overseas or are of mixed ethnic background and are living in Japan has been steadily increasing in recent decades.  These increases are expected to continue due to its aging and decreasing population necessitating the need for more foreign workers and to growing interest in Japan by people from other countries.  As a result, some people in Japan are beginning to wonder how society should deal with these changes and likely a more diverse population. Interest in the notion of multiculturalism and how it can best be achieved is slowly awakening. 


 

So, on June 19, 2015, Warren engaged an audience of 65 teachers, teachers in training, students, and professors with discourses, stories, and discussions related to the theme: “Challenges and Practices of Waldorf Education in Multicultural Cities—Toronto and Osaka.”  His lecture was part of an on-going teacher education program offered by Osaka Prefecture University, which is trying to bring new life to the teaching methods and practices used in Japanese schools. This innovative program strives to address current societal issues and ideas that the standardized national curricula ignore.  

Warren began by briefly describing the demographics of Toronto, highlighting that it is a thoroughly cosmopolitan and multicultural city with many ethnic and immigrant groups settled and living comfortably within it.  English is the main language spoken, one of the two official languages of Canada, the other being French.  Yet, it is common for people to speak other languages at home with family or with friends. Warren raised the question of how the various members of such a diverse community can best flourish in appreciation of their diversity and without leaving anyone feeling excluded.  He pointed out how Toronto’s lively multicultural population and society stands in strong contrast to the mood and demographics of Osaka.  

By celebrating festivals that are meaningful to various members of the community, neighborhoods and schools can cultivate awareness of and respect for people from other cultures. Warren chose the celebration of the Christian festival of Whitsun, also known as White Sunday or Pentecost, at the Toronto Waldorf School to illustrate this in practice. He first explained the essence of the Whitsun Festival, which in the Christian tradition comes 40 days after Easter. It recalls the period of bereavement and doubt felt by the apostles after Christ Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, His return and appearance before them, and their becoming multilingual after being permeated by the Holy Spirit in order for them to spread His word.  

Warren then explained how the Toronto Waldorf School has attempted to cultivate appreciation and build bridges for its multicultural population by incorporating this celebration into the school’s festival life in a unique way. The school community separates into the more than 25 different language groups that comprise this community. Each group speaks in turn the same poem in its traditional language. This allows everyone to listen and speak, to sense wonder through these different languages, to consider “otherness,” and to experience the difficulties inherent in living in a place where the lingua franca is not one’s own.   

To give the participants a feeling of this experience, Warren had everyone stand up and people call out in turn “Hello” in whatever languages they knew.  It was quite a surprise to hear so many different greetings from a group that, for the most part, was ‘homogenous,’ and the ice of the lecture format and structure was broken. 

Next, the whole group read aloud the same poem (which asks for Spirit’s assistance in working for the good of others) as is used in the Toronto Waldorf School, first in English (which all educated Japanese have studied for many years) and then in Japanese. At Warren’s request, a few participants, who were from minority cultures, then volunteered to spontaneously translate the first verse of the poem into Taiwanese and then Korean. Warren added Portuguese. Thus, the participants had the experience of hearing this same poem through the unique genius of five different languages, five different cultural lenses. He then asked them to consider the differing characteristics and qualities of each language they had heard and how it had affected them. 

Poem for Whitsun

Breathe within me
You Spirit in all things
That I may truly think

Encourage me
You Spirit in all things
That I may truly work

Allure me
You Spirit in all things
That I may truly love

Strengthen me
You Spirit in all things
That I may truly help

Help me
You Spirit in all things
That I may never forget

 

私の内側で呼吸してください
全ての事物の中を貫いている精神存在よ
私が本当に思考できるように

私を勇気づけてください
全ての事物の中を貫いている精神存在よ
私が本当に仕事ができるように

私を魅惑してください
全ての事物の中を貫いている精神存在よ
私が本当に愛することができるように

私を強くしてください
全ての事物の中を貫いている精神存在よ
私が本当に助けることができるように

私を助けてください
全ての事物の中を貫いている精神存在よ
私が決して忘れることがないように

A few participants compared how some of the different languages sounded.  One mentioned that “The experience of hearing different languages was really something…. We often omit the word ‘I’ in Japanese and indicate it indirectly. We omit many words, while still expressing many things.” Yes, often what we omit has meaning, too.  In this age of the consciousness soul, that Japanese nearly always omit themselves in their verbal communications is something to ponder.  Another participant was brought to tears by hearing her native language spoken freely in public. This was a first for her. She said that she had experienced so much prejudice as a person from a minority culture in Japan.  She was completely surprised by how emotional she felt by hearing her native tongue invited into this public forum. Her openness in sharing this emotional response allowed a number of others to reveal how this process touched them in an authentic way. It was a risk to be so open, but many participants expressed gratitude for the experience, saying it made them more aware of one another and their own cultural and linguistic prejudices and more interested to find out about others and the experiences that each brings to their community. 

This experience brought these differences to light and helped participants awaken to the unique perspectives, both the gifts and the one-sidedness that each culture carries. Through gaining these perspectives, they came to a clearer insight into how our human nature transcends culture, faith, sexual orientation, and economic and social status. They caught a glimpse of what is universally human in each of us. 

To deepen the experience of the other and to highlight the importance of trusting others and of self-disclosure and making oneself vulnerable in this process, Warren then told the audience about how the events of the Holocaust had impacted his family.  When he was growing up, his family tree was on a wall in the house, and he passed by it many times each day.  One of his grandfathers had traced it back many generations on both sides of his family.  In the 1940s, a number of branches just stopped.  In answer to his questions, he had been told since he was young that those relatives had been killed simply because they were Jewish in the genocide known as the Holocaust during World War II. One day, his mother said, “It is likely that you too will be judged because of your Jewish heritage.”  

We all carry unconscious prejudices and stereotypes inside us as a result of our upbringing, learning and experiences. To reduce the tensions and misconceptions among us and others, we need to recognize and confront these thoughts and feelings and try to see the true human being in others that lies behind their external features and circumstances. This striving by members of a community is necessary for them to develop acceptance and appreciation of people different than themselves and cultures different than theirs. 

Warren next raised the audience’s awareness of two common pitfalls people, organizations, and communities need to avoid when attempting to become more accepting and respectful of others: tokenism and apologism. Both impede advances in trying to make a community more multiculturally inclusive. 

A tokenistic gesture is when something is done only in a superficial, and not in a meaningful, way.  The intent, even if unconscious, is usually just to be able to demonstrate that something has been done to accommodate others who are outside the majority or to fulfill a requirement.  As an example, Warren mentioned that some schools in North America try to celebrate Chanukah (Jewish), Kwanza (African), and the Winter Solstice (Pagan) all together with Christmas (Christian), or celebrate all of them one right after the other in the last week or two of December.  The intentions might be well meaning. However, for all of these festivals to be celebrated authentically and in a spiritually nourishing way in such a short period of time is likely impossible. Also, so many celebrations will certainly be overwhelming for the children, leaving them over stimulated, exhausted, and confused. 

An apologist gesture takes place when people or groups apologize for doing something that in fact they need not apologize for or for not doing something they could not do well. Warren again gave a common example from North America, when schools apologize to non-Christians for celebrating Christmas, or apologize for not celebrating all of the other holidays that take place at the same time of the year. He also spoke about the other contrasting apologist gesture as used in history: when a particular way of doing something, usually considered the traditional way, is considered unquestionable and unchangeable under any circumstances or for any reason. This is a dogmatic approach, which cannot but exclude others. 

Of course, these two failures can occur together.  It is not uncommon for schools to hold Christmas concerts that include a few Chanukah songs and perhaps a song about Kwanza and to say that they are sorry for only having time for the Christmas concert and not others. Another example is holding what is obviously a Christmas festival but calling it something else, in effect soft-selling it. We need to be honest with ourselves and be ever striving to find the spirit fount out of which community festival life can be renewed. 

Warren rounded off the presentation by asking if anyone wished to make any comments.  Participants expressed gratitude that the topic of multiculturalism was helpful and important both for Japanese people to think about and to work towards.  One participant added, however, that there are many hurdles to overcome before the country can become more open to foreigners and embrace their cultural gifts. 

The population of Japan, as well as that of other East Asian countries, is likely to continue to diversify under the further and increasing pressures of the globalization of communications, trade, entertainment, and industry and of changing demographics. As many nations attempt to open up further and to adjust to more of these foreign people and their customs being within their midst, will they address their differences in meaningful ways? Will they try to integrate these foreigners into their cultures or keep them primarily outside, only using them as sources of labor?  Will these outsiders be dealt with sympathetically and with efforts to be inclusive or antipathetically and dogmatically? Will Japan and other countries try to become more multicultural?  Westerners, too, need to recognize that they will also need to adjust their ways of thinking and doing things in order to be more acceptable to, more accepting of, and to fit in with other peoples and their customs. As anyone who follows the news these days knows, these are important issues in our times with grave consequences when poorly thought through decisions are made. These events make it all the more evident why we need to think a whole lot more about that which is universally human in us.  

Reprinted courtesy of Pacifica Journal, A bi-annual newsletter published by the Anthroposophical Society in Hawai'i, 2016, Volume 49, Number 1

Authors

Warren Lee Cohen is a Codirector of and the Director of Teacher Education at Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto. With a background both in Physics and Sculpture, Warren has found his niche in working with children and adults in Waldorf education. He led a combined class through eight years at the Olympia Waldorf School and then went to England to direct the Foundation Studies Programme at Emerson College. He lectures internationally, has developed programs to train Camphill coworkers, taught both physics and English in Waldorf high schools and led numerous workshops in subjects as far ranging as Projective Geometry and the Art of Baking Bread. His publications include Raising the Soul (practical exercises for personal development), Baking Bread with Children, and Dragon Baked Bread. 

Brian Daniel Bresnihan has been involved in English language teaching for 35 years. He began teaching English at a small language school in Hiroshima before spending 4 years studying at Teachers College, Columbia University, after which he returned to Japan. Currently, he is a professor in the School of Economics at University of Hyogo in Kobe, Japan.  His research interests include Waldorf education, EFL classroom practices, and the use of TOEIC scores in schools.  

Michiko Fujii came across Waldorf education in 1996 after having worked as a translator and an English teacher, and while in the midst of raising the first two of her three children.  She is a certified kindergarten and grades Waldorf teacher, and has been mainly teaching in Waldorf early childhood but also about Anthroposophy and education to teacher trainees and other adults for about 15 years. 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 2015

Madagascar's First Waldorf School

In January 2016, Warren Lee Cohen Codirector of the Rudolf Steiner Centre and Toronto Waldorf School parent will be travelling to Madagascar to support the first Waldorf school in this island nation. Warren will be bringing with him 25 years of experience as a Waldorf educator as well as education resources for the faculty of this school including beeswax crayons generously donated by TWS to support their growing school.

The Madagascar School Project was founded in 2007 by Kathy Lucking who was working/volunteering in an orphanage in Madagascar. She wanted to help children break free from the crushing cycle of poverty and malnutrition that have plagued over two thirds of this country. She decided to found a school there, Sekoly Tenaquip and has worked tenaciously ever since directing this school as well as securing funding and resources for it. The school serves an impoverished population, many of whom cannot afford the minimal school fees let alone feed their children during the “Hungry Season”. Now in its 7th year Sekoly Tenaquip has over 550 children enrolled from 18 surrounding villages. Many walk for over an hour to get to school each day and count on the school lunch as their only meal of the day. The school has 32 teachers from KG to Grade 12 and was founded initially on the traditional French school model which involves a rigid routine of drilling and testing in all subject areas as is common throughout Madagascar.

Kathy a retired Ontario school teacher envisions the possibility of converting the school into a Waldorf school, the first in Madagascar. She enrolled in RSCT Professional development for Waldorf Teachers part-time program as a school director. She has also travelled far and wide in Canada seeing and teaching in Waldorf schools as part of this program. Step by step she is working to convert Sekoly Tenaquip into a Waldorf school to help this unique community creatively find solutions for its future.

Kathy will be graduating from the Steiner Centre this July. She is working with others, including her mentor Warren Lee Cohen, to sensitively bring the ideals of Waldorf pedagogy to this Malagasy community. She introduces new ideas and then listens carefully to what finds resonance within the faculty so that they can grow into leadership in practically applying these ideas to their school. It is a process that requires complete metamorphosis: letting go of old colonial forms so that they can step into nascent Waldorf ideals. These can only take root if the teachers and families see the potential of education in a whole new light. Education can be a pathway to getting a good job and can also re-enliven the whole culture of their community creating many new pathways to prosperity.

Already the art of storytelling is taking root and bringing with it depth and joy for students and teachers alike. The teachers are learning to teach through stories, to engage the children’s imaginations and thus to inspire them to learn. Storytelling also gives ample opportunities to weave together a number of subjects in a way that helps the students learn more effectively. Building living pictures is central to Waldorf pedagogy and will help engage students so that they can make positive changes in their lives, families, country and culture. Big changes are needed to break this cycle of poverty and oppression and it will take many creative people to start the tide of change. 

Warren lee Cohen, the Codirector of RSCT, will be joining Kathy in Madagascar in January to help implement the next steps in transforming this school into a Waldorf school. He will be working with all the grade school and high school teachers, helping them to identify what truly makes teaching come alive for them. Harnessing these moments when they reach a particular student, make a difference in her life or have a particularly creative moment in a lesson is what makes teaching inspiring and transformative as opposed to oppressive. Warren will work with them through the Waldorf science, math and language arts curricula as well as clay modeling. This will help the faculty to identify the students’ developmental needs and enliven their teaching. It is essential that each teacher develops inspiration and openness for this quality of change in her teaching method and ultimately in herself. Questions we will explore include:

What is a human being?
What gives you most joy in teaching?
How do students reveal when they are learning and/or failing to learn?
How can you assess the health of each student and the school as a whole?
What do your students most need?
What does your community need from these young people?

Warren Lee Cohen

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November 2015

Songs for Martinmass Lantern Walk

Our Collegue Sandra Ghali has made this helpful youtube video to help parents and children learn songs for their Martinmass Lantern Walks. It is a wonderful resource for the richness of Waldorf education. We are pleased to announce that Sandra has agreed to join our faculty for our Summer Festival of Arts and Education and will be teaching "The Art of Teaching Grade 1" July 4 to 8.

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October 2015

Steiner, Beuys, and the Bees

Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, 2:30 - 4:45 pm
A lecture by Frederick Amrine

Bees are the great teachers of wisdom and love. Greek myth claimed that everything Apollo knew, he had learned from the bees. And bees were the nursemaids and protectors of Dionysos as well. When asked for lectures by the workers helping him build the First Goetheanum, Rudolf Steiner chose to speak about these ultimate “social sculptors,” and his lectures offer many breath - takingly esoteric insights. One of the most telling “actions” by the great anthroposophist, avant- garde artist, and social activist Joseph Beuys, “Honey-Pump in the Workplace” (1977), was like - wise inspired by these magnificent little masters of the social art. We close with clips from another great piece of social activism, the recent documentary Queen of the Sun (2010).

Professor Amrine has been a student of anthroposophy his entire adult life. He teaches literature, philosophy, and intellectual history at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in German Studies. His research has been devoted primarily to Goethe, German Idealism and Romanticism. He is greatly appreciated as teacher and guest lecturer both on this continent and in Europe.

Admission: $20 Seniors and students $15
Includes afternoon tea

Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto, 9100 Bathurst St. #4, Thornhill, ON L4J 8C7
Phone 905-764-7570 • info@rsct.ca • www.rsct.ca

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August 2015

What If Teachers Were Treated Like Sports Stars?

 

Here is a funny sketch that shows teachers being treated like sports stars. We all know that teachers are unique stars in their own rights. Nevertheless, it is delightful to imagine teachers being celebrated in such an over the top way. Have a healthy and humorous summer.

Waldorf Teacher Education, Family, Summer Festival   1 Comment
  
June 2015

Bringing Spirit to Waldorf Homeschooling

A special treat for Waldorf Homeschoolers

Marg Beard is coming back to the Steiner Centre and bringing her 20 + years experience as a Waldorf homeschooler and Therpeutic Educator to our Summer Festival.

Bringing Spirit to Waldorf Homeschooling

To homeschool effectively using the Waldorf approach, you must first be able to answer these questions with clarity:  “Why am I homeschooling? What is Waldorf curriculum and why am I choosing it? What is required to meet my children’s needs? How will I develop and nurture my adult capacities that are essential for this homeschooling journey?” We will explore and deepen your insights through interactive presentations, artistic activities, movement and planning for the year to come. 

Marg Beard has a BA in Geography from the University of Western Ontario in addition to Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto and Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario accreditation and has been working with children for over 30 years. During the past 25 years she has been bringing the principles of Waldorf education to her work as an outdoor educator, music teacher, Waldorf-inspired homeschooling parent, tutor, and remedial education practitioner.  She is a member of the mentoring team for both the Foundations in Anthroposophy – Distance and the part-time Teacher Education program at RSCT, as well as an educator at the RSCT Summer Festival of Arts and Education.  As a graduate of the first cycle of the HEART program, Marg offers The Extra Lesson through her private practice, Kallias, to private individuals, Waldorf-inspired, alternative and public schools and homeschooling groups in her local community of Wingham, Ontario.  She also offers Waldorf parenting and homeschooling workshops throughout the province. Marg will be taking the lead on the early childhood component of the HEART program.

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May 2015

Create Rose Gold Balm

Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto Summer Festival
July 20 - 24, 2015

Jonathan Code will be joining us again this summer to lead us through modern alchemical processes in the creation of Rose Gold Balm. This course bridges the realms of education, health and nature study through an experiential and contemplative enquiry into a unique synthesis of substances derived from the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms. Collaborative enquiry into the correspondences that unite these substances lies at the heart of this study - a path that leads to the making of a healing balm for the human heart! We will begin by exploring the ‘talents’ of rose, of gold and of the bees with their gift of comb. We will explore a range of approaches that includes phenomenology, arts based methods and engagement with insights derived from holistic science.

Jonathan Code, MEd. is a teacher, researcher and author working with Crossfields Institute International developing and running Masters level courses in education and agroecology. Jonathan has taught phenomenology and nature study to learners of all ages. He is a soap maker and striving alchemist. His book 'Muck and Mind; Encountering Biodynamic Agriculture' has recently been published by Lindisfarne Press.

Click here to see the full Summer Festival brochure

Contact the Steiner Centre · 905 764 7570 · info@rsct.ca

 

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April 2015

Joyful Pairing

Joyful Pairings

RSCT Summer Festival Week #2 July 13-17

We'd like to introduce you to a joyful pairing in our Summer Festival schedule, two artists Dawne McFarlane and Abegael Fisher-Lang, who have been thrilled to be able to work together to unite the themes of festivals and storytelling - ed.

An abundance of riches - a feast of words- a wellspring of ideas! Sacred Stories with Dawne McFarlane in the morning, and Deepening Festivals with Abegael Fisher Lang in the afternoon! These two courses dance well together, and will send you singing back to your homes, classrooms, and communities to celebrate the cycles of the year.

Dawne McFarlane is a storyteller, Waldorf teacher, and parent who was first compelled by Waldorf Education because of the wonder and reverence celebrating moments of each day and marking important life passages each year. The story is the central image of the celebration. Discover stories from around the world that celebrate the seasons of our lives, learn how to tell them with joy, and create new ones together.

Weave your story into the fabric of your festival with Abegael Fisher Lang who joins us from Vancouver. Abegael is a Celebrant, Waldorf teacher, and parent who says “ceremony is as old as the hills, as fresh as the rain. Each and every time, it can take our breath away. Time stands still and we are transformed.” She is deeply curious about the power of the word and the alchemy of ritual, and invites you to explore your creative curiosity in this course.

Time seems to be speeding up in our fast-paced techno-consumer world. Slow it down with stories, songs, poems, plays and wishes that bring people together with enduring memories.

Come join in the fun this summer at the Summer Festival of Arts and Education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waldorf Teacher Education, Waldorf Schools, Storytelling, Family, Summer Festival   1 Comment
  
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