Dear Friends of the Rudolf Steiner Centre,
We are living in perilous times.
The overall picture of Waldorf teacher development in North America has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento has closed its teacher education programs, Sunbridge College has closed its full-time teacher education program, and the Waldorf Institute of Southeastern Michigan (WISM) will be closing in two years.
Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto and the Centre for Anthroposophy are two of the remaining Waldorf institutes to offer full-time programs in teacher development. Here at the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto, the full-time program is not reaching its potential. As well, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skill Development (MAESD) has imposed new regulations on the programs. Toronto Waldorf School has chosen, upon the expiry of our lease, to buy our building and now we are tenants.
An Uncertain Future
RSCT faces an uncertain future in a time of financial restraint and instability.
Yet we must survive and not only survive but grow, in order that the benefits of anthroposophy and Waldorf education continue to be accessible to the many who are seeking. To do this we must adapt, we must be courageous, we must work hard and smartly. Only then can we count on the support of the community and of the spiritual world.
These great challenges also present an opportunity. The RSCT board of directors has taken a bold step by developing a 10-year vision to be realized in three areas — teacher education, cultural outreach and anthroposophical service work.
On September 29, RSCT held a visioning meeting with 50 participants, who self-selected their topics and groups. Fifteen themes were addressed with energy and enthusiasm. For a full report on the meeting, please refer to the “Blog” section on our website https://www.rsct.ca under the heading “Envisioning the Future Follow-Up”.
As we move forward from the vision to developing an actionable 3-year strategic plan with three key objectives, we will be looking forward to further opportunities to consult with our partners, stakeholders, staff and supporters.
Strengthening Waldorf Teacher Education
In Teacher Education, we need to strengthen and deepen our current programs. A massive amount of work went into obtaining a Designated Learning Institute number to enable the Centre to enroll international students. RSCT is also working in partnership with the Douglas Cardinal Foundation for Indigenous Waldorf Education to provide scholarships for Indigenous students.
Taking Foundation Studies International
For Cultural Outreach, we plan to strengthen our mentoring services and expand Foundation Studies internationally. We have started by engaging two French-speaking mentors. A Foundation Studies Encounter course will take place this year at the Everlasting Tree School on the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve. As well, members of our extended faculty are currently planning to hold a Foundation Studies Encounter course in Vietnam in the coming year. As we know, these programs can inspire and change lives. They require seed money to grow.
Protecting the Threatened Forces of Childhood
The third area is Anthroposophical Service Work. We plan to establish Waldorf childcare centres to protect the threatened forces of childhood. We are about to hire a National Childcare Director and our first project is to open childcare centres in Ottawa. In collaboration with the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN), we are expanding our Birth-to-Three Program to respond to the professional development needs of the early childhood educators in our future childcare centres. We need funding for scholarships to support them as they develop their capacities to better care for the young children.
These are all steps towards realizing a new vision for our Centre. More than ever we need your support. Last year we raised $15,000 from our gift campaign. This year, we have set a goal of $25,000.
We thank all past donors and we ask you all to give generously to fund our future work.