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October 2017

Warren Cohen @ Teacher Education Delegates Circle


RSCT is one of Eight Full-Member Institutes

The Steiner Centre is a full member of AWSNA and of the TEDC, Teacher Education Delegates Circle. This delegates circle is comprised of representatives from each of the full member Waldorf teacher education institutes from acrossNorth America. Going from west to east and north to south the eight full member institutes are: Sound Circle Center, Eugene Waldorf Teacher Training, Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training, Waldorf Institute of Southern California, Great Lakes Waldorf Institute, Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto, Centre for Anthroposophy, Sunbridge Institute. There are also nine associate member and registered initiative institutes across Canada, USA and Mexico.

Demands on Teachers Continue to Grow

This autumn the TEDC met in New Hampshire where they were warmly hosted by the Center for Anthroposophy, Antioch University and the Monadnock Waldorf School. On the first evening they met with representatives from seven regional Waldorf schools to learn about the needs for teacher preparation and continuing professional development in their schools. Conversations were far reaching and the needs for more and better targeted professional development clear, especially as the demands being place on teachers seems to grow. Waldorf schools want well prepared teachers on all levels and subjects. They also need a variety of continuing professional development opportunities for their teachers as well as longer term apprenticeships for aspiring teachers.

Collaborative Work Among Waldorf Institutes

The TEDC, formerly the Teacher Education Network, was founded in 1989 as the Teacher Education Task Force for the purpose of distributing loans and grants to aspiring Waldorf teachers. Since then the group has grown and changed through a number of incarnations to meet the growing needs for Waldorf teacher education and professional development. The TEDC now meets twice yearly in person at one of the member institutes and then every other month by conference call. Their task is to support the healthy development of each institute of the association through collaborative work among Waldorf institutes and strengthened relationships with Waldorf schools. Every full member institute is represented in the circle by a delegate who is responsible for overseeing, supporting, and upholding by consensus the continental membership agreements for association member institutes. The teacher education Leadership Council member coordinates this work.

Teacher education delegates’ circle responsibilities include:

· Determining membership and membership category for institutes, per the agreements in the association’s by-laws and path to membership handbook.

· Connecting to potential registered initiatives and member institutes and supporting their application for membership.

· Supporting Registered Initiatives and member institutes through support visits, per the path to membership handbook guidelines in order to support member institute progression on the path to membership.

· Supporting and assessing the regular self-study and peer reviews process of full member institutes.

· Cultivating an environment that both creates a safe space for member institutes to bring challenges and promotes the upholding of membership agreements.

· Providing opportunities for associate institute members to actively engage in regional and continental association activities, including regional meetings, conferences, etc.

· Engaging in activities that strengthen and promote teacher education, including but not limited to: promoting dialogue between member schools and institutes, hosting periodic colloquia, developing position papers related to pedagogical practices, engaging in the regular study of themes related to teacher training, identifying and supporting contemporary and future needs for institutes, etc.

Shared Standards of Waldorf Teacher Education

Amongst the many other items on their agenda was the implementation of shared standards in Waldorf teacher education. Each of the institutes has developed organically to meet the needs of Waldorf teacher education in its region and has had to develop its course offerings and program structures to meet the unique demands of its context and regulatory jurisdiction. Some programs are full time. Others are part-time or summers only. While much of the content is similar; including: course work on child development, Waldorf curriculum, artistic practice, inner development of the teacher and observed teaching practice; the programs themselves are remarkably individual. Each has unfolded in its own way to meet its local needs. The TEDC is presently working on creating common standards and agreements so that Waldorf teachers across the continent will be better prepared to meet the needs of children, families and schools.

Upcoming Teacher Education Colloquium

The TEDC is also busy designing the third Waldorf Teacher Education Colloquium. This will be called: Waldorf Teacher Training in the Age of the Consciousness Soul, and will be held in Marin, California on January 4 to 6, 2018. For more information please contact Tiffany at tiffany@bacwtt.org

 

Waldorf Teacher Education, Waldorf Schools