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#1 of 6 Old 07-18-2016, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Waldorf Teaching

hello all!

I am seriously considering getting my certification as a Waldorf early childhood teacher.
I love so much about the teaching philosophy of waldorf education, the artistic approach and relaxed environment, the focus on nature, fostering imaginative play and creating a warm and safe environment in which children can learn at their own pace.
The one thing i have an issue with is i really don't agree with a lot of things in anthroposophy. I understand the general idea of it but i but I don't understand how a lot of it has to do with teaching. I don't really agree with the whole mysticism, incarnation of different spiritual bodies at different ages etc. this aspect literally gives me the shivers. I understand this isn't really taught to the children but It is required to learn in foundation studies.
There is so much else i really love about waldorf though and this is something i'm really passionate about but I'm afraid if i can't get completely on board with the whole thing, i'm not going to really fit within the waldorf community or really be a good fit for this.

can anyone weigh in on this and give me some insight?

Thank You!!
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#2 of 6 Old 07-18-2016, 09:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Gretchen Elizabeth View Post
hello all!

I am seriously considering getting my certification as a Waldorf early childhood teacher.
I love so much about the teaching philosophy of waldorf education, the artistic approach and relaxed environment, the focus on nature, fostering imaginative play and creating a warm and safe environment in which children can learn at their own pace.
The one thing i have an issue with is i really don't agree with a lot of things in anthroposophy. I understand the general idea of it but i but I don't understand how a lot of it has to do with teaching. I don't really agree with the whole mysticism, incarnation of different spiritual bodies at different ages etc. this aspect literally gives me the shivers. I understand this isn't really taught to the children but It is required to learn in foundation studies.
There is so much else i really love about waldorf though and this is something i'm really passionate about but I'm afraid if i can't get completely on board with the whole thing, i'm not going to really fit within the waldorf community or really be a good fit for this.

can anyone weigh in on this and give me some insight?

Thank You!!
I can see the problem. On the other hand, anthroposophy isn't actually a set of dogmas that you have to sign on to in order to teach.

My question, as a long-time anthroposophist, is whether you could participate in such studies with an open mind, taking what could be helpful to you as a teacher? If you can't go that far, then I'd be inclined to say it just wouldn't work.

My experience is that anthroposophy requires independent thought. Not abject acceptance.

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#3 of 6 Old 07-18-2016, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can see the problem. On the other hand, anthroposophy isn't actually a set of dogmas that you have to sign on to in order to teach.

My question, as a long-time anthroposophist, is whether you could participate in such studies with an open mind, taking what could be helpful to you as a teacher? If you can't go that far, then I'd be inclined to say it just wouldn't work.

My experience is that anthroposophy requires independent thought. Not abject acceptance.
Hi Deborah!
Thanks for your response!
I don't consider myself as closed minded, while i do tend to be very opinionated about certain things i really try to never force my opinions on others, or create division because of differing opinions. I believe i am open minded and could take what works for me and apply it to my teaching.
I guess what i'm curious about is how heavily anthroposophy is steeped within the culture of waldorf schools, like how much does it permeate the daily environment within a school or classroom? (i suppose that really depends on the individual school and their approach)
is it just something that teachers study in schooling and a foundation for their methods? or is it something that most teachers really take to heart and believe in and allow to direct their mindset in and out of school?
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#4 of 6 Old 07-18-2016, 10:46 AM
 
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Hi Deborah!
Thanks for your response!
I don't consider myself as closed minded, while i do tend to be very opinionated about certain things i really try to never force my opinions on others, or create division because of differing opinions. I believe i am open minded and could take what works for me and apply it to my teaching.
I guess what i'm curious about is how heavily anthroposophy is steeped within the culture of waldorf schools, like how much does it permeate the daily environment within a school or classroom? (i suppose that really depends on the individual school and their approach)
is it just something that teachers study in schooling and a foundation for their methods? or is it something that most teachers really take to heart and believe in and allow to direct their mindset in and out of school?
Well, it sort of depends on a lot of factors. Even very well established schools usually have a fair number of teachers who are not strongly committed anthroposophists. These teachers usually teach what might be called specialized subjects--languages, crafts, cooking and so on. Class teachers are more likely to be anthroposophists because a lot of what is involved in "carrying" a class involves working with approaches coming out of a study of anthroposophy.

I'll give a particular example. I'm not a class teacher, so I can't claim to have a deep understanding or that I'm going to represent this perfectly. Anyway, one of the principles that teachers work with is that children learn by sleeping in between what they experience at school. Material will be presented, then presented again in a somewhat different form with a night between, and, I think, presented a third time in another form.

Someone who found this idea absurd would probably not want to master the skills involved in presenting the same material three times in different ways.

There are a lot of these approaches included in the toolkit used by waldorf teachers--
https://www.freunde-waldorf.de/en/th...hrough-rhythm/

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#5 of 6 Old 07-18-2016, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That example seems completely reasonable to me, a lot of the teaching methods I agree with and the way they view child development. It's more the spiritual side of things that makes me feel uneasy.
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#6 of 6 Old 07-18-2016, 11:04 AM
 
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That example seems completely reasonable to me, a lot of the teaching methods I agree with and the way they view child development. It's more the spiritual side of things that makes me feel uneasy.
Yes, that makes sense.

I'd read a couple of books on waldorf education and make note of where you feel uneasy and where you don't. Then have a conversation (in real life) with someone at a teacher training program about your concerns. If you are still considering waldorf as a career option!

I wanted to add that the teachers I knew who were not anthroposophists--language teachers and so on--never seemed to feel discriminated against or picked on. They were met by the other teachers as full colleagues and respected for their work and skills. I don't know how that might work for someone who was trying to be a class teacher, however.

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