1100 Schools and The Challenges of Teacher Education

March 2018

Currently, there are 1100 Steiner Waldorf Schools worldwide. One of the challenges to do with this development is the education or professional training of new teachers. Waldorf Resources has interviewed five experienced adult educators about their current tasks. We have spoken to Christian Boettger (Germany), Melanie Guerra (Brazil), Susan Howard (North America), Louisa Oberholzer (South Africa) and Angelika Wiehl (Germany).

Would you please introduce yourselves and your tasks?

Christian Boettger: There are a lot of opportunities for education studies in Germany but still not enough to satisfy the demand for qualified Waldorf teachers at the schools. In cooperation with Michael Harslem I have therefore developed the idea of cooperatively organised, part-time study for teachers at Waldorf Schools. This is based on the idea that the teachers have to be close to the schools and that self-development is crucial in adult education. It should to be planned and organised by the learners themselves. However, to ensure continuity they need to be accompanied by a coach or adult educator who also needs to undergo further study. I teach adult educators and also on the cooperatively organised courses for aspiring teachers, I offer input on topics which the students have chosen. At the moment I am involved in a course on The Foundations of Human Experience in Offenburg / Germany. The students have to manage their programs and finances cooperatively, but they do need some guidance, particularly in terms of curriculum design. However, when they start teaching at our schools we can see that they have acquired excellent social skills and are already familiar with cooperative management.

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