Waldorf education in Slovenia

By Iztok Kordiš, December 2015

Waldorf education in Slovenia has now a tradition of 24 years and is very well accepted in society, has a good reputation, good working conditions and constant good cooperation with other pedagogical institutions, the education ministry and local communities.

At present there are 14 kindergartens, 4 primary schools and 1 upper school with all together 1247 pupils. Most of the schools and kindergartens are members of the national Association. The interest for Waldorf education is constantly growing, especially in Ljubljana and Žalec, a small city about 70 km from the capital. In the Ljubljana school there are 610 pupils at all levels (kindergarten, primary school, upper school); alongside this there is also a music school with 177 pupils.

Our curriculum is state recognized. Waldorf schools are non-profit private schools which are state supported from 85% to 100% according to national standards, which means 65% to 85% real costs. The rest is covered by parents and donations. The buildings for some schools are assured by the local community, some are rented. The state has no representative in the schools’ boards. By the decision of the constitutional court in spring 2015, all the primary schools (state or private) should be financed equally, however the corresponding legislation is still in the making.

The main task of the Association for the Development of Waldorf Schools and Kindergartens of Slovenia is to organise teacher and kindergarten training courses. Both courses are 3-year part-time weekend courses with all together 85 students. The lecturers come from Slovenia and many other European countries (Norway, Denmark, England, Holland, Austria and Germany). The training courses are vital for providing enough educated school and kindergarten teachers for the growing needs for more and more places in Waldorf schools and kindergartens. The teacher and kindergarten training course is connected with the teacher training course in Zagreb, Croatia. This means some joint working weekends, help with lecturers and exchange of experiences.

Another important task of the Association is quality care, which includes mentoring young schools and kindergartens and professional cooperation. This work is strengthening the need of kindergartens to work together. At the moment the Association is in the process of changes so that it will be able to incorporate broader demands and tasks than before.

As a part of our pubic activities, an international pedagogical conference titled Challenges of Modern Education was organized in April and held in Ljubljana’s major congress centre with around 300 participants. Part of these activities is also the exhibition Living line, which was for the first time shown in September 2014 in the town hall of Ljubljana. This year the exhibition travelled to Osijek, Zagreb (both Croatia) and to Sarajevo (Bosnia and Hercegovina), in January 2016 it will continue its tour to Luxemburg.

Iztok Kordiš, Zavod za razvoj waldorfskih šol in vrtcev, Slovenia. Vice-President, ECSWE

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