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Waldorf Teacher Education: The implications for teacher education of Rudolf Steiner’s educational philosophy and its practice in Waldorf schools

Download the dissertation: Waldorf Teacher Education

Institution: Adelaide University, 1999

This study is a critical analysis of Waldorf teacher education in Australia. Beginning with an exposition of the central tenets of Rudolf Steiner's philosophy and educational theory, and his lectures to teachers, the author identifies what he sees as the requirements and characteristics of an ideal Waldorf teacher education program. The study next investigates the development of Waldorf teacher education provision in Australia, and surveys a wide cross-section of teachers and teacher educators in Australian Waldorf schools, to ascertain the type of preparation they received or have contributed to, and elicit their views as to its strengths and weaknesses. These findings are then critically analysed, making comparisons with Waldorf teacher education programs in other countries. The feasibility and implications of including a Waldorf course in a main-stream teacher education Faculty in Australian universities are discussed, in relation to current prevailing government policies regarding schooling and the values and emphases which these impose upon state university courses. The study concludes with proposals for change and improvement in Waldorf teacher education provision in Australia to make Waldorf teachers better prepared to educate Australian children for the 21st century, still in keeping with the essential values of Steiner education.