Becoming a Steiner teacher is an inspiring and fulfilling pathway to your teaching career. If you were thinking about Steiner teaching but didn’t know where to begin, or if you have come across Steiner education in your studies and wish to know more, the following information might provide a clear way forward.
The good news is that Steiner trained teachers are in high demand in Australia as the number of schools are rapidly expanding. Steiner Schools have been operating in Australia for more than 60 years, and Steiner education is growing in popularity locally and globally.
In Australia, 17 new schools opened in the last decade, and Steiner-based streams have been introduced to several state schools in South Australia and Victoria. There are now 50 Steiner schools across Australia with more scheduled to open in 2020.
The surge in interest is expected to increase further with global education policy directions placing greater emphasis on critical and creative thinking, social skills and problem solving – delivering a deep sense of purpose, connectivity and agency to enact change. These are the hallmarks of a Steiner education and capabilities which the Steiner philosophy has long since cultivated.
While each Steiner school is uniquely adapted to its community, Australian schools draw on the rich and collective history of more than 1,200 Steiner schools worldwide in 60 countries.
Why Steiner education?
Steiner education is an integrated and holistic education designed to provide for the balanced development of human intellectual and cognitive faculties, artistic and imaginative capacities and practical life skills. A Steiner education fosters the human spirit in children and young adults, allowing them to flourish in an environment that is oriented towards moral growth, social consciousness and citizenship.
“A Steiner education fosters the human spirit in children and young adults”
In early learning, we cherish the right of children to childhood. We nurture a child’s development by facilitating creative, self-directed play as a core feature of the Kindergarten program. We believe that the initiative, imagination and flexibility awakened underpin later academic learning and are the basis for innovative thought in adult life.
In primary school, the core approach is through artistic presentation of material by the class teacher which promotes engagement, inspires deep learning and supports developing imaginations.
In secondary school, students develop an awakening capacity for discernment by fostering initiative, along with independent and flexible thinking
Why Steiner teaching?
Teaching is based on supportive, collaborative relationships with teachers and strong, lifelong bonds between students. The journey with a class is so rewarding for both teachers and students
In 2018, an independent national survey commissioned by Steiner Education Australia, students from years 9-12 responded to their experiences: 88% of students agreed that ‘their teachers know me’. Nearly 80% are happy and fulfilled at school. 90% of students have good relationships with teachers and 87% have good relationships with other students. These are all solid indicators of a high level of student well-being. Overwhelmingly, current well-being research shows the correlation between student well-being and academic outcomes is very strong.
Alumni results give insight into the enduring effects of a Steiner education and reinforcement of some of our core educational objectives: an overwhelming 89% agree that ‘what I learnt is highly appropriate to later life’. 95% agree that ‘attending a Steiner school has been an asset in my life’. 94% of alumni would recommend a Steiner school education.
Steiner Teachers are relieved to find balance in education and can focus on the things that matter: giving equal time to academics, arts and practical life activities; developing imaginative thinking as a core focus in the primary years; giving time in the early years for creative play, engagement in practical life activities, and environmental/nature/physical activities; and engendering in young people a sense of social responsibility for the future.
Dipping into Steiner education: great options to explore
There are so many ways to dip into Steiner education – from full immersion with further post graduate Steiner training towards teaching in a Steiner school, to short courses and continuing education opportunities.
You might be interested in integrating an arts-based approach into your teaching within your existing state or independent school setting, in which case the short courses and conference opportunities outlined might also be relevant to your needs.
Two Year Full-time Steiner Teacher Training pathway: Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar
The Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar has been offering a range of programs based upon the work of Rudolf Steiner for 42 years for local and international students and is an associate member of Steiner Education Australia.
The Advanced Diploma of Rudolf Steiner Education offers a two year full time accredited pathway to a university Bachelor of Education a number of universities.
Graduate Certificate in Steiner Education: University of the Sunshine Coast
Advance your teaching career and become a specialist in Steiner philosophy with this flexible Graduate Certificate in Steiner Education. The only qualification of its kind in Australia, USC’s program offers the opportunity to connect theory and practice, and work with experts and like-minded educators to develop your pedagogy. Teachers with this qualification will be sought after in Steiner schools. Upon successful completion of the Certificate, you can choose to progress to a Master of Education.
Sydney Rudolf Steiner College
Sydney’s Rudolf Steiner College has been preparing teachers to enjoy working in Steiner schools since 1980.
The Foundation and Certificate Courses in Rudolf Steiner Education provide early childhood, primary and high school teachers with a solid theoretical understanding of Steiner education and the Steiner curriculum as well as arich, immersive program of inner development based on artistic practice and observation of life.
Courses are open to anyone who may be thinking of a career change, and those who would like more understanding of Steiner education. Some of the Foundation course modules are NESA compliant, and can be claimed as mandatory professional development.
Perth Waldorf School Teacher Training
This two-year part-time course presented over eight terms is designed for those wishing to develop their skills and understandings of Steiner teaching and pedagogy. There are no pre-requisite requirements. The course is suitable for graduates new to the art of teaching as well as those looking to further develop and enliven themselves as teachers.
The course focuses on the Primary curriculum and provides a rich experience in personal development through an understanding of Rudolf Steiner’s educational philosophy, as well as a programme of artistic practice—including drawing, painting, modelling, Eurythmy, music, craft, drama and movement.
Other continuing education opportunities
There is an amazing array of continuing education courses offered in various locations, mostly schools, around the country. For more detail of the courses, contact details and locations please visit: www.steinereducation.edu.au/event_category/events- conferences/
We also post courses and other professional learning opportunities on SEA’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/steinereducationaustralia/
For Positions Vacant in Steiner Schools around Australia and internationally please see the SEA jobs page www.steinereducation.edu.au/job_category/australian-steiner-jobs/
For school locations around Australia, please see the Schools listing on the SEA website www.steinereducation.edu.au/member- schoolsOct 2019