This is a course for hands, heart and head. One of the central pillars of Steiner Waldorf education is that the adult becomes a model for the child to imitate, in thought, word and deed. To work with young children, the student should be willing to take on self-education – to strive for personal development for the benefit of the children.
You also have to become an artist. There is as much artistry in steering a kindergarten session or responding in the moment to a child’s needs as there is to painting or writing a poem.
Working with young children is a profession. It needs an understanding of child development and a capacity to co-work sensitively with parents and colleagues, and a clear understanding of effective child assessment and working with statutory regulations.
In order to build these skills and capacities, this course will include:
The course development team has developed from the core tutors of the former Plymouth University foundation degree course. Current members of the Core tutor team include Richard Bunzl, Joanna Hammond, Jill Taplin, Janni Nicol, Julie Lam and Joan Rose. Janet Klaar, Francesca Meynell, Winny Mossman and Sally Jenkinson are regular contributors and we are supported by a range of specialist tutors bringing subjects such as music, eurythmy, speech and craft to our residentials, and by visiting tutors who contribute individual lectures and lecture cycles.
During the residentials, teaching sessions include lectures, discussion seminars, exercises, role plays and a variety of artistic and practical elements. Students present their assignments to each other, reflect on their work placement experiences and study together. You will receive a yearly schedule of the topics that will be covered in the residentials and a detailed timetable before each one. During residentials, tutors are available to offer individual support which can also be arranged between residentials either on-line or by phone.
This is a validated course and in order to complete it and achieve your qualifications, there will be a schedule of assignments spread over the three years of the course that you must undertake. At the induction residential you will take part in study skills sessions to support you in this, with refreshers at later points, and further individual support will be available throughout the course from the tutors.
The assignments will include written work (essays), artistic and craft activities, assessed discussions and oral presentations. Students say that studying for this course takes about one day per week. You will be given a clear and detailed schedule of the assignments including the format that they must take and the dates when you are due to submit them. It is very important that you keep up with this schedule or you will find your backlog of work accumulates. Tutors will do all that they can to help you in this. We also understand that there may be special circumstances when you are not able to submit an assignment on time, in the case of illness, for example. If this happens you must follow the procedure laid out in the students' handbook that refers to late submissions.
Tutors will give constructive verbal and written feedback, in addition to summative assessment, on all the assignments that you submit and this will normally be available within a month of your submission. This means that you will be able to build on your success in completing assignments as you progress through the course.