Steiner High School Teacher Intensive: Caring for the Adolescent – From Encounter to Insight

The Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Teacher Training Seminar will hold its fourth Steiner High School Teachers Intensive program of Professional Development from 13-17th January 2020 at the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar, 37A Wellington Park Drive, Warranwood VIC 3134

We are very excited to announce our keynote speaker will be Craig Holdrege from the Nature Institute, US. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear Craig share his work as Director and Founder of The Nature Institute. The theme of daily lectures will be “From Encounter to Insight- pathways of experience in education.” He will also offer afternoon workshops on Goethean Inquiry.

You can read about Craig Holdrege and the mission of The Nature Institute here.

Overview of the conference theme:

Teachers today face great challenges in keeping adolescents engaged. Most high school teachers will have looked to each other for support and guidance as they seek to engage and maintain the engagement of their students. This Intensive will provide an opportunity to really explore how student engagement and inspiration are borne from the teacher’s intuition. What does this mean for teacher development?

“If only they would have some insight!” is probably one of the most uttered sighs from educators of adolescents – parents and teachers alike. The most recent Intensive explored the art of student engagement through the teacher’s inner development, in particular the faculty of intuition. The 2020 builds on this notion:

Crucial for the art of student engagement – certainly in the High School –  is the skill to lead students through the stages of conclusion (perception/experience), judgment, (sleep) and finally, concept, according to Rudolf Steiner’s analyses in Foundation of Human Experience (Study of Man) – Chapter 9. A teacher who guides learning through these three stages allows students to determine their own learning and thereby experience an empowering sense of achievement within freedom. This is in stark contrast to outdated methods that try to ‘feed knowledge into brains’.

For the 2020 Intensive we welcome keynote speakers Robert Martin and Craig Holdrege: Robert will open the program with a talk on the Presence of Spiritual Beings which support our lives and work. Craig will present the subsequent five morning lectures on the theme of ‘From Encounter to Insight.’ 

The focus of the five keynote lectures:

The following excerpts from the Nature Institute’s mission statement will form the basis of Craig’s lectures, who will expand on these thoughts, make them relevant to teachers of adolescents in all subject areas and show us practical ways how to develop our own attitudes and skills:

… we develop new qualitative and holistic approaches to seeing and understanding nature and technology. Through research, publications, and educational programs we work to create a new paradigm that embraces nature’s wisdom in shaping a sustainable and healthy future.

Only if we find ways of transforming our propensity to view and control nature in terms of parts and mechanisms, will we be able to see, value, and protect the integrity of nature and the interconnectedness of all things. This demands a contextual way of seeing.

Our methodology is inspired by integrative thinkers and scientists, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Rudolf Steiner, Owen Barfield, and Kurt Goldstein. We develop ways of thinking and perception that integrate self-reflective and critical thought, imagination, and careful, detailed observation of phenomena.

Goethe’s words stand as a motto for our efforts: “If we want to attain a living understanding of nature, we must become as flexible and mobile as nature herself.”

To see the week’s program please have a look here.

When you proceed to the enrolment page, you will notice some significant changes from previous years:

  • Time table and subject choices: Based on the feedback we have received and the needs teachers have expressed, we have gone back to offering all specialist subjects during the morning sessions. This will limit you to choosing only one specialist subject (as we had in 2018).

This shift will free up the afternoons for a choice of 4 work groups:

  • Practicing Goethean Inquiry – Craig Holdrege
  • Student Welfare – Lisa Devine
  • Class 7 & 8: Child consciousness, curriculum – Alison McKean, Terry McMillan, Wolfgang Maschek
  • Artistic activity: Sculpture – Tania Hungerford

On enrolment, you will have to select one of the above for the afternoon session.

We’d like to point out that Steiner Education Australia (SEA) is offering grants to individuals to pursue training in Rudolf Steiner education if you wish to seek financial support.

We encourage you to register as soon as possible to secure your place as we expect a lot of interest in this gathering. Registrations will close on Friday 15th November 2019. 

Please click here to see more info about the course.