Jane Swain, Janene Ping, Michelle Brooks
June 28 - July 2, 2021 8am - 5:30pm
Sophia’s Hearth, in collaboration with the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, welcomes teachers to further pedagogical exploration and personal development in this week long course that addresses the incarnational challenges of children today. How do we objectively see the child before us? What can the educator do to support the three-fold healing needed in these present times of challenging disruption? Where does the capacity for healthy resilience live? These questions will be addressed during course work that builds insight and practical skill for the teacher in the realm of physical, soul, and spiritual support for the child, parent, and self.
This course is a post-graduate level course and is intended for participants who have completed a Waldorf early childhood training, or upon consideration and acceptance by the instructors, for those working therapeutically with children under nine years from a Waldorf perspective.
Block One: The Senses and Essential Integration
Jane will build upon the participants’ basic knowledge of the twelve senses, by elaborating how developmental challenges in each foundational sense can manifest in children. Participants will develop their observational skills in order to initially recognize a child’s challenge, and then to gage whether any changes-- positive or negative-- are ensuing. The enlivened therapeutic process will be emphasized, in order to respectfully meet each child as an individual and to develop the adult’s therapeutic instincts. This will not be a ‘recipe’ course! Participants will recognize the difference between a ‘top-down’ approach and a ‘peripherally-led’ approach in supporting the child in a creative, satisfying, and healing manner. Jane will draw upon her extensive background of therapeutic studies from the work of Rudolf Steiner, Jean Ayers, Jaimen McMillan, Emmi Pikler, and Berta Bobath.
Block Two: "To Be Here Now..." – Supporting Embodiment in the Classroom Setting
Throughout each day in an Early Childhood class there are numerous opportunities for sensory-motor experiences which help children master their bodies by strengthening their senses of life, touch, self- movement and balance, and developing their gross and fine motor capacities. We_ will build upon “The Senses and Essential Integration” content to provide concrete, practical applications for the classroom setting including: creating movement opportunities, sculpting inviting homemaking and artistic activities and transition times, and exploring ways to fully utilize indoor and outside spaces. Strategies for supporting both the sensory sensitive and the sensory seeking child in the same environment will be explored
Block Three: The incarnating human being emerges from an embryonic state of union with the spirit into an experience of earthly individuality. How can the gift of storytelling help the child to navigate this path? Throughout the ages of humanity, storytelling has helped to define universal truths as well as to honor diversity on the path of what it means to be human. In this course, Nancy Mellon, master storyteller and therapist, will explore ways to work with the young child who suffers incarnational challenges within the realm of the soul. Support for the awakening of emotional and social intelligence, the healing of trauma, and the importance of themes of biography will be explored. Students will be taught the methodology of metaphor as a pedagogical tool for deeper understanding of the child.
Block Four: Awakening the Conscious Spirit - 21st Century Evolution
In the evolution of conscious soul, we awaken to challenges of the times we live in. These influence social relationships, family life, human development, and learning models as we hold early childhood education in the 21st Century. This module will examine observation of phenomena related to the behavior of children and the meeting of their educational and developmental needs. Support of healthy incarnational forces through pedagogical practice in meeting these needs will be explored, bridging contemporary scientific research and Anthroposophical Study.
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