Bringing a universal impulse to filipino localities.” Three biographies on the history of Waldorf Education in the Philippines

Thijs Jan van Schie

Abstract


Based on three biographies of key actors, this article discusses the introduction of Waldorf education – an alternative educational approach rooted in an early twentieth-century European spiritual philosophy, called anthroposophy – in the Philippines. It examines which encounters, networks, ideas, articulations, and actions have been decisive in these biographies. It adopts a combined biographical and ethnographic approach, called ethnography of global connections (Tsing, 2005), focusing on concrete trajectories of globalizing projects in so-called zones of awkward engagement. Waldorf education in the Philippines can be seen as such a globalizing project, in which certain knowledge is presented as cosmopolitan and universally applicable and is advanced to new Filipino localities by enthusiastic school founders.

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