A Theory of Waldorf teacher Education Part 1: learning dispositions

Martyn Rawson

Abstract


This paper is the first of a series of three that explore aspects of Waldorf teacher education; the first looking at the nature of dispositions, the second focusing on study of Steiner’s Foundations and artistic practice and the third drawing on empirical evidence, addressing learning-in-practice. It outlines a theory of teacher education that focuses on the learning of dispositions, values, beliefs, attitudes and skills and general pedagogical knowledge that underpin the practice of Waldorf pedagogy. It offers an account of how dispositions are learned and modified through transformative learning as transformation of the will. It describes the historical origins of Waldorf teacher education and its five core elements, studying Steiner’s Foundations, transformative artistic exercises, learning general pedagogical knowledge (e.g. curriculum, teaching methods, child and youth development, learning theory, school management and leadership), self-development and learning-in-practice. The theory explains how foundational dispositions are learned in a seminar environment that subsequently change into sustainable professional dispositions through participation in practice and continuing professional development. The process of transformative learning in teacher education is elaborated, including the role of reflection and related to other theories, including theories of experiential and reflective learning, biographical learning and destiny learning.

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