This has been a busy summer of travelling and working. At the end of July I spent a week in the Bangalore Steiner School doing my annual advisory visit to the school. This year I concentrated on the middle and high school and worked with colleagues on developing the high school component of the teacher education programme. Then, after a brief week back at home, Ulrike and I flew off to Taiwan at the invitation of the Hai Siann Waldorf School in Taichung, who were hosting the annual conference of the Waldorf School Association of Taiwan. We each gave two lectures and ran workshops, including most enjoyable improvisation workshops (in 38 degree temperatures and 90% humidity!). We were impressed and inspired by the enthusiasm of the Taiwan Waldorf teachers.
The pedagogical talks and workshops focussed on the development of the curriculum in view of the learning process itself, on questions of assessment and differentiation and the development of judgement in the upper school. In this context we also introduced a method of collegial intervision as a basis for pedagogical development in a collegial community of practice. The main topics we offered advice on, alongside the pedagogical work, were what the role of an association of schools could be and how a part-time high school training might be structured. Wrapped around the four days of working with teachers we spent two weeks exploring the beautiful island of Taiwan and experiencing both the Taiwan natural environment and its cultures.
Then we went on to Japan, where I had been invited to give a keynote speech at the annual meeting of UNESCO Schools in Japan, which was hosted by the Yokohama Steiner School. For two more days we worked with colleagues from the local Steiner/Waldorf schools and then rounded off our trip by visiting the Zen Buddhist temples of Kyoto and Nara for four days.
In the following weeks we will reflect on some of the ideas we talked about and worked on together. Additionally we will attach some articles or texts which give deeper insight into some of the topics we have focused on in our work.
Have a good start into the next school year!