Art of Teaching

The Art of Teaching Course

About the course

The Art of Teaching course builds on  the work carried out in the Art of Education course, and is geared towards becoming a class teacher in a Waldorf school. Self-development, and the importance of life-long learning, are placed at the centre of our work during this year.

Those who fulfil the requirements of the course will receive a WESTT certificate in the Art of Teaching, which is widely recognised across the UK and in a number of other countries.  It should be noted that some schools may require an additional state-awarded qualification, following the successful completion of this course.

Half-day placement

By the time the course begins, it is expected that students who are not already in a school will have found a placement in a Waldorf setting, which they will attend for at least half a day each week.

Within the Art of Teaching lie the arts of observation, classroom management, planning, assessment, differentiation and much more, which are introduced on the course and worked with by individual students in the classroom.

Teaching Practice

Students will be expected to complete at least the first of their two teaching practices during the year.  The teaching practice element consists of two three-week blocks.  Any teaching practice elements not completed during the course must be completed within a year of the end of the course.

Self-directed learning and research

One of the strengths of the WESTT course over the years has been the emphasis on the lifelong learning journey of the teacher.  During the second year, students choose an area of research and write a dissertation (approx. 10,000 words), which is presented to fellow students during the Summer intensive week.

Community of learners

Many of the skills and aptitudes introduced in the Art of Education course are deepened and developed during this year, with more of a focus on  ‘how we teach.’

There continues to be a strong emphasis on the development of a community of learners – learning together, supporting each other, sharing resources, ideas, inspirations, successes and challenges.

Aims and Outcomes

A student completing the Art of Teaching Course will have:

  • A broad understanding of the Waldorf curriculum and its delivery
  • A detailed understanding of approaches to teaching numeracy and literacy
  • A detailed understanding of how the curriculum relates to child development
  • An understanding  of the different models of leadership and management in a Waldorf school, and the principles behind them
  • Observational experience through regular visits to a Steiner-Waldorf classroom
  • A deepening understanding of the role of self-reflection, meditation and self-development in the life of a teacher
  • A practical understanding and experience of a number of key classroom skills
  • Practical experience of individual child observations
  • A good understanding of the senses and sensory integration
  • A good understanding of the three stage rhythm and the structure of the main lesson
  • An appreciation of the scope and depth of Rudolf Steiner’s key lecture series for teachers, ‘The Foundations of Human Experience,‘ and a familiarity with some of its key themes
  • A good understanding of the role of drama
  • A deepening experience of the role of painting and drawing
  • Completed six weeks of teaching practice in a Waldorf school (or within 1 year of the end of the course).

Additional Modules:

  • The SEN Code of Practice and the Graduated Approach
  • Child study
  • Differentiation for learning
  • Teacher as life-long learner
  • Mentoring and career pathways
  • Sex and relationship education
  • The class as a social organism
  • Working with parents
  • Planning and assessment

These areas of learning and study are by no means meant to be exhaustive.  As is the case in the Steiner-Waldorf classroom, our intention is to ‘light fires.’

Admission

Students wishing to apply to  join the Art of Teaching course will have successfully completed the one-year Art of Education course, with an attainment of ‘Merit’ or higher** in all the key assignment tasks.  Applicants will be asked to attend an interview, and, in some cases, may be asked to provide additional references, evidence of qualifications etc.

** Key Assignments are marked and awarded Achieved, Merit or Distinction. Students are given the opportunity to improve a mark where necessary.

Costs

Annual fees cover the tuition costs of ten weekends and two weeks. They also include all guided learning between weekends, study packs and handouts.

Fees, payment options and refund criteria for the Art of Teaching course are identical to those for the Art of Education course of the preceeding year – please refer to the Art of Education course page for details of fees for the Art of Teaching course starting in September 2021.