SIX STUDIES OF WALDORF CLASSROOMS IN CAPE TOWN
2013 – 2016
The Centre for Creative Education is proud to announce that in the last four years its final-year students have published six innovative papers in the international journal, Research on Steiner Education (RoSE). These papers are available for free download from RoSE, by following the links below.
Imaginative Teaching and Learning in Waldorf Classrooms
Clive Millar, Taryn Melmed, Jessica Nell, Gabriella Rivera & Alexi Silverman
In 2013 thirteen students investigated imaginative teaching and learning in Waldorf schools in Cape Town. This paper summarises their work, giving a compressed account of both research process and research findings.
Navigating Moments of Tension in a Waldorf Classroom
Alexi Silverman’s interest lay in what she saw as “a kind of tension that arises when the expectations and educational aims of the teacher are thwarted in the unpredictable reality that is the classroom context”. Her research question became: How does the teacher navigate “moments of tension” in a way that enables or hinders learning?
Narrative Predicament in a Waldorf Classroom
All the 2015 research projects explored how the narrative form works in Waldorf classrooms. The interest was not on storytelling as such but on the underlying structure and logic of stories, as this works itself out in teaching and learning.
Kate Giljam was interested in “predicaments” – the engines the drive stories in real life and in fiction. She was interested in the problems or crises that demand some kind of resolution if the “story” is to move forward. Her research question was: How are narrative predicaments created by the teacher and how do the children engage with them?
Investigating Binary Opposites in a Waldorf Classroom
Charlotte Nash’s research focus was on conflicts of values and of ideas in classroom narratives and their crucial role in personal and social development. She was interested in responsible ways to work towards the reconciliation of such conflicts. Her research question was the following: How do binary opposites facilitate affective meaning and conceptual understanding in the classroom?
Connecting the Known and the Unknown in a Waldorf Classroom
Faatimah Solomon focussed on the power of the “unknown” in the classroom – on how we are lured on by not knowing what lies ahead in ongoing stories but perhaps by having intuitive inklings of a possible solution. Her research question was: How is narrative methodology used to connect the known to the unknown in a Waldorf main lesson?
Seeking Authenticity in a Waldorf Classroom
Leigh Moore’s research focus was on “authenticity” in the classroom – on what authenticity might mean both in theory and in day to day practice. She saw authentic learning experiences as “moments of confrontation with and exploration of relevant, real-world experiences involving learners as responsible individuals and integral members of the classroom community”. Her research question was: How does a teacher create authentic learning experiences within the classroom, content and class work?
The Centre for Creative Education wishes to thank the many Waldorf teachers who invited our student researchers into their classrooms, supported them in their researcher roles and made this work possible.