Teacher Training Academic Staff
In one respect, our staff is the life-blood of the programme. The expertise and energy each brings to the classroom exhibits the quality we would hope to inspire in all our learners. In addition to the permanent staff introduced below, the Centre for Creative Education is continually built up by the dedication of part-time lecturers, who become involved when modules of their expertise are offered during course cycles.
Peter van Alphen
Peter van Alphen co-founded the Centre for Creative Education in 1993, after being a Waldorf teacher for 16 years. He was director of the Centre of the first 7 years of its existence. Peter runs a Waldorf teacher-training programme in Kenya for teachers from Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.
Peter spearheaded the development of Waldorf Education in black communities in the Western Cape. For five years he was Chairperson of the Federation of Waldorf Schools in Southern Africa, and was often asked to act as a consultant and mediator in its schools.
Peter originally trained as a church musician at the University of Pretoria, majoring in Organ, Choral Conducting and Gregorian Chant. In his late thirties he completed a four-year diploma in Eurythmy, which he uses in his training programmes as part of the personal development of the participants. In 2008 he completed a Masters in Music.
An educator of adults, Peter has many years experience in lay counselling. He started by becoming a Life-Line telephone counsellor, and attended various counselling workshops. He also received informal training from a clinical psychologist in Cape Town, and has trained adults in counselling techniques for over seven years.
Bernard Hurner joined the Centre for Creative Education in 2017. He is not only a highly experienced class teacher, but also a trainer and mentor of many years. Having studied as a musician at the College of Music in Cape Town and in Vienna, he first taught music, as well as woodwork, at the Constantia Waldorf School. After a cycle as a class teacher he then moved over to the Roseway Waldorf School near Durban. At Roseway, Bernard taught two full cycles as well as taking over several classes when a teacher was needed. Since 1997 he was part of the in-house teacher training at the school and a few years later he became the leader of this training programme. He mentored and trained continuously while teaching, and after he finished his last cycle a few years back, he put all his focus on the training.
Bernard then returned to Cape Town and after working at the Imhoff Waldorf School for a year, he joined the Teacher Education programme at the Centre for Creative Education. His deep knowledge of the principles underlying the Waldorf approach, and his many years of experience with its implementation, are a great asset to the programme and its students.
Catherine van Alphen
Catherine van Alphen was born into an artistic family and grew up with a passion for painting, drawing and clay modelling, especially the subtlety of water-colours. After a Diploma in Primary Education from University of Cape Town, she took a Class One at Michael Oak Waldorf School at the tender age of 21 years! She also had a wonderfully inspirational year at Emerson College in the U.K. Later she married and had three children, now all grown up.
Catherine taught at Michael Oak for 11 years, taking two classes through the system during which time she became very involved in creating school festivals using drama and music. She later moved to the Centre for Creative Education and began training primary school teachers in educational methodology and the arts for the past 12 years. She graduated with an M Phil from University of Cape Town in 2005.
Willem van der Velden, Academic Head
Willem van der Velden qualified with a BA in Waldorf Education in 1988, after which he taught for 5 years at primary level. He then took on the training of teachers, first in the Gambia (West-Africa) and from 1996 in Cape Town. In 1999 he graduated with an MA in Education through Oxford Brookes University, after a comparative research of the Waldorf curriculum and the then newly introduced Curriculum 2005. He was a project manager for the first seven years of the Zenzeleni School in Khayelitsha. Since 2001, he has been the Centre's Academic Head, but has remained active as a lecturer in the primary Teacher Education programme.