Our Early Childhood Program is an associative member of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN). Foundation studies in anthroposophy are a prerequisite for the courses, and make up a substantial portion of the program’s first year. In the second year, specialization in Waldorf Early Childhood Education is an option for those students who wish to focus on the young child in the first 7 years of life. Students engage in the study of early childhood development from an anthroposophical perspective, practice in story-telling, circle work, handwork, puppetry, and child observation, the role of meaningful adult activity in imitation and play, the 12 senses, eurythmy, painting, clay modeling, and healthy movement development in childhood.
For the small child before the change of teeth, the most important thing in education is the teacher’s own being.
— Rudolf Steiner
In addition to the above coursework, participants also explore practices for inner work that support the future teacher’s self-development, and that foster essential qualities that influence the healthy development of children. Students in the Early Childhood specialization also join with those who are studying class teaching for an overview of Waldorf pedagogy and curriculum in order to see their own work in the context of the whole school.
Prior study and/or experience in Early Childhood Education is helpful but not required. To graduate, students will accumulate substantial hours in Waldorf Kindergartens to observe and participate in the living experiences of the children. Extensive classroom experience through internships or assistant teaching is necessary to be fully prepared to be a lead teacher. This work is completed outside of the weekly, regularly scheduled Alkion classes.