The European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education

Council

Published on April 15th, 2015 | by ECSWE

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The ECSWE Council meeting in Oslo from January 16th – 18th 2015

37 people (members and guests) from 21 countries attended this meeting.

The meeting started on Friday morning with a visit to the classrooms and a presentation of the”Oslo By Steinerskole” school by the headmaster and teachers. It is the biggest Waldorf upper school in Norway with about 450 students and has only an upper school. The school opened because many Steiner pupils left their schools after primary education. Having the choice between “a school that students want and a school without students”, the founders of Oslo By Steinerskole decided to develop a new Waldorf concept for the upper school. Students may choose between Arts, Music, Science, Humanities and Media streams. After the teachers’ presentation of , the students showed inspiring and vivid insights into studies in the different streams: Arts, Music, Science, Humanities and Media.

Friday afternoon was dedicated to a conference about “Leadership in Waldorf schools – the Norwegian experience” with presentations by Bjørn Brodwall, lawyer and legal advisor to Steinerskoleforbundet, Dagny Ringheim, head of administration, Rudolf Steiner University College, Ted Warren, teacher at Rudolf Steinerskolen in Oslo and member of the Anthroposophical society Oslo and Bernard Daub, headmaster, Oslo by Steinerskole, followed by a plenary discussion.

In the evening the members and guests moved to the Rudolf Steiner University College in Oslo. The first session of the Council meeting started with the presentation of the Norwegian Steinerskoleforbundet (the Norwegian federation), which represents 31 Waldorf schools including 8 upper schools, and was followed by a presentation of the new reps of the following countries: Austria, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, a review of the last Council meeting in Brussels in September 2014 and a board report.

Saturday morning started with a singing exercise in the big hall of the Rudolf Steiner University College followed by the 2nd session of the meeting which included a report about the financial situation of ECSWE, a report about ECSWE’s advocacy activity since the last meeting, a country report from Denmark and ended with an introduction of the Rudolf Steiner University College Oslo, our venue for this Council meeting. In the 3rd session a member presented the first results of the internal survey on school readiness, the final results will be presented at the next council meeting in April. The second topic was a review of the inner work of the council, followed by a country report from Russia. The 4th session on Saturday afternoon started with a country report from Austria, followed by a presentation of INSWAP (International Network Steiner Waldorf Parents) and a report from the guests – the Pedagogical Section and the International Forum.

After so much brain work and sitting it was time to get other parts of the body moving. The Norwegians organised a sightseeing tour to the “Folks museum” followed by dinner, dances and folk songs.

Sunday morning started again with a singing exercise followed by the 5th session of the meeting which included an open letter to Andreas Schleicher, OECD, on the negative influences of the PISA tests on educational practices and the discussion how ECSWE want to proceed with it; an update on the “Diploma project” and a view on the upcoming Council meeting in Yerevan (Armenia) in April 2015. In the last session of the meeting members were asked to give short reports about the media coverage of Steiner Waldorf Schools in the different countries. This was followed by a report on the negotiations on the TTIP and CETA (the planned EU-trade agreements with USA and Canada) and their influence on national policies and schools. Then it was time to say goodbye to two members of ECSWE, Norbert Handwerk, who represented Germany for many years and Jeppe Flummer from Denmark, who was one of the first reps in ECSWE. The last session closed as usual with a review of the meeting, thanks to the host country (Norway) and the handover of the ECSWE banner to the next country (Armenia).

Rosmarie Bluder


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