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The Foundation Studies Program in Princeton
The new cycle for the Foundation Studies at the Waldorf School of Princeton will begin in the winter of 2016. This is the sixth cycle and the fourteenth year of the program. Over one hundred people have participated in our studies, some for personal development, some for the first step toward a professional life in Waldorf Education, and others to enhance the work in which they are already engaged.
The program covers Rudolf Steiner’s basic books, and gives a foothold into his immense body of lectures and written works.
Anthroposophy is dense and difficult to read independently at first without the foundational understanding offered in this program. After this five-semester course, one can more easily delve into the many topics within Anthroposophy (i.e., education, agriculture, Eurythmy, the arts, healing arts, medicine, and spiritual investigations such as karma).
The course meets eight times per semester on Saturday mornings, at the Waldorf School of Princeton, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. We follow the school calendar and try to meet the needs of students’ and parents’ schedules when possible. Each morning includes a lecture, discussion, and two artistic workshops that enliven the concepts covered. Often the courses offered are Eurythmy and an artistic experience such as painting or sculpture. Guest teachers are invited to present other topics, such as speech or biography. We now offer summer courses so that students can potentially finish in 15 months and begin teacher training if that is a path they wish to pursue. The cost per semester is $600.
The course provides a unique opportunity to form a small community together, sharing thoughts and partaking of small meals brought by the students. We have seen new friendships develop and former friends become closer through the meaningful, shared experiences.
The program is open to any interested adult of any age or background.
Elan Leibner lectures and leads discussions for the program. He was a class teacher at the Waldorf School of Princeton for 18 years. After that he taught at Emerson College in England, training Waldorf teachers. For the past five years he has been the chair of the Pedgagocial Section Council of North America and editor of the Research Bulletin for Waldorf Education. He mentors and evaluates teachers in Waldorf schools around the country.
Pamela Shafer facilitates the program and offers artistic workshops. She has been the sculptural arts teacher at the school for 16 years and the fine arts teacher for the middle school for 3 years. She has been a potter for 35 years and has also worked with college students, the elderly, and in hospitals for 15 years before finding the Waldorf movement.
Tertia Gale has been teaching Eurythmy in the Foundations Program since it began. Before that she taught Eurythmy at the Waldorf School of Princeton for 20 years and was one of the founding members of the school. Her roots in Anthroposophy reach back even further to her work at the Fellowship Community in Chestnut Ridge, New York, supporting the elderly in conjunction with the work of Anthroposophical medicine.
If you are interested in enrolling, please contact Pamela Shafer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“With Waldorf Education, the only way to know if you will like it is to try it. There is nothing else out there like it. I love the holistic aspect of it and that it strives to create individuals who reach their full potential—not just intellectually—but completely (and joyfully with an enthusiasm for life). I also appreciate the guidance and resources at the school that allow and encourage parents to grow as individuals along with our children.” —Mary Langeron, WSP parent