For many years, I’ve been fascinated by the Waldorf approach to education, developed in the early 20th century by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy. The curriculum design in Waldorf education is based on children’s natural developmental process. Its focus is on teaching children how to learn and how to think by developing their innate curiosity, creativity, intelligence, and resourcefulness. The entire curriculum is designed for multi-sensory learning, constantly integrating all parts of the brain and of the intuitive mind. The aim is to give children skills, tools, and awareness for navigating life with all of its opportunities and challenges.
Rudolf Steiner believed that to know the world is to know the self, and to know the self is to know the world. Therefore, the education is designed to foster connection, communication, collaboration, strong social and interpersonal skills, and teamwork. It develops awareness of self and of the world around you.
A few weeks ago, I came across the video, “Preparing For Life,” about the Waldorf School of the Peninsula in Silicon Valley, California. My first thought was, “They are teaching Transformational Presence!” They don’t use those words, but in essence, they have created a full education curriculum for early childhood through high school designed to help children develop their own personal presence – to help them know who they are, why they are here, and constantly stretch into their next unfolding potential. In short, they call forth the greatness in each child.
Similarly, Transformational Presence is a way of showing up in the world that calls forth greatness in self, in the people around you, and in your circumstances and situations. It’s a way of living and leading that seeks out emerging potential and stewards it into form. Waldorf education seeks out the greatest potential in each child and supports that child on all levels of their development to grow into a free-thinking, creative, ethically responsible, healthy, balanced adult who shares his or her gifts and talents to make the world a better place.
As one of the school’s directors says near the end of the video, “We don’t know what the world will look like in ten years, so we must prepare them [children] to think their way through it in a whole-systems way.” Indeed. Yet it’s not just our children we need to prepare for the future. We must also prepare ourselves by continuing to be curious, creative, and open – by actively engaging in our own evolution as co-creators of the world of today and tomorrow.
Enjoy the video.
P.S. If you would like to further develop your capacities for awareness, understanding, perception, creativity, communication, resilience, and innovation – if you would like to learn to think in more expanded ways and to make a greater contribution to the world around you, consider joining us for the Transformational Presence Leadership and Coach Training (TPLC) Program. It’s not just for leaders and coaches. Our participants often include entrepreneurs, HR managers, therapists and counselors, teachers, artists, and healers. The TPLC is for anyone who is committed to making a difference in the world. Join us!