The Freie Hochschule Stuttgart
The Freie Hochschule Stuttgart - Seminar for Waldorf Pedagogy trains teachers for 234 Waldorf Schools in Germany and more than 1000 Steiner Schools worldwide. Accredited academic degree programs with an Anthroposophical basis are offered for all pedagogical fields connected to Steiner Schools. This includes the training of class and subject teachers, as well as Upper School teaching and counseling.
Parallel to the development of the Waldorf School movement and in the tradition of the first Waldorf School at Uhlandshöhe in Stuttgart, the Freie Hochschule Stuttgart has been training teachers since 1928. After the initial in-service and later post-graduate courses, the first worldwide program for a complete class teacher training was instituted in 1973. In 1983, the program was extended to include Upper School teacher courses and later Eurythmy teacher education.
The Freie Hochschule Stuttgart is the first Waldorf teacher-training college that received official state accreditation as an academic institution. This recognized university degree ensures the graduates of the Freie Hochschule that their credentials will be universally accepted. At the same time, previous courses completed in other Waldorf seminars can be accepted and academically accredited. In the context of the Bologna Process of the European Union, the Freie Hochschule Stuttgart changed its previous program of diploma courses into modules leading to bachelor and master degrees that have also been officially accredited. The modularization and accreditation of the new program is a continuation of the effort to bring Waldorf Pedagogy into current academic discourse and to teach and develop Waldorf Education in the larger context of the educational, social and human sciences.
The research and teaching activities of the faculty are focused on the further development of a pedagogy in which teaching is viewed as an art. Therein also lies a responsibility to extend and enhance the prevalent scientific orientation in traditional teacher education by adopting a more creative and artistic approach whose aim is to apprehend spiritual, cognitive and emotional processes in a more encompassing manner. In this context, Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy plays a central role. An interdisciplinary discourse between Anthroposophical and anthropological approaches is viewed as a basis for understanding pedagogical realities and as a key to addressing them. As part of an on-going and highly constructive scientific discourse with well-known educators outside of Waldorf Education, the Pedagogi- cal Colloquium of the Freie Hochschule, which has existed since 1987, continues to play a crucial role. A wide range of publications document the importance of educational research in the college, including many publications that arose directly out of teaching practice and are designed for practical classroom use.
Out of this general framework, four core areas of study have emerged:
- Social and human sciences: intensive courses on anthropology, Anthroposophy and developmental psychology create the basis for a holistic perception and understanding of child development.
- Artistic education: A strong emphasis is placed on creating possibilities for personal development through the intensive practice of a broad range of artistic subjects including speech formation, Eurythmy, music, painting, and sculpture.
- Internships: One of the essential aspects of the training is the extended internships in different Waldorf Schools. Before such phases of practice teaching, there is a systematic introduction to the didactics and methodology of the different lesson subjects.
- Expertise in subject areas: A further key aspect of the degree courses for class teachers is an extensive training in a chosen subject. Currently, studies in foreign languages, fine arts, gardening, handicrafts, crafts, physical education and music are possible. The masters program for Upper School teachers extends and enhances their previous qualifications through an anthropologically-based approach to the didactics of their respective subjects.
In cooperation with the Eurythmeum Stuttgart, the Freie Hochschule Stuttgart also offers accredited degree courses for Eurythmy and Eurythmy Pedagogy.
The following degree courses are offered:
- BA Waldorf Pedagogy, duration three years, starts in September
- MA (consecutive) Class and Subject Teacher in Waldorf Schools, duration two years, starts in September
- MA Class and Subject Teacher (graduate program) duration 18 months, starts in February
- MA Upper School teacher in Waldorf Schools (graduate program) durati- on 18 months, starts in February
- BA Eurythmy with basic pedagogical qualifications; duration four years, starts in September*
- MA Pedagogy of Eurythmy, duration one year, starts in September*
- Seminar degree programs for Class and Subject Teachers in Waldorf Schools for foreign languages, gardening, handicrafts, fine arts, physical education, and crafts, duration two to three years, start in September
* The Eurythmy degrees are carried out in cooperation with the Eurythmeum Stuttgart.