Easter Conference

In its code of practice, as part of the membership criteria for Steiner schools – remember this is for free schools too – the SWSF insists upon regular use of SWSF advisers, further training and “teacher development”.

This sounds good, and I am sure we hope all teachers should have the opportunity for developing their skills . But what many outsiders (including the D for E, presumably) do not know is that what the SWSF have in mind is anthropoposophical training and the development refers to spiritual development.

As part of this development, The SWSF recommend teachers attend the Easter Conference. This is held each year at a different Steiner school. Last year it was at the Hereford Steiner Academy (a state-funded school) and this year it will be held at Elmfield Rudolf Steiner School.

The details for the conference can be found here and are of interest to those of us concerned about how anthroposophy is brought into the classroom.

The mornings begin with an “Offering Service”. This is an anthropsophical service, and  here we have information about what takes place.

The Offering Service, the service for the older, high school students, teachers, parents
and friends, introduces in the form of a religious ritual this gesture of lifting the soul up
to the spirit as a free offering of the individual. Carl Unger indicates this fact when he
says that (1) the service extends the Anthroposophical Society into the life of a school
and (2) that it takes place exclusively in the realm of the soul.

Then the teachers will do “Bothmer” – well, we know what this is

After lunch there is eurythmy.

Deeply meaningful to anthroposophists, this is a slow form of movement expressing spirituality. The  flowing robes are optional…

There are courses in all kinds of activities including blacksmithing and pit – forging.

I see that “Trial by fire” has been cancelled – health and safety?

There is also the “Inner work of the teacher” where state school teachers will learn

How do we “imbue ourselves with imagination” as Rudolf Steiner calls upon us to do?
Starting with Steiner’s verses and meditations, we will look at how his words can be
practically implemented in our teaching and inner life.

There are talks by many, many anthroposophists on subjects such as “Practical Anthroposophy”. I am sure they are delighted to have the opportunity to share their love of all things Steiner with state-school teachers.

One speaker is an expert on alchemy. Another is an “anthroposophical weaver”.

One or two speakers are from our area including a man who said  an acorn spoke to him and changed his life…(page 39)

I wonder if attendance at this conference will  be funded by the tax -payer as part of training expenses. Justifying this kind of use of public funds would be impossible, surely…?

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2 comments

  1. Helen

    Trial by fire reminds me of one December when we got a note from some neighbours inviting us to to “burn our troubles” on a bonfire with them.
    I just put it down to them being Pagans or something, but one of the neighbours got quite worried and thought she was being summoned to some kind of satanic ritual. She was so relieved to find it wasn’t just her they had invited.

  2. Helen

    While I am having a think about why Scandalousemouse is so angry, I have been looking up trial by fire in Steiner’s writing, and came to a piece in “Knowledge of Higher Worlds” about Initiation.
    http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA010/English/AP1947/GA010_c03.html
    It is to do with clairvoyance, wouldn’t you know it? The fire-trial is a form of initiation;
    “[Many people]…are often initiates without knowing it, and it then needs but little to unseal their spiritual hearing and sight so that they become clairvoyant”
    Apparently,
    “A person initiated today without further ado would lack the experience which he will gain during his future incarnations before he can attain to higher knowledge in the normal course of his development. At the portal of initiation, therefore, this experience must be supplied in some other way. Thus the first instructions given to the candidate for initiation serve as a substitute for these future experiences. These are the so-called trials, which he has to undergo, and which constitute a normal course of inner development…”
    Perhaps the “initiation” at the conference is aimed at the new teachers recruited in to free schools who may not yet be fully aware that they are expected to aim for becoming clairvoyant?

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