Author: John Allison
|``I think the curriculum is a wonder, but we bring it as an 'instrument' into a teaching/learning field in response to observation, understanding and engagement with our students. This book then is about observation, understanding and engagement. I approach this in various ways throughout the following pages until, in the final essay, my process is articulated in terms of sensing, 'presencing', and realising. The subtitle of my first book suggested that I was just beginning to understand Waldorf Educaion; with this one I am digging deeper into the same ore.'
~ Mary Tait-Jamieson (edited from a review originally printed in �Sphere�, the journal of the Anthroposophical Society in New Zealand) writes:
In recent years, Steiner schools have begun to enjoy a wave of resource material produced by experienced Waldorf educators, to demonstrate how this pedagogy looks and works in practice. John Allison�s latest offering, A Teacher�s Book, Digging Deeper (2008) is an example of this type of publication which focuses not so much on the �how-to� of subject learning areas but on the social
and spiritual aspects of the Waldorf teacher�s craft.
Developed from conversations held in a variety of College meetings and lectures given in teacher
development settings over many years, this book covers a number of practical topics. These range from a proposed behaviour management model to discussions about the college imagination, from practical activities to support the spiritual path of the teacher, to a chat about the seven life processes, their relevance and application. And with the subject matter as well as the tone and style of the
writing reflecting these conversational origins, the relevance and significance of the topics addressed is assured.
The work as a whole would make fruitful study material in teachers� meetings. I say this because in Steiner schools there will always be practitioners with differing experience and understanding of the principles which underpin Steiner pedagogy and a good proportion of what John Allison�s book delivers is a great deal of what I would consider essential class teacher knowledge.
The pedagogical law given by Steiner in the Curative Course, for example, is explained in detail and importantly includes examples of how these concepts can be applied. In this category also are descriptions of the meditative tools of the Waldorf teacher. And the interest of more experienced teachers is likely to be engaged by Allison�s examination of the seven life processes.
Having described ways in which teachers would likely find this book useful though, this is not a work that should only be read by teachers. There is material in this book which would commend itself to anyone who works with people, or just anyone who wants to make a difference to their own or someone else�s life. It�s a book that reminds us of our soul spiritual nature and prompts us to remember that who we are is as, or more important as, what we do.
Publisher: Immortal Books (IB Publications Pty Ltd)
Suitable for: Mainly for Teachers at Steiner Schools
Language: English (Australian)
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