Two Level Birth-to-Seven Early Childhood Professional Development Course

400-HOUR TWO-LEVEL COURSE BASED ON RUDOLF STEINER’S WORK

Sophia’s Hearth now offers a 400-hour two-level Early Childhood Professional Development course for those seeking to deepen their knowledge about the very young child from the perspective of Rudolf Steiner’s work on education and on the development of the human being. The program prepares its graduates for professional work with infants, young children and parents from pre-birth through the early childhood years in an atmosphere of the developmentally strengthening, creative, health and vitality-bringing educational approach of Waldorf education and the insights of the Pikler Institute. Our program prepares our students to work in a variety of settings and, most importantly, to create their own programs arising out of the needs of the families and environment in which they are working.

PREPARATION FOR WORK WITH INFANTS, YOUNG CHILDREN, AND PARENTS

The course prepares its students for professional work with infants, young children, and parents: students begin with the 200 hour Level One course and may continue with Level Two if they wish.

LEVEL 1: BIRTH TO AGE THREE NEW CYCLE BEGINS July 6, 2014

Level I teacher development course focuses on the earliest years in a child’s life from birth to age three, a time during which all facets of children’s development requires special conditions that meet their deeply engaged, yet unconscious learning.  The Level II Course builds upon this foundation, extending it through the full first seven years of the child’s life.

LEVEL II: AGE FOUR TO SEVEN – NEW CYCLE BEGINS July 2015

Level Itakes up insights and practical capacities for work with children as they emerge from the protected period of the first three years so that as the child moves beyond these earliest years, the teacher is prepared to offer a new quality of relationship with the child, with transforming rhythms and gentle changes in the content of daily life.

EXPLORING DEVELOPMENTAL PHASES OF THE FULL FIRST SEVEN YEARS

With the first phases of the development of movement, language, and social life now in place, children look more clearly toward the group and begin to look further outward into the world. Our studies and practical work now bring to life the developmental phases of the full first seven years: festival life, songs for the older group, the introduction of folk and fairy tales, movement circles, gardening, nature crafts and artistic activities for older children. Anthroposophical studies and a further personal research project continue to deepen the teacher’s foundation for her vocation.

EXPLORING NURTURING RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH ATTENTIVE CAREGIVING

The course continues its focus to extend the teacher’s nurturing relationship building of the first three years through attentive caregiving, the central place of freely initiated movement and play throughout the early childhood years. As background for the teacher, studies include:

  • child study
  • understanding children’s drawings
  • understanding the critical developmental transition at six with the recognition of readiness for first grade
  • understanding the potential remedial needs of the child

The course includes the  application of early childhood pedagogy for children experiencing challenges in the classroom and at home.

WORKING TOGETHER

Our students work together through experiential activity, artistic development, practical classroom experience, reflective discussion, together with enlivening and stimulating presentations of content. Both Levels include mentored teaching practice.

GIFTED AND EXPERIENCED FACULTY MEMBERS

Our gifted and experienced faculty members are practitioners, innovators, researchers and international presenters in their fields.