Three Important Components of our Curriculum
The WISC curriculum encompasses three main areas of endeavor that are integrated throughout the program:
• foundation studies in basic anthroposophy and Waldorf pedagogy;
• practical curriculum applications – elementary, grades 1-8 and early childhood with collaborative option available;
• artistic activities: painting, clay, wood, music, movement, speech and handcrafts.
Note: As companion to these in-class experiences, WISC requires and assists with the important component of observation and practice teaching in Waldorf classrooms.
Each year the WISC curriculum focuses on specific grades (1-2-3, 4-5, or 6-7-8) and on early childhood teaching preparation. In the winter-spring semester students also have the option to take an early childhood curriculum track for several weeks in addition to the early childhood workshops in fall and spring. Students interested in high school teaching may substitute high school teaching courses for some of the WISC summer coursework.
Our classes are held from 8:30 am to 5:15 pm on Saturdays from September through May except on the last Saturday of the month and holiday weekends. These Saturdays offer a balanced diet of the three components— foundations, curriculum and artistic activity— with the emphasis on active participation. WISC faculty members are people who are living in what they teach: they have been or are currently teaching children in one of the local Waldorf schools, they are artists, they are long-time students of anthroposophy.
The summer program In June and July is a rich selection of one-week courses, from which students select three or more. Practicing Waldorf teachers, prospective students and other interested adults are invited to participate in summer courses.
Occasional Saturday workshops are an essential ingredient of WISC teacher preparation. These are usually led by visiting faculty who have a particular area of expertise to share with WISC students and other participants.
Classroom observation and practice teaching time is an invaluable aspect of teacher preparation. At WISC students are expected to observe classes at a variety of age levels and in a variety of Waldorf schools. The required 60 hours of observations begin in the first year and continue in the second. Practice teaching begins during the second year, amounting to three weeks’ worth, and third-year students should complete six more weeks, preferably to include teaching a complete block.
Students enroll in June-July, September, or January of any year. The rolling admission brings students together at different stages of the program; it leads to social interest and understanding in the group discussions and collaborative projects that are characteristic of the WISC experience.
Requirements for Completion
Outline of course hours required (1,060 total hours):
• Saturday classes – 600 hours
• Summer classes – 300 hours
• Observation time – 60 hours
• Teaching practice – 100 hours
The main course hours are completed during the Saturday classes. The three week summer course requirement amounts to nine weeks. The hours of observation and practice teaching amounts to fifteen weeks.
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