EDUCATION

Over the past four years we have taken much inspiration from Waldorf education and its holistic approach to nurturing children "head, heart and hands". A number of highly experienced “master teachers” have come to work directly with the faculty at our school. 

Beyond learning language arts, mathematics, history and science, our students take part in hands-on activities like house building, farming, sewing, knitting, weaving, basket making, carpentry, and welding, to name just a few of the skills that are so practical in their communities.

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Our teachers present subjects in interactive and engaging ways using stories and presentations that drive learning deeper, develop a will to learn in the children, and their I-Can-Do attitude. Teachers focus on traditional Malagasy stories to help the students feel connected with pride to their past, their culture, and language. As a colonized people, they need the confidence and roots to counter foreign influence and treasure their own rich identities. Furthermore, our teachers are
striving to cultivate a love for the Malagasy environment. This is crucial in a land that is so badly deforested it is at-risk of becoming a desert.

Waldorf is bringing hope to our ‘little’ school, hope that these children will have all the skills and capacities to make the world, their world, a better place. 

Teacher Training

Qualified teachers are another scarce resource in the highlands of Madagascar, so we've started our own two-year teacher training program for local people.

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As well as learning pedagogy, our teachers have to learn two new languages, French and English, and become proficient in the use of computers to seek out resources. Our teachers-in-training spend time working with excellent mentors in all divisions of the school, and share in a daily meal and all training opportunities, allowing us to get to know their strengths and weaknesses, and the gifts they may bring to their colleagues and our school. 

Trainees make a commitment to work alongside our teachers in our schools, and we commit to mentoring them and monitoring their progress. We provide them with meals and a stipend while they're training with us. When their training is complete, they're eligible to work in local schools.

The teachers at our school welcome the opportunity to learn strategies to support their teaching. They have always been willing to do additional training during their holidays and after school when training programs are available or organized for them. 

This year the teachers will all take training (music, dance, drama, baking, computer, French, English), over their long holiday for professional and personal growth and to expand their teaching skills. We are hoping to expand our curriculum offerings,  especially in the arts.

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Since 2019, we have had the good fortune of receiving help in teacher training from the International Association of Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education (IASWECE) and stART International, Emergency Aid for Children.

These groups have sent trainers to us for two weeks at a time, twice a year. They have been able to train our own teachers in creative pedagogy. When possible, we invite teachers from other Malagasy schools to participate in trainings for a week at a time. They live at the school and sleep on mattresses on the floors of the classrooms while receiving this life-giving pedagogical support from committed international Waldorf teachers.