Updated: Oct 5, 2018
In honour of our Director, Angela Katschke’s vision in strengthening skills of educators in South Africa, this year, the Butterfly Art Project hosted our first ever Michaelmas conference. The conference focus was set over three days enriched with pedagogy, Goethean observation techniques and small study groups focusing on Rudolf Steiner’s ‘Study of Man’. With 38 participants consisting of Community Art Facilitators, alumni and Butterfly Art Project Staff, the conference managed to bring about numerous Ah-ha moments in multiple break away sessions and practical workshops.
Topics covered were Inner Stability in Unstable Times facilitated by Briar and Michael Grimley, Emergency Pedagogy facilitated by Belinda Fellion, My Healing Star facilitated by entrepreneur Noy Pullen and the Waldorf Art Curriculum covered by Charlene Jefferies.
These facilitators and the participants, on each day of the conference, were split into four groups and had individual practical workshops namely:
My Healing Star, facilitated by entrepreneur and life artist Noy Pullen. A course for personal schooling to explore identity questions such as Who am I? How did I get here? In this workshop participants developed a practical way of introducing themselves to their community members by exploring colour, image and the word.
Waldorf Art Curriculum for Primary school, facilitated by Charlene Jefferies- with hands-on practical experience of different types of media used with primary school children. This session included form drawing, watercolour painting and a ceramic clay workshop. All activities were linked to reasons why certain activities are brought to the children at particular times in their development.
Emergency Pedagogy facilitated by Waldorf class teacher Belinda Fellion- In this workshop, participants were introduced to the principles of emergency pedagogy, shared practical exercises and explored how movement brings healing through the practical application of Waldorf education into places of crises and human suffering. Participants were also given insight to how Emergency pedagogy helps stabilise affected individuals psychologically and socially. Participants were also shown that through the activation of the body’s self-healing powers, possible long-term post-traumatic stress disorders can be minimised or avoided altogether.
Inner Stability in Unstable Times facilitated by Briar and Michael Grimley who are experienced in Waldorf teaching, teacher training and mentoring. Briar and Michael are also the founders of KalloSophia (meaning beauty-wisdom), through which they do their educational work, provide presentations, and offer courses and workshops for adults using the arts. They also run studies and courses on Anthroposophy experienced in Waldorf teaching. In this workshop, participants were guided through a self-development process using art, form drawing, story-telling and conversation.
The conference concluded with absolute positive feedback from the participants, all of which agreed that they had a big shift in learning and would like to see the training available in the following year!