Inspiration, creativity and connection at ACTS

17 October 2017 / By Actsadmin

Progressive ACTS will bring Steiner education out of the dark ages and into the next century.

If you missed it, quite simply you missed out. The ACTS conference was a brilliantly curated conference for a cosy European and transatlantic crowd, with key talks and workshops from a broad range of presenters across a wide range of subjects. Topics included the future workplace, dialogic learning, working with troubled teenagers and the use of symbol in creative thinking amongst many others.

By Priya Mahtani

For those of you with your head buried in other matters – Acknowledging Creative Thinking Skills (or ACTS as it is more commonly known), is a rigorous, benchmarked way of accrediting what teachers have known anecdotally for nearly a century: Steiner education works.

In education circles, “creative thinking,” is an over-used buzz word – all independent schools proudly proclaim that their school aged graduates “think outside the box,” or have the “critical thinking” skills employers are looking for. The reality on the ground however, could prove to be far different. The next generation face unprecedented challenge – think climate change and mass migration to mention but a few. In the future, the ability to think creatively, could literally be a matter of life and death for populations.

The key spectrum of creative thinking skills that are developed throughout the Steiner Waldorf curriculum were first articulated by Elaine Holt, a Steiner teacher of over 20 years standing and International Education Consultant for ACTS. She provided the definitions which have been incorporated by Crossfields Institute (now an awarding body), and offer a methodical way to assess the Steiner Waldorf curriculum.

Pause for just a moment and contemplate what this could mean for all the children who go through our alternative education system. Steiner Waldorf children could leave school with an accredited Steiner Waldorf curriculum, alongside whatever other qualifications they may choose to take. This would have transferable kudos into all important UCAS points – therefore effortlessly stepping up the ladder into higher education and universities nationwide.

In education circles, “creative thinking,” is an over-used buzz word – all independent schools proudly proclaim that their school aged graduates “think outside the box,” or have the “critical thinking” skills employers are looking for.

Priya Mahtani

For some of you, the topic of accreditation might seem dry. However, what was clear from the conference was that whilst a true delivery of Steiner education remains a dynamic exchange between teacher and pupil and is indeed an art, its output can nonetheless be scientifically measured. Conversation in the breaks and at mealtimes was equally enlivening at the conference – the quality of reflection and expertise in the room was really quite remarkable.

With a riveting presentation from an employer, already operating out of these groundbreaking and creative thinking mindsets, to presentations from teachers who were consummate storytellers with decades of practical experience and living wisdom to share, alongside organisations’ working deeply out of the inner workings of anthroposophy and still being funded by the government and achieving some remarkable successes, it was hard not to be wowed.

The only question remains – are you going to be a champion for Steiner education in your school and get on board with the programme?

Your support is critical to pilot the ACTS programme within our schools and to truly foster a collaborative approach to how we share resources and best practice, in order to swiftly make this wonderful opportunity, a reality. With your support, ACTS offers all the children in our schools’ nationwide, that all important opportunity to bring Steiner Waldorf education firmly into this century and potentially make Steiner Waldorf education a household name.

After nearly a century hidden away in the background, quite simply, ACTS needs you. We find ourselves in an increasingly regulatory and rules based climate that will continue to make increasing demands on our schools. Steiner himself said that we must educate children for the world we are living in today. If Steiner education is to not just survive but thrive into the next century, offering children hope for their education continuing long into the future, you need ACTS too.

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