Amanda lives in the charming village of Olinda in the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria. With the Sydney Rudolf Steiner College since 2018, she has already completed the Foundation Course in Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Education by Distance and is now enrolled in the Certificate Course in Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Education. Amanda’s dream is to open a Steiner inspired family day care in Olinda in 2020. Here she talks with the College about her journey so far.
“I first became involved with the College’s courses when I did the Art of Caring with Dr Renate Long-Breipohl. I really, really enjoyed it. In fact, if there was a two-year course just focusing on the 0-3 age, I’d have loved to do that! Renate’s depth of wisdom is so incredible and I find her incredibly inspiring. Later on, when I found out that the Sydney Rudolf Steiner College offered a Distance course in Steiner Early Childhood, I was so pleased to continue my learning here.
What I loved about doing the Distance course was the inspiration and knowledge it gave me on my path to becoming a Steiner Early Years Educator. I flew up to Sydney two times last year for two five day residentials – each trip was so worthwhile. The residentials are immersive, practical and specialised. Being at Glenaeon was great too; we got to see their kindergarten and playgroup rooms and meet with and learn from the kindergarten and playgroup teachers . It brought all we had been writing about in assignments to life and each teacher generously shared so much from their rich stores of wisdom and lifelong work with young children. To be taught by Renate, Catherine, Ebba and Sandra was so special. They make the Steiner concepts accessible and I left each weekend knowing within myself, with more and more certainty, that I can do this!
My back ground was as a librarian. I’ve worked in childrens’ library programs beforehand and then undertook a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education. In my prior role as a librarian I’d seen how technology is increasingly ‘creeping’ into the realm of early childhood learning. I did this course because I wanted to transition to work that supports my values. The course I’m now doing, the Certificate in Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Education, is internationally recognised and will enable me to set up my family day care with a firm, two-year background of formal study.
When I was introduced to Steiner education several years ago, the first thing that appealed to me about it was the beautiful, natural aesthetic. However, the more I learnt, I realised it is so much more than that. I really love how Steiner’s philosophy meets the child where they’re at. It’s not about rushing children through early childhood, it’s exactly the opposite! Children in Steiner Early Childhood settings are allowed to evolve as they evolve and they’re not harried and hurried and marched towards the next step. I also love how Steiner education fosters the connection between nature and children.
Aside from being taught by the leaders in the field of Rudolf Steiner early childhood education, this course has enriched me personally in so many ways. Learning about anthroposophy can be challenging but the course helped make it understandable and has now become a part of who I am. I now realise though that learning about anthroposophy is an unfolding that keeps unfolding. I think I wrote about it as a ‘permanent state of becoming’ and I am enjoying the journey of unfolding that occurs with each new thing I learn. These courses have given me a great foundation but I now know that I’m going to be a life-long learner and an inspired one!”
When Amanda’s family day care opens it will cater to a small, fortunate group of local families with children ages 5 and under.
All images in this article belong to Amanda Doubleday.