Saturday, July 13, 2013

Who am I to blow against the wind?

I am taking a year long course of study on Montessori education, for 0-3 year olds, for my new job. 

The course consists of one meeting, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday a month for a year. 

I'm very excited about this course, as I have been a big fan of Montessori education since I worked in an infant community at a progressive Montessori school when I was in college. 

When I had Maxwell, my parenting choices were strongly influenced by Montessori, Magda Gerber and Steiner. 

The first day's topic were conception to birth, which felt a little boring for me, since I had spent so much time studying alternative birthing options, and natural birth when pregnant with Maxwell and then after, as a sort of hobby.  It also felt hard because his birth was so deeply traumatic for me and reading about all the idealized births brought up a lot of old half healed hurts and feelings of inadequacies.

It also felt odd, as a feminist woman to discuss the topics of conception in a child care and education setting, all and all it was a heavy day.  Not bad, but triggering. By Friday evening I was emotionally, mentally and physically spent.

Today's training was much more theoretical, (although we did watch Ricki Lake's excellent "the business of being born"), covering early theorists, and their various opinions of child development.

One part that was a bit awkward, was when the teacher presented the brief overview on Steiner and theorized that Waldorf education emerged because German culture is so "rigid" and linear.

I couldn't help, but correct her and explain that there is an ancient and deeply ingrained cultural identity of nature worship in German history and national identity (I used the Christmas tree as an example).  Waldorf education is an organic expression of this history. 
I think I sounded a little like some kind of defensive, nationalist zealot, because I was tired, and a little taken aback by the rigidity statement. 
And, besides, who says nature, art and rigidity are not compatible?

Not me, that's for sure.

Anyway, I am not terribly good at keeping my mouth shut, so there you go.

I didn't say a word about Herbart, I SWEAR. 

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