Welcome to elewa
The creative forum for professional learning
Elewa is an online professional development platform, that offers you the chance to experience the positive energy of working in a learning community while choosing your own time and space. We need flexibility and skills in our work with children and young people in order to respond in a cheerful and creative way to the changes and challenges we meet. Elewa combines modern technology with a Waldorf understanding of learning processes and invites teachers to join in, grow and learn professionally. Researching your own lessons and participating in collegial dialogue on the basis of pedagogical knowing and understanding can become a source of energy and inspiration for our daily work.
Ulrike Sievers and Martyn Rawson are responsible for the overall idea and technical management of the programme. Together, they also develop courses, mainly on foreign language teaching and Waldorf pedagogical topics in general. These courses are based on their many years of experience of teaching as well as on the rich source of experience made available by friends and colleagues over many years and the contributions they have made in the form of video interviews and material. Recently, Ulrike Barth and Birte Vestergaard have joined the elewa team. They offer courses in their fields of expertise, on the topic of inclusion and on teaching mathematics in the upper school. The elewa project is currently funded by the Pedagogical Research Institute of the German Waldorf School Association (Pädagogische Forschungsstelle beim Bund der Freien Waldorfschulen).
Our Vision – a collegial learning community
Rudolf Steiner’s insight that collegial learning and working together is the basis for a sustainable pedagogical practice has not lost its relevance. Nevertheless, it remains a challenge that is not always fruitfully fulfilled. In this on-line professional development programme, we see an opportunity to facilitate collegial working beyond one’s own school. Additional to the existing courses for practicing teachers – face-to-face meetings of colleagues in many parts of the world – elewa online learning offers us the chance for the first time in almost 100 years of Waldorf practice, to open this dialogue to colleagues in other regions and across national boundaries. Thus we can explore and extend the positive effects of Waldorf education through a global learning community of teachers. The principle of dialogical learning is at the heart of our vision.
Blended learning in teacher education
Meeting people, being open to new ways of thinking, reflecting on practice and developing abilities through artistic work are the core activities in Waldorf teacher development. This can occur both face to face and online. In using digital media we see the opportunity to support the research of our own classroom practice as well providing a platform for ongoing pedagogical dialogue and exchange as sources of energy and inspiration. This does not replace seminars in ‘real time’, it supplements these and enables busy teachers to stay in touch without having to travel. The combination of online and offline is called blended learning. It opens up new opportunities to strengthen professional development, both nationally and internationally.