COMMENTARIES

TEACHING PANYOTAI'S  
FIRST GRADUATES

Dr Julius Reubke
Senior Scientist' in 'Bayer AG, Agrochemical Division, Research Analytics'
Anthroposophist with deep knowledge of India

 

    Since 2008 I had the opportunity to teach in Panyotai Waldorf School Class XII/2010 three times.

   This balanced class is a very active, interested and cooperative group of students. They work very well together in groups but never try to copy or imitate each other. The interest for the topics – Bhagavad Gita, Hinduism, Chemistry – varied from student to student, but nevertheless the activity and cooperation was in general extremely independent of personal preference.

    The medium for teaching was English and not all students were able to follow, especially in 2008 when talking about the Bhagavad Gita, but without any problem those able to understand helped and translated to the other students. During group-work the interaction and mutual help in understanding was enthusiastically used and contributed to the good results of all.

    The first chemistry block in 2009 was very demanding as a very broad spectrum of topics was treated. The activity and cooperation of the class was so good, that most of the chemical knowledge was well understood by almost all the students. This was reflected in the results of a test as well as in the block books. The students, even if they were not scientifically inclined followed with great attention not only the experiments but also the theoretical part of the lessons.

     During the last block when we treated chemistry with a philosophical and historical background the individual contributions showed astonishingly deep thoughts of the students, which were able to make relations between the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, the development of modern chemistry and their own ideas. When a very difficult and most modern analytical problem – a two-dimensional Gas/Mass spectrometer analysis of Lemon grass – was treated, the students were not a moment discouraged but tried hard to appreciate the matter and achieved a remarkable degree of understanding.

     This group of students is a wonderful example of a most successful educational system. Each student has found her or his place in the group, has found an identity and is open to the future as a working field.

 

 

 

 

4 YEARS OF TEACHING AT PANYOTAI

Allysen Caris
Waldorf high school teacher
and teacher trainer
in New Zealand


     I have had the pleasure of teaching the recently graduated top class at Panyotai school for four years. From 2006- 2009, I taught in the school for two months at a time and so have followed the progress of this class over the years. I did two plays with them and a variety of English , History and Drama lessons.

    They are a wonderful class to work with; intelligent, immensely hard working, and gifted both musically and artistically. They are a great testament to this type of education; a very good balance of the ability to think, artistic ability and the ability to put thought into deeds and actions. They are practical and  can handle the materials of the physical world well, whether it be in a variety of crafts or the making of armour for a play! They take initiative and are extremely resourceful, since they will see what needs to be done and simply go ahead and do it without any prompting from the teacher.

     Their command of English was very good indeed, sonce I taught in English and they took notes.In many of the finished books you could not tell that  they were not native English speakers! Their work was mostly of a very high standard, and showed that they had taken pride in doing it. They are generally astute, inquisitive and curious, and ask very good questions! This was seen particularly in the Modern History lesson in their last year, called 'The Issues of our Times,' where we looked at some of the major problems in the world, such as corporate power and greed, poverty, global warming , and the  stockpiling of nuclear arms. They showed a great capacity to engage with these issues and to probe deeper to the root causes of these problems.

    They are socially aware and always showed great tolerance and patience with the few members of the class who struggled with English. They were extremely affirmative and encouraging of the achievements of the weaker members of the class. The majority of the students showed great will power in tackling whatever task was at hand and I am sure they will all do well in whatever field of study they choose to pursue.

     As a teacher, I feel priveleged to have had the opportunity to meet and teach these fine young people. I have taught in  Waldorf Schools for some twenty five years, and can honestly say this was one of the most exceptional classes I have met. I feel sure they will contribute something positive to the world and look forward to hearing of their achievements.

 

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