The Foundation Program is a creative gateway into the work of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) and the profound world-view of anthroposophy (the wisdom of becoming human). This full-time, residential program of discovery, self-transformation and practical activity leads toward professions that renew culture and heal the earth. While the full-time Foundation Program is considered the first year of the Residential Waldorf Teacher Training Program, it can also be taken as a stand-alone program for self-development and personal growth.
Each of us bears three essential questions in her/his heart: 1) “Who am I?” 2) “What is my relationship with other human beings and with the world?” 3)“What is my mission here as a citizen of the Earth and of the cosmos?” The Foundation Program provides insights, tools and pathways of inner and outer work through which each individual creatively begins to find her/his own answers.
Only by working with the whole human being – head, heart, and hands/limbs – can we find meaningful answers to such questions. ‘Abstract’ knowledge serves only the head, not the heart and hands. The Foundation Program balances and interweaves five educational approaches to self-transformation: intensive study, active conversation, meditation and inner work, artistic activity, and practices in skill-development. In working with others over 30 weeks, the student gains greater certainty in knowing the world, experiences new perceptions and insights, awakens sensitivity in social relationships, develops new capacities to apply in professional development, and becomes more clearly aligned with her/his spiritual individuality and life-task. Like Parzival, all human beings are on a creative quest: we strive to become spirits of freedom and love.
A gateway into many professions, the Foundation Program serves as the first year of Waldorf Teacher Education for those who wish to become Waldorf school teachers in Early Childhood, Elementary, Grades and High School. It also prepares the student for further studies in Biodynamic agriculture and horticulture; beekeeping; remedial education; medicine; the social sciences; the arts of eurythmy, drama, speech, painting, sculpture, music, and architecture; and many other professions.The Foundation Program at Rudolf Steiner College is known throughout the world for its universality, diversity, depth and high quality.
Students explore the nature of the human being as body, soul, and spirit; chart the unfolding of their own biographies; seek the deeper meaning of life; grasp the laws of karma and reincarnation; and strive to create new forms through practical work and community building. The Foundation Program opens exciting vistas into the inner laws of nature and spirit; the evolution of the Earth and changing human consciousness; the relationships between East and West; the mysteries of the Grail; freedom, love and individual creativity; and the challenges and opportunities facing us in our time.
Designed to foster individual creative capacities, each day begins with enlivening artistic activity in instrumental music, eurythmy movement, speech, or choral singing, followed by seminar study of Rudolf Steiner’s essential works, then lively presentations demonstrating how his ideas deepen our understanding of the individual, earth, and cosmos. Skill-building afternoon activities include biodynamic gardening, gymnastics, painting, form drawing, clay modeling, handwork, and drama.
Classes integrate the arts and sciences along with the inner schooling of consciousness to help bring clarity in thinking, balance in the life of feeling, and strength and direction to one’s will. Because they kindle imagination, flexibility, and inner growth, the visual arts—drawing, painting, sculpture, and projective geometry—form a significant part of the Foundation Program. Intensive work in the performing arts—eurythmy, speech, music, and drama—strengthens self-confidence, deepens artistic perception, develops sensitivities and awakens social capacities. Each student creates an artistic/practical project to share with the community during the year.
This is a one-year, full-time, two-semester residential program that follows a nine-month, 30-week schedule from September through May. Classes take place Monday through Thursday, from 8:15 AM till 3:20 PM each day. Additionally, elective classes are offered in evening and weekend sessions.
This program begins September 3, 2013
Semester One: Foundation Courses
• Foundations in Anthroposophy: The Nature of the Human Being • Human Development • The Evolution of Consciousness • Rudolf Steiner’s Life and Work • Personal Biography and Life Cycles • Visual and Performing Arts • Nature Study • Cosmology and Grail Studies • The Philosophy of Freedom
Semester Two: Foundation Courses continued, Introduction to Waldorf Education
• Introduction to Waldorf Education: The Theory and Practice of Waldorf Education • Waldorf Curriculum and Methods • Child Development and Observation • Visual and Performing Arts • Threefold Social Sustainability • American Studies • Foundation Year Play • Projects
Aim of the Foundation Program
To provide comprehensive introductions to the worldviews of anthroposophy (spiritual science) that are relevant for everyday life, and to prepare students to enter practical vocations inspired by and renewed from the wellsprings of anthroposophy.
The student will be able to:
Brian Gray, MLArch, is the Director of the Foundation Program. Brian teaches and lectures on anthroposophical topics for Rudolf Steiner College programs in Fair Oaks and in the Bay Area. A teacher at Rudolf Steiner College since 1981, Brian has helped to lead tours through Europe and Egypt, exploring sacred architecture. His research includes the realms of Star Wisdom, Cosmology, Sacred Architecture and Esoteric Christianity. Brian earned a B.Arch. in Architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology, 1967; an M.L.Arch. (Landscape Architecture) from University of Pennsylvania, 1972; and a certificate in Waldorf Teacher Education from Rudolf Steiner College, 1981. Brian entered RSC’s Foundation Year in 1979, taught by René Querido. From 1991 – 1998 and from 2006 to the present Brian has served as Director of the Foundation Program.
Spiritual science is rightly understood if it is assimilated like a spiritual food, and allowed to grow and mature within. It is rightly understood if in moments of sorrow or happiness, of devotion and exaltation, or when life threatens to fall apart, one experiences the hope, strength and incentive to action it brings. --Rudolf Steiner
This year of anthroposophical study, self exploration, and grooming of hidden artistic talents has been more satisfying than any previous educational endeavor.--Carolyn Peterson, PhD, 2005-2006
This past year has been a beautiful journey and a precious gift. The wise curriculum and loving staff supported me through deep personal transformation, allowing me to live from the place of my greatest potential – the place of my heart. For this I will be eternally grateful. --Heather Fields, 2006-2007
This is life training. This is about experiencing deeply who you are and why you are here on earth. This is a training that helps you to reach your potential in this lifetime, not only for yourself, but for all of humanity. The support and guidance from my classmates and teachers have made this journey most beautiful and deep. --Jennifer De Renzi, 2006-2007