ET 2020 Working Group Schools

Waldorf schools contribute to EU expert group

et 2020 working group schools
We bring the Steiner Waldorf perspective to the policy debate on education in the EU.

Our work

We have been part of the ET 2020 Work­ing Group Schools since 2016, when ECSWE was appoint­ed to the group by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. Richard Landl, our Pres­i­dent, and Georg Jür­gens, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, rep­re­sent ECSWE in the group.

The ET 2020 Work­ing Group Schools brings togeth­er nation­al min­istry experts, EU offi­cials, and Euro­pean stake­hold­ers, to sup­port Mem­ber States in address­ing key chal­lenges in edu­ca­tion today. Between 2016 and 2018, the group focused on top­ics around gov­er­nance of school edu­ca­tion sys­tems, and how to pro­mote high­er qual­i­ty school edu­ca­tion through sus­tain­able inno­va­tion and inclu­sion. Between 2018 and 2020, the focus is on qual­i­ty assur­ance process­es and teacher and school leader careers.

Steiner Waldorf school perspective

Through dia­logue and pre­sent­ing case stud­ies from our net­work, we dis­cuss prob­lems that affect Stein­er Wal­dorf schools and oth­er inde­pen­dent edu­ca­tion set­tings. We also high­light the effects of one-size-fits all edu­ca­tion­al poli­cies on schools out­side the main­stream sys­tem. Here are three case stud­ies we pre­sent­ed to the Work­ing Group:

1. High quality teacher-led care

The qual­i­ty care pro­ce­dure devel­oped by the Ger­man Wal­dorf move­ment has shown how teacher-led qual­i­ty care, based on indi­vid­ual feed­back and peer learn­ing, can stim­u­late pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment and improve edu­ca­tion­al qual­i­ty. It is also an exam­ple of how inter­nal and exter­nal eval­u­a­tion can be suc­cess­ful­ly bal­anced in Wal­dorf schools. More infor­ma­tion can be found on page 15 of the ET 2020 Work­ing Group Schools out­put, “Qual­i­ty assur­ance for school devel­op­ment” (2018).

2. Alternative educational standards

In Flan­ders, Bel­gium, Stein­er schools have devel­oped their own col­lec­tive edu­ca­tion­al stan­dards, which are recog­nised by Flem­ish author­i­ties to be of equal val­ue as main­stream stan­dards, and serve as a basis for school inspec­tions. This illus­trates how alter­na­tive edu­ca­tion­al approach­es can and do work, with offi­cial recog­ni­tion. More infor­ma­tion can be found on pages 26–27 of the ET 2020 Work­ing Group Schools out­put, “Teach­ers and school lead­ers in schools as learn­ing organ­i­sa­tions” (2018).

3. International exchange and peer learning

We were request­ed to pro­vide a two-page case study on ECSWE itself, as an inter­na­tion­al net­work that pro­vides a space for peer learn­ing and mutu­al exchange on pol­i­cy chal­lenges. More infor­ma­tion about the case study is avail­able on pages 17–18 of the ET 2020 Work­ing Group Schools “Net­work for learn­ing and devel­op­ment across school edu­ca­tion” (2018).

Interested? Get involved!