Resources

Positive Discipline in The Early Years

Lou Harvey Zahra is a best-selling author and international speaker on creative and positive discipline. She has a myriad of experiences behind her which enable her to speak to many educational scenarios and a wide range of issues including special needs.

This one day course presented by Sydney Rudolf Steiner College will delve right into the detailed practicalities of managing a group of children in positive ways, providing various tips and tools to keep cooperation flowing and fun.

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A teacher’s most important tools are their voice and healthy communication.

Education is an art – it must speak to the child’s experience. To educate the whole child, his heart and his will must be reached, as well as the mind.’ (Rudolf Steiner).

The tool of the teacher is the voice. The voice can inspire and enliven, facilitating an engaging learning experience for students of all ages.

However the voice should not be taken for granted – numerous studies have identified certain vocations, including teachers, as being at higher risk of occupational voice disorders. A study of teachers in South Australia showed 16% of teachers reporting voice problems on the day of the survey, with 20% reporting problems during the current year, with females twice as likely to report problems than males (1998, Russell et al…).

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The Value of Watercolour Painting in the Primary Years

Educators value art as a central part of the primary curriculum and can readily identify the positive influence it has on children’s development. Art practice has been shown to nurture creative thinking and to strengthen problem-solving and critical thinking skills – but best practice and expertise in teaching art in the primary years is only possible when teachers feel confident in their subject matter.

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Studies have shown that more effective teachers do more than their less effective colleagues in establishing rules and procedures at the beginning of the year.

All teachers require positive strategies to manage classroom disruptions and inappropriate classroom behaviours for the optimum learning of all students, and for their own professional development and career satisfaction. Building strong teacher-student relationships is the first step to creating a harmonious classroom atmosphere, increasing engagement and achievement. Positive teacher – student relationships enable students to feel safe and secure in their learning environments and provide scaffolding for important social and academic skills (Baker et al., 2008; O’Connor, Dearing and Collins, 2011; Silver, Measelle, Armstron, & Essex, 2005).

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Bringing Knitting to the Primary Classroom: Supporting Learning

Researchers and educators are slowly awakening to the educational benefits of teaching handcrafts to children, and in particular, knitting.
In the Rudolf Steiner system of education, handcrafts are an essential part of the curriculum and finger knitting is taught to students at age 5-6, with class one (age 7) learning traditional knitting with needles. A knitting project is completed every year in primary school with increasing difficulty –learning to cast on and off, to increase and decrease stitches, and following patterns developed over subsequent years.

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