By Bev Boyer
In mid-March of this year, Explorations Online launched its fourth cycle. Although in New Hampshire the snows were still accumulating in deep drifts, participants from Hawaii, Mexico, India, and Australia joined the zoom classroom that day with greatly differing scenes outside their windows. From divergent geographies and divergent personal backgrounds, this new cohort began a year-long study together of the basic underpinnings of anthroposophy and Waldorf education.
It was very exciting to be setting off on this journey with a new group of fellow travelers from around the country and around the world. I am looking forward to the feeling of camaraderie that I know will develop as the course progresses. It has been inspiring and gratifying to witness the degree of group cohesion that tends to arise from participating in the workshops together, from pondering deep questions, and from sharing personal experiences. As one participant from the 2022-2023 cohort wrote:
One of many positive aspects of these online seminars was meeting, chatting, and sharing heartfelt learning with others across many schools, positions, and perspectives all while striving to better understand anthroposophy and Steiner education. Their willingness to be candid, supportive, and open minded added great value to me, even while being on Zoom.
Said another member of this cohort:
I have felt very alone and confused regarding anthroposophy, and the Explorations course has shed the light of clarity and feeling of community. I really felt held this year, inspired, and empowered. Thank you to everyone who shared their heartfelt offerings to all of us around the world!
This course, which meets nine months of the year on alternate weekends, offers workshops on a wide variety of topics. In addition to being introduced to basic concepts of anthroposophy and Waldorf pedagogy, participants have opportunities to wrestle with contemporary issues facing us in our schools and society today. Classes are interactive and lively, and theory is mixed with practice. Participants have commented on this blend of the theoretical and the practical:
I thoroughly enjoyed Explorations! It felt like my weekend “Ted Talks” and I always looked forward to them. They laid a great foundation to all things Waldorf, with a mix of philosophical discussions and practical applications. I highly recommend it!
Another participant wrote:
Explorations was an extremely helpful, supportive, and immensely useful course. It gave a great amount of insight and confidence into understanding the very practical application of something so deeply spiritual. It gave clarity and practice for how to relate to Steiner’s ideas, which I had found previously overwhelming.
A fellow member of this cohort said:
This online course is a nourishing, thought provoking, and enlivening opportunity for any person––teacher or not––to deepen an understanding and to practice in daily life the rich teachings of anthroposophy. The lectures were engaging and the caliber of lecturers was outstanding.
Each Explorations class session offers 30 minutes of artistic activity – eurythmy, speech, pastel drawing, or singing. In addition, there is an ongoing focus on inner development, with a systematic practice of Steiner’s “Six Basic Exercises” woven into the course. Participants have expressed appreciation for this emphasis on self-development:
CfA has pulled together an accessible and progressive curriculum with expert presenters to inspire the essential inner work.
Explorations is a life-changing program! My life as a parent has changed for the better over the course of the program!
The plethora of EXPLORATIONS happening in your program cannot be matched. The staff’s knowledge and experiences go beyond any expectations. The heart of this program envelops all participants. Personally, the inside work you will explore while being in this program, goes beyond your own boundaries and opens up places in yourself you were unaware were even a part of you. My awareness of myself and the world has grown beyond my wildest dreams. I have loved EVERY MINUTE! Grateful for my commitment to this program and for you showing up each and every week with content to feed my mind Thank you!
The 2023-2024 Explorations program, now launched, is well underway. However, this online program is offered every year; a new cycle will begin in March 2024. All are welcome!