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Reflections on the Introductory Session for Reimaging the Future of Waldorf Education – Diversity Training Course

On January 31, 2024 we held the introductory class for our new diversity course Reimaging the Future of Waldorf Education with Roman Vizcarra. We are thankful to Rebecca Cross Farallon, a participant in the course, for these reflections on her experience.

Reimagining the Future of Waldorf Education Diversity Training with Roman Vizcarra

Reflections from Rebecca Cross Farallon – participant in the training.

This past Wednesday, the introductory class for the newest course offering: Reimagining the Future of Waldorf Education: Diversity Training met with a conversation between Roman Vizcarra, founder of Kusi Kawsay Andean School in Peru, and BACWTT Directors Ken Smith and Kristine Deason. Waldorf Teachers were in attendance as were several students in teacher training. 

What is the role of a Waldorf school within a land and culture that does not hold a European history? By bringing stories, traditions and images that are vastly different than those of another region, it is not only inapplicable to the lives of the children and families there, but it also can be seen as colonization. If decolonization is at the core of this work, how do teachers empower a local culture? 

There is an urgent call to preserve the ancient traditions of the Quechwaa, and all Indigenous people in the Americas as it is quickly being lost to Eurocentric ideals. “Just as a Waldorf teacher accompanies a child in their process, they can accompany a culture to have their own natural process to grow and to bloom,”  says Vizcarra. “we need to be educators, but we also need to be activists.”

Reimagining the Future of Waldorf Education involves integration, coexistence and observation. But at its heart, the course is about growing authentic relationships and developing sincere collaborations with Vizcarra and the Kusi Kawsay Andean School in Peru. “The word ‘diversity’ can quickly lose its meaning without building authentic relationships,” says Deason. Right now, we have the opportunity to deepen our growing relationship and embark upon a great work of healing.

“There is a kind of journey that changes you,” Smith says, “to be inwardly effected so that you may do something differently in your school because you are different.”

Reimagining the Future of Waldorf Education Diversity Training will be held in three parts with the final course in the Sacred Valley in Peru, home to the Kusi Kawsay Andean School. 

Roman Vizcarra has worked to preserve and share his native Andean culture for most of his life. As a UNESCO-sponsored artist, he traveled throughout Europe, exposing audiences to Andean art forms. Together with his wife, Fielding Wood Vizcarra, they co-own and manage an inn, a restaurant, and a spa that showcase Indigenous culture and Kawsaypaq, a tour operation offering immersive cultural experiences of Peru’s Sacred Valley. He is a mentor for a youth-led organic farm and a founding parent of Kusi Kawsay Andean School in Peru, which strives to develop respect of cultural and ecological diversity, and to honor the wisdom and dignity of Indigenous traditions, reciprocity, respect, and social justice.

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