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In a school in the pioneer phase there can be difficulties created when a teacher is evaluated by immediate teaching colleagues. The positive side to this is that it is colleagues (rather than outsiders or administrators) who will best understand a teacher and their striving. 

If more than one person is making the decision then it is most fundamentally a rights question, to do with fairness and human dignity. Freedom also is important, for some teachers may be very individual in the way they work. And it relates to brotherhood, to the effective working-together of members of the school to make the school economically viable in relation to fee-paying parents.  

In many Steiner schools in Europe, working out of a non-hierarchical ethic, every teacher participates in a direct, face-to-face evaluation of a colleague within a College meeting. That meeting can be confronting but may be just one step of a process. 


One way or the other a clear structure is required for teacher evaluation. Each step can be weighed up in terms of the three social ideals: freedom, equality, brotherhood. If there is already a school leader in a pioneer phase school that doesn't necessarily mean that this individual has the final say in the matter. Please refer to the text in the adjoining textbox from the International Forum for Steiner/Waldorf Education. 

The school community. Coexistence.

The basis of Waldorf/Rudolf Steiner schools is formed by the school community and parents, teachers, pupils and staff getting along together as people. All their activities and work together are guided by humanity and human dignity. Everyone involved can together develop important non-hierarchical forms of collaboration. In this context transparency and clarity (instead of personal and institutional power) are aspired to in all processes of school governance as well as in the decision-making.

From: "Key Characteristics of Waldorf Education",  International Forum For Steiner/Waldorf Education (owners of the legal rights to the name "Steiner education" and "Waldorf education"). Click here

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