A token of reconciliation
Croatia: The educational institute “Institut za waldorfsku pedagogiju” provides training opportunities for Waldorf teachers, educators or special educators. The curriculum thereby lies in the hands of an international and interdisciplinary teaching staff - professors, teachers and artists from Croatia, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Austria. Through the cooperation with the University of Zagreb, students can complete the job-related or study-related courses with a state-recognized diploma.
The war in Croatia in the last decade of the 20th century has left clear traces both here and in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The cities remind the visitors with burial sites in parks, sites of bomb and grenade strikes and signs that bear the names of the children who became victims of violence during the years of war. The soil of some parts of Croatia is still mined.
In this wounded country the idea of Waldorf education symbolized a glimmer of hope to different people, promising to heal wounds and teach future generations the ability for dialogue. In pursuit of this goal, a strong impulse developed, out of which the first Waldorf School emerged still during the war and, finally the Waldorf teacher training for educators and teachers in Croatia in 2000.
The scope of the Waldorf movement in Croatia also reached the universities and especially Prof. Dr. Slavica Bašić, who strongly advocated Waldorf education in academic and political contexts, reaching that the training, obtained state recognition and collaboration was established with the University of Zagreb.
The tuition fees, which go to both the university and the educational institute itself, have become more expensive as a result of the collaboration and Waldorf teachers with their low salary can only pay them with great difficulties, but at the same time they are the basis for obtaining the university diploma. For this reason, it is an important concern to the “Friends of Waldorf Education”, to support the students of the teachers college “Institute za waldorfsku pedagogiju” with grants, which was previously possible thanks to donations, and will hopefully continue to be possible.
Looking at the composition of students attending their weekend classes once a month from Friday to Sunday, coming from all over Croatia but also from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, the first fruits of the teacher training college “Institut za waldorfsku pedagogiju” become visible: A meeting place has emerged, built on the basis of Waldorf education and the dialogue between people, who are located in regions that fought each other in a fierce war not too long ago. Despite everything that separates them as a legacy of recent history, teachers, educators and special educators, learn about the art of education, which holds in itself the possibility for a peaceful future.