Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Novalis Press

If you go to Amazon.com searching for Putting the Heart Back into Teaching: A Manual for Junior Primary Teachersyou will find that it is out of print and that used copies start at $145.

This is a wonderful book, used as teacher training for grades 1-4 in South Africa, and I would like to share the text from the back cover:

    Many experienced teachers have serious misgivings about the way children are educated today. They feel the emphasis on information gathering to meet the needs of commerce and industry has taken precedent over children's learning needs as developing human beings. The study of external 'facts' has displaced the careful building up of inner capacities and the harmonious integration of the child's faculties of thinking, feeling, and willing, which should be a primary school teacher's main task.

    Only imaginative and morally sound teaching methods, based on an understanding of the inner development processes taking place in children, which change from year to year, will prepare them to become creative, self-reliant initiative-takers, able to fully contribute to society. And nothing else will provide the quality of teaching urgently needed to transform South Africa's stagnant education system. The crisis will not be solved by providing more classrooms and textbooks.

    'Putting the Heart Back Into Teaching' has grown out of the popular teacher enrichment programs of the same name conducted by The Novalis Institute. Stanford Maher and Yvonne Bleach show in this manual how teachers can renew their enthusiasm for their vocation. They offer an approach to child psychology which can inspire teachers' further professional and personal development, as well as innovative teaching methods to create a more satisfying classroom experience for both teacher and pupil. There is also a treasury of stories, songs, verses and games to make the teaching easier.

    The methods are those used in the international Rudolf Steiner (Waldorf) schools, which UNESCO has approved as a dynamic alternative model suitable for the 21st century. It is a proven model which is fully in tune with the spirit of ubuntu or African humanism [emphasis added].

This book is comprehensive and would be enough to be a starting curriculum for anyone teaching first grade, which is why I have recommended it on my website. Unfortunately it is extremely hard to find. There are two volumes in the National Library of Australia, if that helps anyone. But the best thing, ultimately, would be if we could bring this book back into print.

I have contacted The Novalis Ubuntu Institute to request whether this title can come back into print, and would encourage people -- as many people as possible -- to do the same. There is no reason why a book this valuable should cost several hundred dollars. They are on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and have a blog. Or phone, fax, or email them!

I told Leah another story about St. Michael today, to follow up on yesterday's lesson. It was from the source material found in Putting the Heart Back into Teaching: A Manual for Junior Primary Teachers

The story is called "A Legend of St. Michael's Mount."

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