It all began with the Waldorf School of Baltimore in 1997. Susan Neirenberg, the 8th grade teacher, asked Lynne and Misha to organize a canoeing expedition for her class. They were each stunned by the depth of connection in the class resulting from their Kroka experience, both amongst the students, as well as with their teacher. They noticed a high degree of teamwork and the students’ innate ability to be fully present on the expedition. Today, Kroka serves over 14 Waldorf Schools annually from around the country. Our Waldorf collaboration ranges from 3rd grade farm programs and 8th grade traditional year-end trips to 9th grade geology, 10th grade Odyssey and 11th grade Parzival expeditions. A great benefit to Kroka staff while teaching these programs is learning from master teachers who bring their wisdom and extraordinary experience with every group of children.
An integral part of staff training at Kroka is inviting trained Waldorf teachers to share their knowledge. This involves the philosophy behind Waldorf education and the development of the child. Many elements of the Waldorf curriculum, such as main lesson books, singing, crafts and handwork are incorporated into daily work with students. Waldorf students and alumni comprise a large percentage of Kroka students and staff.
The observations and insights of Rudolf Steiner are woven into Kroka’s practices, from biodynamic gardening practices and the use of homeopathic medicine to Goethean observation. The non-denominational spirituality gives us a framework for striving to better ourselves as educators and human beings.
In addition to working with Waldorf schools, Kroka is actively involved with other progressive educational streams, including Montessori, Friends and Cooperative schools. Through experiencing a variety of educational philosophies we are privileged to witness positive innovations in the education of youth and are able to synthesize the best styles and practices of what we learn, from others, into our own work.