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Early Childhood Teacher Education

The Early Childhood Teacher Certificate Program at Great Lakes Waldorf Institute is a three-year part-time program focusing on philosophical, practical and artistic training for early childhood teaching. The program consists of three sessions each year: a summer intensive in July, and fall and spring courses with additional fieldwork, practicum, and final research project. 

Graduates of this 450+ hour program receive Early Childhood Waldorf Teaching Certificate recognized by the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN) and the International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education. (IASWECE).   

Curriculum and course content include a balance of the following areas:

  • Child development and Waldorf education

  • Waldorf philosophy and human development

  • Contemplative work 

  • Artistic activities for the classroom and for the educator

  • Professional and social aspects of Waldorf education

  • Fieldwork - observation, mentored teaching, practicum or internship in well-established Waldorf early childhood setting

  • Practicum and final project

Learn more about our program format, including dates and virtual and in-person* requirements.

*To ensure success and accessibility for all participants, GLWI instructors and staff are committed to providing accommodations to the fullest extent possible. We are committed to supporting and accommodating individual needs and working in tandem with our students for successful outcomes.


In addition, our partner school, Mount Mary University, offers these accessibility services.

This program enrolls in throughout the year to begin in July, September, or February.

If you would like to learn more about Waldorf teaching, teacher education at Great Lakes Waldorf Institute, or our application process, we invite you to fill out our Inquiry Formsign up for a meeting with our Director of Teacher Education, Monika Sutherland; or email or call Kira Chard, our admissions coordinator, at admissions@greatlakeswaldorf.org or (414) 299-3820.

Coursework Overview

Required Independent Study Courses

Find out more and register for Independent Study courses here.

Learn More About Waldorf Education

Non-Discrimination Statement: Great Lakes Waldorf Institute, Inc., encourages broad public support and participation in its management and activities, and shall not discriminate in any manner whatsoever against any person on the basis of race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or mental or physical handicap or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs, and any other programs. We are committed to reflecting the diversity of our society and creating space for historically excluded and underrepresented groups to participate in all aspects of the corporation's management and activities.

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