ICW Lecturers

Our ICW lecturers introduce themselves. They are listed in alphabetical order by surname. 

Dr. Neil Boland - Auckland University of Technology

Auckland, New Zealand

  • Initial training as musicologist (Manchester and London)
  • Taught in Waldorf education as kindergartner (Japan), class teacher (New Zealand) and in high school (Germany)
  • Doctorate on Steiner’s indications on music for young children, Mood of the fifth: Interbeing with(in) the Refrain
  • Since 2011, School of Education, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand teaching/supervising at all levels, on many aspects of education
  • Adjunct Professor, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

Dr. Douglas Gerwin - Research Institute for Waldorf Education

Amherst, USA

  • 1972: B.A., Hons., University of Sussex 
  • 1984: Ph.D., University of Dallas 
  • Has taught history, literature, German, music, and life science at college and Waldorf high school levels for some 40 years
  • As Executive Director of the Center for Anthroposophy (CfA), he divides his time between adult education and mentoring Waldorf schools across North America 
  • Himself a Waldorf graduate, Douglas is the founder of CfA's Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program, as well as the first Executive Director of the Research Institute for Waldorf Education
  • He is author and editor of ten books on Waldorf education, as well as numerous articles on education and anthroposophy
  • He recently co-authored the latest survey of Waldorf graduates, published in book form titled Into the World: How Waldorf Graduates Fare After High School (2020)
  • At present, Douglas resides on the outskirts of Amherst, Massachusetts

Dr. Gilad Goldschmidt - David Yellin College of Education

Israel, Jerusalem

  • Born and raised in the middle of the Negev Desert at Kibbutz Revivim, Israel 
  • Study fields: Education, Waldorf education, philosophy
  • Doctorate in education at Haifa University: Waldorf graduate research 
  • Professional Background: Teacher at the first Waldorf School in Israel in Harduf, teaching in David Yellin academic college in Jerusalem, Tel-Hai academic college and Oranim academic college Waldorf education: Waldorf education, alternative education and spirituality in education
  • Co-Chairman of the Association for Waldorf Education in Israel

Dr. Constanza Kaliks - Goetheanum

Dornach, Switzerland

  • Born in Chile in 1967, grew up in Brazil
  • Fields of study: Mathematics, Education, Philosophy
  • 2014: Doctorate on pedagogical aspects in the work of Nicholas of Cues
  • 1992-2011: Waldorf high-school Mathematics teacher in São Paulo
  • 1992-2011: Teacher in the Waldorf teachers training in São Paulo
  • Since 2012: Leader of the Youth Section at the Goetheanum, Switzerland

Frank de Kiefte - Hogeschool Leiden

Leiden, The Netherlands

  • Has worked as teacher, head teacher and educational advisor in several Waldorfschools
  • Since 2001 he is connected to Hogeschool Helicon in Zeist and then to the Waldorf Pabo in Hogeschool Leiden
  • He is (co)author from publications about Waldorf pedagogy and didactics, the last publication was ’The  art of didactics’ (2019)

Prof. Dr. Markus Lindholm - Rudolf Steiner University College

Oslo, Norway

  • Born in Oslo (Norway) in 1956
  • 15 years teaching at the Waldorf School Oslo (class teacher, secondary level, and high school science education)
  • Fields of study: Waldorf education in Dornach; Biology and physical geography at the LMU/Munich and UiO/University of Oslo
  • 2006: Doctorate on the topic: "Zooplankton diversity and ecology on seasonal floodplains in the Okavango Delta, Botswana" 
  • since 2002: associate professor at the Rud. Steiner University College/Oslo
  • since 2007: researcher, from 2013 senior researcher and research manager (2017-2019) in freshwater ecology at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research/NIVA
  • Since 2019: Professor in science didactics at the Rud. Steiner University College/Oslo. 

Prof. Dr. Peter Lutzker - Freie Hochschule Stuttgart 

Stuttgart, Germany

  • Born in New York City (New York) in 1957
  • Fields of Study: Music, Literature, Linguistics, Didactics of Foreign Language Teaching in Chicago, Freiburg, Norwich, Vermont, Eichstätt
  • 2006 Doctorate on “The Art of Foreign Language Teaching: Improvisation and Drama in Teacher Development and Language Learning.” 
  • 1986 - 1994 English and Music teacher at the Frankfurt Waldorf School
  • 1994 - 2010 English and Music teacher at the Rudolf  Steiner School Düsseldorf
  • Since 1990 Pre-service and in-service teacher training courses for foreign language 
  • teachers in Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Taiwan
  • Since 2010 Professor for Waldorf Pedagogy and Foreign Language Teaching at the
  • Freie Hochschule Stuttgart (Waldorf Teachers College, Stuttgart) 
  • 2019-2020 Honorary Professor at the National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan 

Maria do Carmo Abi-Sâmara 

 São Paulo, Brazil

  • Born in São Paulo (Brazil) in 1967
  • Fields of study: management, crafts
  • 2018: Master’s degree in Arts, education, and cultural history.  Theme: The artisan’s experience in the pedagogical process
  • 2008-2013: Handworking teacher at the Rudolf Steiner School in São Paulo;
  • 2013- now: Management teacher and crafts teacher at the Rudolf Steiner University College in São Paulo

Melanie Gesa Mangels Guerra

 São Paulo, Brazil 

  • Born in São Paulo (Brazil) in 1964
  • Fields of study: Nursing and Obstetrics, Waldorf Education
  • 2017: Master’s degree in education and language. Theme: Dialogue, argumentation, and narrative: an update of the conventional skill of reading, writing, and counting
  • 1997-2011: Class teacher at the Rudolf Steiner School in São Paulo
  • 2017-now: Dean and teacher at the Rudolf Steiner University College in São Paulo. Director of the Brazilian Waldorf Schools Federation and Brasilian member of the International Forum at the Goethenaum

Dr. Ida Obermann - Community School for Creative Education; Mills College

Oakland, USA

  • Dutch-born and German-educated  
  • Graduated from the  Waldorf School in Tübingen, Germany
  • Waldorf teaching diploma in Stuttgart Germany, BA from Swarthmore College, Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University
  • After a decade of teaching in New York City,  she served as education program officer of the Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, CA
  • 2010: Founder and executive director of  Oakland’s TK-8 Community School for Creative Education [CSCE]  
  • 2017: In collaboration with Mills College, Alanus University, Friends of Waldorf Education, and  CSCE, Ida launched the Mills Waldorf Professional Development Certificate Program
  • Over past two decades: Has guided practitioner and researcher groups to present together at conferences including the National American Education Research Association Annual Meeting on cutting-edge work surrounding focus on the whole child and systems change  
  • She serves on the board of  Faith in Acton East Bay, a multi-racial, multi-ethnic federation of houses of faith and schools representing 60,000 families in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties   

Sven Saar - London Waldorf Seminar

London, UK

  • Born in Germany in 1966 
  • 1990 Diploma in Waldorf Education Witten/Annen 
  • 1990 – 2008 Class teacher and Upper School teacher in the UK 
  • 2008 – 2016 Class teacher in Wahlwies/ Germany 
  • Since 2011 Regular articles for the journal “Erziehungskunst” 
  • 2016 Class teacher at Steiner Academy Hereford/UK and transition to teacher education 
  • Since 2018 Full-time work in teacher education: Co-leader of London Waldorf Seminar and West of England Steiner Teacher Training. A faculty member of London Early Years Training, Crossfields Institute, International Masters Course Stuttgart 
  • Active as mentor and adviser in Waldorf schools for 20 years. Founder of SWIPP (www.swipp.org.uk), offering mentoring, teacher development, seminars, and talks 
  • Active mentor to developing schools in Thailand, India, the Philippines, and Kenya

Prof. Dr. Jost Schieren - Alanus University

Alfter, Germany

  • Born in Duisburg (Germany) in 1963
  • Fields of study: Philosophy, German Philology and Art History in Bochum and Essen
  • Guest studies in Ann Arbor (Michigan, USA) 
  • 1997: Doctorate on the topic: "Perceptive Power of Judgement. Methodical and Philosophical Foundations of Goethe's Scientific Recognition." 
  • 1996-2006: German teacher at the Rudolf Steiner School in Dortmund
  • 2004-2008: Research assistant at the University of Paderborn 
  • Since 2008: Professor of school pedagogy with a focus on Waldorf education and head of the department of educational science at the Alanus University in Alfter near Bonn

Prof. Dr. Wilfried Sommer - Alanus University Kassel

Kassel, Germany

  • Professor of school education with an emphasis on phenomenological methods of teaching at Alanus University, Alfter
  • High School teacher in physics at Steiner Waldorf School Kassel 
  • Phenomenological approaches to optics and doing physics experiments as a performance art are his research areas in subject-related methodology 
  • He is interested in the relationship between cultural studies and physics 
  • Additionally, he focuses on the role of an embodiment for cognitive teaching and learning processes 
  • He is active in teacher education and pedagogical research and a board member of the Kassel Youth Symposium 

Dr. Ruhi Tyson - Waldorflärerhögskolan

Stockholm, Sweden

  • Born in Stockholm (Sweden) in 1978
  • Fields of study: Bookbinding; Pedagogy 
  • 2017: Doctorate on the topic of vocational Bildung 
  • Teacher of bookbinding at Kristofferschool 
  • Senior lecturer at Waldorf University College 
  • Senior lecturer at Department of Education at Stockholm university 


Prof. Dr. Johannes Wagemann - Alanus University Mannheim

Mannheim, Germany

  • Born in Berlin (Germany) in 1967
  • Fields of study: Electrical Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Philosophy, and Teacher Training in Berlin
  • 2000-2017: Physics and math teacher at the Rudolf Steiner School in Essen
  • 2010: Transdisciplinary dissertation on the mind-brain problem (University of Witten/Herdecke) 
  • 2014-2017: Assistant Professor of Consciousness Research with focus on Structure Phenomenology at Alanus University/Alfter 
  • Since 2017: Professor of Consciousness Research with focus on Pedagogical Anthropology and director of the B.A. Waldorf Education program at Alanus University/Mannheim

Christof Wiechert - Alanus University

Alfter, Germany

  • Born in 1945 
  • Pupil at the Waldorf school in the Hague, Netherlands 
  • After studying education and geography, 30 years of teaching at the Waldorf school in the Hague
  • Cofounder of the Dutch State Waldorf Teacher Training Seminar. For many years he was a 
  • Councilmember in the Anthroposophical Society in the Netherlands 
  • Together with Ate Koopmans, he developed the „Art of Child Study“ course. He has lectured in many countries
  • Since September 1999: Has worked for the Pedagogical Section 
  • October 2001-December 2010: Head of the Educational Department of the School of Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum in Dornach/Switzerland
  • Since 2008: Lecturer and research fellow at Alanus University 
  • He continues to work for the School of Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum and on pedagogical and anthroposophical themes in different countries