The exploration of freedom by an ASPnet school in the USA
“Voices of freedom” illustrated with activities of the Waldorf School of Baltimore, the USA
At the Waldorf School of Baltimore, TST is taught at at different moments of the curricula (for age groups 7-8, 12-13, 13-14 and 17-18).
In 2010-2011, the 2nd grade pupils were introduced the subject in a block called “Deeds of kindness”. The life of Harriet Tubman (1820-1913), a famous woman abolitionist, was presented by the class teacher highlighting her physical and mental strength.
The 8th grade students developed and performed a play on the life of Frederick Douglas (1818-1895), an important figure in the American abolitionist movement. In preparation of the play, students read the autobiography “Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass”. To further their understanding of the context of that period, discussions were organised on, for instance, the living conditions of African-Americans and the Fugitive Slave Act (passed by the United States congress in 1850, this Act declared that all runaway slaves be brought back to their masters). Based on these preparatory activities, students wrote the play as well as designed and built the sets themselves. Selected scenes were presented for pupils from 1st to 5th grades, and the entire play for the other classes. Plays were followed by discussions on slavery and on the life and achievements of Frederick Douglass. Acting made for a very personal and powerful experience of the slave trade and allowed for self-reflection on the feelings of oppression or victimisation, and on the concepts of liberty and freedom.