MOBILE PHONES AND DIGITAL DEVICES

Te Kura o Rudolf Steiner Otautahi
Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School

Student Use of Mobile Phones
and Digital Devices

Christchurch Steiner School
Christchurch Steiner School

Over the last year, teachers have been concerned about the amount of time students are occupied with mobile phones and digital devices during their free time at school. After many meetings and discussions, the Upper School teachers have written a policy on student use of mobile phones and digital devices which you should have received by email. This policy comes into effect on Wednesday 22nd March. This is a big step for the school, a brave initiative, which we hope will lead our students towards a renewed focus on interacting together in conversation and debate, engaging in social activities, games and sports, and a focus in classrooms on the teachers and learning rather than how to avoid being spotted sending a snapchat to a mate.

Mobile phones and digital devices have an important place in aspects of student learning, particularly in senior classes in which students are preparing to move on to tertiary training or the workforce. This policy has been written to support students in the responsible use of digital devices as a tool for learning. From Wednesday onwards, we are creating zones that are digital device free, namely at all times and in all places except those where teachers have given students permission to use a digital device as part of a specific learning task. No mobile phone usage is permitted from 8.25am until 3.25pm in the school grounds except in designated zones for contacting parents or in an emergency. The designated zones are the school office and upper school coordinators office. Digital devices can only be used in the classroom with teacher permission. Senior students (Class 11 and 12) are encouraged to bring their own device (BYOD) but must sign a Netsafe responsible use agreement/contract tomorrow. The agreement will also be given to Class 8-10 students in the coming weeks as these classes may still use school computers for some class activities. Our intention is to provide more awareness, support and guidance for our ako around responsible use of digital devices, digital citizenship, cyber-bullying and general well-being at school and at home. We hope you can support this at home — ‘mobile phone away / now let’s play’ or some other fun ditty that encourages social activities without the other invisible ‘social media communicator’. Read more

Faith, Love and Hope – Revisited

Faith, Love, and Hope
Faith, Love, and Hope

The Verse Uniting All of Us.

Faith, Love and Hope
Will lead me in my willing
When I light a candle and unite
With the ever-present Love of the Almighty –
And His Creative Force.
It works in me when I in love embrace all people
Who come to me with
Faith, love and hope.
This may lead us on our path to create
A circle of light around the world.
It will unite us and disperse loneliness.
It will open our mind to imagination,
Strengthen our inspiration,
And bless us with intuition.

 

In his book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment, Rudolf Steiner[1] writes in the last chapter, Life and Death: The Great Guardian of the Threshold, that the supersensible world came first and the physical, sense world developed out of it. “We see that, before we entered the physical world for the first time, we ourselves belonged to a supersensible world.” When one knows this, and thinks of the verse Faith, Love and Hope one could ask: From where does its power arise to protect and guide us and to help us in difficult situations? Are we not children of the spiritual hierarchies? One can also ask, where would we find the origin of the three human soul faculties: faith, love and hope, what do they mean to us, and how is it possible that the verse which unites us rests fully on these three faculties?

In a lecture Joan Sleigh[2] touched on these three faculties. Her topic was connected to the Michaelmas festival: Helplessness and Powerlessness. What new approaches or strengths can each of us find to overcome these? Her suggestion was that we must begin to unlearn our logical, intellectual, earth-bound thinking and to consciously focus on creative thinking. In this way, we can open a door to inspired thinking. She referred to three soul faculties to overcome powerlessness, and they are faith, love and hope.

The gesture of faith,” she said, “is needed, as a person steps out into the unknown and says ‘yes’ to destiny. The gesture of love is needed, as one expands oneself to include others. And the gesture of hope is needed, as one opens to the endless possibilities of becoming selfless and engaging in new activities. It is important to ask for guidance from the spiritual world during this process and to include others as we go about freeing ourselves from being stuck.

When these three human faculties of faith, love and hope are thought of in our verse, it was said that they take on a protecting, guiding and transforming capacity, important for every human being on his or her path through life. They will reveal great wisdom when one takes a closer look at what they actually mean to each one of us, and when one considers their relationship to us during the human evolution.

Regarding FAITH, Rudolf Steiner shares with us that in the past people said, “What I believe, I know for sure.” Those people were not natural scientists, but they were certain, intuitively, that they were right. They believed in forces of the soul out of a deep connection with a supersensible world. Still today there lives, next to materialistic science, a deep conviction in people that they carry in themselves an inner force of faith. Rudolf Steiner said, “These are forces of which every soul should become increasingly aware because they are forces which look up to the spiritual world.”

How do we use the word faith in our language? We have faith in guidance and protection; we have faith in our own ego-strength. When we struggle with difficulties we have faith to overcome them. We also can experience faith when we give a task to someone that he or she will complete it to our expectations. Read more