About The Extra Lesson(TM)
The Extra Lesson comes out of the teacher's realm to support faculties of learning. A typical lesson includes floor exercises, form drawing, movements using bean bags and/or balls, copper rods and copper balls, and ends with a painting exercise.
The Extra Lesson teacher ideally sees individual students for one hour once or twice per week. Short daily home practice is also part of The Extra Lesson program. The Extra Lesson (TM) support lessons are available at many Waldorf schools and in private practices in an increasing number of communities.
The Extra Lesson is developed to be a unified whole. Often it is supported with other interventions, for example: osteopathy, therapeutic eurythmy, rhythmical massage, art or music therapy, medical care.
History of The Extra Lesson(TM)*
The Extra Lesson was originally developed by Audrey McAllen in the UK. It is based on the holistic developmental perspectives of Rudolf Steiner's philosophy of education.
Audrey McAllen was born and raised in England. She began her career teaching at a boarding school in Winchester. When World War II broke out, she returned to her family home in Southampton and was invited to teach in their sitting room due to a great lack of schools at that time.
She began studying Anthroposophy at Sunfield Homes at Clent in Birmingham. There she met Eileen Hutchins who was in charge of the Teacher Training at Elmfield School. It was through Eileen that Audrey learned about Waldorf Education. Audrey began her Waldorf training at the age of 21. She also started taking courses related to children with special needs at the Sunfield school. Her first studies were based on Rudolf Steiner’s 1909 lectures – Psychology of Body, Soul and Spirit. This led to the deeper observation of children’s movement in relationship to development, learning and consciousness.
Audrey worked as a class teacher at Michael Hall School, Forest Row, Sussex for 10 years.
In 1961 while living in Gloucester, Dr. Norbert Glass, school doctor of Wynstone School, asked her to work with one student who was having difficulties in school. She embarked on a life’s work of deepening her studies about Steiner´s Waldorf Education while working with Dr. Glas and colleagues from the school.
This endeavor culminated with the publishing of The Extra Lesson in 1974. Her connection with the neuropsychology and sensory integration of the American neurologist and Occupational Therapist, Dr. Jean Ayres, confirmed her research. She met many people along the way that inspired and encouraged her work as she lectured on tour in the US, Europe and New Zealand.
Audrey’s book Sleep was republished with color pictures of the moral color exercises and a new addition has been released, Reading Children’s Drawings. The Extra Lesson is published in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and is also being studied and used in teacher trainings in Germany, Italy, Hungary and other countries world wide.
We thank Audrey McAllen for her lifetime of research and work to improve the development and education of children. We are grateful for the gift that she has given to us as teachers, therapists, doctors and parents.