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About Henrike Holdrege

Henrike Holdrege has always loved teaching. Trained as a biologist, mathematician and science teacher, she strives to work with people in a way that lets them experience deeper dimensions of the world—both in nature and the inner life of the human being. Having felt the stark lack of deeper meaning in her own university studies in the way academics were taught, she makes every effort to ground her teaching in human experience and to break through abstractions to what can truly touch us in the world through careful, perceptive, and thoughtful inquiry.

A co-founder of The Nature Institute, Henrike has taught in the Institute’s adult education programs since 2002, and also gives courses and workshops locally, nationally and internationally. She has two main areas of focus: phenomenological studies of nature, and mathematics as a training of inner awareness and wakeful dynamic thinking.

In her workshops and courses on phenomenological science she strives to help participants deepen their qualitative experience of nature. For developing a growing openness to sense experience, it is necessary to become aware of and overcome habits of thought within modern natural science, theories and models that are preconceptions. We often place them between us and a richer meeting with the world. They can blind us to the spiritual essence of the natural world we are part of. Goethe’s approach to science and its expansion through Rudolf Steiner inspire and inform Henrike’s efforts. She currently researches and teaches in the areas of optics and color, astronomy, and the phenomenology of solids, fluids, gases, and warmth (the “four elements”).

Mathematics is often viewed as a specialized subject with little connection to general human life. Henrike is a mathematician who finds beauty, clarity, meaning, and a pathway for inner development in her subject. She enjoys helping others to move in this realm. She teaches mathematics—often projective geometry—as a practice field for concentration, forming and transforming inner images, “stretching the mind,” and gaining new and surprising insights. Mathematics can help us to realize that we are capable of genuine knowing. This work is often integrated in weeklong courses at The Nature Institute where we focus on studies of the living world. Henrike also mentors, and teaches workshops for, math teachers.

Henrike has a M.S. in biology, mathematics, and science education from the University of Münster in Germany. She taught in German state schools (“Gymnasium”) and in Waldorf schools in Germany and the U.S. before helping to found and establish The Nature Institute. She has served on its Board of Directors since 1998. Besides being a senior researcher and educator at The Nature Institute, she is centrally involved in making the Institute a beautiful place to work and learn. Henrike is the mother of three adult children. In her spare time she gardens and paints.

See also Henrike’s

Contact at henrike@natureinstitute.org

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