Educating The Whole Child
"When children relate what they learn to their own experience, they are interested and alive, and what they learn becomes their own. Waldorf schools are designed to foster this kind of learning." ~ Henry Barnes
When you enter a Waldorf school, the first thing you may notice is the care given to the building. The walls are painted in lively colors and are adorned with student artwork. Evidence of student activity is everywhere to be found and every desk holds uniquely created main lesson books.
Another first impression may be the enthusiasm and commitment of the teachers you meet. These teachers are interested in the students as individuals. They are interested in the questions:
Teachers in Waldorf schools are dedicated to generating an inner enthusiasm for learning within every child. They achieve this in a variety of ways. Even seemingly dry and academic subjects are presented in a pictorial and dynamic manner. This eliminates the need for competitive testing, academic placement, and behaviorist rewards to motivate learning. It allows motivation to arise from within and helps engender the capacity for joyful lifelong learning.
The Waldorf curriculum is broad and comprehensive, structured to respond to the three major developmental phases of childhood: from birth to 7 years, from 7 to 14 years and from 14 to 21 years. Rudolf Steiner stressed to teachers that the best way to provide meaningful support for the child is to comprehend these phases fully and to bring to the children age-appropriate content that nourishes healthy growth.
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