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The Benefits of Waldorf Education

Children enjoy an unhurried childhood.

Visit a Waldorf school and watch the students at play. You’ll see children who delight in being allowed to live in the moment, who are free to explore nature and to go where their wide-eyed sense of wonder and imagination takes them. In our frenetic world, where pushing children to “hurry up or fall behind” has become the norm, Waldorf Education takes the point of view that childhood is something to be savored. By being free to develop according to their own natural rhythms, Waldorf-educated children enjoy full and rich childhoods, gaining the experiences they need to become healthy, self-actualized individuals.

 

Learning is hands-on and age-appropriate.

In Waldorf Education, learning is an experiential activity. It’s not a matter of doing without certain experiences, it’s a matter of introducing children to each experience at the right time in their development. When it’s time to teach the merits, uses, and hows of technology, Waldorf school teachers do so. And the knowledge, self-awareness, and problem-solving skills children develop through years of hands-on inquiry is of far greater value to them as learners and as human beings than anything they could have picked up by sitting at a screen.

In-depth study enriches learning experiences.

The advantages of block learning have long been recognized in Waldorf Education. In their daily morning (or “main”) lesson, Waldorf students from first through twelfth grade spend up to two hours concentrating on one subject which rotates every 3–4 weeks among the academic disciplines. Students have the chance to study each subject thoroughly and from a number of vantage points, which contributes to their enjoyment—and their understanding — of the subject matter.

Students learn how to take an active role in their own education.

From discovering the alphabet in the first grade to discovering anatomy, algebra, and U.S. history in the eighth grade, and all the way up through their high school studies, Waldorf students take part in the learning process by creating their own textbooks — beautifully-drawn journals containing stories, essays, poems, maps, illustrations, lab descriptions, and math equations. Rather than relying on pre-digested material presented to them in conventional textbooks, the act of creating their “main lesson” books allows children to absorb the lessons their teachers bring them and to make learning their own.

Waldorf schools produce well-rounded individuals.

Waldorf educators strive to bring out what lives in each student, but are careful not to over-emphasize one trait or skill over another. All students study math and science and learn foreign languages; they all play an instrument and sing in the chorus; they all learn handwork and take movement classes and perform in the class play. The goal in Waldorf Education is to expose children to a wide range of experiences and to develop within them many interests and capabilities. This, in turn, leads to well-balanced young people with high levels of confidence in their ability to apply skills developed in one area to another, and the knowledge that they can master anything.

 

Waldorf-educated individuals have a lifelong passion for learning.

At a Waldorf school, education is not measured by competition and test scores, but is viewed as a life-long journey. And an educational approach that appropriately responds to a child’s natural interest in the world cannot help but result in an intrinsic desire to find out more. Waldorf schools are sometimes erroneously seen as “art schools” because of the depth of the fine, practical, and performing arts curriculum you’ll find here, woven in an interdisciplinary fashion among all the subjects. Interestingly, however, it’s actually the sciences that become a career choice for many Waldorf school alumni — an interest developed through years of exploration, invention, and discovery.

 

What is the central role of a Waldorf teacher?

While Waldorf Education places children at the heart of its pedagogy, Waldorf schools depend on the teacher as a fulcrum for the educational process. The individual who chooses to teach in a Waldorf school brings his or her full self to the development of others, providing mentoring, development, and affection that sustain the students for life.

From Sunbridge Institute

Additional Insights

Waldorf Education: What is holistic learning?
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Waldorf Education: What is holistic learning?

Founded in the early 20th century, Waldorf education is based on the insights, teachings and principles of education outlined by the world renowned artist, and scientist, Rudolf Steiner. The principles of Waldorf education evolve from an understanding of human development that address the needs of the growing child. Waldorf schools integrate the arts in all academic disciplines for children from preschool through twelfth grade to enhance and enrich learning. Waldorf education aims to inspire life-long learning in all students and to enable them to fully develop their unique capacities. In this interview we talk to Henning Kullak Ublick, representative of Waldorf German Association and Coordinator of Waldorf100 (https://www.waldorf-100.org/), about what holistic learning is and the development stages of the human being. Inspiring conversations are brief interviews with people who are leading the change in education. Some insights from these interviews will be part of the Film "Searching For Superman" for 2021. SEARCHING FOR SUPERMAN FILM PROJECT WEBSITE: Two years travel around Europe searching for inspiring educational projects and schools to connect people and experiences with the aim of inspiring and growing change makers all over the world: http://www.searchingforsuperman.es If you want to recibe alerts about new videos SUBSCRIBE to our YOUTUBE CHANNEL. YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/searchingfor... Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/searchingfo... INQUIRIES email us at: contact@searchingforsuperman.es
Educating Children For The Journey: Jack Petrash at TEDxRockCreekPark
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Educating Children For The Journey: Jack Petrash at TEDxRockCreekPark

Our world is changing at a rapid and dramatic pace. Every decade brings technological advances and unforeseen social change. So how can we prepare our children for a world we can't envision? The best way to do that is to educate our children to develop three essential capacities: a capacity for vibrant and vigorous activity, a capacity for a sensitive and yet resilient emotional life, and a capacity for clear, focused, original, thinking. In order to develop these three capacities, we must educate our children in a multidimensional way in school. The place to begin is through self-directed play with the young child. Play is the wonderfully creative work of early childhood. When young children play, they are focused, attentive, and completely involved in what they are doing. This is a characteristic of genius and innovative individuals often keep this playful nature intact throughout their lives. The second way to educate children for the future is through art. In the grade school it is possible to teach all of the academic subjects in a manner that integrates art. In doing so we create an educational program that addresses a child's need to be engaged imaginatively and emotionally in each lesson. When we teach children through a foundation of active play and a solid framework of artistic experiences, we help them develop the third essential ability, a capacity for dynamic, curious, and original thinking, a thinking that enables our children to ask the questions that are still waiting to be asked. No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top have created a standards driven educational system that only asks our children to use half of their human intelligence, just the left side of their brains. And sadly, fifty percent is a failing grade by any standard. Our children deserve more, much more. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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