Founded in the early 20th century, Waldorf education is based on the principles of education outlined by artist and scientist, Rudolf Steiner. The principles of Waldorf education center around the idea that a child must be educated in mind, body, and soul to address the needs of the growing child. The Waldorf best private schools offer a developmentally appropriate, experiential, and academically-rigorous approach to education. Rudolf Steiner himself describes that “Life as a whole is a unity, and we must not only consider the child but the whole of life; we must look at the whole human being”.
Let’s dive into what encompasses a Waldorf education.
Connection to humanity
The Waldorf educational approach allows children to learn in nurturing environments for their true individual identities to blossom. One predominant feature of the Waldorf education is the special attention paid to art and nature and its inherent connection to humanity. Steiner believed that a focus on art and nature in education would lead to a greater appreciation for life’s beauty. Waldorf schools, therefore, emphasize daily activities around music, art, and the imagination. Each child is valued for his or her achievements in different areas, not just how well she or he did on homework, test, or activity. This “child-centered” philosophy, as the name states it, centers around the children, rather than the material being taught.
Teachers in Waldorf schools
Teachers in Waldorf best private schools are dedicated to generating an inner enthusiasm for learning within every child. This helps incite the capacity for joyful lifelong learning and eliminates the need for competitive testing, academic placement, and rewards to motivate learning. Teachers often enter the school with a desire to be a part of the learning process, rather than simply conveyers of information, this, therefore, brings interested and committed teachers. Often, Waldorf teachers go through a specific Waldorf teacher training program for at least two years. As part of their dedication to students, the class teacher ideally remains with the same group of children from first grade through eighth, building a strong sense of community.
The results of Walford education
The goal of Waldorf education is to fully develop its students into actively engaged members of society, able to impart purpose and direction to their lives. Students often leave these schools with a sense of who they are. Many of the students go to prestigious colleges, while others pursue personally fulfilling vocations from crafts to music. Parents and teachers note that Waldorf graduates and students can assimilate information as opposed to memorizing facts; be creative, flexible, and willing to take intellectual risks; and are highly ethical and moral leaders who take initiative and are passionate to reach their goals.
Waldorf schools focus on every child and student as a unique individual who is an important part of this society. It aims to inspire life-long learning in students and to enable them to fully develop their unique capacities. Although all Waldorf best private schools have a common philosophy, each is its entity made up of its unique teachers, students, and communities with different influences that together define the individual. Today there are more than five hundred Waldorf schools worldwide, each following a holistic approach to knowledge.