100 years after the first Steiner school was started in Stuttgart, the education continues to inspire people from all walks of life and in all parts of the world. Steiner schools have a reputation for producing well-rounded human beings able to cope with the demands of a fast-changing world.
Steiner education is a child-centered education that seeks to nurture ‘the hand, the head and the heart’ of every child. The priority of the Steiner ethos is to provide an unhurried and creative learning environment where children can find the joy in learning and experience the richness of childhood rather than early specialisation or academic hot-housing.
The curriculum itself is a flexible set of pedagogical guidelines, founded on Steiner’s principles that take account of the whole child. It gives equal attention to the physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural and spiritual needs of each pupil and is designed to work in harmony with the different phases of the child’s development. The core subjects of the curriculum are taught in thematic blocks and all lessons include a balance of artistic, practical and intellectual content. Whole class, mixed ability teaching is the norm.
Steiner Waldorf Philosophies
Academic learning should derive as much as possible from lived experience
Academic learning should engage students’ feelings
It’s important to integrate and make connections between (traditionally) separate subject areas
Artistic expression of all kinds is a good way of enlivening academic learning
Movement is key to the proper unfolding of a school day and to health and balance in general
Active Learning is best supported by a dynamic of positive personal relationships between students and teachers. And in turn Active Learning promotes these qualities within the school community
“Receive the children in reverence, educate them in love, and send them forth in freedom.”