“Receive the children in reverence, educate them in love, and send them forth in freedom.” ― Rudolf Steiner
what is a steiner education?
what is a steiner education?
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.
Works for all children irrespective of academic ability, class, ethnicity or religion;
Takes account of the needs of the whole child – academic, physical, emotional and spiritual;
Is based on an understanding of the relevance of the different phases of child development;
Develops a love of learning and an enthusiasm for school;
Sees artistic activity and the development of the imagination as integral to learning;
Is respected worldwide for its ability to produce very able young people who have a strong sense of self and diverse capacities that enable them to become socially and economically responsible citizens.
Who was Rudolf Steiner? Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925) was an innovative academic born in Austria whose ideas founded the basis of Anthroposophy. He applied his ideas to education as well as agriculture, medicine, architecture and social reform. The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship acknowledges Rudolf Steiner as the founding inspiration of modern day Steiner schools, but does not promote Anthroposophy or endorse every aspect of it.
Rudolf Steiner and Steiner Schools The first Steiner school opened in Stuttgart in 1919 for children of workers at the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory. The school’s benefactor was managing director, Emil Molt, who asked Dr Rudolf Steiner to found and lead the school in its early stages.
This philosopher and scientist’s insights inspired what has become a worldwide movement of schools that espouse and promote universal human values, educational pluralism and meaningful teaching and learning opportunities. This progressive, international schools movement is noted by educationalists, doctors, policy-makers and parents for the effective education that it offers children. The ideas and principles which inform the education provide a credible and thoughtful perspective to the debate on education and human development.
Steiner schools are always co-educational, fully comprehensive and take pupils from 3 to ideally eighteen. They welcome children of all abilities from all faiths and backgrounds.
Steiner education has proved itself adaptable. More than 80 years after the first Steiner school was started in central Europe, this 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 and balanced human beings who are able to cope with the demands of a fast-changing and uncertain world. Steiner graduates are highly sought-after in further education and work place for their unjaded interest in the world and their resourcefulness.
The Upper School (Ages 14 to 19) When the children leave their Class Teacher at the end of Class 8 in the Lower School, this marks a new phase in their development where academic challenge now predominates.
Questions, discussion, criticism – all the activities of the enquiring mind – grow in strength. At this stage the curriculum strives to foster clear independent thinking and pupils are encouraged to explore ideas that can lead them to ideals. Pupils are now taught by specialist teachers. The task of all the teachers in this phase is to enable the unfolding of the inner being and individuality of the young person into an independent, capable and responsible adult.
Pupils leave school as well rounded and sociable individuals and with broad range of skills and qualities that are valued by employers and admissions tutors at universities and colleges.
Text adapted from http://www.steinerwaldorf.org/
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