Waldorf education takes its place in the upbringing of children. This technique has existed since the early 20th century, and it still causes a lot of controversy. A philosopher and esoteric, Rudolf Steiner is the founder of this training and education method . His basic concept is based on the science of the human spiritual world. This is why he hasn’t appealed to the inner world of feelings and experiences. Indeed, the studies of the human spiritual nature were the basis for his ideas of child upbringing, which have been embodied in the new reformative pedagogy.
What Is Waldorf Education? The Basic Goals and Methods of Upbringing
Waldorf education is aimed at developing the child’s abilities, as well as opening the spiritual world through his emotional perception. The emphasis of the Waldorf method also is development of imagination and memory of the child.
Waldorf Education: Methods of Upbringing
Rudolf Steiner has developed 3 main principles of Waldorf school education.
1. Proper development of the child’s memory.
Since the perception and memorization of information at each stage of the child’s growing-up is different, the following rules of teaching have been developed.
The child should be interested in the material taught.
Mental activity should be replaced by a physical one, as it highly improves human memory capabilities.
All classes are conducted in accordance with a strict schedule and one lesson should gradually flow into another. Before lunch, children are taught various core disciplines. In the afternoon, they are engaged in various kinds of applied arts (cooking, handicrafts, gardening, wood shop, etc.)
Education ‘by ages’, means that 1 epoch is presented about every 3-4 weeks. During this period the child should understand and feel all the stuff that the teacher tries to explain, from start to finish.
2. The child’s mental harmony contributes to his complete development.
At each age stage, a child needs stimulation of different mental abilities. Waldorf education is during the 3rd stage of development and concerns the spiritual world of the child. The initial stage is development of the will. The second level is development of the emotional world. The third and final stage is development of the child’s thinking.
3. Harmonious environment.
The Waldorf method of children’s education and upbringing pay much attention to the environment in which a the child is in. His abilities can come out the best and most effectively if developed in some normal healthy environment where there is no pressure and aggression given by teachers. Therefore, when choosing a teacher at school they are guided by his or her high moral view of things, and the ability to control him or herself.
Since all children are different, averaging out their abilities hinders their development. That is why Waldorf education advocates an individual approach to each child. It also focuses on interaction of children in a group or class, as friendly relationship between children contribute to convenient conditions during training.
Waldorf Education: ‘Pro’
Of course, this technique helps:
- Harmonious development of the child
- Development of implicit and explicit skills or talents of the child
- Creative development of the child
Waldorf Education: ‘Con’
At the initial stage of training, children with a very high intellectual potential and the desire for academic knowledge will need more information than the teachers provide.
Permanent peace of mind does not encourage the formation of strong character. It is also worth considering by parents who see their children as strong personalities in the future.
In Waldorf schools more attention is paid to humanities.
Waldorf education is a wonderful educative and developing practice for the child. It will help to raise a good man without pressure or aggression. Parents who are close to such methods of education will be able to bring up healthy and creative children. Many Waldorf schools practice open classes, where each parent can see how teachers behave and how the children react to the education process.
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