What is Waldorf pedagogy and 7 reasons why I like it

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This year my family and I began a new life phase in a Waldorf school. My 3-year-old son started kindergarten in this school –the only one in my country or at least one of the very few based on this educational philosophy. Another change and another challenge for this year which is being marked by new experiences.

Waldorf education is based on the educational philosophy developed by Rudolph Steiner, who was the founder of anthroposophy. The first Waldorf school was founded in 1909 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Since I got to know the school, I started developing the idea in my head. I found it while I was searching for something that could help my family and me encourage living at a slow pace and enjoy the simple things in life. When I was introduced to the main ideas of this philosophy, my heart resounded and I knew it was to the ideas I was listening to.

I discovered I was not alone in what I wanted to transmit to my children. I would have more support to be aware of what really is important and to remember it on the hustle and bustle of the day –while being a mom, wanting to be more and have more.

On the other hand, this is something totally different from traditional education, which is what I am used to (I must admit that in these first weeks I have had to remind myself of the reasons why I chose this school). Luckily, there is an adjusting period, which in this case is being more useful to me and my family than to my son and to be honest, I am really learning from this type of education.

The following are the reasons why my heart resounded to this methodology and why I liked this educational philosophy:

  1. Great respect for children`s natural rhythms and daily, weekly and yearly rhythms basing on nature`s rhythms.
  2. The intention of children`s full development “head, hands, heart”. Hands work, the mind works, the soul works, the heart works; as a whole and in harmony to shape a balanced person. The use of different intelligences is stimulated in order to develop three basic skills: the ability to think, feel and perform meaningful activities.
  3. The view of the class as an extension of home; with similar rhythms and routines to the ones in a home.
  4. The value of healthy and nutritious food: children prepare their own snacks together with the teachers and use grains, fruits and vegetables brought daily by the children.
  5. The use of simple and natural objects to play that are taken from nature.
  6. Stimulation to bond and passionately connect with nature. They learn to appreciate it and be responsible towards it.
  7. The development of creative thinking which is imaginative, flexible and focused. And work on emotional intelligence, empathy and self-confidence.

“Waldorf school education is not a pedagogical system but an art – the art of awakening what is actually there within the human being.” Founder Rudolph Steiner, scientist and philosopher, in the early 1900s.

FURTHER READING

Translated by MA

 

 

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