Waldorf schools polarize. Some swear by the concept of Rudolf Steiner, the others smile about it. The infamous saying: No, I can not yet write my name, but I can dance it, often symbolizing the views of Waldorf opponents.
The basics of the Waldorf school
Non-experts are rather critical or even condescending towards Waldorf education as a whole. Many do not even know what exactly is behind the Waldorf schools and their concept. As already mentioned, these schools were founded by Rudolf Steiner and are based on anthroposophy. In Germany, this type of school is considered a substitute school.
The anthroposophical view of man on which the Waldorf schools are based goes back to esotericism and is based on the principles of equality, fraternity and freedom. Furthermore, the structure of man in body, mind and soul is taken as a basis and is also based on the soul abilities: thinking, feeling, willing. It is also very important to pay attention to the annual sieve.
The latter is based on the idea that people or their constituent parts go through supernatural births, every seven years. The foundations of Waldorf schools are rejected by many people, especially in a society that is increasingly determined by technology and rational thinking.
Here, however, one must ask oneself the question of whether it is not exactly our lifestyle that means that many children are no longer able to cope with normal school life. Unclear and increasingly diagnosed conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, make it clear that our performance is on a dive. Rethinking is needed to integrate the children, who are not up to the growing pressure due to the increasing demands.
The school life in a forest village school
In Walddorf schools, the epoch lessons dominate school life. The same subject is treated over several weeks, usually two hours at the beginning of the school year. Mostly they are subjects like German or mathematics, expertise or biology.
From class one there are foreign language lessons, this includes two languages, so that the third foreign language can be learned in class five. Craft and artistic subjects are also offered, including eurythmy. That is the teaching of the beautiful movement, or the art of expressing and conveying poems and words with the whole body.
Rudolf Steiner is the founder of eurythmy - and the dancing of his own name is probably due to this subject. Carpentry, horticulture, tailoring, spinning, bookbinding and technology are optional and depending on class levels also on the curriculum.
Waldorf schools: learning without fear
You will hardly find books in a Waldorf school in the first years of school. Rather, the children prepare an epoch book, which they help to shape and in which all the notes are written. This booklet contributes significantly to the performance assessment. The teacher does not organize the lessons according to rigid rules, but according to the children's emotional world.
The content and teaching methods adapt to the child's level of development; here the child is not judged on the basis of its level of performance and put in a drawer, but rather the child as a whole is considered. Something that is advertised in normal mainstream schools, but is not implemented.
If the pressure of the notes and the constant comparison of one's own performance with others is lost, a child usually learns easier and better. The fear factor gives way to a relaxed learning that is fun and motivates. There is no such thing as sitting.
Graduation from the Waldorf School
If you want to send your child to a Walddorf school, you do not have to worry that they will not get along in later life because they are touched with kid gloves. There are also performance assessments in a Waldorf school, but in writing and not based on grades. However, parents can insist on grades in higher classes. It is also possible to complete all school qualifications at a Waldorf school. This is also unknown to many.
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