on Waldorf education:
By educationalists practicing or teaching Waldorf methods
Based on a comprehensive, integrated understanding of
the human being, a detailed account of child development, and with a curriculum
and teaching practive that seeks unity of intellectual, emotional and ethical
development at every point, Waldorf education deserves the attention of
all concerned with education and the human future.
I first heard of Waldorf education about five years ago,
after having carried out extensive study of the neurological aspects of
cognition, movement, and maturation. I was delighted to discover such a
neurologically sound curriculum. I heartily support efforts to spread the
awareness of Waldorf education and hope that it will spawn not only an
increase in Waldorf schools, but an infusion of at least some of the ideas
into the mainstream where they are so sorely needed. In Colorado, I am
working with several districts to incorporate various Waldorf strategies
into the teaching of reading and mathematics. The ideas are very well received
and very much needed.
If a young child has been able in play to give up her
whole being to the world around her, she will be able, in the serious tasks
of later life, to devote herself with confidence and power to the service
of the world.
By educationalists outside the Waldorf movement
Waldorf education has been an important model of holistic
education for almost a century. It is one of the very few forms of education
that acknowledges the soul-life of children and nurtures that life. It
is truly an education for the whole child and will continue to be an important
model of education as we move into the 21st century.
For the past ten years my teaching responsibilities have
compelled me to inform myself not just about what would-be teachers need
to learn. All of my instructionally related research into childhood has
pointed toward the superiority of Waldorf education over all other current
What I like about the Waldorf school is, quite simply,
its graduates. As a high school teacher at Marin Academy, I have seen a
number of the students who come from Marin Waldorf, and I can say that
in all cases they have been remarkable, bright, energetic and involved.
The importance of storytelling, of the natural rhythms
of daily life, of the evolutionary changes in the child, of art as the
necessary underpinning of learning, and of the aesthetic environment as
a whole - all basic to Waldorf education for the past 70 years - are being
"discovered" and verified by researchers unconnected to the Waldorf movement.
No other educational system in the world gives such a
central role to the arts as the Waldorf school movement. Even mathematics
is presented in an artistic fashion and related via dance, movement or
drawing, to the child as a whole. Anything that can be done to further
these revolutionary educational ideas will be of the greatest importance.
From careful observations of the child, Waldorf education
arrived at the same conclusion (Gesell Institute) and applies the same
principles to development of curricula for children’s education: pushing
skills before children are biologically ready sets them up to fail.
Being personally acquainted with a number of Waldorf students,
I can say that they come closer to realizing their own potential than practically
anyone I know.
Go to main section on Waldorf education at this site.