there must be another way…

The other day while skating with our little daughter, we wrongly took a little boy for a little girl.He responded in a very natural, simple and direct way that he was a boy! Both my husband and myself thought we were stupid and that we surely must have hurt his feelings! But eventually after a while (he was playing so beautifully with our 3 years old little girl and speaking so openly to us – adults and kids spoken to in the same respectful way), we understood that no harm was done. We then learned from the papa, that Julian, 8 years old, goes to Steiner School.

Waldorf Education continues to be relatively unknown. When first making contact with this pedagogy, people in general tend to find in it certain oddities that may provoke admiration or incredulity, as well as sometimes doubts.

Parents who decide to send their children to a Waldorf school know that they are taking a courageous step to be “different”. The decision is not easy, because Waldorf Education really presents many differences in comparison with other teaching methods.

Here are some of the most obvious ones:

– No text books are used – students create their own;

– There are no tests and no exams;

– There is no failing of a grade;

– Reading and writing begin only in first grade and may take a long time to learn;

– All students remain grouped together from the first to the last (twelfth) grade (with occasional exceptions due to students entering or leaving the school);

– There is a teacher, called a “class teacher”, who takes a class in grade 1 and ideally stays with the class until grade 8, teaching all the main subjects: Mathematics, History, Geography, the native language and sciences;

– These main subjects are taught in “main lessons”, in daily classes which run over three or four weeks;

– Ideally, students learn sciences such as Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Geology using the so-called “Goethean phenomenological principle” – this means that first of all they intensely experience and describe the related phenomena, and only later come to learn and elaborate intellectual concepts about them;

– Arts have the same importance and receive the same attention as all other school subjects; this means that they are not organized as extra classes or elective subjects; they include form-drawing, sketching, painting, sculpture, pottery, weaving, music, drama and handicrafts; furthermore, in the elementary and middle schools (grades 1- 8) every subject is taught in an artistic way;

– Waldorf Education is based on the Anthroposophical concept and understanding of the human being developed by Rudolf Steiner at the beginning of the 20th century, particularly with regard to concepts involving the processes of child and adolescent development. The content of each school subject and the way the subject is taught follow specific concepts about the characteristics of each age level.

Wouldn´t choose this for your child?

naflplion, greece, 2010

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