Waldorf education formally started in India in the year 1997. With the over reliance on testing scores and technology currently consuming mainstream education; the benefits a child receives through experiences with art, movement, music, speech and drama has come to the forefront. With parents coming from the tech industry are voicing their experiences about the lifelong benefits of low-tech or rather delayed technology in Waldorf schools in educating their own children, more and more parents and educators are taking interest in Waldorf education and what it has to offer.
Waldorf Pedagogy believes that the curriculum and teaching methods should cater to the developmental stages, each unfolding with the growing child.
Early Childhood – Will directed education
Young children from birth to age 7, learn best through imitation. Waldorf early childhood teachers nurture each child, providing gentle, play-based activities that encourage the young child to explore the natural world, engage in social relationships, and expand imaginative capacities, all of these, lay meaningful foundations for intellectual and physical development that happens along in the later stages of development.
Middle Childhood – Feeling through imagination
Between the ages of 7 and 14, children respond best to lessons that touch their feelings that enliven their creative forces. The Waldorf elementary school curriculum is filled with fairy tales and fables, mythological sagas, and biographies of historical figures. Waldorf elementary teachers integrate storytelling, drama, rhythmic movement, visual arts, and music into their daily work, weaving a rich tapestry of experience that brings each subject to life in the child’s capacities of thinking, feeling, and willing
Adolescence – Ages 14 to 21 develops the child’s independent judgement of the world and the ability to discern the world abstractly. Students in Waldorf high schools now learn under the guidance of specialist teachers in their fields.
The Benefits of Waldorf Education
Children are not hastened to grow up thereby losing innocence and sense of wonder at an early age.
Visit a Waldorf school and watch the students play. They freely explore nature in all its splendour. By being free to develop according to their own natural rhythms, Waldorf children live their childhood undeterred.
Waldorf children are less intrigued by the computers or any screen for that matter. For a Waldorf child every experience lived and experienced, positively influences him/her for a lifetime. Technology is delayed rather than being introduced at an age when the young child is yet exploring his/her environment. Children develop and hone their problem solving skills through years of hands-on inquiry rather than anything they could have picked up by sitting at a screen.
With the two hour Main lesson every morning, Waldorf children experience one subject which rotates every 3-4 weeks among the academic disciplines. Students have the chance to study each subject thoroughly with their head, heart and hands thereby being totally immersed in experiencing and enjoying the subject matter.
From discovering the alphabet in the first grade to discovering the human anatomy or algebra in the eighth grade, Waldorf students take part in the learning process by creating their own textbooks—that is their main lesson books with beautifully written work, containing subject matter, stories, essays, poems, maps, illustrations, lab descriptions, and math equations. Art and creative learning is an integral part of Waldorf education. Children learn to play the recorder flute and some an instrument and sing in the chorus; they all learn handwork and take movement classes and perform in the class play. The goal in Waldorf Education is to expose children to a wide range of experiences and to develop within them many interests and capabilities. This, in turn, leads to well-balanced young people with high levels of confidence in their ability to apply the acquired skills in later life.
To understand more: please schedule for an Open Day to explore Waldorf teaching by calling the school office on any Saturday.