The Forum of Ideas Virtual Fair
As Natural Teachers it is important to become familiar with the most notable child development theorists and philosophies. This practice is designed to strengthen your professional identity as a Natural Teacher.
The Assignment: You are eligible to win a million dollar grant to create your own school or childcare center. Explore the child development theorists and educational philosophies from the Forum of Ideas Virtual Fair. ( Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, and Montessori) Reflect and discover how important developmental theorists are in creating your own philosophy of education as a Natural Teacher.
Rudolf Steiner & Waldorf Education
WHO: Rudolf Steiner is the Australian philosopher, author, social reformer and architect that developed Waldorf Education.
WHAT: Waldorf Education was developed from a way of thinking. It is based on “what it means to be human and inner development”. This is what Steiner called, “Anthroposophy.”
The Curriculum (as described by the Association of Waldorf Schools in North America)
Preschool and Kindergarten children learn primarily through imitation and imagination. The goal of the kindergarten is to develop a sense of wonder in the young child and reverence for all living things. This creates an eagerness for the academics that follow in the grades. Preschool and Kindergarten activities include:
- storytelling, puppetry, creative play
- singing, eurythmy (movement)
- games and finger plays
- painting, drawing and beeswax modeling
- baking and cooking, nature walks
- foreign language and circle time for festival and seasonal celebrations
Elementary and middle-school children learn through the guidance of a class teacher who stays with the class ideally for eight years. The curriculum includes:
- English based on world literature, myths, and legends
- history that is chronological and inclusive of the world’s great civilizations
- science that surveys geography, astronomy, meteorology, physical and life sciences
- mathematics that develops competence in arithmetic, algebra, and geometry
- foreign languages; physical education; gardening
- arts including music, painting, sculpture, drama, eurythmy, sketching
- handwork such as knitting, weaving, and woodworking
HOW: Waldorf Educators “strive to transform education into an art.” Their teachings focus on the Whole Child and are guided by key essential elements.
The Essentials of Waldorf Education (from the International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education)
- 1. Love and Warmth
- 2. An Environment that Nourishes the Senses
- 3. Creative and Artistic experiences
- 4. Meaningful Adult Activity to be imitated
- 5. Free and Imaginative Play
- 6. Protection of the Forces of childhood
- 7. Gratitude, Reverence and Wonder
- 8. Joy, Humor, and Happiness
- 9. Adult Care Givers pursuing the Path of Innate Developement
WHERE:The first Waldorf School was founded in 1919. Since then Waldorf Education has been widespread throughout the country.
REFLECTIONS: Begin now and explore how to infuse Waldorf philosophy and methods a into your Outdoor Classroom. Leave a comment below and share your insights.
- Comparing Preschool Philosophies
- International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education
- On-line Waldorf Library