In the July issue of Alabama Waldorf School’s newsletter, the AWS Awareness, Administrator Lisa Grupe, Ph.D., presents how the Waldorf school meets the developmental needs of the child, whether age 3 or age 13. The full article is located on our website, alabamawaldorf.org.
In this TEDx presentation, Dr. Nancy Carlsson Paige talks about the difference between direct teaching for the answer, and indirect teaching for the concept behind the answer.
Allowing children to learn first through play and discovery in the preschool helps them develop capacities which will prepare them for the concepts they’ll learn in grade school.
She uses the example of her son and a new friend playing together in a park, to illustrate that when young children learn through play, there is a lot of power in that learning experience, including:
the initiative the kids took,
defining and solving their own problems,
showing original thinking in inventing new ideas,
and perservering and cooperating in working together.
Education goes wrong when we try to take this power out of the learning experience, and instead “drill and grill” facts into the children. “We take their love out of that learning,” she says. The cost is that young children in classrooms all over the country are tuned out, confused, scared, and have already learned a sense of failure.
In a Milwaukee Metro Parent magazine article entitled The Mysterious World of Waldorf published last March, author Malia Jacobson “untangles the misconceptions about Waldorf Education.”
— Educator Kim John Payne dispels the untrue assertion that Waldorf classrooms are unstructured and free-for-all learning centers, saying that “Waldorf is not child led, but instead child-centered.”
— While Waldorf students do study world religions, “the Waldorf curriculum is more soulful than spiritual” (We wrote about the “magical” elements of the Waldorf Kindergarten curriculum in this blog article.)
— “Waldorf’s focus on art extends beyond the physical arts, in developing students’ aesthetic sense, Waldorf strives to develop their aesthetic sense for social life.” (Click here for an earlier blog post on Arts and Science in the Waldorf Curriculum.)
For answers to other Frequently Asked Questions about Waldorf Education, visit AlabamaWaldorf.org.