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Waldorf Education

Waldorf education (also known as Steiner or Steiner-Waldorf? education) is a pedagogy based upon the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy. Learning is interdisciplinary, integrates practical, artistic, and intellectual elements,and is coordinated with “natural rhythms of everyday life”. The Waldorf approach emphasizes the role of the imagination in learning, developing thinking that includes a creative as well as an analytic component.The education’s overarching goal is to provide young people the basis with which to develop into free, moral and integrated individualsand to aid every child in the unfolding of his or her unique destiny. Schools and teachers are given considerable freedom to define curricula within collegial structures.

The first Waldorf school was founded in 1919, there are now more than 1000 independent Waldorf schools and 1400 independent Waldorf kindergartens located in approximately sixty countries throughout the world, making up one of the world’s largest independent educational systems, as well as Waldorf-based government-funded schools and charter schools, Waldorf homeschooling environments,and Waldorf schools for special education. Waldorf methods have also been adopted by significant numbers of teachers within traditional state and private schools.

 

 

Pedagogy and theory of child development

The structure of the education follows Steiner’s pedagogical model of child development, which views childhood as divided overall into seven-year developmental stages, each having its own learning requirements; the stages are similar to those described by Piaget. According to Waldorf pedagogy:Early childhood learning is largely experiential, imitative and sensory-based. The education emphasizes learning through practical activities. Elementary school years (age 7-14), learning is regarded as artistic and imaginative. In these years, the approach emphasizes developing children’s “feeling life” and artistic expression. During adolescence, to meet the developing capacity for abstract thought and conceptual judgment the emphasis is on learning through intellectual understanding and ethical thinking, including taking social responsibility. This theory of child development is founded in turn upon the Anthroposophical view of the human being.

Pre-school and kindergarten: birth to age 6 or 7

Waldorf schools approach learning in early childhood through imitation and example. Extensive time is given for guided free play in a classroom environment that is homelike, includes natural materials and provides examples of productive work in which children can take part; such an environment is considered by Waldorf pedagogues to be supportive of the physical, emotional and intellectual growth of the child through assimilative learning. In Waldorf schools oral language development is addressed through songs, poems and movement games. These include daily story time when a teacher usually tells a fairytale, often by heart. Waldorf early childhood education emphasizes the importance of children experiencing the rhythms of the year and seasons, including seasonal festivals drawn from a variety of traditions. Waldorf schools in the Western Hemisphere usually celebrate Michaelmas and Martinmas in the autumn, Christmas in winter, Easter and May Day in the spring, and St. John’s Day in summer.

Waldorf kindergartens and lower grades discourage exposure to media influences such as television, computers and recorded music, as they believe these to be harmful to cognitive development.

Elementary education: age 6/7 to 14

See also: Curriculum of the Waldorf schools Waldorf elementary school classroomIn Waldorf schools elementary education may begin when the child is nearing or already seven years of age. The elementary school centers around a multi-disciplinary arts-based curriculum that includes visual arts, drama, artistic movement (eurythmy), vocal and instrumental music, and crafts. Throughout the elementary years, students learn two foreign languages (in English-speaking countries often German and either Spanish or French). Throughout the elementary years, concepts are first introduced through stories and images, and academic instruction is integrated with the visual and plastic arts, music and movement. There is little reliance on standardized textbooks; instead, each child creates his or her own illustrated summary of coursework in book form. The school day generally starts with a one-and-a-half to two-hour academic lesson that focuses on a single theme over the course of about a month’s time and generally begins with an introduction that may include singing, instrumental music, recitations of poetry, including a verse written by Steiner for the start of a school day, and practice in mathematics and language arts. An objective of most Waldorf schools is to have a single teacher loop with a class throughout the elementary school years, teaching at least the principal academic lessons; Waldorf teachers have been cited for their level of personal commitment to their pupils.

Waldorf teachers use the concept of the four temperaments to help interpret, understand and relate to the behaviour and personalities of children under their tutelage. The temperaments, choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic, and sanguine, are thought to express four basic personality types, each possessing its own fundamental way of regarding and interacting with the world. Waldorf elementary education allows for individual variations in the pace of learning, based upon the expectation that a child will grasp a concept or achieve a skill when he or she is ready.Cooperation takes priority over competition.This approach also extends to physical education; competitive team sports are introduced in upper grades.

Secondary education

In most Waldorf schools, pupils enter secondary education when they are about fourteen years old. The education is now wholly carried out by specialist teachers. The education now focuses much more strongly on academic subjects,though students normally continue to take courses in art, music, and crafts. Pupils are encouraged to develop their own independent and creative thinking processes. The curriculum is structured to help students develop a sense of competence, responsibility and purpose, to foster an understanding of ethical principles, and to build a sense of social responsibility.

Curriculum

Main article: Curriculum of the Waldorf schools There are widely-agreed guidelines for the Waldorf curriculum, supported by the schools’ common principles; nevertheless, independent Waldorf schools are autonomous institutions not required to follow a prescribed curriculum. Government-funded Waldorf-method schools may be required to incorporate aspects of state curricula. There are a few subjects largely unique to the Waldorf schools. Foremost among these is Eurythmy, a movement art usually accompanying spoken texts or music which includes elements of role play and dance and is designed to provide individuals and classes with a “sense of integration and harmony”. Waldorf schools generally introduce computers into the curriculum in the teenage years.

Origins and history

Growth in the number of Waldorf schools world-wideSee also: History of Waldorf schools Rudolf Steiner wrote his first book on education, The Education of the Child, in 1907. The first school based upon these principles was opened in 1919 in response to a request by Emil Molt, the owner and managing director of the Waldorf-Astoria? Cigarette Company in Stuttgart, Germany. This is the source of the name Waldorf, which is now trademarked for use in association with the educational method. The Stuttgart school grew rapidly, opening parallel classes, and by 1938 schools inspired by the original school or its pedagogical principles had been founded in the USA, UK, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Hungary, and in other towns in Germany. Political interference from the Nazi regime limited and ultimately closed most Waldorf schools in Europe; the affected schools, including the original school, were reopened after the Second World War. The growth in school numbers through 2005 is shown in the accompanying chart. Waldorf schools have traditionally been numerically and culturally centered in Europe; the number of non-European schools has been slowly increasing, however, leading to a trend toward reinterpreting the formerly Euro-centric curriculum.

Governance

One of Waldorf education’s central premises is that all schools (not only Waldorf schools) should be both self-governing and grant teachers a high degree of creative autonomy within the school. Most Waldorf schools are not directed by a principal or head teacher, but rather by a number of groups, including: The college of teachers, who decide on pedagogical issues, normally on the basis of consensus. This group is usually open to full-time teachers who have been with the school for a prescribed period of time. Each school is accordingly unique in its approach, as it may act solely on the basis of the decisions of the college of teachers to set policy or other actions pertaining to the school and its students. Waldorf schools have been cited for having a high level of teacher collegiality. The board of trustees, who decide on governance issues, especially those relating to school finances and legal issues. Parents are encouraged to take an active part in non-curricular aspects of school life. Waldorf schools have been found to create effective adult “intentional learning communities”. There are coordinating bodies for Waldorf education at both the national (e.g. the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America and the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship in the UK and Ireland) and international level (e.g. International Association for Waldorf Education and The European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education (ECSWE)). These organizations certify the use of the registered names “Waldorf” and “Steiner school” and offer accreditations, often in conjunction with regional independent school associations. Some Waldorf schools are independently accredited by governmental authorities.

Social mission

Social purpose

Waldorf education was developed by Rudolf Steiner as an attempt to establish a school system that would not only facilitate the inclusive, broadly based, balanced development of children, but would also act in a socially responsible and transformative fashion.

Intercultural links in socially polarized communities

Waldorf schools have linked polarized communities in a variety of settings. Under the apartheid regime in South Africa, the Waldorf school was one of the few schools in which children of both races attended the same classes, despite the ensuing loss of state aid. A Waldorf training college in Cape Town, the Novalis Institute, was described by UNESCO as an organization which had a great consequence in the conquest of apartheid: “It has prepared the way and laid the foundations for a new and integrated community.” The Imhoff Waldorf School in Kommetjie, South Africa has a successful program running where economically disadvantaged pupils are able to apply for sponsorship for their education and school fees. To date they boast 14% of the pupil body to be sponsored. The goal is 25%. In Israel, the Harduf Kibbutz Waldorf school includes both Jewish and Arab faculty and students and has extensive contact with the surrounding Arab communities; it also runs an Arab-language Waldorf teacher training. In addition, a joint Arab-Jewish? Waldorf kindergarten, the first Arab-Jewish?, bilingual and bicultural kindergarten in Israel, was founded in Hilf (near Haifa) in 2005. In Brazil, a Waldorf teacher, Ute Craemer, founded a community service organization providing training and work, health care and Waldorf education in the poverty-stricken areas of the city called Favelas.

Links to UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, known as UNESCO, states that the Waldorf movement’s “ideals and ethical principles…correspond to those of UNESCO,” and has chosen a number of UNESCO Waldorf schools in Germany, Africa and Asia to be associated project schools. UNESCO also sponsored an exhibit about the Waldorf schools at the 44th Session of their International Conference on Education in Geneva. An exhibition catalogue was published by UNESCO under the title Waldorf Education Exhibition Catalog On Occasion of the 4th Session of the International Conference on Education of UNESCO in Geneva.

Spiritual foundations

Anthroposophy’s role

Main article: Anthroposophy Both historically and philosophically, Waldorf education grows out of anthroposophy’s view of child development, which stands as the basis for the educational theory, methodology of teaching and curriculum. Waldorf pedagogics see that the teacher has “a sacred task in helping each child’s soul and spirit grow”. Steiner’s “extra-sensory anthropology” has been the source of criticisms of Waldorf education in Germany. While anthroposophy is not generally taught as a subject, the degree to which anthroposophy is described by the schools as the philosophical underpinning of Waldorf education typically varies from school to school. This has at times, led to parents objecting that the role of anthroposophy in the educational method had not been disclosed to them, prior to enrollment. One study noted that many Waldorf teachers display an uncritical attitude toward anthroposophy and questioned the pedagogy’s reliance on a single theory of child development.

Spirituality and religion

Throughout the curriculum, Waldorf education is implicitly infused with spirituality. The curriculum includes a wide range of religious traditions without being oriented in favor of any single tradition. In Germany, where religious classes are a mandatory school offering in some federal states (although never obligatory for individual students to take), each religious confession provides its own teachers for the Waldorf schools’ religion classes; the schools also offer an open religion class for those who have no confessional affiliation. Religion classes are universally absent from American Waldorf schools.

Celebrations and festivals

Festivals play an important role in Waldorf schools, which generally celebrate seasonal observances by showing work of students in the class. The faculty of each individual school decides which festivals and celebrations would best meet the needs and traditions of the students in their particular school. Waldorf theories and practices have been adapted by schools to the historical and cultural traditions of the surrounding communities, whereby there is wide variation to what extent educators detach from Waldorf education’s traditionally European Christian orientation. Examples of such adaptation include the Waldorf schools in Israel and Japan, which celebrate festivals of their particular spiritual heritage, and classes in the Milwaukee Urban Waldorf school, which have adopted traditions with African American and Native American heritages.

Studies

General

UK comparison with mainstream education

A UK Department for Education and Skills report noted significant differences in curriculum and pedagogical approach between Waldorf/Steiner and mainstream schools and recommended that schools in the state sector could benefit from the following elements of Waldorf education: early introduction and approach to modern foreign languages; the combination of block (class) and subject teaching for younger children; development of speaking and listening through an emphasis on oral work; the good pacing of lessons through an emphasis on rhythm; the emphasis on child development guiding the curriculum and examinations; the approach to art and creativity; the attention given to teachers’ reflective activity and heightened awareness (in collective child study for example); and collegial structure of leadership and management, including collegial study. There were also aspects of mainstream practice which, the researchers recommended, could inform good practice in Waldorf schools: management skills and ways of improving organizational and administrative efficiency; classroom management; work with secondary school-age children; and assessment and record keeping. A 2008 report by the Cambridge-based Primary Review found that Steiner/Waldorf schools achieved superior academic results to English state schools. Australian study of academic success at university An Australian study comparing the academic performance of students at university level found that students who had been at Waldorf schools significantly outperformed their peers from non-Waldorf schools in both the humanities and the sciences.

Comparison with Montessori and traditional schools

A study compared the drawing ability of children in Steiner/Waldorf, Montessori and traditional schools, concluding that “the approach to art education in Steiner schools is conducive not only to more highly rated imaginative drawings in terms of general drawing ability and use of color but also to more accurate and detailed observational drawings.”

Comparative study of moral development

A Canadian study found that Waldorf-educated students scored significantly higher on a test of moral reasoning than students in public high schools and students in a religiously-affiliated high school. Waldorf students were also far more likely to volunteer opinions about the survey and research in general, suggesting possible improvements in the survey technique and offering new possibilities to resolve the moral dilemmas raised in the survey.

U.S. Waldorf schools survey

A 1995 survey of U.S. Waldorf schools found that parents overall experienced the Waldorf schools as achieving their major aims for students and describe the education as one that “integrates the aesthetic, spiritual and interpersonal development of the child with rigorous intellectual development”, preserving students enthusiasm for learning so that they develop a better sense of self-confidence and self-direction. Some parents described upper grades teachers as overextended, without sufficient time to relate to parental needs and input, and wished for more open and reciprocal parent-school support. Both parents and students sometimes described colleges of teachers as being insular and unresponsive. The students overall were positive about the school and its differences; experienced the school as a “community of friends”; and spoke of the opportunity to grow and develop through the broad range of activities offered, to learn when they were ready to learn, to develop imagination, and to come to understand the world as well as oneself. Many students spoke of the kindness of their peers and of learning to think things through clearly for themselves, not to jump to conclusions, and to remain positive in the face of problems and independent of pressure from others to think as they do. Improvements the students suggested included more after-school sports programs, more physical education classes, more preparation for standardized testing, a class in world politics and computer classes. Faculty, parents and students were united in expressing a desire to improve the diversity of the student body, especially by increasing representation of minority groups such as African-Americans? and Hispanic Americans.

Standardized testing: USA

Despite their lessened exposure to standardized testing (especially in the elementary school years), U.S. Waldorf pupils’ SAT scores have usually come above the national average, especially on verbal measures.

College entrance examinations: Germany

Studies comparing students’ performance on college-entrance examinations in Germany found that as a group, Waldorf graduates passed the exam at double to triple the rate of students graduating from the state education system, and that students who had attended Waldorf schools for their entire education passed at a much higher rate (40% vs. 26%) than those who only had part of their education at a Waldorf school. Educational successes of private Waldorf schools may partially reflect the social status of their students. An international study found that Waldorf pupils were more creative than state-school students, as judged by the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking Ability. An Australian study found that Waldorf-educated adolescents were more oriented towards improving social conditions and had more positive visions of the future than those who attended state schools. A Swedish study comparing several hundred Waldorf students (grade 9 and 12) to corresponding students in Swedish public schools reported that the proportion of the Waldorf pupils who supported counteracting or stopping Nazism and racism was considerably greater (93%) than that of the pupils at municipal secondary schools (72%). A study of 6,600 children from five European countries, ages 5 to 13, showed a lower incidence of allergies amongst children attending Waldorf schools, an effect which correlated with the extent to which they lived an “anthroposophic lifestyle” in terms of restrictive use of antibiotics, antipyretics, and measles, mumps and rubella vaccination. A second, Swedish study found the incidence of atopy or allergy-like symptoms in pupils in Waldorf schools to be half (13%) of that in neighboring non-Waldorf schools (25%).

Specific schools

Milwaukee Urban Waldorf School

Since switching to Waldorf methods, the Milwaukee Urban Waldorf Elementary School has shown an increase in parental involvement, a reduction in suspensions, improvements in standardized test scores for both reading and writing (counter to the district trend), while expenditures per pupil are below many regular district programs. The school converted to Waldorf methods in 1991, when it had 350 students, about 90% of them African American. On the Milwaukee public schools standard third-grade evaluation, the number of children reading above grade level went from 26% in 1992 to 63% in 1995. Waldorf’s adaptable and individualized curriculum has been mentioned as a factor in the school’s success in addressing children of poverty and children of color. The same author criticized the present split between private and public Waldorf schools and the lack of greater efforts to implement Waldorf methods in public education. In 1996 a team of seven mainstream educational researchers conducted a study of the school. In a report published at the conclusion of the study, the school was cited as a positive learning environment, in which the students as well as their background seemed to be treated with respect, and where pupils are both encouraged and trusted to be responsible. The report quoted the school principal’s evaluation of the Waldorf approach: “Practical and effective, not first and foremost in academics, but in allowing children to be children again…Waldorf gives you connection to your environment, to nature, to school, to others.” The study cited the school’s pleasing aesthetic, positive teaching environment, safe atmosphere and warm relations despite the “difficult life that surrounds UWS and many of its children”. The report also discussed the challenge of meeting societal racism, unsuspected biases of teachers and students in modern-day America, and anthroposophy and Waldorf education’s underlying theory of the evolution of consciousness which “sometimes places one race below another in one or another dimension of development”: The researchers noted that teachers “have found a way to put respect for the children before other considerations”, and that the school was attempting to combat racism.

T. E. Mathews Community School

The T. E. Mathews Community School in Yuba County, California serves high-risk juvenile offenders, many of whom have learning disabilities. The school switched to Waldorf methods in the 1990s. A 1999 study of the school found that students had “improved attitudes toward learning, better social interaction and excellent academic progress.” This study identified the integration of the arts “into every curriculum unit and almost every classroom activity” of the school as the most effective tool to help students overcome patterns of failure and found significant improvements in reading and math scores, student participation, focus, openness and enthusiasm, as well as emotional stability, civility of interaction and tenacity.

Reception and controversy

Reception by mainstream educationalists

Dr. Ernest Boyer has described Waldorf education as having an “unparalleled” integration of the arts into traditional content. Thomas Armstrong sees Waldorf education curriculum as organically embodying Howard Gardner’s seven intelligences in a more thorough way than other schools. Professor Robert Peterkin has stated that in his opinion Waldorf education holds principles which are in agreement with goals for educating all children. He sees it as a healing education. Thomas Nielsen of the University of Canberra articulated seven forms of imaginative teaching used in Waldorf education – exploration, empathy, story-telling, arts, discussion, drama and routine – that he suggests mainstream educators could valuably employ. UK educational evaluators see the Waldorf approach conforming to the principal direction of educational theory based upon Comenius and Pestalozzi. Some Waldorf methods have also been adopted by teachers in both public/state and other private schools.

Reading and literacy

Current mainstream pedagogical methods in the U.S. call for teaching reading readiness beginning in preschool for ages 3-5. According to the U.S. Department of Education, “School readiness is a goal around which the entire nation has enthusiastically rallied…. However, there is more that needs to be done. Many young children are still entering kindergarten without the prerequisite language, cognitive, and early reading and writing skills they need in order to benefit fully from early formal reading instruction.” In contrast, the Waldorf curriculum typically does not include direct reading or writing instruction until age 7. Todd Oppenheimer, a freelance journalist, contrasted the Waldorf schools’ approach to reading to the approach used in most other American schools: Emphasis on the creative also guides the aspect of a Waldorf education that probably frightens parents more than any other: the relaxed way that children learn to read. Whereas students at more-competitive schools are mastering texts in first grade, sometimes even in kindergarten, most Waldorf students aren’t reading fully until the third grade. And if they’re still struggling at that point, many Waldorf teachers don’t worry. In combination with another Waldorf oddity — sending children to first grade a year later than usual — this means that students may not be reading until age nine or ten, several years after many of their peers. … It’s no surprise, then, that Waldorf parents occasionally panic. Others may distrust Waldorf education because they have heard tales of parents who pulled their children out of a Waldorf school in the third grade when the kids still couldn’t read. “That’s like a standing joke,” one parent, the mother of two graduates of the Rudolf Steiner School, told Oppenheimer. “People say, ‘Oh, can your kids read?’ There was no concerted effort to drum certain words into the kids. And that was the point.” Before teaching sound and word recognition, Waldorf teachers concentrate on exercises to build up a child’s love of language. The technique seems to work, even in public schools. Barbara Warren, a teacher at John Morse, a public school near Sacramento, says that two years after Waldorf methods were introduced in her fourth-grade class of mostly minority children, the number of students who read at grade level doubled, rising from 45 to 85 percent. “I didn’t start by making them read more,” Warren says. “I started telling stories, and getting them to recite poetry that they learned by listening, not by reading. They became incredible listeners.” Many Waldorf parents recall that their children were behind their friends in non-Waldorf schools but somehow caught up in the third or fourth grade, and then suddenly read with unusual fervor.

Child psychologist David Elkind cites evidence that late readers ultimately fare better at reading and other subjects than early readers. Elkind also separately examined Steiner and the Waldorf schools’ non-academic focus with hands-on exploration and conceptualization in early childhood education. According to Lucy Calkins, a reading specialist at the Teachers College of Columbia University, in most public schools the students who start reading later tend to do worse. Calkins also says that Waldorf students might also benefit slightly if they started earlier, but stated that she “would not necessarily be worried in a Waldorf school….The foundation of literacy is talk and play.” Oppenheimer also cautions “the system isn’t fail-safe,” noting that faith in the Waldorf system for reading instruction can lead teachers to overlook genuine learning disabilities including dyslexia, in some students.

Concerns over immunizations

See also: PARSIFAL study and vaccine controversy Rudolf Steiner (the founder of Waldorf education) suggested that children’s spirits benefited from being tempered in the fires of a good inflammation. A report about a growing trend against childhood immunizations describes parents of a Waldorf school in Colorado who believed vaccinations had harmful effects. Concerns have been raised that unvaccinated students, some of whom attended Waldorf schools, may have been compromising public health by spreading disease, even among vaccinated populations. In response, The European Council of Waldorf Schools, representing 630 of the 900 Waldorf schools world wide, has stated unequivocally that opposition to immunisation per se – or resistance to national strategies for childhood immunisation in general – forms no part of the goals of Waldorf education. It also stated that a matter such as whether or not to inoculate a child against communicable disease should be a matter for parental choice, and that insofar as schools have any role to play in these matters, it is in making available a range of balanced information both from the appropriate national agencies and from qualified health professionals with expertise in the field.

Publicly-funded schools

California

As of 2007, there were 30 public Waldorf-methods schools in the state of California. In 1998 a lawsuit was filed in California by a small group, PLANS, against two government school districts which employed Waldorf methods in two of their schools. PLANS argued that publicly-financed Waldorf-methods schools violated the principle of the separation of church and state in the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The group also protested at other government schools in California, claiming the Waldorf training and methods were rooted in a New Age, cult-like religious sect. At the trial, held in 2005, the court ruled against PLANS, dismissing the case on its merits. The judgment followed 30 minutes of attorney questioning during which PLANS told the trial judge that it could present no witnesses qualified to testify in the case who met the requirements of prior evidence rulings. PLANS appealed the outcome in 2006; the appeal was granted in November, 2007, and the case was remanded to trial.

Victoria, Australia

There are currently 10 Steiner programs operating in government-run schools in Australia. In 2006, State-run Steiner schools in Victoria, Australia were challenged by parents and religious experts over concerns that the schools derive from a spiritual system, anthroposophy; parents and administrators of the school, as well as Victorian Department of Education authorities, presented divergent views as to whether spiritual or religious dimensions influence pedagogical practice. If present, these would contravene the secular basis of the public education system. A number of parents also say their schools discouraged immunizations. A number of State-run schools in Victoria run “Steiner-influenced” programs in parallel with standard curricula. Possibly the first was at East Bentleigh Primary school, which commenced the program in 1991. Controversy has arisen at a school in Footscray that introduced a Steiner program in 2001, despite concerns raised in 2000 by two curriculum officers from the Victorian Department of Education. These officials judged several aspects of the Steiner approach, such as reading instruction and the ban on computers and multimedia in primary school, to be inconsistent with or contradictory to the government curriculum and educational policies. A spokesman for the Department of Education stated in 2007 that these views were not the official assessment of the Department. Subsequent divisions among parents in the school have prompted the state to dissolve the school council in 2006 and initiate an inquiry. Also in 2006, the State Government formally changed departmental policy to allow programs such as Steiner/Waldorf, Montessori and Reggio Emilia streams to be run in state schools.

See also

References

Works by Rudolf Steiner

See also: list of Rudolf Steiner’s works on education

  • Education: An Introductory Reader (Christopher Clouder, ed.), Sophia Books (March 2004), ISBN 1-85584-118-5. Collection of relevant works by Steiner on education.
  • The Education of the Child, and early Lectures on Education (Foundations of Waldorf Education, 25), ISBN 0-88010-414-7. Includes Steiner’s first descriptions of child development, originally published as a small booklet.
  • The Foundations of Human Experience, ISBN 0-88010-392-2; also known as The Study of Man, these fundamental lectures on education were given to the teachers just before the opening of the first Waldorf school in Stuttgart in 1919.

Note: all of Steiner’s lectures on Waldorf education are available in PDF form at this research site

Selected works by other authors

See also: List of works on Waldorf education

  • Aeppli, W., The Developing Child ISBN 0-88010-491-0
  • Clouder, C. and Rawson, M., Waldorf Education ISBN 0-86315-396-8
  • Cusick, L, Waldorf Parenting Handbook ISBN 0-916786-75-7
  • Edmunds, Francis, An Introduction to Steiner Education ISBN 1-85584-172-X
  • Gardner, John F., Education in Search of the Spirit: Essays on American Education ISBN 0-88010-439-2
  • Masters, Brien, Adventures in Steiner Education ISBN 1-85584-153-3
  • Nobel, Agnes, Educating through Art: The Steiner School Approach
  • Petrash, Jack, (2002): Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching from the Inside Out ISBN 0-87659-246-9
  • Querido, René, The Esoteric Background of Waldorf Education
  • Wilkinson, R. (1996): The Spiritual Basis of Steiner Education. London: Sophia Books ISBN 1-85584-065-0

External links

Further discussion and reviews

Waldorf resources

Schools and colleges

Associations of Waldorf Schools

Finding a Waldorf School

Teacher training programs

Homeschooling and special education

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