Picture: Eurythmy ( Euritmia) – Instituto Juana de Arco – Escuela Waldorf – Buenos Aires www.juanadearco.org Rudolf Steiner Pedagogy / Waldorf Schools Movement started in Europe after the First World War. Rudolf Steiner, its creator truly believed in the necessity of the improvement of the ordinary educational system. In his view after the disastrous consequences of the war, the world needed a new intellectual and humanistic vision of the cosmos, a new race of citizens. Waldorf School Movement wanted to show themselves as a new social frame and a new model of popular learning and an improved revision of Pedagogy. Waldorf Schools were conceived as Unitarian schools; they would mix all social levels focusing on conviviality. The first Waldorf School was settled in Stuttgart and besides teaching duties; teachers took care also on administrative affaires. The desired teacher profile to work at a Waldorf School was that of a person of high moral and deep spirituality. Waldorf Education should provide long-life learning, and each teacher should see every kid as a spiritual question to be solved, as a divine question. In this frame of things, discipline is considered a question of methodology. Making kids take decisions could make them feel insecurity. Kids and Youngs who received vividly education and security show profound interest in the world and in the humanity. First of all, kids are sensorial beings. They realize of the behaviour of their parents. Kids imitate, they need to imitate and adults may not forbidden those actions. For kids development imitating is like breathe. Kids receive gestures vividly and they get reactions of the people. Psychologically abandoned children at wealthy families are quite usual. Teacher should know that always the very key of these problems is the mother. Love deprived kids would grow poor intellectually and affectively. The first pictures of childhood stay always fix in children minds. Motivated kids may speak properly genre, number, case and temps, superlatives, main clause and secondary clause. They can also learn languages very fastly even if the concepts could not be taught simultaneously. Lack of contact with other children may cause serious problems. If kids don’t contact with others they are likely to suffer stagnation and perturbations. Waldorf Learning System focuses on periods of seven years. If kids only experience non-sense and disruptive behaviours in the first period of their lives they may behave badly in the second period of life. Due to this teachers should set proper games to encourage personality, because as toddlers, kids are vividly impressed. Kindergarten activities should provide creative phantasy and start to show kids the paths to the future. Following this objective, parents ought not to show or give kids finished puppets, or objects. Kids ought to learn patience and wit to joint different pieces. Also kids who do not watch TV keep and develop more imagination and are more likely to think deeply to create their own things and toys. Special Features at Waldorf Schools
- School Timetable. Waldorf School criticize ordinary school timetable. At Waldorf Schools lessons are ordered and structured logically. In daily activities teaching follow processes and periods where the first lesson will take two hours and it is set as the most important lesson of the day. The study plan is focused by pedagogical periods avoiding several gadgets to elicit motivation.
- The Linguistic exercises are showed as a set of exercises which follow a cyclical plan, step by step and following long periods which ought to lead the knowledge into skills, making periodic remembering to get back what was missed and to merge it in a new concept.
- Every school subject has its own purpose. For example, by learning arts kids learn persistency and to develop intrinsic attitude to solve problems. Physiologically abandoned kids can truly swim into colours. Grammar is taught through literature, proetry or writings.
- According to Waldorf Philosophy kids have different temperaments, which may follow some typical colours. The four types of kids are choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic and sanguineous.
- Rudolf Steiner thought that teaching Religion was teaching tolerance.
- Every teacher at Waldorf Schools must be a tutor teacher. All Teachers must submit once a week to develop new strategies and work on special cases.
- At Primary School examinations are avoided and every tutor teacher spends eight years with the same class. Every teacher is able to admit or deny kids at their class. In this context discipline is meant to be therapeutically and every teacher may have his/her own golden rules.
- When introducing Literature is important to be gradual. Teacher starts always with pictures because kids think through images. From fairy tales to Greek Mythology.
Finally Waldorf Pedagogy focuses specially on the 9-years old crisis. At 9 kids face their first crisis. Kids which had lived and experienced insecurity in adults, rebel themselves and show insecurity, irritability, furry, provocation and more disruptive behaviours. Waldorf Pedagogy pays special attention to Body, Mind and Soul connection, due to this Eurythmy plays a key role at children development. @BeatrizAcosta