bringing forward Waldorf/Steiner issues

Posts Tagged ‘curriculum

some research

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One wonders if all the authors of this unoriginal document are attached to the waldorf / steiner movement in some way?

The learning of one to one matching of number words eg; one (the word) to one concrete object, say a block of some kind, is not new and common in the teaching of numeracy. There’s nothing “esoteric” or hidden about this knowledge and I am affronted by this rather lame attempt to make numeracy some kind of “spiritual science” by the waldorf / steiner community. Rhythmical teaching strategies have always been a part of “State Teaching” in Aotearoa NZ. We know it helps rote learning of basic facts but does little to teach that the formula (say 3 x 4 = 12)actually means that there are 3 groups of 4 objects and when I join them together, I end up with 12 objects. Repeated addition is very useful. Of course the child rarely comes to their first class knowing this concept and it takes some time to learn. But it is not “esoteric” or “magical” in any way. Contrary to anthroposophical opinion, it is not only for the initiated. See what waldorf answers has to say here.


what do they teach my youngest at Christchurch steiner?

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What is the curriculum at a Waldorf school like? (this from waldorf answersmy thoughts are in red)

The Waldorf curriculum is designed to be responsive to the various phases of a child’s development. (my experience is that they, the Christchurch steiner school, try to fit the children into their 7 year cycles regardless of where they’re actually at) The relationship between student and teacher is, likewise, recognized to be both crucial and changing throughout the course of childhood and early adolescence. (my step-daughter’s teacher is not qualified to teach at Primary Grade 1, he studied bio-dynamic farming and anthroposophy. That does not make him a teacher, he is baby sitting and doesn’t know what to do). 

The main subjects, such as history, language arts, science and mathematics are, as mentioned, taught in main lesson blocks of two to three hours per day, with each block lasting from three to five weeks. (2 or 3 hour blocks is not a useful block of time for a Grade one student. It is well known that they do not have the concentration span for that. So far it has failed my 3 step-children).

The total Waldorf curriculum has been likened to an ascending spiral: subjects are revisited several times, but each new exposure affords greater depth and new insights into the subject at hand. (this is a common way to teach in state schools. The difference is that state schools pre-test children so the don’t go over things the children already know which is boring, a common complaint. Then state schools post test to find out what the child has learned).

A typical Lower School curriculum would likely look something like the following:

Primary Grades 1 – 3

Pictorial introduction to the alphabet, writing, reading, spelling, poetry and drama.

Folk and fairy tales, fables, legends, Old Testament stories. (All eurocentric accept a very small nod towards Aotearoa-NZ’s own stories, myths, and legends. No depth unless it’s aryan gods and legends).

Numbers, basic mathematical processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Nature stories, house building and gardening.