The principles of Waldorf Education evolve from an understanding of human development that address the needs of the growing child.
Why no face?
Waldorf dolls have minimal (or no) facial expression in order to encourage imagination and to cultivate the ability to develop "inner picturing".
It allows for authentic play to happen without imposing a certain feeling/emotion into the scenario.
Storytelling is at the heart of Waldorf Schools. Stories are a vehicle for relating to and understanding the world and its challenges along with its magic.
Children are immersed in stories told verbally, from memory, by their teacher: fairy tales, folk tales, fables, myths, legends, biographies, and stories from history. Children are invited to engage with the story physically and emotionally; heart to heart.
The changing of teeth are taken seriously. Children show many physical manifestations for being ready to move to the next grade. Loss of baby teeth, however, is the defining physical flag to pay attention to in the child's readiness to learn in new ways.
When children are hurried, or held back, against the signals of the child's own physical and emotional development, it can take a great toll.
NO MEDIA OR ANIMATION
Waldorf education believes that movies and television imprint on a young child's mind in a powerful and permanent way.
It does not allow the child to use their own imagination and creativity to come up with their own visualization of a story and it's elements.
Waldorf teachers also avoid using picture books to tell stories, rather tell the story from the book and have the children engage with the content.
Waldorf schools prioritize human engagement and believe grounding students in their bodies, in three-dimensional space and in human interaction through unmediated experiences.
In a Waldorf setting, technology is seen as the study of techniques used to interact in creative and innovative ways with the world they meet. It is introduced in a developmentally appropriate way.
For example, it is not until middle school that students begin to engage in internet research and computer science, because they are ready for this level of broad engagement.
THREE DEVELOPMENTAL PHASES
infancy and early childhood (0 - 7)
DOING: children are surrounded with beauty, truth and goodness in order to have trust in the world
see how the world works
middle childhood (7 - 14)
FEELING: children have unmediated relationships with each other and the class teacher who loops with them year after year
adolescence (14 - 21)
THINKING: critical thinking skills are focused on and strengthened
Sunday with Sarah is a great VLOG discussing the ins and outs of everything Waldorf, check her out!