All Educational system has an image, which lead to a unique learning process. Waldorf educational theory supports a magnificent learning process for children, which focus on reading, storytelling, rhythmic activities, practical activities related to nature. This research paper examines the depth of Waldorf philosophy and belief.
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Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian educator and philosopher, scientist and artist founded Waldorf at the beginning of 20th century. He believed there is a way to educate children into human beings who will be capable of bringing peace to the world. In April of 1919, Emil Molt, the owner of Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory invited him as a guest speaker, to educate the worker of his company in Germany. After listening to Steiner’s speech Molt asked him to establish a school for the children of the company’s employees. Sterner agreed four conditions, which was, it should be a unified twelve years, and co-educational school and teacher will take the leading role and open to all children. And that’s how the fist independent school ( Die Freie Waldorfschule) was opened on September 7, 1919. (www.waldorfanswers.com)
Today Waldorf education is one of the largest independent schools in the world. There are more than 900 hundred Waldorf school in 83 countries and approximately 128 Waldorf school in North America. There are 10 Steiner teacher training in the United States and 2 in Canada. (www.whywaldorfworks.org)
The philosophy and belief behind waldorf:
Waldorf education is based on Steiners spiritual philosophy ” Anthroposophy” which is wisdom or knowledge of the true nature of human being.
The goal of the Waldorf education is to educate the whole human being that includes head, heart and hand. It means to teach them cognitively, physically and also spiritually. And the waldorf teachers do so through hand on learning experiences, dramatic and imaginative play, songs, drama etc.
Waldorf believe that children learn by playing and imitating their adults and peers; exploring and experiencing everything by their own.
The theories underlying model’s belief:
According to Jean Piaget, “children’s are like little scientist, they try to make sense of the world by exploring, making mistakes and then learning from them”. Rudolf Stiener also believed in that. He said, “receive the children in reverence, educate them in love, let them go forth in freedom”. Waldorf teachers emphasize more on free play and independent creative play where children can exercise the power of their imagination and are free to explore their natural curiosities and less on teaching them reading or writing during the early years. They create an environment for children with rich in opportunities for creative work and imaginative play and give them freedom to explore and experience any materials that interest them. That’s why Waldorf students don’t begin reading until 2nd or 3rd grade.