How Steiner Education is Different
“The great things is to enable the human being to find his place in the world with due confidence in his own power of judgement.” Rudolf Steiner
- Learning in a Steiner School is a non-competitive activity. This encourages children to do their best using their unique talents. It engenders pride, high self-esteem and emulation of admirable characteristics, whereas competition can lead to egotism. Each child’s own learning rate is honoured and preferred learning styles are addressed in all teaching through use of movement, rhythm, art, pattern and storytelling.
- The emphasis on learning is through imitation and creative play until age seven, when academic subjects are interwoven with art, craft and music. This engenders sound developmental growth, a sense of wonder throughout life, a zest for learning, initiative and balance of the whole individual.
- Each of the main subject areas – English, Maths, Social Studies and Science are taught in the main lesson blocks of 3-5 week’s duration. This allows the subject matter at hand to be explored in depth.
- Children produce their own books to record the content of their lessons.
There are no textbooks as such in the lower classes. Upper classes use text books to supplement their main lesson books.
- A tranquil learning environment is a priority. Superior concentration enhances learning, reduces stress and supports the appreciation of nature and promotes a sense of peace.
- • There is a three way responsibility for discipline – Teacher: Parent: Child. Steiner Education aims for self-discipline, responsibility by example and a fair learning environment.
- Art, music, gardening and foreign languages are valued elements of Steiner Schools. There is a strong emphasis on handwork, making and doing through craft and other activities. Beautiful, quality hand-made and natural materials are used throughout the school.
- There is a strong focus on seasons, festivals and community and the natural environment.
- A high standard of nutrition is actively encouraged (avoiding sweets, soft drink, pre-packaged and processed foods)
- Much of the syllabus is taught through story-telling. To support the development of the child’s imagination, television viewing and other electronic media is not recommended. Media is taught as a subject in high school only.
- Steiner Schools are born out of a Western Christian tradition, however a Steiner School is non-denominational. For children to find their place in the complex tapestry of world spiritual life, they must learn about the various religions both past and present. The school teaches the history of Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and many others – elements of which will certainly touch their lives as they grow into a world different religious view points. The central aim of the school is to prevent bigotry and intolerance by the children toward people who think, look or believe differently from themselves. Religion today needs children who love and protect nature and have a deep sense of moral and social responsibility.
- Steiner Schools teach an uncompromising veneration for life and a deep respect for human dignity. It is engendered by the teachers gratitude to the world and encouraged in the child.