The European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education

Characteristics of Steiner Waldorf Education

Steiner Waldorf education

Steiner Waldorf education emphasizes the role of imagination in learning and integrates the intellectual, practical, and artistic development of pupils holistically. The Steiner Waldorf curriculum is non-prescriptive, in accord with developmental needs of the child and avoids an undue early specialisation or inappropriate academic pressure. The Steiner core curriculum is taught in bloc lessons. A class teacher accompanies children from school entry age for several years in succession. Our schools are co-educational, and usually both comprehensive and integrated from the age of 6/7 to 18/19. Our schools and settings aspire to a model of management and leadership which is collaborative, with responsibility and accountability defined and shared transparently throughout the organization.

Further characteristics:

  • Our schools have a legal Council of Management and there is active parent participation in all areas of school life.
  • All pupils share the broad, internationally recognised Waldorf curriculum, which is non-prescriptive and proven over 80 years.
  • Schools are extended learning environments for parents and teachers to work co-operatively in support of children’s education.
  • Formative assessment is the preferred practice in the school.
  • An early years approach that provides time and space for development of key skills is a basis for later literacy, numeracy, social and emotional competence.
  • Schools work with the ideal that such education should be accessible to all, regardless of ethnicity, creed or financial circumstances.
  • Two modern languages taught from the age of 6.
  • Whole class teaching in aesthetically pleasing and secure learning environment where qualities of childhood are nurtured and respected.
  • Children based in their own home classroom except for specialist areas.
  • All-age schools with mixed ability classes according to the age of the child and not streamed by achievement.
  • Science and technology taught throughout in age appropriate form.
  • Key skills such as numeracy and literacy presented in an imaginative and creative manner.
  • Enhanced mobility and international school exchanges because of common ethos and related core curriculum.
  • Children being well grounded in their cultural environment and also conscious of being world citizens.

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  • ECSWE Newsletter 51, May 2018

    In this volume:
    • - The ELIANT Petition for age-appropriate media education;
    • - A Parliament resolution calling for educational choice;
    • - News from the ET2020 Working Group Schools;
    • - Reports of the last two Council meetings in Dornach and Cracow;
    • - Domestic reports: from Italy and the Netherlands;
    • - An update on the WOW-Day 2017;
  • Factsheet 2017/18

  • Partnerships

  • Recommended Research

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