Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Public Schools Move Towards Waldorf Philosophy

The growing charter school movement has many public schools starting to move away from the usual methods of educating students. 44 Waldorf-inspired public schools, mostly K-8 charter schools in the western part of the US, have sprung up and are having great success.

The Waldorf method suggests that teachers time their teaching to coincide with a child's readiness to learn. For instance, they teach writing before reading, which sometimes results in students starting to read as late as the third grade. "We hold back on intellectualizing the child until it's time," says sixth-grade teacher Chris Whetstone.

In "Learning from Rudolf Steiner: The Relevance of Waldorf Education for Urban Public School Reform," a study published in 2008 in the journal Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice, researcher Ida Oberman concluded that the Waldorf approach successfully laid the groundwork for future academics by first
engaging students through integrated arts lessons and strong relationships instead of preparing them for standardized tests.

Read the whole story here.

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