Who was Rudolf Steiner?
Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was an Austrian philosopher, education theorist, school reformer and architect. He founded the first Waldorf Steiner School in Stuttgart, Germany in 1919, in response to the wishes of the workers at the Waldorf factory, for their children to receive an integrated education, which they themselves had not had. Steiner oversaw the founding of the first school, developing a carefully structured approach to education, influenced by his own experience as a philosopher and scholar.
Today, there is a worldwide movement of Steiner (Waldorf) schools offering a comprehensive, integrated curriculum that responds to a child’s age-specific, developmental needs.
What is different about a Steiner school education?
Our principles are based on Steiner’s belief that human beings can maximise their potential through self-discipline and acquisition of knowledge. An individual may choose to shape their own future, rather than by being shaped by present day limiting beliefs.
Our students are encouraged to discover a sense of their own possibility and to participate in a form of education that addresses the full measure of themselves – body, mind and spirit. We aim to foster in children, a deep, lifelong love of learning, through engagement with their feelings, will and intellect.
Steiner schools are co-educational and comprehensive. Our curriculum reflects a child’s age and development. Children are encouraged to compete with themselves, rather than with others and our classrooms become a microcosm of society that reflect different cultures, faiths and abilities, all of which are striving to live in harmony with one another. Children learn, not only from the teacher, but also from each other. The classroom becomes a community and the continued education with the same teacher over a number of years, allows children to develop security and emotional stability.
A Steiner education supports deep learning. This is delivered through the Main Lesson and an integrated curriculum. We balance academic, artistic and practical experiences throughout our curriculum that is designed to bring thinking to life through imaginative teaching. Studies are oriented towards moral capacity, social consciousness and citizenship.
We encourage children to value the natural environment and beautiful surroundings. This allows them to develop aesthetic sensitivities and a state of wellbeing.
A Steiner education is nurturing and compassionate. Rather than forcing children to study in a pressured environment, we encourage our students to learn through experience. By developing a memory of that experience, the child is able to fully understand what they have learnt. Through knowledge the child develops confidence and allows his or her own unique qualities to come to the fore. This results in greater fulfillment, both as children and in preparation for adulthood.
Visit the Steiner Education Australia website to find out more about Steiner education.