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Steiner School


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Hi,

 

I met a lady today who sends her children to a steiner school - and what an amazing conversation it was!

 

I have briefly looked at this method through my study but it was so different hearing a 'real life' experience.

 

The main thing that struck me was that she, and presumably the other parents, who pay for their children to attend are already 'signed' up for the ethos of formal teaching later, importance of imaginative play etc. and I though how nice it must be not to have to explain to parents that we are not going to teach their 3 year old to read "so they are ready when they go to proper school!"

 

Anybody here any any more experience?

 

I would be very interested to hear other's views.

 

:o

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I have read tons on steiner ever since I first discovered it and I love looking at the websites of steiner kindergartens for ideas about setting up and presenting resources...definitely inspires a lot of what I do...sneaking the ethos in everyway I can! :o

Lots of natural furniture, fabrics, calming colours, free play, creative play...etc etc absolutely LOVE it...would love to visit one and have thought of training - maybe one day.

My interest in Steiner has definitely influenced my practice massively - well as much as it can in a mainstram setting without totally horrifying all the parents, committee and staff!

 

I am very much in favour of formal learning later (but very hard to get everyone on board in mainstream settings - staff and parents!) and love the idea of children staying in play based kindergartens until age 7!

 

Wynstones and Michael Hall are a couple of the oldest steiner schools in britain I think and they take children right through to secondary - their students go on to do really well at uni and beyond despite not learning to read or write until three years after most of our children.

 

I think I would have LOVED to have attended a steiner school myself actually ! xD

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My whole knowledge of Steiner came from researching when I was mentor for the EYFD but over the past year or so I have become increasing alarmed by what I have read about the whole organisation and Anthroposophy. Obviously some people make have axes to grind with the system but it all sounds very cultish

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I too have misgivings about the philosophy underlying Waldorf Steiner education although I certainly don't have a very good understanding of Anthroposophy. I would be interested to know how much of his original ideas are put across by the staff, as what I see on the surface does look very attractive and empowering for children and staff.

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do you have any favourite websites of settings you could share here?

Well this one is good as it has links to school websites and you can order publications, DVD's and read articles about the approach.

 

steiner waldorf schools fellowship

 

and I just recently found this ...

 

what is a steiner school video

 

it all sounds very cultish

 

I think like anything there are some people who take certain aspects too far and others that manage to keep a balance ... there are aspects I like less than others (e.g I dont go much into the background anthroposophy ideas) and having never met or seen a steiner teacher or class in action or spoken to anyone who has attended a steiner school I cannot really say I know for sure what they are really like but overall I think the practical approach is brilliant, I love the whole look of the settings and the emphasis on play without pressure to meet 'goals'.

Several settings have achieved outstandings so must be doing something right. :o

 

This booklet shows how steiner schools interpret the EYFS to fit their philiosophy.

 

Steiner schools and the EYFS

 

If you want to read more I'd recommend :

 

[*]Free to learn by Lynne Oldfield

[*]Work & Play in Early Childhood by Freya Jaffke

[*]What is a waldorf kindergarten complied by sharifa oppenheimer.

[*]Bringing the Steiner Waldorf apprach to your early years practice by Janni Nicol

[*]School as a journey by Torin M. Finser (about the journey of a steiner class together with the same teacher from 1st to 8th grade - age 7 - 14)

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I like the idea of a more natural learning pace, however would voice a note of caution - my daughter's class took on a steiner educated child in a normal mainstream year three class - the child's family for whatever reason moved the child out of the steiner "system". It was a difficult time for the existing class and the "new" child who joined some 32 other children who could read, write etc and for a considerable while the "new" child was quite a disruptive influence - hardly surprising really given the gulf between the two "systems". I understand from some research that I undertook that children who follow the steiner way right the way through to uni do however do very well.

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I've read Free to Learn by Lynne Oldfield and would recommend it as a very good introduction to Steiner. It does make you want to go and change your practice though and redecorate your room. I went around a Steiner Kindgarten and school a couple of years ago and thought it was wonderful. The kindergarten was a little house with its own garden, a bit like a hobbit house in Lord of the Rings, it was a bit like going back in time with weaving and no technology. Myself and a colleague snuck in on a parents open day.

 

Having said that I did a lot of reading and I am a little uncomfortable with the Anthroposophy element. It certainly wasn't particularly explicit as you go round the school but there is an underlying element that you will find some people on the web are very critical of. I guess it may depend on the school the extent to which it is an influence. I looked into training and it certainly makes up a part of that.

 

http://www.waldorfcritics.org/ - couldn't comment on the objectivity of the site but interesting reading

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No technology sounds good to me..

 

Seriously though, I visited a Camphill Village some years ago and was most impressed with many aspects of the way of life, living as family communities, being outdoors, growing food and having meaningful work for the people there with learning disabilities, but I was concerned about what appeared to be 'cutting off' from the world we live in and living a sheltered way of life. No television for example, and miles away from the local community.

I wonder if Steiner were alive and writing in the 21st Century if his ideas would have changed?

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Guest tinkerbell

Interesting discussion going on here and I read the two articles sent by Marion, how strange I had no idea of the background philosophy at all.

 

I had a child join the reception 2 years ago from a steiner nursery.I went to visit and liked the 'natural'resources (no plastic)the children were singing and tidying away.

 

The little boy settled in well to school.However ,He was the one who was into superheroes and transformers quite obsessive and his parents wanted me to give him more stickers .(I don't really give a lot of stickers),I was surprised really they were quite demanding.I thought they wwould have been more laid back and 'natural' :o

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Guest tinkerbell

when I saw the moon post I thought .I wonder if there's a full moon due as I need to plant my turnip seeds.!

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