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Waldorf News

First grade readiness

What does it truly mean for a child to be ready for first grade academic instruction? It goes far beyond a child’s 6th birthday. It is about the whole child and their development — physical, social and cognitive — which is not defined by a child’s IQ or their early reading and math skills. This can be counter intuitive to those used to mainstream education, which often fast tracks gifted children to prevent boredom. At Philly Waldorf we recognize that while many of our students have gifted range IQ’s, we like to assure parents. It is not the grade level of academic instruction that bores bright children, but the way in which, and at what depth, any level of academics are taught. More »

How US students get a university degree for free in Germany

While the cost of college education in the US has reached record highs, Germany has abandoned tuition fees altogether for German and international students alike. An increasing number of Americans are taking advantage and saving tens of thousands of dollars to get their degrees. More »

Reflections on our Waldorf Math Research Colloquium in NYC

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending of a Waldorf math research colloquium in New York City with 17 colleagues. We shared math puzzles, did some geometry together, and had many fruitful discussions. I was encouraged by the quality of mathematics teaching that appears to be happening in many of our Waldorf schools, and struck by how different our methods and teaching styles are. As my professional life transitions from full-time high school math teacher to that of a traveling math missionary, I spend a good deal of time thinking about what the greatest challenges are that our Waldorf schools are facing. In respect to the teaching of math, the schools that I visit are often concerned about two things: (1) How can we ensure that, once they leave our school, our students will be adequately prepared for what faces them?; (2) With the apparent rise in the number of students with learning challenges, how can we manage to teach the full spectrum of students in our classes? More »

International art contests in Italy open to Waldorf students worldwide

International art contests in Italy open to Waldorf students world. Two new contests in mosaics and book design/production added this year. Every Waldorf Steiner school in the world can enter and participate with students between 17 and 19 years old. The schools must send the completed registration form to the Secretarial Office of the Contest. The deadline for contest applications is January 20, 2017. More »

Love as the Source of Education

Without a deepening and internalizing of the idea of destiny, it will become increasingly difficult to come to terms with the questions of education: One sees in every child an individuality, whose path is neither confined by the gateway of birth nor the gateway of death. When a teacher receives pupils in the mood of “having a destiny with them,” a new sense of responsibility is strengthened. When in quiet reflection one directs one’s attention to what is brought into this life individually, and to the capacities and impulses that these children should one day carry from this life over the threshold of death, one obtains an immense power as an elder to support, bear, and help to solve the problems of these youths. The source of strength in the internalized idea of destiny can only become effective, however, if the “modern learning methods,” the technical intermediaries, the cleverly contrived, improved performance programs do not replace the speaking human being. For the sake of a contemporary spiritually and artistically formed teaching process, Waldorf pedagogy holds human to human interaction as the “most modern” educational method. The communication of knowledge through the creatively fashioning human being can alone radiate edifying forces, wisdom and warmth into the lesson. More »