Want to learn more about the Waldorf philosophy? Read on:
What are the defining characteristics of a Waldorf classroom?
A Waldorf classroom will only include furniture and materials made from natural sources (wood, wool, fabric, etc). The early childhood classroom will be almost entirely absent of what we think of as traditional academic material, rather the focus is pre-academic with huge emphasis on the arts, gardening, cooking, woodworking, and the outside world.
What is different about how Waldorf teachers approach their work?
A Waldorf teacher acts as a guide, allowing children to be self-directed in their choice of activities. It is common practice for a Waldorf teacher to stay with the same students for many years (sometimes up to 8 years). Aside from the morning circle time, you will rarely see a Waldorf preschool teacher addressing the entire class.
- Large focus on fostering imagination and creativity
- Academic subjects are not introduced until the child is older (~7 years old)
- No plastic toys or screen time (in school or even in the home)
- Artist-quality art materials used in long term process-based art projects
- Grounded in the seasons
- Focus on hands on activities like gardening, sewing, and woodworking (where children use real tools)
- Meals are served family-style with a blessing said before the meal
- Predictable daily schedule
- Certified Waldorf teachers essentially have the equivalent of a Masters degree
- A Waldorf-inspired program will include some or all of the elements above