Waldorf Pedagogy - The Essence Of The Waldorf Methodology, The Principles Of The Waldorf School, The Pros And Cons Of The Waldorf Education And Upbringing System

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Waldorf Pedagogy - The Essence Of The Waldorf Methodology, The Principles Of The Waldorf School, The Pros And Cons Of The Waldorf Education And Upbringing System
Waldorf Pedagogy - The Essence Of The Waldorf Methodology, The Principles Of The Waldorf School, The Pros And Cons Of The Waldorf Education And Upbringing System

Video: Waldorf Pedagogy - The Essence Of The Waldorf Methodology, The Principles Of The Waldorf School, The Pros And Cons Of The Waldorf Education And Upbringing System

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Video: Waldorf School Education 2023, February
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Waldorf pedagogy

The more society criticizes the education that has developed in Russian kindergartens and schools, the more actively parents are interested in alternative pedagogical systems, including Waldorf pedagogy.

The more society criticizes the education that has developed in Russian kindergartens and schools, the more actively parents are interested in alternative pedagogical systems, including Waldorf pedagogy.

The slogans of this method are attractive: not the child should adapt to the school, but the school to the child; priority development of children's abilities, rather than subject knowledge, abilities, skills; non-judgmental learning, building an individual educational route for each student, and not mass education; highly professional teachers who love schoolchildren and their work, and not indifferent "translators" of textbooks. Of course, these features of the Waldorf system sound tempting to many parents.

The need for a personal choice of which kindergarten or school to send a child to, where it will be better for him, sooner or later forces parents to collect and analyze the available information about Waldorf pedagogy, so as not to get into a mess and not spoil the fate of their own child.

The training by Yuri Burlan "System-vector psychology" will help us to understand what Waldorf pedagogy brings - benefit or harm.

About the origins

In 1907, Rudolf Steiner, a philosopher and teacher, wrote the book "Education of the Child", which served as the foundation for the founding of the first school. The school, which opened in 1919 in Germany at the request of E. Molt, the owner of the Waldorf Astoria cigarette factory. The name of the factory, in fact, served as the source of the modern trade mark intended for use in conjunction with the educational method - "Waldorf pedagogy".

Initially, the school was designed for the children of factory workers, pursued the goal of their socialization, as well as the education of a free person. But since there was no selection of students according to material and social characteristics, children from different strata of society studied together. The novelty of Rudolf Steiner's pedagogy was based on anthroposophy (human knowledge). Its principles formed the basis of the Waldorf system.

The success of the first Waldorf school, its pedagogical principles inspired the creation of new schools in Germany, the USA, Norway, Austria, and Great Britain.

The rise to power of the Nazis in 1933 led to the closure of most Waldorf schools in Europe, and they were reopened only after the end of World War II. So a new round of spreading Waldorf pedagogy began around the world. Today, a Waldorf school or kindergarten can be found in almost every major city.

About the founder of the Waldorf school

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) is considered by Waldorf educators to be an example of what an ideal teacher should be, both in the ordinary and in the spiritual sense. In 20 of his books and about 6,000 lectures, he touched upon religion, philosophy, economics, agriculture, medicine, and art.

Steiner founded anthroposophy - a kind of teaching about the unity of the human soul with deity. She sets as her goal the disclosure of a person's abilities through special exercises. The main task of anthroposophic pedagogy is the preservation of childhood in the child. Let's consider how exactly these problems are solved in the Waldorf methodology and what it is - Waldorf pedagogy.

Features of Waldorf pedagogy

Educational institutions that practice Waldorf pedagogy differ from the standard state ones: there is no noise, crush, equipment is mainly made of natural materials, the walls are painted in certain colors, depending on the age of the children, an atmosphere of creativity, goodwill reigns, there are no usual textbooks, calls, notebooks, marks. Many parents consider this to be a significant advantage of Waldorf schools and kindergartens.

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At the center of the pedagogical process is the child with his individual characteristics. He is given all the opportunities to develop abilities at his own pace. There are no concepts of “norm”, “advance of development” here. Within the framework of Waldorf pedagogy, it is believed that it is wrong to set general assessment criteria, because each child has his own unique talents.

Waldorf pedagogical system "kindergarten - school" works according to the following fundamental principles:

1. The priority of the spiritual development of children. The Waldorf technique seeks to appeal primarily to the highest human qualities and properties that have been developed by civilization and culture.

2. The educational material is studied in eras (blocks) with a duration of 3-4 weeks, which allows the child to "get used to".

3. Each day is divided into three parts: spiritual, emotional, creative and practical.

4. When presenting educational material, the level of development of each child and the stage of development of historical society are taken into account (for example, during puberty, children go through the Middle Ages, while emphasizing the masculinity of knights and the femininity of women).

5. The main pedagogical method is the method of "mental economy", which consists in the fact that teachers in the learning process develop that activity in a child that he can master without internal resistance of the body. So, before puberty, they work with figurative thinking, the feelings of children, and only after passing puberty, concepts aimed at the development of abstract thinking are included in the educational material.

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6. Visual teaching is used after children reach the age of 12, since it is believed that up to this point the formation of concepts is unnatural for the child's nature. When interacting with children of an earlier age, the Waldorf teacher relies more on the imaginative thinking of the child, on a creative approach.

7. During the lessons, teachers use emotional memory, up to 12 years old they use the "teaching method accompanied by feelings." A natural, natural method based on the student's personal attitude to the material being studied: interesting - not interesting, joyful - sad, etc. For example, a sense of rhythm is considered an urgent need for a child before puberty, therefore, children learn the multiplication table with rhythmic claps and stamping feet.

8. The interest of the child is the core of the educational process. If at 9 years old children like to play, to move actively, then the learning process is based on games, imitation, fairy tales.

9. A subject is taught such as eurythmy - a form of art developed by Steiner aimed at developing the imagination and feelings of a child.

10. The rhythmic daily routine is strictly observed.

11. The principles of harmonization of mental life (balance of will, feelings, thinking of the child) and harmonization of the social environment (creation of a healthy social environment where no one and nothing suppresses the student's individuality) are applied.

12. Waldorf teacher must necessarily engage in self-improvement, be able to control their emotions and behavior.

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So, Waldorf pedagogy is based on an individual approach to the child, creates comfortable conditions for the development of his abilities, spiritual growth, makes high demands on the personality of the teacher. For this, special pedagogical methods are used, the rhythmic daily routine, the cyclical nature of the curriculum, the non-judgmental learning system, the absence of competition - the child evaluates himself and his achievements on his own.

"Trump cards" of Waldorf pedagogy

If most methods of early childhood development cover only the preschool age (and then the parents who sent the baby to such a kindergarten face a painful choice of which school to send him to), then the Waldorf technique is a single kindergarten - school system.

In the Waldorf kindergarten, educators do their best to preserve the life-giving breath of childhood in children, so early learning to read, write, count, and develop memory is out of the question. The priority is the physical and creative development of the child, education based on imitation and example.

At the age of 7, education begins in a Waldorf school and lasts for 10-11 years - just like in a traditional Russian school. However, the educational process is significantly different: the lesson lasts 1.5-2 hours, there is no "cramming" of textbooks, grades, homework assignments, tests, exams.

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Much attention is paid to the study of art, manual labor, staging of performances. From the first to the seventh grade, all classes are taught by one teacher, respectively, there is no reason for unnecessary stress for students when moving from elementary school to the secondary level. Thanks to this, the emotional ties between the Waldorf teacher and the children become stronger.

The curriculum of the school is based on an individual approach, adheres to a leisurely pace of learning, and aims to develop students' emotional maturity, creativity, responsibility, common sense, that is, to bring up a free personality who can act, be responsible for their actions.

Waldorf School is called a “school for the child,” a humane school, where the basis is not the transfer of knowledge, but the education of a harmoniously developed personality.

Some statistics

Waldorf education today is one of the world's largest independent educational systems, as it is practiced in about 60 countries of the world, in more than 950 schools, 1400 kindergartens.

In our country, Waldorf schools appeared in 1992, and if initially the Waldorf school was created for children of workers, social lower classes, then in Russia the founders of Waldorf kindergartens and schools were wealthy parents with higher education, who are responsible for the upbringing and education of their children.

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The spread of Waldorf pedagogy is facilitated by its almost 100-year existence and wide distribution in the developed countries of the world. This gives the founders of Waldorf educational institutions the hope that the tasks facing teachers are being fulfilled.

Criticism of Waldorf pedagogy

Since the founding of the first school by Rudolf Steiner, controversy around it has not subsided. The cornerstone of criticism is the very teaching of anthroposophy.

Esoteric ideas about the world are imposed on children, from kindergarten they hear stories from the teacher about angels, brownies, witches and more. At school, during the school day, children say prayers to mother earth. Specific holidays are celebrated, Steiner's phrases are quoted. An educational institution is becoming a kind of closed world, far from reality, where there is no place for computers, television, preference is given to everything natural, natural.

Toys in kindergarten are made by educators, parents, children with their own hands from wood or clay, that is, natural materials, it is strictly forbidden for children to play Pokemon or transformers.

Educators, teachers of Waldorf schools are themselves anthroposophists and involve parents in reading Steiner's works, compulsory participation in school activities, often come home to their students, control that the atmosphere at home does not differ from the atmosphere at school. The teacher for the child is the highest authority, a role model. All this gives reason to the opponents of the Waldorf school to call it a "sect".

The main reasons why parents send their children to a Waldorf school are: their desire to bring up an extraordinary personality, to give the child an unusual education, the absence of the concept of “developmental delay” at school, etc. Parents and small groups (classes) are attracted, an individual approach, "Spirituality", the welcoming atmosphere of Waldorf institutions.

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Unlike most state traditional educational institutions, here they willingly make contact with parents, are open to communication, offer to attend lessons, concerts, demonstrate the creative work of students. This makes the Waldorf learning process attractive to those parents who want to be active participants in the process.

Many parents are disappointed in Waldorf pedagogy due to the fact that non-traditional education does not fit into the framework of accepted standards: it is difficult for a graduate of a Waldorf school to study later in other schools, at a university because of the different content of educational programs, characteristics instead of grades.

The authority of the teacher for some children turns into a dictate, original teaching methods: memorizing poetry, foreign words without understanding, eurythmy - smooth movements to music - become a real punishment, like knitting, playing musical instruments.

When asked by parents about the difficulties of transition for a child from a Waldorf school to a regular one, the answer is given: "An intelligent child will study everywhere."

Let's try to systematically assess the advantages and disadvantages of the Waldorf technique.

Systemic conclusion

In Waldorf pedagogy, one cannot but be impressed by the fact that the child is placed at the head of the educational process. Rudolf Steiner quite correctly understood the danger of early development of intelligence to the detriment of the development of social skills of the child. First, social adaptation, and then the intellectual load.

Another thing is that the development of feelings in a child should be dealt with not until the age of 12, but until the age of 6-7, when it is time to learn to write, read, count, and develop abstract thinking. At the age of 12-15, a modern child is already going through puberty, which means that the parents have little time for the development of his natural inclinations, and it is too late to start at the age of 12.

In addition, today the living conditions of people have changed significantly, the development of science has stepped far forward, and the presence of one teacher who teaches all academic disciplines from the first to the seventh grade hardly contributes to a high level of students' knowledge.

If earlier there were more people with only lower vectors and their development in the Waldorf school was carried out quite well, then in a modern city the concentration of children with sound, vision and other upper vectors is extremely high, and very little attention is paid to their development in the Waldorf school. This is where you just need to "invest in your head."

It is difficult to disagree with the postulate of the importance of the development of the student's abilities for his success in life. But the creator of the Waldorf pedagogical system did not differentiate children according to their properties. Finding an individual approach to a child is really the task of such a teacher, but at the same time he relies on his personal experience, Steiner's esoteric knowledge, intuition - that is, he does not have in his hands an effective and accurate toolkit that allows him to accurately identify the student's abilities, and therefore, create optimal conditions for their disclosure.

Children are offered creativity, dances, music, which do not give everyone the opportunity to realize their natural potential. For example, there are anal-muscular children whose inborn features do not require the development of flexibility and grace at all.

Creating greenhouse living conditions for a child at school and at home does little to his success in real life. The child should be put at the forefront only to a certain extent - it is important to allow his vector properties to develop. But you don't need to run around him. A child is a child and must be motivated to become an adult.

In 1919, when Rudolf Steiner was creating his first anthroposophical school, this was understandable and historically justified - Germany was suppressed and humiliated by the shameful Peace of Versailles, therefore, moods of flight from reality prevailed in German society.

Today, the main reproach to the Waldorf school is that it is far from life, because children learn primarily for life, for interaction in a society where there will be no guardians and nannies. It is obvious that the traditional values ​​of the anal vector are behind the isolation of the Waldorf schools, their religious specificity, as well as the craving for natural materials, wood. However, an artificial delay in the past prevents children from becoming full members of modern society. Thus, a child who does not have access to a computer will obviously lag behind his peers who have the opportunity to develop with the help of the latest technological advances.

Steiner's idea that learning should affect the soul, thoughts, feelings, will of the child, without understanding these very thoughts and feelings, turns into an unfounded theory, which Steiner, for lack of a better one, supplied with esoteric calculations invented by him. The teachers of the Waldorf school, not knowing the innate properties of children, act by touch.

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The most important principle of upbringing and teaching children - the formation of shortages in them, the need to learn something - is not used. The child develops along his own educational route, learns what comes easily to him, meanwhile he does not learn to make efforts to develop his abilities. The task of adults is to educate a child, including through overcoming obstacles, difficulties, creating for him not hothouse conditions, but those that work for his development. Unfortunately, the Waldorf educational process does not provide for this.

The lack of a spirit of competition, competition in a Waldorf school, material incentives (grades, for example) negatively affect educational results, personal achievements of children with a skin vector, who get great pleasure from victory, from leadership. It is unlikely that an urethral child is a little leader, he will not be able to be in the atmosphere of the teacher's authority prevailing over him.

Waldorf School is suitable for children with anal and muscle vectors - obedient, loving to do everything in a certain order, diligent. Skin children will be impressed by discipline, a clear daily routine, exercises, dancing, playing sports. Sound children here will lack opportunities to develop their special abstract intelligence.

In Waldorf kindergartens, teachers love to read, tell children the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and various stories about evil spirits. This has a detrimental effect on the psyche of visual children: from childhood, experiencing fear, impressionable, after that they begin to see at their beds, for example, angels, or Bluebeard … Their innate properties do not develop - from fear into compassion and love.

So, parents, before realizing their natural desire to provide their child with the disclosure of hidden abilities, to give him an unusual education, it is necessary to understand what vector set their child has, and then seriously think about whether it is worth getting involved with the Waldorf pedagogical system.

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