We believe that education is more than the acquisition of information, rigid academic curricula, and high-stakes testing. In fact, the world is changing so rapidly that no one can truly predict what information our children will need to know in the future.
However, it is clear that intellectual flexibility, creative thinking, independent judgement, moral discernment, refined written and oral communication skills, and the ability to collaborate effectively will be essential to success in today’s ever-changing global community. The Waldorf curriculum, pedagogy, and teaching methods are designed to nurture these capacities, and more.
Founded in the early 20th century, Waldorf education is based on the insights, teachings, and principles of education outlined by the world-renowned artist, philosopher, and scientist, Rudolf Steiner. The principles of Waldorf education evolve from an understanding of human development that address the needs of the growing child.
In preschool and Kindergarten, Waldorf takes a holistic approach to education. The classrooms are designed to mimic the home where rhythm and routine are key. Children play with toys that are made from natural materials and are designed to spark imagination. Learning is done through imitation as the teacher leads the children in song, movement, and story.
In grade school, music, movement, science, history, literature, geography, and legends are not simply subjects to be read about and tested, they are experienced. Through these experiences, Waldorf students cultivate their intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual capacities to be individuals certain of their paths and to be of service to the world.
It is the goal of a Waldorf teacher to cultivate a sense of wonder and to inspire children to view the world, even in its most basic form, as magnificent - prompting each student to embrace life with enthusiasm, initiative, and purpose. These aims are met through an education that is rich with meaningful sense experiences, classical academics, and artistic beauty in all subject matters.
Enthusiasm for learning is infused by the teacher into every child. This eliminates the need for competitive testing and academic placement. Students become motivated scholars with a joy for lifelong learning.
The first Waldorf School opened in Stuttgart, Germany, over 100 years ago in September 1919. From this humble beginning, Waldorf education has grown to be the largest independent school movement in the world. With over 1200 schools in 80 countries, this dynamic way of educating children for the future continues to grow. In Canada, there are more than 30 Waldorf schools, including the Calgary Waldorf School.
Waldorf graduates are noted to have the ability to integrate thinking; to assimilate information as opposed to memorizing isolated facts. Waldorf students are flexible, creative, and willing to take intellectual risks. They are taught to be leaders of high standard, who take initiative and are passionate to reach their goals. Whatever profession or vocation Waldorf graduates follow, the capacities they develop through Waldorf education provide them with a foundation of success in every field they pursue.
Calgary Waldorf School is celebrating its 35th Anniversary. Located in Cougar Ridge the facility, with its natural light that floods every room and the remarkable grounds, strengthens and enhances the school’s academic program and social interaction of the children. Connect online at calgarywaldorf.org, attend a monthly school tour, or join at the Open House on January 18, 2020, from 10am to noon.
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