Why should you choose Waldorf education over any other one? Rudolf Steiner is the creator of the Waldorf school. He is known for his new Waldorf schooling philosophy which consists of three ideas: spirit, soul, and body. The school generally aims at developing the mind of the child as well as emotions. Below are the Waldorf education pros and cons:
Waldorf School Pros and Cons
This school offers general education. Kids here are not graded like Montessori schools. Also, children do not use textbooks in school. The main goal of the school is to give the child a great education while also developing all the aspects of the child’s growth. Spiritual growth is a part of this development.
The Waldorf teaching method includes singing, music, and acting as an integral part. Students are not divided into groups according to their skills. That is because putting them in the same space helps them to learn from each other.
Some of the pros and cons of Waldorf education include:
- Waldorf education opts for a slower approach to learning
The classrooms are traditional, with an abundance of crafts. You can still find a chalkboard in the school rather than a whiteboard. Each class has musical instruments for class with other opportunities to have fun during recess.
- Kids are made to focus on creativity
Parents who want their kids to venture into acting or writing may find the Waldorf school interesting. It encourages kids to develop their creative sides. Kids have lots of opportunities to knit, sew, or even paint.
- Kids learn reading and writing basics
According to the Waldorf method, children learn fractions, physics, and geometry as well as all other essential basics of writing and reading. The kids are not taught with memorization techniques but are encouraged to play in the rain, get muddy, and make use of creative arts.
- Children disconnect from the modern world
Waldorf school classes are devoid of modern electronics. Kids are not allowed to use computers, tablets, or calculators. Lessons are taught using journals rather than textbooks. Artwork can be found everywhere in the classrooms.
- Teachers build a relationship with students
Students in the Waldorf school stay with the same teacher for a long time. Teachers are not changed yearly, like Montessori schools. This approach is different because it focuses on the teacher-student relationship. The tradition is called ‘looping.’ When a child is enrolled as a first-grade student, he/she may end up with the same teacher at the end of high school. This bond between the students and teachers is healthy as it reduces the occurrence of classroom abuse, miscommunication, and bullying.
- Kids here are treated as individuals
Children are trained according to their own pace of learning. In school, competition is not encouraged since students are allowed to learn at a personalized pace. Rather than coming together for soccer or football, kids are brought together for group art and other unique tasks that are not in the typical public school system.
- Development is encouraged at any age
A child is never forced to learn math or reading. Where the child doesn’t show interest, the teacher will not force it. The educators believe that brain development differs for each child. The main plan in the school is to introduce symbols, letters, and numbers when the child is younger. These symbols are thought using stories to make them easier to grasp. As the learning skills of the child develop, all the basic subjects are taught to them in a personalized way.
- Experimentation is allowed in the school
Children love to experiment as they get older. Each child in the school is encouraged to develop a safe relationship with his teacher. The environment is safe for experimentation.
Cons Of A Waldorf Education
- Electronic media use is not allowed until the child is older
If you prefer using technology to teach your child, then this school may not be a good option. Until the fifth grade, media tools cannot be used for learning. Sixth-grade students are permitted to access movies and TV. Cellphones may be kept for emergencies at this stage. Also, internet use and video games may not be allowed for students until they are in high school.
Most Waldorf school criticism center around this fact.
- Typical learning processes are not used
There are some benchmarks for the learning process set by the American educational system. The traditional method of teaching writing, reading, math, and the rest are not also followed. If you not like this non-conventional method of teaching, then the school may not be a good option for your child.
- Waldorf discourages competition
The Waldorf pedagogy focuses more on self-discovery rather than competition. Kids in the school are encouraged to go out and play while they discover themselves. If your kids like competing, then this may not be a good option for the child. Some kids are also cut out for sports and other competitions. They may not be able to achieve this in the Waldorf school.
- Kids in the Waldorf school may not catch up with their peers
Many children in the Waldorf school may catch up with their peers in core subjects. When they get to high school, this may change. Some students may fall back behind their peers in basic competencies.
Also, if you need to change location, and there is not Waldorf school nearby, it may be difficult for the child to catch up. That is because of the school’s emphasis on imagination, outdoor learning, and creativity.
- No standardized testing
Standardized testing is done to determine where students perform better academically. It helps educators to know where a child falls short to help the student. That is not a part of the curriculum in Waldorf schools.
Waldorf Education – The Choice Is Yours
The Steiner education pros and cons are extensive. So, consider all the benefits and disadvantages to make an informed decision.