Articles on Waldorf Education and Related Topics
The Wisdom of Waldorf: Education for the Future
by Rahima Baldwin Dancy, Mothering Magazine, Issue 123, March/April 2004. Waldorf education is extremely interested in the type of person that will emerge from the educational system. This article, from Mothering Magazine, discusses the roots of Waldorf education and how it prepares children for the future.
Schooling The Imagination
by Todd Oppenheimer, The Atlantic Monthly, September 1999. The author visits a number of schools, gives an overview of the education and talks to educators not affiliated with Waldorf.
Waldorf Education: An Introduction
A one-page article by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.
Waldorf Education: Grades 1-8
A brief introduction to the grades curriculum by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America. A more detailed description of the curriculum can be found here.
The Child At Work and Play
A short description of the Waldorf Early Childhood teaching approach on the Waldorf Early Childhood Association website.
Leading Children Back to the Future in the Waldorf Classroom
by Jack Petrach, a Waldorf classroom teacher, writer and engaging speaker. He talks about why the Waldorf educational approach, that does not involve any computers, is relevant in today's high-tech society.
A Silicon Valley School That Doesn't Compute
New York Times, October 2011. An article part of a series of articles on technology in education.
it talks about the reasons employees of Silicon Valley computer and high-tech companies choose to send their kids to a Waldorf School.
Is Waldorf education Christian?
by William Ward, Journal for Waldorf Education, Spring/Summer 2001. The author talks about educating the three parts of a person, the heart, the will and the mind; for Waldorf pedagogy understands all people to have a spiritual portion of their personality.
A Look at Waldorf and Montessori Education in The Early Childhood Programs
Parents often wonder about the differences between a Waldorf education and one based on the Montessori philosophy; this article describes some of the differences in the curriculum of Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten programs.
Imagine A Balance
One mother's experience of the differences between Montessori and Waldorf education.
Articles on the Benefits of Play-Based Early Childhood programs:
Let Them Play
by Joan Almon, internationally renowned educational consultant and co-founder of the Alliance for Childhood. The article discusses the research and studies that have been done on the benefits of play-based preschool programs and talks about why play-based learning is so important in early childhood.
The Death of Preschool
An article in Scientific American about the benefits of play-based preschool programs.
Articles on Evaluation and Testing:
Assessing Without Testing
by Eugene Schwartz. “No Child Left Behind” has solidified the ranks of those who believe that high-stakes testing is the only way to advance education. The author examines the innovative Waldorf approach to assessment in which learning outcomes are judged in myriad ways — all of them child-friendly, and all of them effective.
What Is the Purpose of School?
by Douglas Gerwin and David Mitchell. Redefining Education, Spring 2009, Issue #55, Vol 14. This article first looks at what the purpose of education is and then discusses appropriate assessment strategies. A short, readable and inspiring article.
Articles on Reading and Writing:
Teaching Our Children To Write, Read and Spell: A Developmental Approach
by Susan R. Johnson, M.D. Published on the website, www.youandyourchildshealth.org. This article discusses the necessity of allowing children’s brains to develop capacities on both the right and left hemispheres (and the connections between the sides of the brain) prior to the introduction of formal reading and writing instruction. Children who are taught to read too young will be utilizing only the right side of their brain and will, therefore, be able to decode words easily but will have problems with comprehension (which happens on the left side of the brain).
The Push for Early Childhood literacy: A View from Europe
by Christopher Clouder, The Research Bulletin. A number of studies have come out describing the negative effects on pushing children too early into the realm of academics. The view from Europe is somewhat different than what we have here in the US: Many countries start their formal educational systems at the ages of six or seven (so no academic instruction in the earlier years).
Literacy, Not Just Reading
by Arthur M. Pittis, a master teacher at the Austin Waldorf school. This article first appeared in Leading Forth in 1988. It provides a lovely overview of the place and pace of language arts education in the Waldorf pedagogical system, focusing on reading and writing in the early elementary grades.
The Push for Early Childhood Literacy: Critical Issues and Concerns
by Nancy Carlsson-Paige. Research Bulletin. There has long been a debate over the best way to teach reading: should students learn to decode words first or should they learn the meaning of words first. This article offers an overview of the political landscape of this debate and briefly details the negative effects on early instruction on children’s capacity to fully comprehend the written word.
There is More to Reading Than Meets the Eye
by Barbara Sokolov. Renewal: Journal for Waldorf Education. Spring/Summer 2000. A wonderful article written by a Waldorf parent and teacher describing the hard-to-describe approach to reading that Waldorf schools employ. She argues for deep learning over surface decoding.
Topics Specific to Waldorf Curriculum:
Knitting and Intellectual Development
by Eugene Schwartz. Knitting has recently become remarkably popular among college students and celebrities — but it has been a pillar of the Waldorf school curriculum for ninety years. We examine the many ways in which knitting and other handwork activities stimulate intellectual development and instill a sense of achievement in the child.
The Cry for Myth
by Eugene Schwartz. Stories, which offer some of the richest and multifarious ways of explaining phenomena, are underutilized in today’s schools. The article explores the ways in which Waldorf education works with narrative content to meet the “cry for myth” that lives in today’s child.
How Eurythmy Works in the Curriculum
Eurythmy is a movement and recitation program taught in Waldorf schools. As with all things in a Waldorf school, eurythmy is one facet of a complete education program. This article describes the importance of eurythmy and how it supports academic learning, personal control and helps with classroom dynamics.
What the Future Holds for Waldorf Graduates:
Survey of Waldorf High School Graduates
from The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.
What Will Today’s Children Need for Financial Success in Tomorrow’s Economy?
by Judy Lubin Research Bulletin. The author argues that the economy of the future will be a creative economy and that to succeed in this marketplace individuals will need to be creative, have the ability to solve problems, have self knowledge and the confidence to think outside of the box. A well written article that should be read by all parents of young children.
Learning To Learn: Essays Written By Waldorf Graduates
In 2003, Waldorf Education celebrated its 75th anniversary in North America. To help commemorate the occasion, AWSNA published Learning to Learn, a collection of essays written by 26 Waldorf graduates reflecting upon their education. Excerpted here are four of those essays.
Books Our Community Has Enjoyed
by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross
The Creative Family: How To Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family
Connections by Amanda Blake Soule
Creative Play for Toddlers: Steiner Waldorf Expertise and Toy Projects for 2-4s
by Christopher Clouder and Janni Nicol
You Are Your Child's First Teacher
by Rahima Baldwin Darcy
Beyond The Rainbow Bridge: Nurturing Our Children from Birth to Seven
by Barbara J. Patterson, Pamela Bradley and Jean Riordan
Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children
by Sharifa Oppenheimer and Stephanie Gross
Navigating the Terrain of Childhood: A Guidebook for Meaningful Parenting
and Heartfelt Discipline by Jack Petrash
General Waldorf Education:
Waldorf Education: A Family Guide
by Pamela J. Fenner and Mary Beth Rapisardo
The Essence of Waldorf Education
by Peter Selg and Margot M Saar
Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching From the Inside Out
by Jack Petrash
Rhythms of Learning: Selected Lectures by Rudolf Steiner
edited by Roberto Trostli
The Waldorf Book of Poetry: Discover the Power of Imagination
by David Kennedy
The Waldorf Book of Breads
The heart of the Waldorf method is the conviction that education is an art. It must speak to the child's experience.
To educate the whole child, his heart and will must be reached, as well as his mind."
— Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf Education