Steiner Education Philosophy
Steiner schools have a unique and distinctive approach to educating children, aiming to enable each stage of growth to be fully and vividly enjoyed and experienced. They provide a balanced approach to the modern school curriculum. The academic, artistic and social aspects, or ‘head, heart & hands’, are treated as complementary facets of a single program of learning, allowing each to throw light on the others.
This is implemented by using art as a practice, and language to develop the feelings, by nourishing the children with the rich heritage of wise folk tales, histories, fairy stories, poems, music and games that are part of our world civilisation. This creates the cultural atmosphere in which the children are taught reading, writing, arithmetic, nature study, geography, science, languages, music and other subjects.
Steiner designed a curriculum that is responsive to the developmental phases of childhood and the nurturing of the child’s imagination in a school environment. Steiner thought that schools should cater to the needs of the child rather than the demands of the government or economic forces, so he developed schools that encourage creativity and free-thinking. His teaching seeks to recognise the individuality of the child and through a balanced education, allows them to go into the world with confidence.
The need for imagination, a sense of truth and a feeling of responsibility – these are the three forces which are the very nerve of education.
The unique quality of human beings is our capacity for conscious thought. Steiner schooling strives to support the development of well rounded human beings who are able to feel deeply and broadly, to think penetratingly and clearly, and then to act rightly out of conscious and free choice.
The best overall statement on what is unique about Steiner education is to be found in the stated goals of the schooling:
Our highest endeavour must be to develop individuals who are able out of their own initiative to impart purpose and direction to their lives.