An Introduction to the Steiner Waldorf Movement

This is the second of a series of three blog posts, looking at the main principles of the most well known, child-centred educational philosophies today... Montessori, Steiner Waldorf and Reggio Emilia. The Steiner Waldorf movement has proved to be the most difficult of the three philosophies for me to summarise, hence the delay in publishing it. I'm going to attempt to describe what I see as the key features, but will also provide links for those who would like to do some further reading. What is the Steiner Waldorf movement? 'Receive the children in reverence, educate them in love and send them forth in freedom'. Rudolf Steiner Rudolf Steiner (1861 - 1925) was an Austrian philosopher, socia

Montessori Practical Life Invitations

Practical life 'lessons' are purposeful activities, designed to provide real life experiences for children, to help them develop fine and gross motor control and coordination, independence, and a sense of responsibility. These types of activities are highly appealing to young children because they are real life skills that they are motivated to master. Practical life lessons are divided into three main areas: self care, care of the environment, and grace and courtesy. Self Care Self care lessons include dressing and undressing, hand washing, brushing hair and teeth, packing for a day trip or an overnight stay. As a toddler, my daughter was so excited and pleased with herself when she learne

An Introduction to the Montessori Method

There are many different educational philosophies in the world, all promoting academic growth in children. Those that are child-centered interest me most, especially those that have been based on the theories of child development specialists, who recognise that young children learn best through play, and through self-discovery. This is the first of a series of three blog posts, looking at the main principles of the most well known philosophies today... Montessori, Steiner/Waldorf and Reggio Emilia. First, the Montessori method. What is the Montessori method? Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was an Italian physician, educator and founder of the Montessori method. Montessori observed children at p

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