Steiner education

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.
- Steiner Schools in Australia at www.steiner-australia.org

The Aurora Steiner School is part of the international Steiner Waldorf schools movement which is the largest independent educational movement in the world, with more than 1000 schools in 65 countries worldwide.

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What is Steiner education?

Steiner education, sometimes also called Waldorf education, is an innovative approach to schooling, and one of the fastest growing education movements in the world.
Steiner education was first developed by Rudolf Steiner over a hundred years ago, based on his unique research and understanding of child development.
Since then, new research on child psychology and neurobiology has given scientific evidence on just how developmentally-sound this approach is.
The Steiner approach recognises the simple but profound insight that children learn in distinctly different ways at different stages of their development. Steiner Waldorf schools introduce subjects and teach in ways that correspond to the developmental needs of the growing child.
Our strong academic, practical and artistic curriculum is based on building and fostering the child’s natural capacities at each developmental stage.
Steiner education is based on a view of child development which sees learning as a process of development, and not simply an accumulation of facts and capacities in preparation for a career.
Steiner education gives equal attention to the physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual needs of each child.

Transition to mainstream schooling

Steiner schools have a reputation for producing well-rounded and balanced human beings who are able to cope with the demands of a fast-changing and uncertain world.
The most common transition is from a Steiner primary to a mainstream secondary school, which usually takes place without significant difficulties. Steiner education engenders a love of learning, combined with curiosity and a can-do attitude, marking out the children as good students.
Here’s a quote from a mainstream school teacher in relation to Steiner students:

From my experience with Steiner school students, I have found them to be extremely co-operative, mature and diligent. Their level of respect and tolerance for peers and adults is a quality that I picked up on straight away and has continued right throughout the year.
While they are great friends and very sociable, they know when it is time to work – and they can work independently for the necessary time required to complete the task. They are also very organised with assignments and work outside of school. Anything creative and arty is something Steiner students seem to enjoy most and that includes story-telling and writing.

Confident adults

Steiner graduates are highly sought-after in further education and workplaces for their unjaded interest in the world and their resourcefulness.
This video, from a US Steiner school, beautifully sums up the advantages of a Steiner education, and how it develops people who are collaborators, communicators, with a capacity to take on any task.
The New York Times ran a cover story on how employers in Silicon Valley (Google, Apple etc) actively seek out Steiner graduates, despite the absence of computers or digital devices in the Primary curriculum.

Waldorf 100

The film "Learn to Change the World" shows people from around the world who work on the big pedagogical tasks of our time based on Waldorf/Steiner pedagogy. It is the first of more to come which aim to show concrete approaches to these tasks.

In summary, the Steiner approach:

  • recognises and works with the growing, individual spirit of each child
  • teaches children through the engagement of their feelings, their will and their intellect
  • places great importance on fostering the power of imagination and creativity
  • balances academic, artistic and practical learning experiences
  • fosters life-long love of learning
  • encourages a sense of social and environmental responsibility for the future
  • instils self-confidence in self and a positive and hopeful attitude towards the future
  • engenders a sense of connectedness – to self, to the environment, to the past, present and future.