Adventures in Steiner Education

24th June 2005 at 01:00
ADVENTURES IN STEINER EDUCATION: An introduction to the Waldorf approach. By Brien Masters. Rudolf Steiner Press pound;10.95

In 1919 the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner opened a school, die Frei Waldorfschule, for the children of the people who worked at the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart. Now, there are 900 Waldorf schools worldwide, a significant presence in private education in many countries.

Brien Masters has been a Waldorf teacher and teacher-trainer in Britain for many years, and in this book he digs deeply into the way the system actually works in WaldorfSteiner schools. The emphasis, always, is on the developing child. An early chapter on how literacy is taught in Waldorf schools - unhurriedly, with lots of stories and drawing, then writing, leading to reading at about seven - ought to be placed on the desks of all those who are so concerned to hasten small children into the mechanics of it all.

"Among the positive points of the method is that it bypasses what in some cases can extend to years of trauma: learning to read. In every Waldorf class there will be children whose way into reading simply unfolds of itself, like an automatic door opening."

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