Waldorf school: that’s what children and parents can expect

Waldorf school: that’s what children and parents can expect

At Waldorf schools there is dancing all the time, parents have to show constant commitment and the Abitur can only be taken at a few schools. Clichés or reality? Waldorf educator and author Henning Kullak-Ublick cleans up.

| © Fotolia: Viacheslav Iakobchuk

scoyo: Mr. Kullak-Ublick, what do you think the Waldorf School can do better than other schools?

Kullak-Ublick: Waldorf schools take people with all their different characteristics seriously: learning at the Waldorf school means that the children get to know each other as actors, perceivers and independent thinkers. We take learning paths as important as the results. We want to enable children and young people not only to reproduce knowledge, but also to relate it to other things, for example to society or their experiences, and to form their own judgment. In the lower classes we particularly address the imagination and skill of the children and thus put them into practice Basis for lifelong learning, that can adapt to different situations.

scoyo: What are the main differences between Waldorf schools and state schools?

Kullak-Ublick: Waldorf schools are like all free schools not tied to state curricula. This allows them to set their own methodological and didactic focal points and to respond more flexibly to the specific needs of the students.

At the Waldorf School, cognitive, i.e. rather intellectual, learning is in a conscious balance with the acquisition of creative-artistic and practical-manual skills. This applies to every subject, but of course it is also expressed in the range of subjects offered. It is the practical implementation of the requirement to learn with head, heart and hand, as it is raised, for example, by recent brain research.

A specialty of the Waldorf School is the teaching in so-called epochs, i.e. the concentration on a subject or topic over several weeks. During these epochs the students write their own textbooks and develop a portfolio that accurately reflects their own learning progress.

In addition, all children learn one from the first school year, Two foreign languages ​​at the latest from the second school year.

The pupils learn in stable class communities regardless of their desired school-leaving qualifications, they cannot remain seated. This places high demands on the teachers who design the lessons so that they appeal to children with different strengths and levels of learning.

Since we do not use grades as a leverage for learning, the lessons have to be interesting and lively to awaken the activity of the students. For this we train our teachers at seminars and universities. The pupils get at the end of the school year detailed reports, that record their individual learning progress. The theater and the so-called annual work also play a major role, in which the pupils in the eighth and twelfth year of school work independently on a topic and present it in writing, in writing and as a practical result to the entire school. From year 9 onwards there is at least one longer internship every year.

scoyo: What is the purpose of the Waldorf school subject eurythmy??

Kullak-Ublick: Eurythmy is an art of movement in which language and music are converted into gestures, movements and choreographies according to certain laws. A distinction is made between therapeutic, pedagogical and stage eurythmy. Like any art, eurythmy helps to bring body, soul and spirit into a creative harmony. Incidentally, name dancing does not occur at most for fun, because this cliché is just so wonderfully silly.

scoyo: Are there typical “Waldorf children” for whom the Waldorf school is particularly suitable? In which cases would you advise against attending a Waldorf school?

Kullak-Ublick: No, that Waldorf school is suitable for all children. However, the parents should in principle affirm the pedagogical concept, otherwise conflicts may arise later.

Parents should look at the special profile of a school and then decide whether it fits their expectations and the needs of their children. I would advise against attending a Waldrof school if the parents really do not want Waldorf education at all or believe that one can learn there without making an effort.

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