Waldorf education is becoming one of the most popular educational programs in use. It has been put into place at thousands of schools across the United States. While most of these schools are private or home schools, it is becoming much more common place in the public school system as well. The reason it is becoming so popular is because of the results that it produces in the children that are involved in the program.
The major difference with the Waldorf program and the traditional program is that rather than just focusing on the content at hand, the Waldorf program focuses on creativity and common sense into everything that is taught. By doing this, children are better able to relate what they are learning to things that they already know. Plus, by bringing in creativity, children are able to remember back to what they did creatively and ultimately remember the skills that they needed to know for the task. This is exceptionally powerful when teaching subjects such as math and science.
Through Waldorf, many things are taught in the early years of learning through imitation. Children seem to respond best to imitating those that are around them. This is why your younger children will repeat what you say. So, to teach different things teachers will teach their children to imitate what they or someone else is doing. This makes learning that much easier for the students to remember and much more entertaining, so they are more apt to pay attention, which is the hardest issue with teaching children.
The main aspect of Waldorf programs is that rather than focusing on textbooks as many methods traditionally do, the teachers step away from the books and teach with methods outside of the textbook. This can be done through different activities, music, or even movies. The idea is to stimulate the mind and keep the children entertained so that they are more apt to pay attention. This is the main way that the Waldorf method works. It is more difficult to teach children when they are bored, so by keeping them from becoming bored, the Waldorf method can be incredibly effective.
The reality is that, the Waldorf method is teaching in ways that are much more natural for the children. They see things completely different than just black and white, so to appeal to these senses helps them to really understand what is going on in their education. Rather than just having one method of study applied, they are able to learn though multiple senses and because of this will remember much more of what they are taught, than from self study and lecture alone. This is how Waldorf’s program has been so praised. It has significantly improved test scores and has provided students with a better means of studying up through college.
These programs, however, are also incredibly effective on special needs children for the same reasons that they work with standard children. Special needs children respond far greater to music, colors, and touch than they do to anything else. Because of this, the Waldorf method is incredibly effective as it truly teaches the special needs child in the ways that they understand the best. By doing this, the child is much more likely to absorb the material and understand what is trying to be accomplished.