Polaris Parent Circle Blog
Parents Share Their Experiences, Insights and Inspirations
In 1919 war-torn Germany, the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette company wished to offer a free school for the children of the workers. It was the Freie Waldorfschule: both financially free and free from state curriculum. Attendance was open, and other families could pay to send their children.
Rudolf Steiner, Austrian Goethe scholar, was invited to establish an model that fosters sustainable social renewal in service of true human conditions, based on morally upstanding values.
He did. He trained the first teachers while overseeing the school. Today, teachers are presented foundational concepts, practical experiences and universal whole-child observation techniques. Within this context, they undertake a life-long learning journey together. As experts in the field of early-years human development, Waldorf Teachers are meant to be free of influence from other, potentially conflicted, interests. Such interests include well-meaning political, legal and financial influences. Always endeavouring to grow within the bounds of its espoused values, ‘Waldorf’ education has become a worldwide community encompassing about 1,000 schools.
INTEGRATED EDUCATION MODEL
Given its deep foundations, rooted in unquestionable truths, Waldorf Education presents appropriate educational concepts, in appropriate forms to appropriate periods of development. In practice, this means an adult’s critical thinking skills, balanced with holistic empathy, is developed by providing a focus on ROUTINE and REVERANCE for everything during youngest years (0-7), by surrounding the young child with natural and abstract BEAUTY from grade 1 to 8 and an affinity for the TRUTH in the upper grades. From birth, humans are destined to be able to direct their Will in service of healthy social renewal, as an archetypal evolutionary goal. Good handwriting, a talented paint brush stroke, knitting and carving skills is a bi-product often taken for granted. Graceful movement, social engagement, exposure to every human activity and insatiable curiosity are but natural scaffolds erected to help the individual grow into its destined, skilled, form. Only when the early years’ journey is complete can we proudly let students go on to find their purpose. Proper fruits only grow once the whole organism has gone through its natural unfolding.
JOHANNES VON GOETHE
“Hypotheses are the scaffolds which are erected in front of a building and removed when the building is completed. They are indispensable to the worker; but the worker must not mistake the scaffolding for the building.”
“Receive the child with deep respect, raise him with love, and let him go in freedom.”
The context here is simultaneously individual within the greater archetypal human condition.
“Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe - a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”
Children learn from everything in their environment, and observed actions, more than abstract deliberations and instructions. They have an innate natural skill to observe and make our own. As much as possible, BE the model you wish your children to become, regardless of if you think they are watching. Beyond formal school, we are all on a life-long-learning journey. Our opinion of this fact does not change this archetypal reality. The organism that we are unfolds every day.
How to cultivate healthy human development? Learn about it. Support it. Live it.
“the knowledge of the nature of man”: Created in the 20th century by Rudolf Steiner, from Greek: Anthropos “human” + sophia “knowledge”, it informs a holistic viewpoint toward education, legal, economic and all other facets of human activity. See: “Weleda”, “Triodos Bank”.
THE GOAL OF WALDORF EDUCATION
Support the whole human being with its development, from birth to 21, in service of destiny.
Whole Human Being
Human beings are naturally constituted from:
Physical Material Life Forces Mobile Nervous System Self-Consciousness Spirit
MATTER ENERGY AWARENESS EVOLVING EGO MORALITY
Our humanity is experienced through our destined body. The human archetype comprises three integrated systems: a rhythmic, a metabolic and a nervous system. All systems are equally relevant to human development. Driven by ancient life forces, all systems continually drive toward their archetypal evolutionary goal. Each system takes their turn to develop and be in the forefront, in childhood, and have their own sequence to their unfolding:
0-7: Rhythmic, heart 8-14: Metabolic, hands 15-21: Nervous System, head
ROUTINE, REVERANCE BEAUTY TRUTH
All disruptions to the natural sequences are compensated for by the organism, as our individual destiny.
Individual circumstances affect our development. Based on Anthroposophy, Waldorf Education presents the best circumstances for the natural human development, helping unlock student’s true destiny. Waldorf Education principles are based on observed conditions. Waldorf Teachers typically complete up to 2-3 years of specialty training with additional specializations, skills and talents.
At our recent community meeting, a wish was expressed by parents to have gain a better understanding of Waldorf Education, the Polaris School's vision and having new ways to connect our community.
This blog forum is one first step. Enjoy!
- Julie Le Gal Brodeur
To be free is to be capable of thinking one's own thoughts - not the thoughts merely of the body, or of society, but thoughts generated by one's deepest, most original, most essential and spiritual self, one's individuality.