Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Your opinion on Waldorf?

From: David Rovner <rovners_at_netvision.net.il>
Date: Mon Feb 14 13:41:01 2005

Sorry guys & Allison. Waldorf you said.
~ David

 
 OK, SO YOU'RE SORT OF LIKE ... A Waldorf School?
 by Romey Pittman, former Fairhaven staff member
http://www.fairhavenschool.com/articles_sortoflike.html

Like Waldorf Schools, Sudbury schools care about the whole child. We are not only interested in academic success, but in the happiness and full human potential of each individual. Like Waldorf schools, we do not push children to read early, as traditional schools do. Both approaches value play, "deep" (intensely involved) play, in particular, as crucial to the development of children's mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual selves, indeed as the fundamental "work" of children. We both respect the intuitive wisdom of children, and take their world views and interests quite seriously.

But the Sudbury model espouses no particular path of spiritual or emotional growth. Rather than listening to children in order to better guide them, we listen to them to respond to their self-determined needs. Unlike Waldorf education, we have no predetermined curriculum. We trust children to make their own mistakes, work though their own problems, and come to their own solutions, with help, when it's needed, but without the assumption that we know the best outcome. Waldorf educators endeavor to move children, and society in general, in a particular direction, and seek to set up an environment that fosters such social transformation.

By contrast, Sudbury schools seek to create an environment where children can recognize and pursue their own agenda. Children and adults together assess and modify the culture of the school through the School Meeting. The democratic process in a Sudbury school can be loud and contentious; it involves special interest groups politicking, voters making judgements, defendants being sentenced. It is "real" and not necessarily "enlightened" (although always respectful). The Sudbury model simply aims to give children access to the full complexity of life, and the curiosity, confidence, and competence to participate in and perhaps to change society according to their own interests, experience, knowledge, and goals.

OK, So You're Sort of Like a Waldorf Sch1ool?
http://www.bigrock.org/comparison.html

  Like Waldorf schools, Sudbury schools care about the whole child. We are not only interested in academic success, but in the happiness and full human potential of each individual. Like Waldorf schools, we do not push children to read early. We both value play as crucial to the development of children's mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual selves; play is regarded as the fundamental work of children. We both respect the intuitive wisdom of children, and take their world views and interests quite seriously.

  The primary difference between our two models is that the Waldorf model, created by Rudolf Steiner, teaches to a particular path of intellectual and spiritual growth. Waldorf education has a curriculum and is founded in the idea of Anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner's theory of human evolution and spirituality (Atlantic Monthly, 8/99). Through the curriculum, Waldorf educators endeavor to guide children, and society in general, in a particular direction.

  The Sudbury approach promotes no particular path of intellectual or spiritual growth. Rather than present a formal curriculum, we respond to each student's individual, self-determined needs. Sudbury schools seek to create an environment where children can recognize and pursue their own agenda. We trust children to make their own mistakes, work through their own problems, and come to their own solutions. The staff's role is to help, when the student feels that it is needed, but without the approach that adults know best. The Sudbury model simply aims to give children access to the full complexity of life and to respect their curiosity, confidence, and competence to participate in, and perhaps to change society, according to their own interests, experience, knowledge and goals.
Received on Mon Feb 14 2005 - 13:40:34 EST

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