Friday 11 April 2014

Steiner Schools

The Waldorf School that had closed in Hani’s story and the one that Renate went to first in Streatham and then in Minehead are Steiner schools. They often cater for disabled children and that is how the Special Class that was taught at Haus Lehrs came about.
The school curriculum offered is based upon the teachings of Rudolph Steiner, an anthroposophist. Steiner schools still exist today. They offer a very wide education. In the UK they embrace the National Curriculum and take their students beyond it. In Germany, where state education has a lot of respect, the Steiner School organisation offers private schools that are highly regarded.
The school in Stuttgart was the very first Steiner school in the world. In Germany, Steiner schools are called Waldorf Schools.
There is a great emphasis on creativity in the Steiner school system. Students and staff alike produce beautiful pictures and other works of art. Renate is astonished by the colourful details of the pictures on the blackboard when she first sees them. The children in the Special Class at Haus Lehrs are often involved in art and craft activities.      
All lessons are very cross-curricular and Main Lesson each day is sacrosanct. The core subjects of the curriculum are taught in thematic blocks and all lessons include a balance of artistic, practical and intellectual content. Whole class, mixed ability teaching is the norm.
The Nazi government closed down the Waldorf Schools in 1938.

Germany does not have many private schools but it does approve of the Streiner schools. Why do you think this is so?  
In many ways the Waldorf / Steiner schools were ahead of their times. How does the school in the books compare with your own school? 
These schools are known for promoting creativity.  What do you understand by that? 

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