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Learning to Think in Steiner-Waldorf Schools

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The Steiner-Waldorf schools are well known for offering a curriculum infused with creative activities and for introducing cognitive education at a later stage compared to most other schools. There are 893 Steiner-Waldorf schools worldwide, including 29 in the UK (England 23, Scotland 4, N-Ireland 1, Wales 1), 121 in the USA, and 16 in Canada (Bund der Freien Waldorfschulen, 2005). Whereas there has been a growing concern with the teaching of thinking and thinking skills from the start of primary school, the curriculum in Waldorf schools is based on the development of the imagination through creative and artistic expression, which is thought to lead to healthy thinking later in life. Thus, what is learned at an early stage (e.g., to clap and speak a rhyme) is thought to work its way into thinking at a later stage of the child's life (e.g., to remember, participate, or count). This small study was designed to map out how, according to Waldorf teachers, thinking develops in their pupils.
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Keywords: Steiner; Waldorf; cognitive education; creativity; thinking; thinking skill

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: University of Stirling

Publication date: 01 January 2006

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