Waldorf education was developed by Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher and scientist, at the beginning of the 20th century.
Waldorf-inspired methods derive from an instructional model that recognises the specific developmental stages of the child. The Waldorf philosophy views education as an art, so each subject, whether mathematics, biology or English, is presented in a way that addresses the child’s developmental stage. Each subject is presented through direct experience and is often augmented with art, poetry, music and drama.
“Where is the book in which the teacher can read about what teaching is? The children themselves are this book. We should not learn to teach out of any book other than the one lying open before us and consisting of the children themselves.”
In the early grades, our Waldorf-inspired curriculum provides an unhurried way of learning that minimises modern stressors and protects childhood while encouraging children’s creative expression and fostering their imagination. As children mature, the learning process accelerates and provides a program that meets learners where they are developmentally.
The learning facilitator’s aim is to draw out the child’s inherent capacities by creating an atmosphere in the classroom that fills the children with interest, wonder, and enthusiasm.
Waldorf-inspired education strives to guide each child to develop their innate talents and abilities and to grow into a balanced adult, capable of contributing to community life.
In the past decade, Waldorf-inspired education has spread around the world, with many schools such as Bambujaya, finding their inspiration in the work of Rudolf Steiner and the Waldorf curriculum.
Our Waldorf-inspired method of education offers an academically rigorous curriculum presented in a developmentally appropriate and arts-integrated context. This holistic, balanced approach has been shown to produce better academic results.
In fact, Waldorf educated learners have been found to equal or surpass their peers on studied parameters such as mathematics, science and reading achievement.
Equally as important are the observed, but less easily documented, cognitive capacities such as emotional intelligence, social interaction, flexibility and tenacity that these learners exhibit.
Bambujaya Bilingual School offers a rigorous and relevant curriculum that will allow learners to excel academically and transition gracefully into colleges and universities.
The Arts, music, art, drama and dance, are fundamental in the learning process. Emphasised are watercolour, flute/recorder/ukulele, songs in the round, knitting, crocheting, wood carving and nature crafts.
Storytelling is used to awaken the imagination, build vocabulary and oral language. It helps to retain the attention and to teach subjects such as mathematics, history, geography, social studies, writing and reading.
Main lessons include all traditional subjects and are typically taught in 4-6 week cycles, thereby allowing children to gain a deep and personal relationship with the material, retaining it longer.
The Waldorf-inspired method emphasises nature and environmental stewardship. Children spend time outside, exploring the world around them, gaining a deeper understanding of science and nature studies.
Bilingual immersion in English and Khmer at Bambujaya, begins in our Early Childhood Program.
Children learn real-life tasks such as housekeeping, cooking, fibre 'tactile' arts and gardening.
Learning facilitators follow their children from first grade through to middle school. This allows them to develop a stronger relationship with their learners, adjusting the curriculum to their learners’ needs and strengths.
Technology is de-emphasised in the early years at school and at home. Families will be expected to greatly limit their children’s exposure to computers, TV, and video games.
Seasonal studies and festivals are taught and celebrated throughout the year.
Experts in child development are now confirming what Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, recognised a hundred years ago:
From early childhood through to high school, Waldorf-inspired education goes far beyond dispensing academic information routinely. It develops nimble, humane, and discerning minds that young people will need to navigate the unpredictable future. Waldorf-inspired learning facilitators build each child’s capacity for sensitive engagement, original thinking, clear reasoning, and – lacking in many learners today – the initiative and ability to translate thought into action.
Rather than hurrying children prematurely into academic tasks beyond their intellectual and emotional development, our Waldorf-inspired learning environment protects childhood, by introducing skills and concepts at a cognitively appropriate pace and developmental level. Waldorf-inspired schools around the world continue to show this to be lifelong learning.
The film Learn to Change the World shows communities from around the world using Waldorf/Steiner pedagogy to overcome the pedagogical challenges of our time.
Bambujaya Bilingual School celebrated Waldorf education’s 100th anniversary during our 2019-2020 school year with centennial celebrations and initiatives. 1000+ Waldorf schools worldwide are engaged in social and environmental projects; we participated and continue to share the values of Waldorf-inspired education.
Waldorf Education Resources:
Waldorf 100: waldorf-100.org
Part 2 of Learn to Change the World deals with communities immersed in Waldorf education.
Becoming is the third film produced for the centenary celebrations of Waldorf education.