Bright Water School is part of an international community of schools that embraces Waldorf education. The Waldorf curriculum was developed by Rudolf Steiner, Austrian scientist, philosopher, artist, and educator who founded the first Waldorf School in Germany in 1919. Waldorf schools share a common philosophy, a methodical approach, and a curriculum correlating child development to the experiences of humanity throughout the course of history.
The heart of the Waldorf philosophy is the belief that education must meet the child as the child grows and matures:
- The very young child learns best through play and imitation.
- The young grade school child learns best through the realm of the feelings and senses. Continuing to nurture the imagination is essential.
- The adolescent learns best through the intellect and is ready and willing to apply critical judgment to their own thinking. The healthy imagination nurtured in the early years is instrumental in fostering these critical thinking skills.
The Waldorf curriculum balances academic, artistic, and practical activities. The curriculum develops the child’s self-confidence and self-reliance, while fostering personal integrity and a sense of social and environmental responsibility.
Faculty are thoroughly trained in the methodology specific to Waldorf schools. Families who visit a Waldorf school for the first time are often surprised at the way teachers and students engage with each other in the classroom environment. Curiosity and intellectual and artistic creativity are highly valued. Waldorf teachers approach their students with enthusiasm and respect for the emerging individual in each child.
“Steiner’s goal was to educate the whole human being so that thinking, feeling, and doing were integrated and capable of functioning in a healthy way.”
Rahima Baldwin Dancy, “The Wisdom of Waldorf: Education for the Future”