Parents are often confronted with the difficult task of finding the best education option for their young children given the wide range of choices available. A progressive approach which has been tried and tested for almost 100 years is Waldorf education. They offer beautiful ideals, which will help build a better world for the future.
A Waldorf school follows the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. It is rooted in anthroposophy which believes that in order to understand the workings of the universe, people must first have an understanding of humanity.
Waldorf education encourages the child to engage in free creative play and to create his own toys from materials, which happen to be at hand. Using the imagination is the child’s most important ‘work’. It follows a teacher-directed approach in the classroom and uses a developmentally appropriate curriculum. They believe in developing the whole child, teaching children to think for themselves and, above all, showing them how to avoid violence through hands on activities.
The Waldorf classroom environment is typically furnished like a home–with curtains and fabrics hanging, wool rugs, and wooden chairs and tables. Toys in the classroom are made from natural materials and are carefully chosen by the teachers. Common activities that the children do in class include cooking, cleaning, baking, knitting, and gardening.
Waldorf is often rigid about not wanting children to be exposed to popular electronic media. Waldorf wants children to create their own worlds. One will not find computers in a Waldorf classroom except in upper school grades.
Whereas Waldorf schools occupy a much smaller niche in the early education world and has yet to find its roots in Indonesia, Montessori schools is still the leading choice of most parents who want a child centered approach to education for their children. It is significant that both approaches recognize and respect a child’s need for rhythm and order in his daily routine.
The only way you will know for sure which approach is best for you is to visit the schools and observe a class or two. Speak with the teachers and staff. Ask questions then choose the school which is the best fit for you and your child. Let’s bear in mind that choosing the right preschool for your young child will make a big difference in his future education. It is wise for parents to know about different early childhood learning methods to help determine the choice of preschool for their young children.