Susan Howard best expresses the needs of the young child, as well as how Waldorf teachers take up that challenge to meet these needs and answer the question “Why Waldorf Early Childhood Classes?” in her article “What Young Children Really Need”.
The following is an excerpt from her article and a link the entire article.
- love and warmth
- an environment that nourishes the senses
- creative and artistic experiences
- meaningful adult activity to be imitated
- free, imaginative play
- protection for the forces of childhood
- gratitude, reverence, and wonder
- joy, humor, and happiness
- adult caregivers pursing a path of inner development
Love and Warmth
Children who live in an atmosphere of love and warmth, and who have around them truly good examples to imitate, are living in their proper element. – Rudolf Steiner, The Education of the Child
Love and emotional warmth, rather than any particular early childhood program, create the basis for the child’s healthy development. These qualities should live between the adult caregiver and the child, in the children’s behavior toward one another, and among the adults in the early childhood center. When Rudolf Steiner visited the classes of the first Waldorf school, he often asked the children, “Do you love your teacher?”
Children are also served if this love and warmth exist in the relationships between the teachers and the parents, between the early childhood teachers and the rest of the school, and in the surrounding community.”
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