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Waldorf Pedagogy, in Force More Than Before?

The philosophy behind Waldorf is focused on the study of the human being, the human spirit, and sensitivity towards the environment that surrounds us.

The Woman Post | Nibeth Adriana Duarte Camacho

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Thinking that we all need the same education may be a mistaken idea. Thanks to alternative pedagogies, children and families have found a space more in line with being and contexts.

If you go to kindergarten or school with Waldorf pedagogy don’t expect a study plan. This is not fixed but must be recreated at each moment and adapted to each child, which requires the continuous preparation of the teacher. Waldorf is the anthroposophical philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, which emerged in 1919 in Germany, and which seeks that each child develops their inner self.

This kind of school educates children about freedom. These are formed exclusively by the joint and collegial work of teachers and by the close contact and participation of parents who are part of the community and families who take part in the education of their children.

Pedagogy has three fundamental principles:

  1. The development of the human being:
  2. self-knowledge
  3. environment knowledge and affected it in positive ways.

In addition to this, education is divided into evolutionary stages:

In the first stage of life: children do not have literacy processes, do not experience academic processes, and just experience socialization and searching for their autonomy and development.

Lucía Correa, is one of the founding mothers of the project, Jardín Intihuasi o Casa del sol. Pedagogic project in Bogotá that is based on Waldorf philosophy. She says that knowledge is associated with an image and a story, for that in Intiuasi prioritize image on writing.

Lucía explains, that in early childhood the development of the lower senses is reinforced: touch, movement, balance, and there is a sense of pedagogy that is the vital sense: the sense of well-being and discomfort.

The role of parents is to promote healthy rhythms of rest, safe and calm environments to children. If there is a discussion, try to get the children to be in their environment. “We must try to ensure that children do not have the super agenda: swimming, music, skating... In Waldorf Pedagogy, parents must take care of the development of autonomy and the healthy development of the child”, Explains Lucía.

For this pedagogy, the development of the human being must take place in a free and cooperative context, without exams, and with strong support in art and manual work.

Children explore with watercolor, modeling, crayon, home activities, creation, and textures. Everything is an exploration in Waldorf. In the kinder garden teachers and parents work only with white sheets, painting has a therapeutic meaning from the point of view of pedagogy:

“You can control your emotion, The children only paint and explore without theory around color, for that is important evolve touch…”, says Lucía.

In addition to art, work play is essential: "It is the primary activity that allows the child to deploy the ethical, moral, intellectual and social faculties that determine his future actions.

Through development, when children play games like ring-a-ring-o'-roses and invent riddles, children mature and upgraded their skills; build castles to unfold their creative fantasy; listen to stories that help children develop imagination, in addition to achieving the ability to listen and pay attention.

So necessary for school; to learn how to prepare bread, with intention of imitating the adult world. preparing himself to face his future life”, the founders of the garden write on their website.

There is an education crisis that was exacerbated by the pandemic. In the case of Latin American countries, the problem of the closure of educational institutions has had an even greater impact because a high percentage of students do not have access to virtual media.

According to UNESCO (2020), before starting the pandemic, the percentage of households in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean with an Internet-age connection of less than 50%. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the pandemic has had additional consequences. García  Jaramillo (2020) highlights the effects of school closures on the present and future development of children, especially those living in conditions of vulnerability. These effects include dropping out of school, situations of food insecurity, abuse in the family environment, and physical and emotional health problems.