FAQ

What is unique about Steiner Education?

What is unique about Steiner Education? How is it different from other alternatives (Public Schooling, Montessori, etc.)?
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What is the curriculum at a Steiner School like?

The Steiner curriculum is designed to be responsive to the various phases of a child’s development. Read more


How is reading taught in a Steiner school?

Steiner education is deeply bound up with the oral tradition…Read more.


What training do Steiner teachers have?

Steiner teachers, as a rule, will have both … Read more


What is the benefit of having the same class teacher throughout primary school?

Between the ages of seven and fourteen …. Read more


How are personality conflicts between students and teachers handled?

This is a very common concern among parents when they first hear about the “Class Teacher” method. However, in practice, the situation seems to arise very rarely, especially so when the teacher has been able to establish a relationship with the class right from the first grade. Understanding the child’s needs and temperament is central to the teacher’s role and training. When problems of incompatability do occur, the teacher and the family, work together with the support of school mentors, to determine and undertake whatever corrective action would be in the best interests of the child and of the class.


Are Steiner schools religious?

In the sense of subscribing to the beliefs of a particular religious denomination or sect, Seiner schools are not religious. Steiner schools, however, tend to be spiritually oriented and are based out of a generally Christian perspective. The historic festivals of Christianity, and of other major religions as well, are usually observed in the class rooms and in school festivals. Classes in religious doctrine are not part of the Steiner curriculum, and children of all religious backgrounds attend Steiner schools. Spiritual guidance is aimed at awakening the child’s natural reverence for the wonder and beauty of life.


How do Steiner children fare when they transfer to “regular” schools? Is it true that once you start Steiner schooling it is difficult to “fit in” to other schools?

Generally, transitions to public schools, when they are anticipated, are not problematical. The most common transition is from a Steiner school to a more traditional high school, and, from all reports, usually takes place without significant difficulties.

Transitions in the lower grades, particularly between the first and fourth grades, can potentially be more of a problem, because of the significant differences in the pacing of the various curriculums. A second grader from a traditional school will be further ahead in reading in comparison with a Steiner-schooled second grader; however, the Steiner-schooled child will be ahead in arithmetic.


What is Anthroposophy?

The term “Anthroposophy’ comes from the Greek “anthropos-sophia” or “human wisdom”.
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How does Steiner deal with kids that are not so strong academically?

Steiner schools hesitate to categorise children, particularly in terms such as “slow” or “gifted”. A given child’s weaknesses in one area, whether cognitive, emotional or physical, will usually be balanced by strengths in another area. It is the teacher’s job to try to bring the child’s whole being into balance.

A child having difficulty with the material might be given extra help by the teacher or by parents; tutoring might also be arranged. Correspondingly, a child who picked up the material quickly might be given harder problems of the same sort to work on, or might be asked to help a child who was having trouble.


How well do Steiner graduates do on standard tests? How well do Steiner high school graduates do in tertiary education?

To the best of our knowledge, no controlled studies have been done on these questions, but anecdotal evidence collected from various sources would seem to suggest that Steiner graduates tend to score toward the high end on standardised examinations. As far as higher education goes, Steiner graduates have been accepted as students at, and have graduated from, some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in Australia.


What is Eurythmy?

Most simply put, eurythmy is a dance-like art form in which music or speech are expressed in bodily movement; specific movements correspond to particular notes or sounds. It has also been called “visible speech” or “visible song”. Eurythmy is part of the curriculum of many Steiner schools, and while it often puzzles parents new to Steiner education, children respond to its simple rhythms and exercises which help them strengthen and harmonise their body and their life forces; later, the older students work out elaborate eurhythmic representations of poetry, drama and music, thereby gaining a deeper perception of the compositions and writings. Eurythmy enhances coordination and strengthens the ability to listen. When children experience themselves like an orchestra and have to keep a clear relationship in space with each other, a social strengthening also results.

Eurythmy is usually taught by a specialist who has been specifically trained, typically for at least four years. In addition to pedagogical eurythmy, there are also therapeutic (“curative”) and performance-oriented forms of the art.

Acknowledgements

This article is based on one originating from Lefty’s site.
It has been altered slightly so it is more oriented to Australian pracice

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