• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Roudolf Steiner's Ideas On the Early Years Environment

Extracts from this document...


TURGENEVA LIANA BA QTS (ASEY) Year 1 ASEYS 2001/2002 - Semester One Assessment 2 (19th October 2001) ROUDOLF STEINER'S IDEAS ON THE EARLY YEARS ENVIRONMENT To understand the modern concept of the early years environment it is essential to be aware of the historical development of this concept. No one concerned with the problems of creating the right educational environment can afford to ignore the effect, which an Austro-Hungarian philosopher and practitioner, Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), have had on the current understanding of the idea. Steiner is most widely known for his innovative approach to children's mental, physical and emotional development and as the founder of the Waldorf Schools based on the belief that creative activities are psychologically valuable for educational purposes. The first Waldorf School was opened in Germany in 1919 to serve the needs of Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory workers' children. Considered revolutionary at the time, the methods have proved themselves to be thoroughly practical and effective. Steiner developed a totally new conception of educational environment where a child is recognized as a being of body, soul and spirit, and consequently environmental scheme aimed to attend to all three. ...read more.


Playing with these toys and with gifts from nature, such as shells, stones and wood, the children strengthen their creativity and their connection to the earth: a beautiful stone can awaken the child's own observation and awareness, a single piece of driftwood can become a castle wall, a hedge, a snake, a tree, a person. The objects of play are as simple as possible, so that the child can apply to them his own powers of fantasy. A rough and ready doll made of a piece of material or even out of a table napkin calls out these fantasy forces, for to the little child everything is "alive"; a "perfect" doll may seem to satisfy but in the end it cloys - it leaves no room for the imagination and therefore works against the original and spontaneous forces of childhood. (L. Francis Edmunds, 1962, p. 23) The observation of nature is integral to the teaching of many aspects of the curriculum, so a corner of each classroom is generally devoted to a nature table reflecting the season, a festival or an ...read more.


Today this aspect is becoming vital for the schools where formal education is rapidly taking over. While observing the literacy lesson in year two (school attachment), the deficient classroom atmosphere didn't slip my attention: there were no children's works posted around the classroom, but there were huge prescriptions of the national curriculum. The walls were covered with uninspiring pictures illustrating numbers and the examples of sounds "ng", "ch", "bl". No colour, no space, no exciting use of shape or texture. It is hard to believe that a child can develop any creativity and imagination in such "dry" environment. However, in some points Steiner's approach seems to me too spiritual, too mystical. Why can't we just offer our children the best we have in nature, science and art without connecting everything with "cosmic spirituality". Instead of giving such prominence to spiritual aspect of environment I would rather pay more attention to developing the teacher's knowledge and skills in presenting academic subjects in a lively, artistic way bringing warmth, enthusiasm and a deep commitment to their work. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work