Science in Waldorf Education

high school science Jan 12, 2022
Science in Waldorf Education

Waldorf pedagogy revolves around the idea of uplifting the nature of human beings through every aspect of life including education. This is based on the understanding that humans can be characterized by their layers of existence. Every layer of one's existence: physical, etheric, astral and ego aspects needs nourishment and care. A Waldorf teacher seeks to nourish each of these layers in their pupil by carefully designed lessons. One may wonder how it works in science which could be rather sterile. The answer is phenomenological approach to science. This fancy word indicates that much emphasis is given to observation and bringing awareness to what has been observed. For instance, when a student is studying properties of heat in Thermodynamics, the first day the student will observe an experiment. They will make keen observations. They will recapitulate what was done and what was observed. These observations are taken to sleep. The next day the experiments are revisited through review. By these three processes - observation, recap and review, their "Thinking" is developed. This is in contrast to the other approach where hard facts are presented where concepts remain dead in one's being. Contrast this with the Waldorf method where the observation slowly and organically moves through conclusion, judgment and concept. Out of the trilogy, the "feeling" is developed when new materials are presented in an experiential way. Finally, after the students have gone through the "feeling" and "thinking", they have to "will" when they put their understanding to paper artistically in their Main lesson book. In addition science is also brought to life through biographies of scientists and through projects. All of these connect what could be a potentially vague scientific concept to people and to the world around them. When science is thus connected to people and to the world, it is also morally uplifting for the students. This helps them see their place in the world and how they could contribute to it. At Seasons of Seven we endeavor to bring in class experience to our students' homes by sharing recordings of our experiments with the students. The students then replicate the experiment at home and bring their observations to class. These observations are then polished by way of discussions and finally their understanding is recorded in their books. Our hope is to nourish the world one child at a time.

~Ms. Vidhya

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