Understanding Waldorf Education

Teaching from the Inside Out

by Jack Petrash

Number of pages: 192

Publisher: Gryphon House

BBB Library: Education

ISBN: 978-0876592465

About the Author

Petrash has been a teacher for over thirty years, much of that time at the Washington Waldorf School. He is the director of the Nova Institute, working with parents and teachers to promote a deeper understanding of children.


Editorial Review

Waldorf education aims at enabling students as fully as possible to choose and to realize their individual path through life as adults, and stresses to teachers that the best way to provide meaningful support for the child is to fully comprehend the phases of child development and to bring “age-appropriate” content to the children that nourishes healthy growth. The philosophy that drives Waldorf education is one in which human possibility is seen as infinite. It places the development of the child in the focal point, convinced that the healthy individual is a prerequisite for a healthy society.

Book Reviews

"I found Petrash's explanation of the curriculum's three-fold approach fresh and illuminating. Whether you are a parent, an educator, a policy maker, or simply a person interested in human growth and learning, read this book. You will learn how relevant education through the "head, heart, and hands" can be for our children and for the future we hope to create." — Waldorf Answers

"This book is not a “how-to” manual for Waldorf education, but more of a book meant to answer the question, “Why?” It was exactly what I was looking for." — Research Parent

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Wisdom to Share

Generating an inner enthusiasm for learning within every child is the goal of effective teachers.

When children relate what they learn to their own experience, they are interested and alive, and what they learn becomes their own.

The philosophy that drives Waldorf education is one in which human possibility is seen as infinite.

All children have areas of strength where they are comfortable and interested.

Efforts to lead children to fullness must be concerned with helping them develop the ability to separate what they feel from what they do.

Self-discipline is the ability to do the right thing.

A key element that enables self-discipline to develop in a healthy way is the early formation of good habits.

The best education is one that always expects children to be active thinkers and to use their imagination to produce assignments that show originality and effort.

To be prepared for the future, thinking will need to be imaginative and participatory.

Educating students to be emotionally responsive and responsible requires the education of feelings.

Through the regular work of the classroom the children develop a stronger connection with the real world.

A warm loving relationship is very important for intellectual development.

Young people have many opinions, especially about controversial issues, and we should elicit them and show interest in what they have to say.

When you form a relationship with children and their parents over time, you share both the joys and sorrows of life.

Waldorf schools have a reputation for producing well-rounded, resourceful, and balanced human beings who are able to cope with the demands of a fast-changing and uncertain world.