Rudolf Steiner’s Methods’ Application in Non-Steiner British Schools Imparting education has always been a controversial subject as far as the mode of delivery, course content and school environment are concerned. A country’s cultural background, social composition and economic factors are the driving forces which influence the manner in which education is delivered…
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However, intelligentsia within the country concerned with educational matters has endeavoured to bring about improvements from time to time by incorporating the accepted philosophical ideologies and evidence based scientific principles discovered, tried and tested through continuous research. Rudolf Steiner’s methodologies which promote nurturing a child’s inherent talents through a unique practice of interactive teaching aims at building personalities’ which emerge out of a child’s own initiative and desired goals in life. Compared to traditional public education where strictly defined and delineated subjects are to be mastered at specific stages in the child’s life, Steiner’s model has been considered to be a better method to impart real education by its proponents. However, deciding what the traditional model lacks as compared to Steiner’s model is a difficult task as all teaching activity at the early stages of a child’s life takes into consideration the capabilities, interests and limitations within which a young learner performs. Even in the tried and tested traditional model, teachers are careful and considerate of a pupil’s capabilities and deliver knowledge through well designed and attractive course curricula specifically designed for particular age groups. The propensity of Steiner-Waldorf schools is sparse in Britain, but the existing schools employing this model of teaching are vying for recognition and state financial sponsorship for their institutions amidst growing interest amongst some parents for seeking alternative methods of education delivery for their wards. The supposedly holistic pattern of education, which nurtures the creative and imaginative abilities of the pupil, is being looked upon as a better method for allowing children to grow up as responsible adults. The traditional model of education which stressed upon the 3R’s (reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic) and its regular evaluation amongst pupils has stood the test of time in Britain and is still the generally accepted mode of education as it existed in the better part of the late twentieth century (Willis, 2009). However, a trend has been noticed in which the revival of the progressive methods of education suggested by philosophers like Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Froebel, Steiner and Montessori during early years’ of a child’s life is being favoured (Willis, 2009). British education policy has witnessed twists and turns in favour of child-centred to traditional pedagogical methodologies. The Plowden Report of 1967 favoured the former while James Callaghan, the PM reiterated return to traditional methods in the year 1976 (Willis, 2009). The traditional methods were propagated by successive governments but a rethink after falling educational standards within the country again suggested return to the alternative methodologies, particularly in the last decade. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) implementation in 2008 is a step in this direction (Willis, 2009). Steiner’s methodologies have been implemented in other European countries, Australia and the US with some degree of success. However, there is sharp criticism from some quarters as opponents believe that his methodologies are religion inspired and thereby do not conform with the cosmopolitan character of modern society which has widespread ethnic
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(2012) (Seven Strategies to Teach Students Text Comprehension, Reading Rockets, 13 Uconn Today, (2012) Learning to Teach Adult Students, Posted 6th Aug.2012 < http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2012/08/preparing-to-teach-adult-students/> 13 Uconn Today, (2012) Learning to Teach Adult Students, Posted 6th Aug.2012 < http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2012/08/preparing-to-teach-adult-students/> 13 Teaching Methods and Strategy Teaching is an art that has order, purpose, meaning, and function.
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