Handbook of Research on Waldorf Education
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Waldorf Education: An all-round, balanced approach to education that is equally concerned with intellectual-cognitive and artistic-creative learning. A practice- and experience-based pedagogy. Non-selective and open to all children and young people; offering a stress-free, secure learning environment across 12 grades; embedded in a community of students, teachers, and parents. An alternative education that has been successfully practiced for over a century.
The first Waldorf School was founded in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1919. Today, Waldorf Education is practiced in all countries and cultures around the world: in over 1,000 schools, more than 2,000 kindergartens, and numerous centers for special needs education. This makes Waldorf Education the most prevalent alternative approach to teaching. And yet, despite the success and (now empirically validated) recognition that Waldorf schools enjoy, the theory underlying them remains controversial. Within the academic debate Waldorf Education is seen as ideologic and unscientific.
This publication sets out to bring clarity to this debate: renowned researchers explain and discuss Waldorf Education’s foundations in relation to the current discourse on education and core disciplines such as theory of knowledge, anthropology, developmental psychology, learning theory, and the theory of professions. This scientific inquiry into Waldorf Education is breaking new ground, casting light on its fascinating humanistic ideal and holistic potential.
Table of Contents
Introduction Chapter 1: Epistemology Chapter 2: Anthropology Chapter 3: Developmental Psychology Chapter 4: Learning Theory Chapter 5: The Art of Teaching Chapter 6: Theory of Professions Chapter 7: Education Science and Waldorf Education/Education Reform Chapter 8: Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy Chapter 9: Individual Topics Epilogue Contributors
Jost Schieren is the Dean and Director of the Institute for School Pedagogy and Teacher Training, Department of Education, Head of the Master of Arts in Pedagogy with a focus on Waldorf Pedagogy / School and Teaching, Head of the Graduate School in Waldorf Pedagogy, at Alanus University, Germany.
"Dialogue in science means that discourses open up to one another, take notice of one another and write into one another. With this book, Waldorf education for the first time comprehensively takes note of educational research and relates to it. The reception of Waldorf pedagogy in educational science could and should now equally deal with the contemporary discourse of Waldorf pedagogy instead of handing down Waldorf pedagogy as a draft of classical reform pedagogy."
--Till Sebastian Idel, Professor of Educational Science with a focus on School Pedagogy and General Didactics, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany
"Waldorf education remains a highly popular educational approach and its presence around the world is still growing. While there is much enthusiasm for the practice of Waldorf education, the theoretical underpinnings are less known and are often considered to be controversial. The chapters in this book make a major contribution to the exploration of the theoretical background of Waldorf education and do so in conversation with contemporary educational thought and scholarship. This is a major step forward in the scholarly discourse about Waldorf education and an invaluable resource for anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of what Waldorf education is about and what it has to offer to the world of today."
--Gert Biesta, Professor of Educational Theory and Pedagogy, University of Edinburgh, UK & Professor of Public Education, Maynooth University, Ireland