EDUCATING BODY, MIND AND HEART
The establishment of the first Steiner (Waldorf) school occurred within a particular historial context, in Germany, after the end of the first world war. The school was founded independently from the Anthroposophical society, which was founded in 1912 as the centre for the study of Steiner’s philosophical works.
As the introduction to the volumes “Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner” clarifies, the first Steiner (Waldorf) school was not created as an ideal, completely thought- out school program. Rather, Steiner showed how…..’ a school organism and how schools in general, must necessarily arise from the capacities of the people involved, and from the conditions of the time and place according to the needs of an independent cultural life.’ Tallowood exists as an example of this adaptation to and reflection of, a specific context, in a particular time and place.
Rudolf Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, lecturer, author and scholar whose work influenced many fields of cultural/social life in the first two decades of the 20th century. These areas include architecture, medicine and agriculture (bio-dynamic farming). He is perhaps best known to many of us for his insight into child and human development and his leading work in the renewal of education, which he believed represents a fundamental and integral aspect of human civilisation and its development.
Steiner (and those who translated his many lectures), used the lexicon of his time and place to lecture, write and communicate his body of knowledge and understanding. Today, this language, and the social context it arose out of, can be inaccessible to us at best and alienating at worst as we navigate the modern terrain of education and child/ development in our 21st Century world.
Significantly, we find that Steiner’s deep and abiding insight into human development and age appropriate educational practice is now confirmed by evidenced based research. It is testimony to the enduring and penetrating visionary work of Steiner that his findings are now firmly verified and backed up by evidence into how the human brain develops and what conditions are needed for optimal, healthy functioning. His findings into age appropriate educational activity for children are affirmed over and again by developmental Psychologists and Educators from all walks of life.
There are many examples of the correlations between Steiner’s findings and the neuroscience of brain development. For instance, the work of clinical school psychologist Dr. Reggie Melrose clearly articulates why Waldorf (Steiner) educational practices work, from the perspective of neuroscience. Her work on this can be accessed through this blog Why Waldorf Works.
The work of Canadian Developmental Psychologist Gordon Neufeld, (‘Raising Children in the Digital Age’ and ‘Hold on to your kids….. Why parents need to matter more than peers’), is also outstanding. Nuefeld gives us a modern, research based perspective on the pre-eminent need that children have for parents (and teachers) to take leadership and authority, in guiding children and their development. His valuable work verifies many underpinnings of sound Steiner Educational theory and practice.
Our teachers work with Steiner’s educational indications and in addition to their university teaching degrees, are Steiner trained in the art of education. As a teaching faculty, our research and development as educators is practical and ongoing. Teachers at Tallowood are actively involved in ensuring that our understanding of child development and our educational practices are firmly grounded in 21st century research/evidence based practice.
While children are simultaneously developing their physical bodies, their emotional, social and moral selves and their academic capacities, different aspects take predominance at different stages of their growth and development.
Our approach strives to ensure that our students are engaged and participating in the multitude of ways in which they are active as learners. This includes making full use of their natural need for movement, rhythmical activity, music and song, poetry and recitation. Presenting curriculum content through rich imagery, through story and through biography in the older years, really appeals to children’s feelings and directly develops their innate capacity of imagination.
Tallowood School Behaviour Policy aims to support and promote in students, the development of healthy and considerate social behaviours, and individual responsibility for actions and respect for others. We strive to create a balance between the rights of the individual, and the harmony of the whole.
Using Rudolf Steiner’s indications around child development as a guide, problematic behaviour is addressed via a system of school-wide effective behaviour support. The school aims to improve student behaviour through proactive measures such as explicit instruction of social skills and school behaviour expectations, classroom management strategies, supporting students who experience difficulty, and encouragement and acknowledgement of those able to live up to behavioural expectations.
Phone(02) 6564 7224
Address220 Bellingen Road, Bowraville
Office Hours9am-3pm, Mon-Fri during school terms
2020 Term Dates
Term 1Wednesday 28 January - Friday 3 April
Term 2Monday 27 April – Thursday 25 June
Term 3Monday 20 July – Friday 18 September
Term 4Monday 12 October – Wednesday 9 December
Like our school, staff and students, our website is in a continual state of development and so you will see changes and fixes to it frequently. Please don't hesitate to get in contact with us if you have any questions or require any further information.
© 2020 Tallowood Steiner School