EDUC07024 2022 Steiner Education
The aim of this module is to develop the student’s theoretical understanding and professional skills in the delivery and implementation of core elements of the Steiner Waldorf model of pre-school education. In doing so, the module aims to develop skills required for competence in a holistic childcare setting. Such skills involve gaining an understanding both of the pedagogical theory and the basis for practical application of theory.
On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;
have an understanding of the main theoretical underpinnings of Steiner Waldorf pedagogy
recognise of the role of imitation in early learning
understand the role of play in early learning
demonstrate a number of key skills with particular reference to language and narrative
develop a number of key skills with particular reference to craft activities with young children
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Students attend weekly one hour lectures and two hour practical tutorial classes in which students engage in experiential learning, seminar discussion practical activities designed to link theory to practice.
Module Assessment Strategies
Assignments will include both practical and theoretical dimensions.
Skills demonstration project; project assignment
Repeat assessment to be determined at the exam board with the input of the lecturer
1. The epistemological basis of Steiner’s pedagogy.
Students will be taught how Steiner derived his epistemology from the scientific writings of Goethe and how his theory of knowledge is a radical departure from contemporary natural scientific understandings of what can be regarded as knowledge. They will gain an understanding of how it provides the basis for the holistic aspects of Steinerian pedagogy.
2. The consciousness of the young child
Students will learn how Steinerian pedagogy describes the developing consciousness of the child (and of the adult) as proceeding in seven year phases with qualitatively differentiated understandings of how we build meaning from phase to phase. Students will gain a detailed understanding of how the first seven years the world is primarily meaningful to the child in so far as the child can encounter it through their senses.
3. The role of play in early learning
Students will learn how the events (including language) in play build capacities, including intellectual capacities, which become available to children in succeeding phases of development in other forms. Students will gain an appreciation of how play is an imitative activity in which multifarious, dynamic and unpredictable events develop imaginative and creative capacities in children.
4. Spoken language as the basis for later learning
Students will learn to appreciate how spoken language is an important indicator of later academic attainment and how the use of language, learned through imitation, differentiates intellectual function. Students will learn to tell a story and to prepare a festive event by learning songs, poems and other material appropriate to the festive theme.
5. Narrative forms-theory and practice
Students will learn the value of narrative and will gain an appreciation of the canon of appropriate childhood narratives from a number of cultural perspectives.
6. The role of imitation in early learning
Students will gain an understanding of how human interaction is the basis for early learning and how the central role of the adult as the actor meeting the self-activity of the child is the basis of the compelling imitative activity of the child.
7. Craft activities with young children-theory and practice
Students will gain an appreciation of the pedagogical theory associated with development of the will in early childhood and will learn to undertake a range of craft activities appropriate to the child up to seven years of age.
Coursework & Assessment Breakdown
|Learning Outcomes Assessed
|Documentation of craftwork assignment (application of theory)
|Oral language development and narrative form exercise
Full Time Mode Workload
Almon, J. (ed) What is a Waldorf Kindergarten? Massachusetts: Steiner Books.
Clouder, C. (ed) (2001) Perspectives in quality care in Waldorf education. Forest Row: European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education.
Edmunds, F. (2001) Renewing education: Selected writings on Steiner education. Stroud: Hawthorn.
Jaffke, F. (2003) Toymaking with children. Edinburgh: Floris.
Jenkinson, S. (2004) The genius of play: Celebrating the spirit of childhood. Stroud: Hawthorn.
Masters, B. (2005) Adventures in Steiner education: An introduction to the Waldorf approach. Forest Row: Sophia Books.
Mellon, N. (2000) Storytelling with children. Stroud: Hawthorn.
Mellon, N. (1992) Storytelling and the art of the imagination. Stroud: Hawthorn.
Oakfield, L. (nd) Free to learn - Introducing Steiner Waldorf early childhood education.
Rawson, M. & M. Rose (2002) Ready to learn. Stroud: Hawthorn.
Schweizer, S. (2009) Under the Sky: Playing, Working and Enjoying Adventures in the Open Air. A Handbook for Parents, Carers and Teachers. East Sussex: Sophia Books.
Schweizer, S. (2006) Well, I Wonder: Childhood Into the Modern World. A Handbook for Parents, Carers and Teachers. East Sussex: Sophia Books.
Steiner, R. (1988) The science of knowing. Spring Valley [NY]: Mercury.
Steiner, R. (2003) Education: An introductory reader. Forest Row: Sophia Books.
Steiner, R. (1996) The education of the child: Early lectures on education. Steiner Books.
Irish Steiner Kindergarten Association http://www.iskaireland.org/
Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America http://www.waldorfearlychildhood.org/about.php
Nature School/Environmental Education http://natureschool.ie/forest-school-principles/
Art and craft materials (raw/dyed wool and yarn; cotton fabric and thread; watercolour materials; beeswax; etc.)
This module requires access to visiting lecturers who are practitioners in Steiner Education.