EDUC07024 2022 Steiner Education

General Details

Full Title
Steiner Education
Transcript Title
Steiner Education
75 %
Subject Area
EDUC - 0110 Education
SOCS - Social Sciences
07 - Level 7
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2022 - Full Academic Year 2022-23
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Gwen Scarbrough
Programme Membership
SG_HEARL_H08 202200 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Early Childhood Care and Education SG_HEARL_G07 202200 Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Care and Education SG_HEARM_H08 202300 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Early Childhood Care and Education SG_HEARL_H08 202300 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Early Childhood Care and 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.

Learning Outcomes

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 Assessments

Repeat assessment to be determined at the exam board with the input of the lecturer

Indicative Syllabus


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

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Steiner craftwork Coursework Assessment Project 30 % Week 12 1,2,3,5
2 Documentation of craftwork assignment (application of theory) Project Individual Project 30 % Week 12 1,2,3,5
3 Oral language development and narrative form exercise Project Project 40 % Week 6 1,4

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre Lecture 1 Weekly 1.00
Tutorial Flat Classroom Tutorial 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

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.

URL Resources

Irish Steiner Kindergarten Association


Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America


Nature School/Environmental Education

Other Resources

Art and craft materials (raw/dyed wool and yarn; cotton fabric and thread; watercolour materials; beeswax; etc.)

Sewing machine


Additional Information

This module requires access to visiting lecturers who are practitioners in Steiner Education.