Principles of the School

Principles Of The School

One of the most controversial issues facing parents interested in Waldorf Education is the policy on television and other forms of media, including radio and computer.

Why is it in our modern age, where virtually every home and office if filled with electronic gadgets, computers and television, that Waldorf teachers so passionately voice concerns over the effects these technologies have on the development and education of children?

The following information is given, not with the intention of discrediting or denying positive aspects of the media, but as a guide to deciding at what age and what extent use of media is appropriate.

It is not what you watch

Most people are aware of research indicating a relationship between what children view and their behaviour afterwards. However, are you aware of the following?

  • When children are passively watching TV their cardiovascular system is working at its peak. Muscles are in a state of tension.
  • The media requires the brain to form 625 lines composed of over 800 dots appearing 25 times per second – into meaningful images. This strain, combined with lack of eye movement, can produce sleeplessness, anxiety, nightmares, headaches, perceptual disorders, poor concentration and blunted senses.
  • Rapid visual image and content changes allow no time for reflecting and questioning. This inhibits assimilation of material and interferes with the brain’s ability for concentrated thought.
  • TV watching may be linked with hyperactivity.
  • Artificial light and radiation? Research is inconclusive.

 

Reality perception

Young children are unable to discriminate between reality and make believe hence the news, drama and commercials live in them indiscriminately. For this reason media (movies, DVD’s, videos, TV and magazines) can encourage false values, stereotypes and deceptive thinking.

The interpretation of techniques such as close-ups, flashbacks, over shoulder shots and reverse shots requires an ability to analyse, symbolise and abstract. These abilities should only be appealed to, and developed after year 9. Every premature development of slumbering capabilities weakens those capabilities and results in a disharmony of the total organism.

Natural child development

In the first 7 years, children are total sense organs, building into themselves everything they hear, see, taste and touch outwardly, as well as the inner quality and atmosphere of that which surrounds them. Children imitate this in the minutest detail. It is therefore important that children be given models of behaviour worthy of imitation and that leads them to experience and express goodness and trust.

  • Seeing it on TV is not the same as walking in the wilderness, listening to a concert in the park or watching artists at their craft. It is not a substitute for reality.
  • Television children lose or do not develop initiative and become almost totally dependent on outside stimulation to learn, think, create and even play.
  • Studies have shown that creativity, originality and imaginativeness are diminished by television watching.

Waldorf Education aims to educate the child artistically and holistically. For teachers to succeed at their task they must know at what time and in what manner to introduce subjects to them.

On a spiritual level they must be aware of the hindrances and impediments that work against each child’s healthy development. The supportive partnership between teacher and parent for the love and nurturing of the child is essential for this goal to be realised. These children have been entrusted to our care and it is “our” responsibility to be awake to potential dangers to their health and well-being.

Term Dates 2017

Term 1 - Wednesday 1 February to Friday 7 April

Term 2 - Monday 1 May to Friday 30 June

Term 3 - Monday 24 July to Thursday 21 September

Term 4 - Monday 9 October to Wednesday 13 December (Half Day)