The Australian Steiner Curriculum Framework – freely available on the Steiner Education Australia website – clearly articulates a profile of developmental stages of each age. It is on about page 5 of each and every curriculum. About four clicks away from a google search. For example, look at the science curriculum and there is a development profile informing why what is taught and how and when. It’s highly worth reading to better understand your own child or if you are feeling a little anxious about the behaviour of another age group – Why are they wearing hoodies? What is it with the kids’ need to look so provocative when they hit their teens?  By looking at the developmental profiles which are essentially based on keen observation of the human being (something we can all practice), we start to better understand the other and our tolerance and love for the other is bound to increase!  (Likewise, seek out the development profile of your partner and it may explain a few things that are different in them than when you first met…….).

For example Class 10 –

SOCIO-EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The sixteen year-old yearns to understand the world and to find their sense of purpose within it. The Class 9 search for balance and harmony begins to bear fruit. The development of greater clarity of thought and an increasing ability to form balanced judgments helps pupils to extricate themselves from the unstable nature of their emotional lives. There is a greater capacity for reflection, which can lead on the one hand to self consciousness and the pain of growing existential awareness, on the other they become capable of great feats of compassion, endurance, intellectual and physical prowess. The students begin to discover their own inner freedom to determine their pathway through life. Relationships between the sexes form; social relationships can be healthy or get lost in group activities. Self esteem is very important to develop.

Or Class 5

AFFECTIVE DEVELOPMENT: During this age, moving forward with the confidence to meet the world out of their individuality, the children can now freely chose to connect to the other through empathy. A depth of feeling can be noticed and a sense of personal responsibility, of moral compass.

From these development profiles come the recommendations of what and how to teach children. It is a beautiful way of structuring the curriculum and genuinely strives to be child focussed.