Recommended Reading List

 

OVERVIEW OF CURRICULUM AND PHILOSOPHY 

 

Adventures in Waldorf Education: An Introduction to the Waldorf Approach, Brien Masters

A vivid picture of Waldorf education in practice from the Early Years through to the Lower and Upper Schools.

 

An Introduction to Steiner Education: The Waldorf School, Francis Edmunds

The author explains in a clear, lively style many aspects of Steiner's educational theory, in particular the three stages of childhood development and how the Waldorf curriculum allows for a healthy understanding, nurturing and support of these phases. This volume is an excellent introduction to the theory and practice of Steiner education, both for teachers or educationalists who would like to know more about Steiner's ideas, and for parents thinking of sending their child to a Waldorf school.

 

The Child’s Changing Consciousness as the Basis of Pedagogical Practice, Rudolf Steiner

These lectures are ideal for anyone first approaching Waldorf education. Using language that any teacher or parent can understand, Steiner goes into the essentials of his educational philosophy, providing many examples and anecdotes to convey his meaning. Against the background of the developing child, he allows the curriculum and the method of teaching to emerge as the commonsense conclusion of practical experience.

 

Education Towards Freedom, Frans Carlgen

An introduction to Waldorf education. The evolution of the child from the preschool to high school years is described in detail in terms of psycho-spiritual development and curriculum.

 

The Essence of Waldorf Education, Peter Selg

Peter Selg, speaks from a deep knowledge of Anthroposophy and from his extensive experience as a child psychiatrist. He returns to the original impulses behind the first Waldorf school to show their continuing validity and how they still respond to what we need. From this view, Waldorf education is future-oriented, based on a holistic worldview and cosmology that is humanistic, scientific, and spiritual, and develops through a curriculum and a teacher-student relationship based on love. Its focus is the miracle of the developing human being. Recognizing the equal importance of thinking, feeling, and willing, Waldorf education works through bodily movement and art, as well as through intellect and mind.

 

The Kingdom of Childhood, Rudolf Steiner

A lecture series given by the founder of Waldorf education in 1924, which is full of insight on the developing child, especially in relation to classroom work. 

 

Rhythms of Learning: What Waldorf Education Offers Children, Parents and Teachers, Robert Trostli

Selected Lectures by Rudolf Steiner.  Trostli, an experienced Waldorf teacher, has selected lectures by Steiner that best illustrate the fundamentals of this unique approach to children and education. In each chapter, Trostli explains Steiner's concepts and describes how they work in the contemporary Waldorf classroom. This collection is the clearest introduction to the ideas of Waldorf education currently available.

Spirit of the Waldorf School, Rudolf Steiner

These lectures surrounding the opening of the first Waldorf School provide an excellent, inspiring introduction to the Waldorf spirit and method

 

Steiner Education in Theory and Practice, Gilbert Childs

A thorough and detailed account of Rudolf Steiner’s view of the child and its development.

 

Waldorf Education and Curriculum Resource Guide, Published by Rudolf Steiner College Bookstore.  www.rscbookstore.com

 

Waldorf Education: A Family Guide, Pamela Johnson Fenner and Karen L. Rivers.

An overview and deeper understanding of the Waldorf curriculum from 1st grade through high school, a peek into early childhood and the Waldorf kindergarten, the how and why of specialty subjects such as knitting, sewing, eurythmy (a form of dance movement unique to Waldorf) a look at rhythm, festivals and special celebrations…..and how does this fit with your family’s lifestyle?

 

The Way of the Child, A. C. Harwood.

An excellent introduction to Waldorf education; particularly valuable for its clear explanation of how Waldorf education is integrated with the fundamental stages of child development.

 

What is Waldorf Education? Three Lectures With an Introduction by Stephen Keith Sagarin, Rudolf Steiner

This is a reader-friendly Waldorf "taster," with three public lectures by Rudolf Steiner on Waldorf education and a thought provoking, accessible introduction by a Waldorf teacher and longtime student of Steiner's pedagogy. These lectures by Steiner present what he sees as the "fundamentals" in a matter-of-fact, objective, non-dogmatic way. The introduction, wide-ranging and informative, treats Waldorf education and methodology in general, explaining that, before all else, a Waldorf School is a good school.

 

 

EARLY CHILDHOOD

 

Beyond the Rainbow Bridge, Barbara Patterson and Pamela Bradley

Find out more about how your child grows and learns about the world, what are the 12 senses and how you can nourish them, creating balance in your family life and how Waldorf educates supports the whole child.

 

Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children, Sharon Oppenheimer

Heaven on Earth balances theoretical understanding of child development with practical ideas, resources, and tips that can transform family life. Readers will learn how to establish the life rhythms that lay the foundation for all learning; how to design indoor play environments that allow children the broadest skills development; and how to create backyard play spaces that encourage vigorous movement and a wide sensory palette. Through art, storytelling, and the festival celebrations, this book is a guide to build a "family culture" based on the guiding principle of love.

 

How Children Play, Ingeborg Haller

Imaginative play is a vital element in the growth of the preschool child.  A child’s freedom to play lies at the root of a happy and well balanced attitude to work and responsibilities in later life.

 

Storytelling and the Art of Imagination, Nancy Mellon

 

What is a Waldorf Kindergarten? Sharifa Oppenheimer

The authors describe from experience the numerous aspects of the "Steiner school" approach to early childhood education. Readers will learn what lies behind the Waldorf kindergarten methods and the practical ways in which it is applied by teachers in the classroom. Given the confusing array of educational approaches available today, this book serves to clarify one of the most dynamic and successful approaches to beginning young children on the path of education and life in the world.

 

You Are Your Child’s First Teacher, Rahima Baldwin Dancy

Out of her research and her experience as a Waldorf early childhood teacher, she answers the question: “What can parents do with, and for their children from birth to age six that will enhance their development without having negative effects at a later age?”

 

More resources can be found at: http://store.waldorfearlychildhood.org/

 

 

ELEMENTARY GRADES

 

The Four Temperaments, Rudolf Steiner

From personal spiritual insight, Rudolf Steiner renews and broadens the ancient teaching of the four temperaments. He explains how each person's combination of temperaments - with one usually uppermost - is shaped. Steiner gives lively descriptions of the passive, comfort-seeking phlegmatic, the fickle, flitting sanguine, the pained, gloomy melancholic and the fiery, assertive choleric. He also offers practical suggestions aimed at teachers and parents for addressing the various manifestations of the temperaments in children, as well as advice intended for adults' personal development. 

 

School as a Journey: The Eight Year Odyssey of a Waldorf Teacher and his Class, Torin Finser 

A lively, colorful and absorbing account of one class teacher’s journey from Grade 1–8 in a Waldorf School. Filled with pedagogical gems, tips and resources, it will also be invaluable to current class teachers.

 

 

ADDITIONAL TOPICS RELATED TO WALDORF EDUCATION

 

All Year Round, Ann Oruitt, Christine Fynes-Clinton, Marije Rewling

All Year Round offers a friendly guide to the seasonal round of festivals. It contains wealth of experience that can help families find their own way around the year.  As the authors say, "the words are ours, the festivals are yours."

 

The Evolution of Consciousness, Rudolf Steiner

Steps towards Imaginative Knowledge.

 

Homemaking as Social Art: Creating a Home for Body, Soul and Spirit, Veronika van Duin

Taking a spiritual perspective inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner, Veronika van Duin suggests that homemaking needs to be undertaken consciously as an honoured and valued task - as nothing less than a 'social art'. Without claiming that there is a blueprint for perfect homemaking, the author offers principles and observations based on a study of the seven 'life processes' and how they work on us. She addresses the significance of rhythm, relationships, artistic environment, caring, self-development, and much more besides in this invaluable book.

 

In Light of the Child: A Journey Through the 52 Weeks of the Year in Both Hemispheres for Children and for the Child in Each Human Being, Michael Hedley Burton

These verses, following the course of the year, were inspired by Rudolf Steiner's Calendar of the Soul. The book is arranged so that parents, teachers, eurythmists, and children can follow the course of the year in both hemispheres.

 

Rudolf Steiner in the Waldorf School: Lectures and Addresses to Children, Parents, and Teachers, Rudolf Steiner

Readers will find here a unique glimpse of what Steiner was really like, and how he viewed the school and the educational philosophy he brought into being.

 

A Second Classroom: Parent-Teacher Relationships in a Waldorf School, Torin M. Finser

All seem to agree that a healthy school is also a community and that community depends on the quality of relationships—chiefly the relationships among students, teachers, and parents.

This book features a comprehensive examination of the parent–teacher relationship in all its dimensions, from parent evenings and conferences to communication, conflict, and the life-cycle of parent involvement in their school. This book is intended to stimulate conversation, self-reflection, and relational practices that awaken community life in and around our schools.

 

Set Free Childhood: Parents' Survival Guide to Coping With Computers and TV, Martin Large

Children watch TV and use computers for five hours daily on average. But electronic media demands conflict with the needs of children. The result? Record levels of learning difficulties, obesity, eating disorders, sleep problems, language delay, aggressive behavior, anxiety - and children on fast forward. Set Free Childhood shows how to counter screen culture and create a calmer, more enjoyable family life.

 

Steiner Education and Social Issues: How Waldorf schooling addresses the problems of society, Brien Masters

In Steiner Education and Social Issues, via a series of short, engaging chapters, and based on his broad personal experience of teaching and teacher-training, Brien Masters tackles a wide range of modern social issues, including everything from drugs and nutrition to boredom, the influence of TV, and multiethnic societies. This is a wise and informative guide for parents, teachers and anybody interested in the future development of our culture.

 

Well, I Wonder: Childhood in the Modern World: Handbook for Parents, Teachers and Carers, Sally Schweizer

Surrounded by technology and pressured into early learning, the modern child is often bounced between the 'entertainment' of television and computer games and the premature intellectualization of early reading and school tests. Sally Schweizer guides the reader through the stages of childhood development and explains children's need of daily rhythm, movement and play. She emphasizes the importance of guarding the quality of imagination, and indicates the significance of festivals and celebrations. Her approach is based on the study and practice of Rudolf Steiner's educational philosophy, but she writes from personal, first-hand knowledge gained from her long experience.

 

More resources can be found at: 

https://steiner.presswarehouse.com/Books/Features.aspx

 

 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READINGS

 

The Child and the Machine, Alison Armstrong and Charles Casement

Why computers may put our children’s education at risk.  A thoroughly scientific and scholarly best-seller in Canada.  Published by Key Porter Books, Canada.

 

The Children of Cyclops, Keith Buzzell  

The Influence of Television Viewing on the Developing Human Brain.  Published by AWSNA.

 

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, John Taylor Gatto.

In his 26 years of award winning teaching in New York City’s public schools, Gatto has found that independent study, community service, large doses of solitude, and a thousand different apprenticeships with adults of all walks of life are the keys to helping children break the thrall of our conforming society.

 

Endangered Minds, Jane Healey

 

Evolution’s End, Joseph Chilton Pearce

These two books document recent mainstream research into the crisis of modern education, the effects of television on child development, and what we can do about it.

 

Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman

Why it can matter more than IQ. (A Coast-to-Coast Bestseller).  Published by Bantam Books

 

Frames of Mind, Howard Gardner

The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.

 

Growing Up Too Fast, David Elkind 

Makes a detailed examination of the world of today’s children to see where the hurrying occurs and why. He gives parents and teachers insight and hope for encouraging healthy development while protecting the joy and freedom of childhood.

 

The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours, Marion Wright Edelman

A compassionate message for parents trying to raise moral children and a message of hope and purpose for everyone.