Visit a Waldorf school and immerse yourself in the world of Waldorf teachers and students. Parents familiar with the basic tenets of Waldorf Education may take their knowledge and interest a step further by visiting The Waldorf School of Philadelphia on a Classroom Observation Morning.
We unite under one mission — to educate our children in the best way possible.
What will you see when you come to a Classroom Observation Morning at Philly Waldorf? The first thing you will see is our beautiful historic home in the heart of Germantown at 6000 Wayne Avenue. A former church, our new campus brings us closer to our ideal of providing an authentic urban Waldorf experience. We are proud to plant roots and bloom life back into our historic home, once listed among the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia’s most endangered historic sites.
The beauty of our campus extends into our classrooms. And this mindful environment is not come upon accidentally. Waldorf Education’s founder, Rudolf Steiner, believed that beauty in everyday life connects humans to deeper meaning. “We ought never to undervalue the significance of beauty in education and in outer culture. … The True, the Beautiful, the Good — through all the ages of man’s conscious evolution these words have expressed three great ideals: ideals which have instinctively been recognized as representing the sublime nature and lofty goal of all human endeavor.”
And so, as you journey through our warm, homelike early childhood rooms, designed with research in mind, into our bright and spacious elementary areas; you will note much conscious effort given to beauty, but also to functionality.
In our Early Childhood Classes: You will notice a calm peacefulness upon entering a typically quiet classroom. Teachers speak in soft, low tones, which best captures children’s attention and imaginations. Guided time includes such things as stories in a circle, puppet shows, baking, eating or making of art. But free play is key. Imagination and creativity can be seen in how children interact with the contents of the room and one another. There is plenty of space to move, explore and experience open-ended toys and creative play. This is all done as the teachers model purposeful adult behavior such as knitting, sweeping or baking. If you stay long enough, you will see the inherent rhythm in the daily life of our early childhood students. You may even find yourself wanting to sit quietly in a corner and stay all day.
As you continue your journey, you will again wake up to the world around you just as our young students do before they enter elementary schooling.
In our Elementary Classes:The colorful chalkboards and open spaces are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also allow students to best engage the curriculum, which requires movement, book creation, music and other multi-disciplinary methodology. In fact, one elementary class may be learning math through work on rhythm sticks, while yet another jumps rope to learn times tables or cuts pie to learn fractions. All of these unique approaches to learning are representations of things done within our classrooms each and every day. We do not make any special arrangements for our visitors!
You may have the opportunity to see older children working on creating their main lesson books, often with elaborate drawings, borders and cursive writing about the history and literature they learn about daily. If they are focusing on science that day, you may see older students out of their chairs and interacting with experiments, which demonstrate concepts in chemistry, biology and physics. Regardless of subject, or student age, you will often see teachers engage children in Socratic Inquiry, which aims to increase understanding and critical thinking skills by encouraging students to ask and answer their own questions spawned from genuine interest.
Through all of this interaction, you will likely note the enthusiasm of our students. All will be engaged and tuned into the lecture or task at hand. You might also notice the reverent and respectful nature of communication between the teacher and the students. And if you are invited to see a student’s work, they will share it with genuine interest and pride.
When your journey comes to an end, you’ll notice the final and essential piece of our Waldorf School — our community — as you speak with other thoughtful parents coming together with one goal in mind. We unite under one mission — to educate our children in the best way possible. A way that enriches their gifts, respects their whole person and encourages them to be lifelong learners and critical thinkers that engage fully in the world.
Discover Waldorf Education through one of our Classroom Observation Mornings and imagine the possibilities for your child.
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