Waldorf schools recognize the importance of technology and expect students will use computers later in their academic careers and lives. At the same time, Waldorf Education does not consider it helpful for children to use computers during the period when the basic building blocks are being established and the emphasis is on person-to-person oral teaching. Waldorf Education teaches thinking skills first. Computers are useful tools.
Our graduates step into computer use easily in high school, given their strong critical thinking skills. In fact the most coveted attributes sought by universities and employers can be found in our graduates. The Survey of Waldorf Graduates indicates that Waldorf Education cultivates the following qualities:
- Multiple Intelligences and Cross Disciplinary Learners
- Global Consciousness and Sustainability
- Basis for Moral Navigation
- Creative Problem Solving
- High Levels of Social Intelligence
- Environmental Stewardship
- High Levels of Emotional Intelligence
- Thinkers Who Think Outside the Box
In 2009, New York Times writer Matt Richtel wrote an article called A Silicon Valley School that doesn’t Compute about the choice that some Silicon Valley executives were making to send their children to Waldorf Schools. Alan Eagle was one such executive interviewed for the article –
“The idea that an app on an iPad can better teach my kids to read or do arithmetic, that’s ridiculous.” Mr. Eagle knows a bit about technology. He holds a computer science degree from Dartmouth and works in executive communications at Google, where he has written speeches for the chairman, Eric E. Schmidt. He uses an iPad and a smartphone. But he says his daughter, a fifth grader, “doesn’t know how to use Google,” and his son is just learning.
Below are links to articles that touch on trends that relate to the Waldorf curriculum.
Want to get your kids into College? Let them play – CNN
“When we deny young children play, we are denying them the right to understand the world. By the time they get to college, we will have denied them the opportunity to fix the world too.”
How Handwriting Trains the Brain – The Wall Street Journal, October 5, 2010
Current research is discovering what Waldorf educators have long known – and what our students intrinsically learn through their student-written “textbooks” – that writing by hand engages the brain in learning and promotes the cultivation of ideas.
No Einstein in Your Crib? Get a refund – The New York Times, October 23, 2009. Thanks to the ongoing efforts of the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood, the Walt Disney Company agrees to refund the full purchase price of videos claiming to be educational.
Kindergarten Cram – The New York Times, May 3, 2009
An essay on the negative effects of accelerated education.