This post is about computers within the curriculum of the Waldorf schools. Most Waldorf schools obviously do not have a computer lab or computer classes in grade one through eight, but computers are used in high school. Each high school seems to be putting together their own curriculum as they see fit at this point in time, as you will see below.
For a general reference, we have the AWNSA curriculum chart. According to the “Waldorf School Curriculum: An Overview for American Waldorf School Teachers” chart from AWNSA Publications, the development of skills goes as follows:
- (A quick note about Eighth grade: I couldn’t identify anything specifically listed, which makes sense since no elementary Waldorf schools have computer labs…For the homeschool environment, Christopherus Homeschool Resources, Inc. mentions “introduction to computers” in eighth grade as part of their science overview here: http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/waldorf-homeschool-publishing-and-consulting/curriculum/subjects/science.html so perhaps that could be a possibility for parents trying to getting a grasp on how to put something together.)
- Ninth grade: Begin typing on a computer keyboard
- Tenth grade: I couldn’t identify anything specifically listed on the AWNSA chart.
- Eleventh grade: Computer math, programming, build small computers using bread-boards
- Twelfth grade: Computer math, programming, building simple computers
I think the two documents below provide interesting food for thought for homeschooling families influenced by Waldorf philosophy and trying to figure out what to present when, using as a springboard what a Waldorf high school typically does.
- This was an outline I found of one high school computer teacher’s curriculum for a Waldorf School for grades 9-11: http://krumsyarov.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/computer-science-education-in-waldorf-schools/
- Here was an interesting survey of Waldorf High Schools from around the country and what they are doing with their computer curriculums – you can really see the diversity in approaches in this document: http://waldorfresearchinstitute.org/pdf/RCCompCurrSurv.pdf
Finally, here is a 274 page report about Science Education in Waldorf Schools from elementary schools through high school; the articles about computers starts around page 182: http://www.waldorfresearchinstitute.org/pdf/Science-Curriculum.pdf
And, specific to Waldorf homeschooling, Eugene Schwartz offered a talk here through the Waldorf Connection, but I have not listened to it so I don’t know what was said! Here is the link: http://thewaldorfconnection.com/computerswaldorf/. It sounds very interesting!
Here are several articles dealing with Waldorf Education and computers from a more general perspective:
- “Fools Gold By Alliance for Childhood”: http://drupal6.allianceforchildhood.org/fools_gold
- A Technology Resource List by Alliance for Childhood: http://drupal6.allianceforchildhood.org/fools_gold
- Here is a project by a Class 11 Waldorf student regarding computers in Waldorf Education, really interesting!: http://mysite.mweb.co.za/residents/beehive/home2.html
- So, again, from a general lifestyle perspective, please remember that most Waldorf schools encourage the elimination of media (and media means all visual and aural electronic devices, including videos, DVDs, video games, CD players, IPods, MP3 players, computers, computer games, television, radio/recorded music, Kindles and NOOKs) in the kindergarten through fifth grade, and ideally through eighth grade. You can see more about media usage in the “Pondering Portals” series on this blog:
- http://theparentingpassageway.com/2013/03/17/pondering-portals-part-three-media/ and here: