Computers: A Waldorf Perspective

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.

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:

Many blessings,
Carrie

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3 thoughts on “Computers: A Waldorf Perspective

  1. First to say I have learned so much from your thoughtful blog. thank you. The elimination of media thru fifth grade is, sadly not something we can do. The amount of control we’d need over our kids lives since we live in a big city is too much. We have chosen to try for thru age seven and then as thoughtfully as possible curate and introduce media or talk about it when we have too. We are surrounded by museums with video, taxis with TVs, bus stands with moving image ads, friends with iphones/ipad and subways and buses filled with people looking down at a myriad of devices. We found it impossible to cast a blind eye. Our daughter asks why we don’t have TV we say we prefer reading. We lead by example and yet, I teach storytelling on computers and my husband creates images on them. It is a real balancing act. When is the message inconsistent? We are know very soon our daughter will come across a TV show or game on a device simply because we cannot keep her in a cocoon and everywhere we go there are these things. If you have any guidance , please let me know. Thanks.

  2. There is one area where there is some variation, which is that our daughter is currently attending the Otto Specht school, a Waldorf special needs school. In this school they use “common sense” and do bring the computer in for typing if handwriting is really a struggle and slowing the child down during lessons. They do still practice handwriting and Form Drawing of course, but will use the computer as tool when the child clearly needs it.

    • Yes, Stephanie..I am so glad you brought this up, I meant to include it. At your daughter’s school, do you know what grade they start computers or is it an individual by individual case basis?
      Thanks,
      Carrie

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