I have been having some input this week about Steiner schools, particularly the kindergarten phase. The Steiner approach is rather different to mainstream schooling in the UK. If you don’t know anything about it then I would recommend you take a look at their website. Today we were fortunate enough to have a visiting speaker talk to us about her experience of working in a Steiner kindergarten. It was very interesting to hear what happens and to compare this with a mainstream early years setting. Here are some of the main points I picked up from the Steiner approach:
- Rhythm and repetition are crucial.
- Children are able to be imaginative and creative.
- All toys and furniture are natural and there are no bright colours.
- Teachers should be worthy of imitation.
- Story time – children are told stories instead of them being read.
- Children’s work is not displayed.
- Formal learning does not begin until the age of 7.
- There is no ICT in a Steiner setting.
Some of these I am more keen on than others, for example I would be keen to introduce children in reception to some of the uses of ICT and it is quite an important tool to me. However the emphasis on creativity and imagination is something I think is very important in early years education.