FondsGoetheanum: Education

Steiner-Waldorf schools in Switzerland

• Adliswil
• Aesch/Dornach
• Avrona
• Basel
• Basel «Schule und Beruf»
• Bern/Ittigen
• Bern/Melchenbühl
• Bern Kleinklassenschule
• Biel
• Genève/Confignon
• Ins
• Mittelschulen Jurasüdfuss
• Kreuzlingen
• Langenthal
• Langnau
• Lausanne/Crissier
• Locarno
• Lugano
• Luzern
• Münchenstein
• Muttenz
• Pratteln
• Schaan
• Schaffhausen
• Schafisheim
• Solothurn
• St. Gallen
• Steffisburg
• Wetzikon
• Wil
• Winterthur
• Yverdon-les-Bains
• Zürich Atelierschule
• Zürich

Stages of development

The journey from infancy to adulthood has several stages, with discernible corresponding changes. What parents and teachers bring to the child needs to comport with these different stages.
A Steiner-Waldorf school accompanies the child from infancy through adolescence to adulthood. It does so mindful of the need for each student to make this journey each in his own way. To this end what is taught is adapted to the different stages.

A childhood full of stories

Stories told by grown-ups form the foundation. During the first two years (ages 7 and 8), fairy tales, fables and legends. In the third and fourth years (ages 9 and 10) the Old Testament and Nordic mythology play a central part. In ‘middle childhood’, in the fifth year when body, soul and spirit are generally experienced as in harmony, the Greek myths are told.

The dramatic change before adolescence

This step is followed in the sixth and seventh years (12 and 13) by a dramatic change. Childhood comes to an abrupt end. A new interest in human beings awakens, along with the possibility of abstract thinking. A fascination with inventors and explorers unfolds.
“Questioning often becomes of a critical nature”, reports Peter Aeshlimann, a class teacher in Biel. “Wasn’t Giordano Bruno stupid to die for his beliefs? Are we really sure the sun stands still? Where’s the proof? Such questions are rational and realistic, but behind them bestirs a philosophical sensing of life and the limits of knowledge.”
Students begin to question what lies behind phenomena, what ideas and forces are at work in history, and how different periods of history are related.

Mistaken thinking, objective facts

During adolescence, it is important to lead nascent thinking, at times often mistaken, towards objective facts and often to repeat the same exercises; describe concretely what one observes, report it accurately, and find the logical cause. This enables a young mind to organise its thinking, to become clear and able to formulate things for itself. With the discovery of order in geometry, physics and the world, they can experience a new confidence in themselves, the necessary foundation for the adventure of adolescence.

Jorg Undeutsch