Waldorf Education & Resources
OSDS is a certified Waldorf School. Our curriculum is guided by the principles of Waldorf Education.
Essentials Of Waldorf Education
With more than 1,000 Waldorf schools in over 60 countries, Waldorf Education is truly global — not only in scope, but in its approach. Waldorf graduates are recognized for their academic strengths and intellectual curiosity, their highly developed interpersonal skills and their enthusiasm for confronting life’s opportunities and challenges.
Our Sons and Daughters School offers students a foundation for academic success in a developmentally appropriate environment. We aim to make learning enriching, relevant and meaningful to help students develop intrinsic motivation and to inspire a lifetime of learning. Our approach teaches to the student's mind, body and unique spirit, providing the lessons and environment that help students develop their full potential.
WALDORF EDUCATION IS...
We provide the right learning experience at the right time, meaning curriculum matches child development. In practice, this looks like play based learning in preschool and kindergarten. The foundational aspects of development are the focus here: social and emotional learning, integration of senses and time for self-directed exploration. Child development research supports this model of learning. Education is not a race.
We believe children learn by doing. This “hands on” learning is really full engagement learning — head, heart and hands — which is why Waldorf education engages children in a challenging and multi-sensory environment. All facets of curriculum seek to inspire cognitive, social, and creative engagement in our students. In practice, this looks like three year olds learning about the cycles of nature by working the garden, or five year olds learning about measurement through a sewing project.
We strive to help children learn to love learning and learn to do their best without accolades. We want them to learn, not for an external reward, but for the rewards inherent in learning — mastery, confidence, grit and pride. The feedback given is given not in comparison to peers, but to self. Students also are not subject to judgement based on standardized test results.
Waldorf educators focus on developing the whole child — head, heart and hands. The heart is our character and emotional intelligence. Character education is not old-fashioned. Its elements — empathy, determination, cooperation and responsibility — are integral to success. In practice, our teachers help children take their will, strong and determined, and apply it to others in a cooperative and respectful way. Teachers help students focus on community development and mutual respect between peers in the classroom community.
Our teachers work to create classrooms that are warm, beautiful and loving home-like environments, which are protective and secure, and where things happen in a predictable, rhythmic manner. Joy is at the heart of our early childhood program, where teachers model passionate engagement in the activities of each day, and a deep interest in each of their students. In our classes, children are encouraged to share, to work together, to care for each other and to respect the needs of others. The behavior of children is molded by what surrounds them. Kindness is practiced by teachers and encouraged in the children, who in turn learn to trust the adults and other children.
DOES IT WORK?
Yes! Waldorf’s unique style of multidisciplinary teaching yields graduates with remarkable critical thinking skills and character, so that they can adapt to a wide variety of situations and contribute to the world in a meaningful way.
The Harvard Education Letter addressed the effectiveness of Waldorf Education and found Waldorf methodology implemented by Bill & Melinda Gates in several public schools helped, “test scores rise dramatically.” The letter also noted that: “Waldorf students tend to score below district peers in the early grades and then catch up…by eighth grade 89% are proficient or advanced [compared to 56% of their public school peers].”
Waldorf students shine, even more, where it matters — outside the test bubble. A survey of character traits and emotional wellbeing in Waldorf Graduates shows: “The graduates surveyed demonstrated that they are capable of achieving what they want in life and are happy in the process of pursuing their goals. The majority consider lifelong learning as a significant part of their life journey. They are devoted to their families, both to their own parents as well as to the families they are part of creating. In short, they know how to make a living, but more importantly they know how to make a life.