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Children in Nature: How Does Waldorf Education Nourish Children's Innate Spiritual Connection with Nature?

Author: 
Katelyn Monk-McKenzie

Abstract:

I will seek to understand how Waldorf Education nourishes children’s innate spiritual connection with nature by entering imaginatively into the life of a fictional child going through Waldorf School. I will offer to the lay reader a living sense of how the Waldorf curriculum meets the developmental and spiritual needs of the growing child by offering, in novel format, the story of one child going through Waldorf School. This fictional child will grow out of my living knowledge of children. His school experiences will develop out of my experiences as an assistant and student teacher in a Waldorf School. The experiences of this child in Waldorf School, while engaging in those learning activities which answer the child’s need for a connection with nature, will help the lay reader understand in the most meaningful way, why Waldorf practices nurture the child’s growing spirituality and sense of connection with nature. Creative writing has the potential to carry the reader inside the phenomenon. For this reason I choose it as the best means of conveying the full power of Waldorf Education.
This is important work because very little writing has captured the actual experiences of children in Waldorf School. Much has been written about Waldorf curriculum and Waldorf methods, but very little work has actually explained the Waldorf experience from the perspective of the child. While this work will not be actual testimony from children, but instead my attempt to enter imaginatively into the life of a child going through Waldorf School, it will fill a need in encouraging others to start to think more about what children actually think and feel while attending Waldorf school. As teachers we need to enter into the consciousness of the child at each age. This will be my living creative attempt to do that. My work will also encourage others to think more creatively about the pursuit and presentation of knowledge.