Today we want to talk about a core principle of Waldorf Education: the phases of child development. We know that children grow according to a sequence of approximately seven-year phases, and each child’s development is an individual expression of this archetype. Each phase has unique and characteristic physical, emotional, and cognitive dimensions. Here are some of the hallmarks of each stage:
Focus on Metabolic/Limb System
Creative Play, Story Time and Puppetry, Movement, Artistic and Practical Experiences, and Time in Nature help the child grow and learn at this stage.
Focus on Heart/Lung System
Lower School children thrive under the loving guidance and authority of their teacher. In Middle School, students enter a developmental stage filled with rapid growth and transformation. Their inner lives become tumultuous, and they question everything. Throughout these years, stories are offered that appeal to the child's vivid imagination and emotional life.
14 to 21: High School and Beyond
Focus on nerve/sense system
At this age, in the High School, rigorous academics are brought to life through exploration, inquiry, and experience in order to promote critical, independent thinking. Students become part of a cohort of dynamic peers, supported by an engaged and accessible faculty, to create a strong community that values integrity, honesty, and empathy for and understanding of others.
Next week: learn more about how our developmentally appropriate curriculum meets the child at each stage described above.