Waldorf education is a very unique and distinctive approach in educating children that is practiced in specific Waldorf schools worldwide. Waldorf schools collectively form the largest, and quite possibly the fastest growing, group of non-profit, independent schools in the world which shapes a beautiful future for the students.
There is no centralized administrative structure governing all Waldorf schools and each is administratively independent. However, there are established associations which provide resources, publish materials, sponsor conferences, and promote the movement.
Waldorf teachers are dedicated to creating a genuine love of learning within each child. By encouraging children to freely use arts and activities in the service of teaching academics, an internal motivation to learn is developed in the students, doing away with the need for competitive testing and grading.
With this specific way or schooling, academics are de-emphasized in the early years of schooling. There is no academic content in the Waldorf kindergarten experience and minimal academics is present in the first grade. Literacy readiness begins in kindergarten with formal reading instruction beginning in grade one.
There are no textbooks in the first to fifth grades. All children have main lesson books, which are their own workbooks and this is what they fill in during the course of the year. They essentially produce their own textbooks which record their experiences and what they’ve learned. In some schools upper grades may use textbooks to supplement skills development, in math and grammar.