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Abstract

A educação Waldorf teve início em 1919, com a primeira escola Waldorf em Stuttgart, e atualmente é muito comum em diversos países por todo o mundo. Entretanto, as pesquisas empíricas têm sido raras até o início da década de 1990 e a educação Waldorf não tem sido debatida nas ciências educacionais desde então. Isso tem mudado durante as últimas décadas. O presente artigo revisa resultados de pesquisas conduzidas nos últimos 20 anos e concentra-se principalmente em escolas Waldorf na Alemanha, pois a maior parte das investigações foi conduzida nesse contexto. Os achados são relatados em função dos seguintes aspectos centrais da educação Waldorf: a abordagem holística e integrativa, o autogoverno na organização das escolas Waldorf, o currículo Waldorf e o princípio de professores de classes entre a 1ª e a 8ª Série. Além disso, a educação Waldorf também oferece formação de professores específica. Esses aspectos têm sido explorados e avaliados por diferentes perspectivas e métodos. Os resultados ressaltam forças bem como limitações da educação Waldorf na prática escolar cotidiana, apontando os tipos de desafios que a educação Waldorf precisará enfrentar nas próximas décadas. Os próprios autores colaboraram em várias investigações no campo da educação Waldorf.
Empirical research on Waldorf education
Pesquisa empírica sobre a
pedagogia Waldorf
Dirk Randoll
1
Jürgen Peters
1
ABSTRACT
Waldorf education began in 1919 with the rst Waldorf School in Stuttgart
and nowadays is widespread in many countries all over the world. Empir-
ical research, however, has been rare until the early nineties and Waldorf
education has not been discussed within educational science so far. This has
changed during the last decades. This article reviews the results of surveys
during the last 20 years and is mainly focused on German Waldorf Schools,
because most investigations have been done in this eld. Findings are re-
ported with respect to the following central aspects of Waldorf education:
the holistic and integrative approach, the self-governance in the organization
of the Waldorf schools, the Waldorf curriculum, and the principle of class
teachers from 1
st
to 8
th
grade. Furthermore, Waldorf education also provides
its own unique teacher training. All of these aspects have been explored and
evaluated from different points of view and with different methods. The
results show strengths as well as weaknesses of Waldorf education in the
daily practice in schools, which indicates the kinds of challenges Waldorf
education will have to face in the upcoming decades. The authors themselves
have contributed in several investigations to the eld of Waldorf education.
Keywords: Waldorf education; Waldorf teacher training.
RESUMO
A educação Waldorf teve início em 1919, com a primeira escola Waldorf
em Stuttgart, e atualmente é muito comum em diversos países por todo o
mundo. Entretanto, as pesquisas empíricas têm sido raras até o início da
década de 1990 e a educação Waldorf não tem sido debatida nas ciências
educacionais desde então. Isso tem mudado durante as últimas décadas. O
1 Alanus Hochschule. Alfter, Germany. Villestraße 3, 53347.
DOI: 10.1590/0104-4060.41416
Educar em Revista, Curitiba, Brasil, n. 56, p. 33-47, abr./jun. 2015. Editora UFPR 33
presente artigo revisa resultados de pesquisas conduzidas nos últimos 20
anos e concentra-se principalmente em escolas Waldorf na Alemanha, pois a
maior parte das investigações foi conduzida nesse contexto. Os achados são
relatados em função dos seguintes aspectos centrais da educação Waldorf: a
abordagem holística e integrativa, o autogoverno na organização das escolas
Waldorf, o currículo Waldorf e o princípio de professores de classes entre a
e a Série. Além disso, a educação Waldorf também oferece formação de
professores especíca. Esses aspectos têm sido explorados e avaliados por
diferentes perspectivas e métodos. Os resultados ressaltam forças bem como
limitações da educação Waldorf na prática escolar cotidiana, apontando os
tipos de desaos que a educação Waldorf precisará enfrentar nas próximas
décadas. Os próprios autores colaboraram em várias investigações no campo
da educação Waldorf.
Palavras-chave: educação Waldorf; formação de professores Waldorf.
Introduction
In March 2015 the Bund der Freien Waldorfschulen
2
counted 234 Schools
in Germany and 1,056 Schools worldwide across 61 countries
3
. Although the
number of Waldorf Schools has increased worldwide since 1950 (see HILLER,
2007), empirical research projects were still rare until the early nineties. As con-
sequence, Waldorf education has not been discussed within education science
so far (BOHNSACK; KRANICH, 1990; PASCHEN, 2010). This has changed
during the last two decades. In a Meta research project (BÖHLE; PETERS,
2010, 2011) almost 100 empirical studies concerning Waldorf education were
found. In this survey only projects within the period 1990 to 2009 were con-
sidered. Most of these investigations, 72 in number, had been published in the
German language. This article will therefore be mainly focused on the results
of the German publications.
Especially in Germany Waldorf Schools have a long tradition and expe
rience with respect to their pedagogical work, which may be characterized by
the following representative aspects for Waldorf education (see RANDOLL;
VEIGA, 2013):
a social and integrative approach;
self-governance based on collegial teamwork;
the Waldorf curriculum;
2 See: <http://www.waldorfschule.de> (last access: March 4, 2015).
3 See: <http://www.freundewaldorf.de> (last access: March 4, 2015).
RANDOLL, D.; PETERS, J. Empirical research on Waldorf education
Educar em Revista, Curitiba, Brasil, n. 56, p. 33-47, abr./jun. 2015. Editora UFPR34
a class teacher until the 8
th
grade;
Waldorf teacher training.
This article will review empirical results from the last 15 years with respect
to the ve aspects mentioned above (FRIELINGSDORF, 2012; RANDOLL,
2010). Findings showing the productivity of Waldorf Education will be present
ed as well as results showing the problems and challenges on the other hand.
Social and integrative approach in Waldorf Education
Rudolf Steiner (1976) had the intention to initiate a School, in which
parents with an academic background as well as parents who belong to the
“working class” could nd a place where their children would learn together.
Especially in Germany, however, the proportion of parents with an academic
background is comparably high among Waldorf parents (LIEBENWEIN; BARZ;
RANDOLL, 2012; BARZ; RANDOLL, 2007; ULLRICH, 2009). Therefore,
it is not surprising, that the percentage of Waldorf students graduating with
an Abitur (High School diploma) is much higher than the average in German
schools (BARZ; RANDOLL, 2007). According to the recent Waldorf student
study about 70% of the Waldorf students strive for the Abitur (LIEBENWEIN;
BARZ; RANDOLL, 2012). Furthermore, the percentage of students with a
migrant background within Waldorf Schools (16.4%) is much less than that
found in public schools by Baier and Pfeiffer (2005).
Taking into account that Waldorf Schools do not receive a complete nan-
cial funding by the government, which public schools do, Waldorf Schools in
Germany cannot be blamed for leaving the “integrative policy” out of their own
intention. In this context, an integrative initiative with a double qualication
should be mentioned (SCHNEIDER; ENDERLE, 2012), where a job training
for those students is offered, who do not go for the Abitur. Financial support,
however, turns out to be a crucial point for these initiatives, because the govern-
ment based support is not sufcient and needs to be extended by other founders
(BRATER; HEMMERSCHANZE; SCHMELZER, 2008).
Accordingly, Waldorf Schools are sometimes regarded as schools for
the elite, at least in Europe. In a study asking parents’ motives for choosing a
Waldorf School for their children, Barz and Randoll (2007) found the follow-
ing intentions
4
:
4 The answers given to an open question in a questionnaire and they were quantied after
constructing categories.
RANDOLL, D.; PETERS, J. Empirical research on Waldorf education
Educar em Revista, Curitiba, Brasil, n. 56, p. 33-47, abr./jun. 2015. Editora UFPR 35
the special pedagogical background (46.3%);
bad experiences in public schools (19.3%);
the anthroposophical background (11.3%);
tradition within the family (for example: siblings or parents went to
Waldorf Schools);
recommendations (4.7%).
Waldorf Schools therefore are an important alternative for parents, who
are looking for an educational context, which they perceive as not being avail-
able in public schools. The ndings from Keller (2008), that 40% of Waldorf
students are lateral entrants, also underline this point of view.
On the other hand, it can be discounted, that the German Waldorf Schools
are a specialist training ground for anthroposophists, as it was posited by Prange
(2000). Indeed the percentage of Waldorf parents with an anthroposophical
background is very small and furthermore declining (EBERTS, 2007). Moreover,
according to the survey of Waldorf alumni (BARZ; RANDOLL, 2007) students
regarded their own schools as open and tolerant toward all world religions.
Self-governance
Selfgovernance is a special property of Waldorf Education
5
. Ullrich and
Idel (2012) point out that selfgovernance is based on Steiners idea of social
threefolding. With respect to the organization of Waldorf Schools this implies
the absence of a director or other hierarchical structures. Furthermore the whole
faculty is engaged when decision making concerning pedagogical, nancial and
organizational questions is done. Wienert (2003) also describes the structure of
the weekly conferences in a threefolded way, as there is a pedagogical, technical
and internal part of the conference. Selfgovernance has to be distinguished from
grassroots democracy; the main idea is to foster the teachers’ autonomy for their
own classroom activities. Therefore pedagogy and organization should be in the
hands of the same person. This empowers teachers’ inuence and participation
with respect to the whole school, which in turn leads to a stronger feeling of
coherence and selfefcacy. Though this requires additional effort and work
that teachers have to cope with. On the other hand, it can be seen that the aris-
ing autonomy from this practice strengthens their resilience (PETERS, 2013).
5 Selfgovernance is also part of the organization in “Free Alternative Schools” (Freie
Alternativschulen).
RANDOLL, D.; PETERS, J. Empirical research on Waldorf education
Educar em Revista, Curitiba, Brasil, n. 56, p. 33-47, abr./jun. 2015. Editora UFPR36
Findings in the Waldorf teacher survey (RANDOLL, 2013), which was
based on 1,807 questionnaires and several group interviews, unveil further
aspects of selfgovernance, which have to be rated as critical. From the teacher
perspective the following crucial aspects have been addressed:
decision making shows not enough efciency;
exchange of information is not always sufcient;
subgroups within the faculty do not participate in the weekly confer-
ences;
communication and agreements often do not have enough transparence;
opinion leader sometimes has strong inuence in the faculty.
Self administration also requires competencies with respect to personal
management and communication – besides the pedagogical aspects. There-
fore, it seems to be necessary to delegate at least some crucial decisions to a
group of experts who have the competence for the upcoming task. In the so
called “Mandate Model”, which is already practiced in an increasing number
of schools, a practical approach to this idea can be seen. The evaluation of this
model (RANDOLL, 2012) shows an advantage for this kind of practice. On
the other hand, there are also many schools, in which the “classical model” of
self administration is practiced very successfully. However, this can certainly
be related to the competencies of the acting personalities nally. As a conclu-
sion, the recommendation can be given that professionalization with respect to
personal management and organizational development should be taken more
seriously into account.
Waldorf curriculum
In the Waldorf teacher survey (RANDOLL, 2013) several open questions
were asked concerning the teachers’ motives for choosing Waldorf education.
The central motives were – besides the fact that most teachers want to support the
students’ development – certain aspects of Waldorf education like the curriculum
and the holistic approach. Though Steiner himself did not develop a Waldorf
curriculum, he gave many hints and impulses during the faculty meetings in the
rst Waldorf School, which were systemized by Stockmeyer (1976). Two recent
publications concerning the curriculum should also be mentioned and the rst is:
“Entwicklungsaufgaben und Kompetenzen” (GÖTTE; LOEBELL; MAURER,
2009); the other is a new edition of the Waldorf curriculum by Richter (2010).
One central idea within Waldorf Education is that emotional and personal de-
RANDOLL, D.; PETERS, J. Empirical research on Waldorf education
Educar em Revista, Curitiba, Brasil, n. 56, p. 33-47, abr./jun. 2015. Editora UFPR 37
velopment is a fundament for a healthy growth of the intellect. Therefore, class
teaching passes through the psychological levels of will, emotion and thinking
in order to lead the students from “hand to heart” and from “heart to mind”. The
importance of crafts and arts arise from this orientation also.
Various studies indicate that Waldorf students feel a stronger identication
with the content of the teachings as students in nonWaldorf public Schools
(LIEBENWEIN; BARZ; RANDOLL, 2012; BARZ; RANDOLL, 2007; RAN-
DOLL, 1999). Waldorf students do not get their learning motivation from grades
and other certications based on achievements. By contrast, they are more
interested in the subject and experience more meaningfulness in the teachings.
According to their own statements, they also go through a positive development
of their personality with respect to creativity, self esteem and tolerance among
other aspects. Furthermore, the phenomenological oriented approach in nature
science has a positive impact on a deeper understanding besides some de-
ciencies with respect to methodical and didactical techniques (see ULLRICH,
2008). For example, the PISA results in Austria in 2006 suggested a better
understanding in physics among Waldorf students (WALLNERPASCHON,
2009). On the other hand the artistic orientation of Waldorf education has the
effect that there is an over-average number
6
of graduates from Waldorf Schools
nding their jobs in artistic and therapeutic professional groups (BONHOEF-
FER; BRATER; HEMMERSCHANZE, 2007). Further on, studentteacher
relationships are more cherished in Waldorf Schools, from students and teacher
perspective as well, which is due to the absence of grades, the variety of social
activities (theatre projects, class trips and monthly presentations) and, last not
least, probably also to the teachers’ professional ethos. As consequence it is not
surprising that Waldorf students show a higher identication with their Schools
than students from other public Schools.
Besides these positive ndings a number of critical results have to be
quoted, too. For instance, the support using private coaching is much more
frequent among Waldorf students in comparison to students of other public
Schools (LIEBENWEIN; BARZ; RANDOLL, 2012; BARZ; RANDOLL,
2007; RANDOLL, 1999). Asked for reasons, students state gaps in earlier
classes, missing abilities and the method of teaching as well (LIEBENWEIN;
BARZ; RANDOLL, 2012). Subjects to which this applies include, above all,
mathematics alongside foreign languages. With respect to the reasons for this,
only hypothesis can be given: High expectations of parents are just as possible
as the fact that students who are able to graduate by Abitur within the system
of Waldorf Schools would not have the chance to achieve the same level of
6 Compared to the German Mikrozensus.
RANDOLL, D.; PETERS, J. Empirical research on Waldorf education
Educar em Revista, Curitiba, Brasil, n. 56, p. 33-47, abr./jun. 2015. Editora UFPR38
graduation in other public Schools. The latter aspect can be underlined by the
fact that private coaching is widespread among lateral entrants.
Further critical aspects are:
Waldorf students experience a lack of performance requirement and
complain about insufcient feedback for their personal efforts;
Classroom teaching is focused on the academically weak students,
which leads to a mental understimulation among other students. 38%
of students in the students group from 9
th
to 12
th
grade feel unchal-
lenged frequently according to the survey of Liebenwein, Barz and
Randoll (2012);
Many Waldorf students criticize the lack of theoretic retrievable knowl-
edge as well as the fact that they did not learn how to learn on their own;
Waldorf students give a critical feedback with respect to achievements
in foreign languages;
Waldorf students do miss references to actual social topics, especially
with regard to politics and history;
On the other hand, sports, politics and natural sciences do have the im-
portance and deepening as they should have from the students’ viewpoint;
Many students do not experience the coherence of Eurhythmy (LIE
BENWEIN; BARZ; RANDOLL, 2012; BARZ; RANDOLL, 2007;
RANDOLL, 1999).
It is obvious that quality of classroom teaching is a topic. With respect
to methodical training researchers note that especially the variety of different
didactical approaches is missing in classroom teachings (see ULLRICH, 2008).
Also according to Liebenwein, Barz and Randoll (2012) teachercentered is still
common in Waldorf Schools.
German Waldorf Schools have to balance two aims: the Waldorf curricu-
lum and the graduation in form of the Abitur. In order to fulll the second aim
an adaption to the curriculum of other public Schools is necessary, because the
guidelines are given by the government. Not least because many Waldorf students
(or parents) strive to attain the Abitur as a door opener to university, meaning
that Waldorf Schools have to cope with this balance of two different curricula.
Although predominantly high School teachers are faced with this problem, it
can be easily seen that balancing the curricula requires a good communication
between the teachers of high School, middle School and lower School. In fact,
this often does not work out in the pedagogical practice in Schools. In the Waldorf
teacher survey (RANDOLL, 2013), in which about 26% of all German Waldorf
teachers participated, a difference between the younger and older generation
of Waldorf teachers could be seen. The older teachers are closer connected to
Anthroposophy and to tradition (for example the principle of class teachers
RANDOLL, D.; PETERS, J. Empirical research on Waldorf education
Educar em Revista, Curitiba, Brasil, n. 56, p. 33-47, abr./jun. 2015. Editora UFPR 39
from 1
st
to 8
th
grade and a critical position with respect to an academic teacher
training). Younger teacher are open to reforms and new ways, but they often
fail in realizing their ideas against the tendency to tradition (RANDOLL, 2013).
Class teacher principle
During the rst 8 grades in Waldorf Schools students start the day at
School with their class teacher having so called main lessons (approximately
two hour in the morning with one subject over a period of three or four weeks).
The structure of main lessons is also common in high School teaching, except
for the fact that beginning with grade 9 a specialist teacher will teach the block
while the class teacher has to cover many different subjects. Besides they often
teach another subject, which does not appear during the main lesson blocks
(as sports, arts and eurhythmy). This implies that students will spend a lot of
time with their class teachers (KELLER, 2012). Class teachers, therefore, are
not only supposed to do a lot of preparation, but they also have to maintain a
fostering relationship to each of their students. Grasshoff, Höblich, Stelmaszyk
and Ullrich (2006) as well as Helsper (2007) have done several case studies in
order to explore the personal matching between students and teachers at the end
of the 8
th
grade, especially with respect to the polarity of closeness and distance.
Unsurprisingly they discovered both opportunities and risks associated with this
approach. Opportunities exist in the fact that students experience continuity
and emotional security (see also IDEL, 2007). On the other hand, the close and
intense relationship between the class teacher and his pupils can be crucial for
students when the personal matching is not free of conicts.
Actually a discussion has been initiated by the question of whether a pe-
riod of 6 years might be more appropriate with respect to the fact that today’s
students bring along other leaning attitudes. Therefore some Schools have begun
to integrate more high School teachers during the main lessons in 7
th
and 8
th
grade. Nevertheless, the period of 8 years is still favored among teachers and
students as well. 65.1% agreement among students from 9
th
to 12
th
grade and
74% approval from alumni have been found by Liebenwein, Barz and Randoll
(2012) respectively by Barz and Randoll (2007). In general teachers also support
the traditional class teacher principle. In the Waldorf teacher survey 76.3% voted
for a period of 8 years (RANDOLL, 2013). However, among students a range
of experiences can be found: On the one hand three of four students conrm
from a retrospective point of view that classroom teachings were interesting and
they attest a good preparation with respect to their class teachers. On the other
RANDOLL, D.; PETERS, J. Empirical research on Waldorf education
Educar em Revista, Curitiba, Brasil, n. 56, p. 33-47, abr./jun. 2015. Editora UFPR40
hand, only 38.8% of the students liked the fact of having so many subjects with
the same teacher. More than 50% of the students would have preferred more
classes with specialist teachers.
Further ndings have been taken from an exploratory study during the
term 2011/2012, which is based on a data set of 423 students (GRAUDENZ;
PETERS; RANDOLL, 2014). In this investigation the 8year class teacher
system also came in for more approval than disapproval from the Waldorf
students. The reasons that caused the class teacher experience to be seen in
retrospect as positive were: a good teacher-pupil relationship, involving a high
degree of mutual trust; a teacher who meets the students’ wishes and needs in
an open and exible way. Looking more closely at the results, however, the
opinions of the students go through many modications. The main aspects were
the following ones:
Students spoke of being “overprotected” by their class teacher right
into class 8;
Since most Waldorf schools are singlestreamed, the students are usu-
ally dependent on one central gure during the class teacher period;
By class 8 at the very latest the class teachers ability to attend to the
students’ learning needs and to attain the requisite standards of achieve-
ment is no longer adequate – at least from the students’ point of view;
According to students, lessons – even in class 8 – all tend to be teacher-
-dominated too often, while opportunities for group work or forms of
self-motivated study are fairly rare;
Many students did not feel well prepared for the transition to upper
classes.
As a conclusion, it can be said that the class teacher system is an important
and established aspect of Waldorf education. It ensures stable teacher-pupil re-
lationships and emotional security over a long period of time. The class teacher
himself has to face a lot of challenges and demands during this time. Therefore it
is not surprising that class teachers often feel more burdened than other Waldorf
teachers (RANDOLL, 2013; PETERS, 2013). So it seems worthwhile to discuss
the possibilities of an earlier integration of High School teachers at least in the
8
th
grade in order to improve the transition to upper classes.
Waldorf teacher training
In Germany the association of Waldorf schools offers a special teacher
training. With 230 Schools (in 2012) each school contributes with about 37,000
RANDOLL, D.; PETERS, J. Empirical research on Waldorf education
Educar em Revista, Curitiba, Brasil, n. 56, p. 33-47, abr./jun. 2015. Editora UFPR 41
euros. There are different possibilities to absolve the training
7
, full time and ex-
tra occupational. Teachers who accomplished their training in Waldorf specic
seminars without having a university degree receive authorizations for teaching
restricted to Waldorf Schools. According to Rohloff (2011) about 40% of Wal-
dorf teachers do not have a Waldorf specic training, which raises the question
of how Waldorf education can be conducted in an appropriate way under these
circumstances. In the Waldorf teacher survey (RANDOLL, 2013) 46.3% of Wal-
dorf teachers stated to have a university degree plus a Waldorf specic training,
other 21.5% absolved the teacher training via an in-job training. Another notable
nding in this context is that only one in two teachers with Waldorf specic
training claimed to have a sufcient preparation for the profession as a Waldorf
teacher. On the other hand, among the Waldorf teachers with a state examina-
tion
8
, which includes a one year traineeship at least, the ratio is better than two
thirds (RANDOLL, 2013). This indicates the conclusion that besides technical
qualication concerning the subject and the Waldorf ethos teachers also need
a professionalization with respect to a questioning understanding of science.
Finally, Waldorf colleagues are threatened by overaging. The average age
in 2012 was 49.2 years and the peak in the distribution of all given ages can be
marked at 55 years (RANDOLL, 2013). There is, as consequence, an immense
challenge to nd a sufcient number of young and well trained Waldorf teachers
in the next decade. Adaptation of salaries to public standards could be one helpful
step, because the willingness among younger aspirants to make sacrices due to
their ideals is less strong than within the older generation. Another demand can
be seen in a stronger orientation towards social reality and nowadays children’s
experience realm (STÖCKLI, 2011).
Conclusion
Outcomes and efciency of public Schools in Germany have been criti-
cized widely. Städtler (2010) even talks about a bluff concerning education and
he proposed reducing/downsizing the curricula by 10%. The author presents the
following ve (unrealistic) hopes underlying the educational system in Germany:
We leave School with a reliable knowledge that will be valid for many
years;
7 For closer description see: <www.waldorfschuleinfo.de>.
8 In Germany the regular way for becoming a teacher is the graduation via “Staatsexamen”.
RANDOLL, D.; PETERS, J. Empirical research on Waldorf education
Educar em Revista, Curitiba, Brasil, n. 56, p. 33-47, abr./jun. 2015. Editora UFPR42
During School knowledge is growing in an organic way, step by step;
All disconnected facts will combine (in a miraculous way) to something
we call “education
9
”;
Drill at School will lead to a transfer of competences;
School will prepare us for life – somehow.
These false hopes imply deciencies within our system of education, to
which Waldorf education could give answers, because they look back on a long
experience dealing with a holistic process of leaning and personal development.
They establish a coherent learning environment, in which students – as mentioned
above – appreciate teaching as meaningful. Therefore is would be desirably to
open these “treasures” to a wider public eld. But there is one condition for
the Waldorf side, too: Academic levels of educational science have to be ac-
cepted as a basement for a constructive dialogue. As an example the institute for
teaching methodology at Kassel
10
can be mentioned. Zech (2012) analyzed the
Waldorf curriculum with respect to history and presented an approach, which
gives a meaningful combination of the Waldorf curriculum with the concepts
of German Public Schools.
If Waldorf education wants to be regarded as an alternative to public edu-
cation, it is necessary to face the critical questions of educational science. This
attitude could be a basis for a transparent articulation of the Waldorf specic
experience without presuppositions. If Waldorf education can present evidence
on a scientic level, a dialogue can be established and the transfer of Waldorf
achievements into the public School system becomes possible. In order to pro-
ceed on this path, it would not be necessary that Waldorf education abandon
its spiritual background.
Finally, some brief references will be given to surveys in other countries,
because most of the ndings presented so far were related to the situation in
Germany. In England, Woods collected data of English Waldorf School with res-
pect to subjects, structure, enrollment and other basic data (WOODS; ASHLEY;
WOODS, 2005). For the United States, Mitchell, Baldwin and Gerwin (2005)
and Mitchell and Gerwin (2007a, 2007b) published studies on Waldorf gradua-
tes. Further information about other projects can be found on the homepage of
the “Research Institute for Waldorf Education
11
” offering an online library. In
Sweden, Dahlin also presented a survey questioning alumni (DAHLIN, 2007).
This evaluation deals with former Waldorf pupils in higher education, the
civic- moral competences developed by Waldorf pupils, how Waldorf schools
9 The German noun here is Bildung.
10 Institut für Fachdidaktik.
11 Available at: <www.waldorfresearchinstitute.org>.
RANDOLL, D.; PETERS, J. Empirical research on Waldorf education
Educar em Revista, Curitiba, Brasil, n. 56, p. 33-47, abr./jun. 2015. Editora UFPR 43
care for children with learning problems, and questions concerning Waldorf
teacher training. In Denmark, another alumni survey has been elaborated by
Hansen (2003). Documents of these and further investigations can be found on
the platform called Waldorf Research Educators Network (“wren”)
12
.
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Texto recebido em 18 de maio de 2015.
Texto aprovado em 27 de maio de 2015.
RANDOLL, D.; PETERS, J. Empirical research on Waldorf education
Educar em Revista, Curitiba, Brasil, n. 56, p. 33-47, abr./jun. 2015. Editora UFPR 47
... Waldorfschülerinnen und -schüler fühlen sich durch die Lehrkräfte insgesamt stärker unterstützt als Kinder an öffentlichen Schulen (Liebenwein, Barz & Randoll, 2012). Sie erhalten an Waldorfschulen die Möglichkeit, das Abitur zu erreichen, die sie an öffentlichen Schulen nicht in gleichem Ausmaße haben (Randoll & Peters, 2015). 4) Die Waldorfpädagogik selbst hat das inhärente Ziel, die Gesundheit der Kinder zu fördern. ...
... Diese werden durch die ausgeprägte soziale Orientierung von Waldorfschulen und das starke Gemeinschaftsgefühl -z.B. durch gemeinsame Konzerte und Aufführungen -gefördert (Barz & Randoll, 2007). Die fehlende Benotung und die vielfältigen sozialen Aktivitäten führen außerdem auch zu guten Beziehungen zwischen den Schulkindern und den Lehrkräften (Randoll & Peters, 2015). Insgesamt werden durch das Erleben von Autonomie, Kompetenz und sozialer Eingebundenheit grundlegende psychologische Bedürfnisse der Kinder erfüllt und so das schulische Wohlbefinden gestärkt (Ryan & Deci, 2001). ...
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Hintergrund: Chronische Erkrankungen können sich bereits bei Grundschulkindern auf ihre schulischen Fähigkeiten auswirken. Wir haben untersucht, ob sich dieser negative Effekt zwischen Kindern von Waldorfschulen und traditionellen Schulen unterscheidet. Methode: In zwei prospektiven Kohortenstudien an Waldorfschulen und traditionellen Schulen wurde bei Erstklässlern der spezielle medizinische Versorgungsbedarf aufgrund einer gesundheitlichen Beeinträchtigung oder chronischen Erkrankung anhand des Children with Special Health Care Needs Screeners erfasst. Am Ende des ersten Schuljahres erfolgte eine Beurteilung einzelner schulischer Fähigkeiten durch die Lehrkräfte, aus der ein Gesamtwert der schulischen Fähigkeiten (von -10 bis +10) gebildet wurde. Der Zusammenhang dieses Gesamtwerts mit dem speziellen Versorgungsbedarf wurde mittels gemischter linearer Regressionsmodelle unter Berücksichtigung potentieller Confounder untersucht. In die Analysen wurden 875 Kinder aus Waldorfschulen (49% Jungen) und 1462 Kinder aus traditionellen Schulen (51% Jungen) einbezogen. Ergebnisse: Der Anteil von Kindern mit speziellem Versorgungsbedarf war an den Waldorfschulen nur geringfügig höher als an den traditionellen Schulen (17% vs. 15%). Diese Kinder wiesen in beiden Schultypen deutlich geringere schulische Fähigkeiten auf als Kinder ohne speziellen Versorgungsbedarf. Die Stärke dieses Zusammenhangs unterschied sich nicht zwischen Kindern von Waldorfschulen und traditionellen Schulen. Schlussfolgerung: Der negative Effekt chronischer Gesundheitsprobleme auf die schulischen Fähigkeiten von Erstklässlern ist an Waldorfschulen und traditionellen Schulen vergleichbar. Weitere Studien sollten untersuchen, ob die speziellen pädagogischen Maßnahmen an Waldorfschulen diese Nachteile in späteren Schuljahren ausgleichen können.
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This chapter explains the principles and practice of teacher education in Steiner Waldorf education, highlighting the key features of ths Waldorf approach. It emphasizes the need for teachers to learn appropriate dispositions and offers some ways in which these can be learned, including hermeneutic study and artistic practices. It also offers an account of learning in practice through sojourning in communities of practice. It concludes by looking at some of the challenges facing this approach
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... All the students in this study are now studying at university (from a class of 36 students at the end of grade twelve, 33 went on to take the Abitur exam, that enables them to access higher education). Indeed, all the evidence from alumni studies from Germany (Ullrich, 2015, Randoll & Peters, 2015, from Switzerland , Sweden (Dahlin, 2007) and Denmark (Jensen, Boding & Kjeldsen, 2012), all show that a higher proportion of Waldorf students go to university than the national average. The most recent survey, from the US (Safit & Gerwin, 2019), shows that 98% of Waldorf graduates attend college or university, 92% complete a college degree, and 90% get into their top three choices for university. ...
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RESUMO Este artigo é pioneiro na discussão do fenômeno da criatividade a partir de Vygotsky e de Rudolf Steiner, relacionando-o ao trabalho com superdotados. Seu objetivo é investigar a criatividade na abordagem sociointeracionista e na Pedagogia Waldorf e suas implicações para o trabalho com estudantes superdotados. À parte importantes diferenças, as propostas de Vygotsky e de Steiner vão ao encontro das necessidades de estudantes com altas habilidades/superdotação (AH/SD), principalmente quando ressaltam a mediação docente significativa. O professor, como principal mediador, é responsável pela proposta de ensino criativo e estético voltado ao amor ao conhecimento e à vida.
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Die Studie präsentiert zum ersten Mal im deutschsprachigen Raum eine empirische Rekonstruktion der Beziehung zwischen Schülern und Klassenlehrern an Waldorfschulen. Damit wird die Erziehungswirklichkeit zwischen Waldorfklassenlehrern und ihren Schülern in den Mittelpunkt gerückt und damit ein pädagogisches Konzept, das auf Dauer angelegt ist, umfassende Zuständigkeit reklamiert und auf Autorität und Vorbildwirkung setzt. Die Ergebnisse fördern ein außerordentlich breites Spektrum pädagogischer Beziehungen zu Tage. Diese werden abschließend in den Horizont theoretischer Bestimmungen zur pädagogischen Autorität und Professionalität des Lehrers eingerückt.
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Die Freien Waldorfschulen stellen heute in Deutschland die erfolgreichste Variante nichtstaatlicher Reform- und Alternativschulen mit besonderer pädagogischer Prägung dar. Im Vergleich zu anderen Reform- und Alternativschulen sind die Waldorfschulen nach wie vor empirisch nur wenig erforscht. Anhand von sequenzanalytischen Rekonstruktionen der retrospektiven Erzählungen sowie ausgewählter Berichtszeugnisse dreier ehemaliger Waldorfschüler/innen wird der Versuch unternommen, den Erfahrungsgehalt des in der Schule Erlebten und die Relevanz der Waldorfschule im Rahmen der Gesamtbiographie zu bestimmen. In der (schul-)theoretischen Abstraktion der drei Fallstudien werden schließlich Entgrenzungsdimensionen der anthroposophischen Schulkultur identifiziert und auf ihre biographischen Chancen- und Risikopotenziale hin befragt.
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Die Waldorfpädagogik gilt als weithin anerkannte Alternative zur staatlichen Regelschule. Konzeption und Methoden sind inzwischen breit dokumentiert und auch wissenschaftlich durchleuchtet. Studien über die konkrete Schulwirklichkeit fehlten allerdings bislang genauso wie Forschungen zur Wirksamkeit der Pädagogik Steiners. Gerade dies aber ist ein Charakteristikum der Waldorfpädagogik. Sie beansprucht nachhaltige Wirkungen im Blick auf eine gelingende Lebensgestaltung. Von der Freude am beruflichen Engagement, über Verantwortungsbewusstsein für Gesellschaft und Umwelt bis hin zu positiven Einflüssen auf Lebensführung und Gesundheit im Alter reichen die Wirkungserwartungen. Diese Untersuchung basiert auf eingehenden Befragungen von ehemaligen Waldorfschülern aus drei Alterskohorten. Die Herausgeber analysieren die konkreten Erfahrungen der Ehemaligen mit der Waldorfpädagogik. Für die Interpretation und Diskussion der Spätfolgen, der Nach- und Nebenwirkungen des Waldorfschulbesuchs in verschiedenen Lebensbereichen konnten namhafte Experten gewonnen werden. Analysiert werden Berufskarrieren, Lebensorientierungen, Religion, Gesundheit. Außerdem wird die Geschichte der Waldorfschulbewegung skizziert.
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Der Reader bezieht sich auf die mit dem Bologna Prozess stattfindende internationale Akademisierung der waldorfpädagogischen Lehrerausbildung und einem wachsenden öffentlichen Interesse an ihr. Der Inhalt besteht aus paradigmatisch ausgewählten Beispielen zu erkenntnistheoretischen Grundlagen, empirischen und methodischen Zugängen und Unterrichtsinhalten. Die Autoren sind akademisch ausgewiesen und haben waldorfpädagogische Erfahrungen. Mit dem Reader soll die erziehungswissenschaftliche Auseinandersetzung mit der Waldorfpädagogik gefördert werden.
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Seit Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs sehen sich die Freien Waldorfschulen in Deutschland erstmals mit dem Problem stagnierender bis leicht rückläufiger Schülerzahlen konfrontiert. Das Vertrauen in die Tradition der Waldorfpädagogik und die Hoffnung auf Bildungsalternativen reichen zur Positionierung dieser Schulform offensichtlich nicht mehr aus. Vielmehr ist eine kritische und zugleich konstruktive Besinnung gefordert. Erziehungswissenschaftler und Waldorfpraktiker geben aus unterschiedlichen Perspektiven Antworten auf die Frage, worin die Qualitäten der Waldorfpädagogik bestehen. Dabei wird auch die waldorfeigene Lehrerbildung kritisch reflektiert sowie die Vor- und Nachteile alternativer Konzepte diskutiert. Die Auseinandersetzung um die notwendige Reformierung der Waldorfschule erfolgt dabei in dem Spannungsverhältnis zwischen dem Festhalten an der tradierten Praxis und der Notwendigkeit, diese an aktuellen gesellschaftlichen Entwicklungen neu auszurichten – und zwar ohne dabei den geisteswissenschaftlichen Hintergrund der Waldorfpädagogik aus den Augen zu verlieren und reine Methodenpädagogik zu werden. Der Inhalt · Waldorfschulen als Beispiel gelebter Schulautonomie · Die Qualität von Waldorfschulen, ihrer Entwicklung und Sicherung · Empirische Forschungen zur waldorfpädagogischen Praxis · Waldorflehrerausbildung · Zur gegenwärtigen Neupositionierung der Waldorflehrerausbildung · Anthroposophie im Dialog Die Zielgruppen · Dozierende und Studierende der Erziehungs- und Bildungswissenschaften · LehrerInnen an Waldorf- und an reformpädagogischen Schulen Die Herausgeber Dr. Dirk Randoll ist Professor für Empirische Sozialforschung am Fachbereich Bildungswissenschaft der Alanus Hochschule – Hochschule für Kunst und Gesellschaft sowie Projektleiter bei der Software AG-Stiftung in Darmstadt. Dr. Marcelo da Veiga ist Professor für Bildungsphilosophie an der Alanus Hochschule für Kunst und Gesellschaft und Leiter des Instituts für philosophische und ästhetische Bildung.
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Was machen ehemalige Waldorfschüler nach der Waldorfschule? Welche weiterführenden Ausbildungen absolvieren sie, welche Berufe erlernen sie, welche üben sie aus, und wie kommen sie überhaupt in ihrem Berufsleben zurecht? Diesen Fragen kommt eine gewisse Brisanz zu, da einer — auch bei ehemaligen Waldorfschülern selbst — verbreiteten Meinung zu Folge Waldorfschulen zwar für eine wunderschöne Schulzeit für ihre Schüler stehen, aber auf Kosten ihrer Lebenstüchtigkeit und ihrer Fähigkeit, später mit den „harten Leistungsforderungen und Realitäten“ unserer Gesellschaft zurecht zu kommen. Mit anderen Worten: Waldorfpädagogik sei zwar schön für die Kinder, bereite sie aber nicht angemessen auf das Leben vor.
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Der Untersuchung zu den Lebenssituationen und Einstellungen ehemaliger Schüler von Waldorfschulen aus verschiedenen Altersgruppen soll eine Skizze der Entwicklung dieser Schulen seit ihrer Wiedereröffnung nach dem II. Weltkrieg vorangefügt werden, da die Untersuchungsergebnisse nicht nur als subjektiv sondern selbstverständlich auch als zeitbedingt angesehen werden müssen.
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Die Belastung und die psychische Gesundheit von Lehrern sind vielfach untersucht worden. Das Erleben von Stress, Überforderung und Erschöpfung, aber auch die Berufszufriedenheit sind dabei in der Regel selten auf einzelne Faktoren zurückzuführen. Verschiedene Studien, darunter auch die Kasseler Lehrerstudie von Dauber und Döring-Seipel (2010), haben gezeigt, dass die Betrachtung der Arbeitsbedingungen alleine nicht ausreicht, um die Beanspruchung von Lehrern hinreichend zu erklären. Vielmehr tragen die innere Haltung und die Einstellung der Pädagogen entscheidend dazu bei, ob eine objektive Anforderung im Schulalltag subjektiv als belastend erlebt wird oder nicht.
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Schulen in freier Trägerschaft haben das Recht, sich im Rahmen der gesetzlichen Bestimmungen eine eigene Schulverfassung zu geben. Dies betrifft auch die Entscheidung darüber, wie die Schule als Organisation geführt werden soll. Viele freie Schulen, insbesondere solche reform- oder alternativpädagogischer Provenienz, entscheiden sich gegen Formen einer direktorialen Schulleitung, wie sie in staatlichen Schulen als Normalform etabliert ist. Stattdessen präferieren diese Schulen partizipatorische Formen einer kollegialen Leitung, die häufig gewählten Gruppen auf Zeit überantwortet wird. Diesen Gruppen stellt sich in besonderer Weise das Kooperationsproblem: Sie müssen, als von der Schulgemeinschaft mandatierte Instanzen, zielorientiert, effizient und im Einklang mit dem pädagogisch-konzeptionellen Selbstverständnis der Schule zustimmungsfähige Entscheidungen von großer Tragweite treffen.
Article
With their original practice of keeping the same class teacher for a period of eight years and their claim to an authoritative-asymmetric design of the pedagogical relations, Waldorf schools provide an interesting opportunity to empirically examine the thesis of a progressing erosion of the traditional relation between the generations. On the basis of recorded lessons, texts on reports, and narrative interviews with teachers and students, maximally contrasting cases of teacher-student-relations are reconstructed for different Waldorf schools by means of multistage qualitative procedures. Taking into account the aligned biographical relationships, in particular, the authors examine whether these relations defined by personal closeness and emotional empathy open up or close down spheres for productive development for students during early adolescence.