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Why Waldorf Works: From a Neuroscientific Perspective

Posted On: 8/16/2017 11:54 AM

Smiling grade-school boy wearing at blue baseball cap that says "Waldorf since 1919""Why Waldorf works has more to do with how the brain develops and functions optimally than Rudolf Steiner ever could have known. Sure the educator and founder of Waldorf Education theorized convincingly about how children learn best, but until MRIs and other sophisticated measures of the brain were developed, we had no way to prove or disprove any of Steiner’s theories, not with the kind of precision and accuracy we can now.
An overwhelming body of evidence from the last 20 years of neuroscientific inquiry supports Steiner’s theories, including some of the most fundamental foci of Waldorf Education. Three foci thrill me the most, both as a parent of a Waldorf student and as an international speaker on the topic of learning, behavior, and the brain: holism, play, and nature. An emphasis on all three is consistent with how the brain learns best: when the whole brain is engaged at any given moment, when its foundational neural connections have been given ample time to develop, and when it is in an optimally aroused state. Knowing how the brain develops is essential to understanding why these three foci are so important to the success of any educational program."

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