To talk about childhood, let's invite memory to approach the sea on a sunny summer day, where on the beach the waves reach the end of their long journey. Images of children with their parents, grandparents, friends, waiting for this gift from the sea; laughing, Playing, receiving the waves with a jump, front or back, with eyes open or closed, fill the landscape with a unique joy, Of an ease and almost primordial innocence. there everyone, with and through children, we become children, we laugh with the wave and let it, in its roundness, push us, hit, find the acune. I have seen many adults acquire the lightness of childhood in these moments. It is the magic of the sea, with its constant curved line and its perpetual motion, inviting us to free ourselves from our rigidities and psychic structures that are too anchored, bringing out the child we were, the child that lives in us.
childhood is vitality, movement, play, laughter, smile, rhythm. The sea also smiles in the fullness of the wave, that rhythmically comes to play on the beach. Sea and childhood have a lot in common, let's learn from them.
The heart of childhood asks us for rhythm, play, movement, confidence, humor, art… all wrapped up in the clear image of what child development is, its evolution within the framework of human biography. Does this exist in classrooms? Do we offer children a learning space where they feel confident to unfold their potential when it has to flourish?? Do we teachers have the necessary perception to discover this inner dynamic of the child?? Does an educational system give us the necessary flexibility and freedom to accompany the child according to the perception we acquire of him?? Is the test battery, always looming on the horizon, a good criterion for evaluating the child? How much imagination and creativity does it take to assess based on exams? What is more appropriate for teaching in Primary, imagination or abstraction, the definition or characterization of the matter we present? a child of 4 O 5 years has to learn to read and write, one of the most demanding learning that the human being has to face, Or would it be more appropriate for him to use his time and strength to acquire other faculties appropriate to his age?? I have had students go through a process akin to torture when 4 and the 5 years were taught to read and write, they couldn't stand it, that is to say, they got sick. They came to the Waldorf school and were offered a space in the Kindergarten to continue growing as children.. There they regained confidence in the teachers and, later, in Primary, resumed the process of learning to read and write from the imaginative artistic, acquiring these skills without major difficulties. Where is the essence of the sea in the classrooms?
Make 100 years, Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, said that in education, at all times, you had to appeal to the feelings of the child. He also highlighted the constant and central presence of the artistic in teaching. These same principles are masterfully recalled today by Sir Ken Robinson in his educational work, where he denounces the rampant trend in recent decades to increase the scientific and academic content in the classroom to the detriment of the artistic field. It is art that marks the path to the inner journey in man, towards the experience, the experience, and with it the self-knowledge and the development of the personality. If we exclude it from the educational space we stop educating properly.
Rudolf Steiner told the teachers that they would have to accompany their class during the Primary journey. There would be no changes of tutor once the school year is over. There would be no textbooks, it would be up to the children and the teachers to create them. The first two hours of the morning would constitute a single block where they would be with the tutor teacher developing a theme throughout 3 O 4 weeks. there would be no exams, the teacher would be embarking on the journey of continuous assessment. The school would start by fulfilling the children 7 years. Teachers would have academic freedom and the ultimate responsibility to acquire a deep understanding of human nature and to be constantly creative in their classes..
Part of these basic principles of Waldorf pedagogy can be found today in an educational system that is viewed with respect and interest in its results.: finnish system. This has been occupying the first positions in the ranking of the PISA studies. The paradox is that while Finland is able to show the excellence of its system, in many countries that would have to change their principles and guide them in this direction, measures contrary to them are still insisted on: advance school age, don't abandon textbooks, do not extend the duration of classes, multiply the presence of exams and establish rigid programs, aiming at cognitive goals often unrelated to the child's age, regardless of the pace and experience aspect of learning. This road doesn't care about childhood, he doesn't take care of her, he does not perceive it in his nature, does not protect her, but it deteriorates it. Given these conditions, Is it still a surprise to talk about school failure?
What are the roots of this pathology, more and more present in our time, demanding too much educational content too soon, to force a rote mechanical learning where the experience is absent? Why do you insist on seeing the child as a small adult?? In what dark cellars was this toxic potion of nonsense uncorked?? What mind remote from the origin wants to reduce the sea to the size of a pond or a swamp?
The game of the waves will not fail to awaken the smile and joy in the child because it will touch their essence. The dynamics of education must succeed in respecting childhood, in unfolding in each individual the unique potential that he carries in himself, in educating so that the child becomes a citizen with his own thinking, attentive to the challenges of his time, aware of the profound dimension of existence. The Waldorf pedagogy works with these ideals and dedicates all his effort to them. There is no human enterprise that has higher goals than education.
Teacher at the Waldorf School of Villafranqueza, Alicante.
Ken Robinson (Liverpool, England, 4 March 1950) he is an educator, British writer and lecturer. Doctor from the University of London, Robinson is considered an expert on matters related to creativity, the quality of teaching, innovation and human resources. Due to the relevance of its activity in the fields mentioned, especially in relation to the need to incorporate art classes into the school curriculum, was appointed Sir by the queen of England, Elizabeth II in 2003.