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The young child’s journey of ‘the will’: A synthesis of child-centered and inclusive principles in international Waldorf early childhood education

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journal contribution
posted on 10.03.2022, 17:50 authored by Kate Attfield
Within the education academic arena, there is almost no established research on the alternative Waldorf (or Steiner) education movement in the US or UK. This primary research investigates Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy of early childhood Waldorf education, and its child-centered and inclusive core. Ten kindergarten teachers in the US and UK educating children ages three through seven were interviewed on their values and practices, and on intrinsic notions of inclusion, which are scrutinized according to Lani Florian's inclusive pedagogy. Contrasting interpretation among practitioners on educating diverse learners emerge. US and UK Waldorf education appear situationally different, and yet the underlying educational ethos fundamentally remains the same. An anthroposophical understanding of the human being, and ‘the will’ of the kindergarten child who learns through imitation and play, underlies this far-sighted, holistic basis. Recommendation is for Waldorf early childhood studies to enhance transnational networks among themselves, and to make connections with broader academic educational clusters, in particular those on inclusion.

History

Published in

Journal of Early Childhood Research

Publisher

Sage

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Citation

Attfield, K. (2021) 'The young child’s journey of ‘the will’: A synthesis of child-centered and inclusive principles in international Waldorf early childhood education', Journal of Early Childhood Research, p.1476718X211051184.

Print ISSN

1476-718X

Electronic ISSN

1741-2927

Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy

Cardiff Met Authors

Kate Attfield

Copyright Holder

© The Authors

Language

en