Spirit of the Lake Community School draws its educational inspiration and practices – as well as its leadership model -- from the Waldorf educational impulse. Faculty rely on their Waldorf teacher training to bring the essential elements of this model to the children. They build capacity for learning in a compassionate manner that meets the children at their developmental level, nurtures imagination, and develops an awareness of the complexity and beauty of the world. Through lively instruction, arts integrated across the curriculum and an unhurried approach, faculty emphasize learning by doing.
Waldorf schools offer a developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to education. They integrate the arts and academics for children from preschool through twelfth grade. Waldorf ® Education aims to inspire life-long learning in all students and to enable them to fully develop their unique capacities. Founded in the early 20th century, Waldorf Education is based on the insights, teachings and principles of education outlined by the world renowned anthroposophist, artist, and scientist, Rudolf Steiner. The principles of Waldorf Education evolve from a profound understanding of human development that address the needs of the growing child. These principles inspire and guide teachers, administrators, trustees and parents today.
The Waldorf curriculum is broad and comprehensive. Structured to respond to the three developmental phases of childhood – birth to 6 or 7 years, 7 to 14 years and 14 to 21 years – Rudolf Steiner stressed to teachers that the best way to provide meaningful support for the child is to comprehend these phases fully and to bring “age appropriate” content that nourishes healthy growth for the Waldorf student. Music, dance and theater, writing, literature, legends and myths are not simply subjects to be read about and tested. They are experienced. Through these experiences, Waldorf students cultivate their intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual capacities and academic skills to be individuals certain of their paths and to be of service to the world.
Teachers in Waldorf schools are dedicated to generating an inner enthusiasm for learning within every child. This eliminates the need for competitive testing, academic placement, and behavioristic rewards to motivate learning and allows motivation to arise from within. It helps engender the capacity for joyful life-long learning.
Waldorf Education is independent and inclusive. It upholds the principles of freedom in education and engages independent administration locally, continentally and internationally. It is regionally appropriate education with hundreds of schools worldwide today.
Waldorf Education is truly Inspired Learning.
—The Association for Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA)