WHAT IS IT? The stated purpose of Waldorf education is to take into consideration the three ways in which the child relates to the world—through thinking, feeling, and activity.
MORE ABOUT IT Waldorf education, also known as Steiner education, was developed by Rudolf Steiner. Preeti Misra, founder of Rainbow Bridge School, Kharghar, that follows this method, says, “Throughout the day the teacher works with the child by creating a warm and home-like environment, where learning takes place through imitation and experimentation. The child is engaged in two basic ways— first, the child imitates the teacher by participating in artistic activities like baking, painting and gardening, and second, the teacher nurtures the child’s power of imagination by telling stories and encouraging free play.” The three R’s of Waldorf early childhood education is Rhythm, Repetition and Reverence. For example, snack time is a group activity, where children prepare it together, and eat it together. It is a time where children learn social interaction with their classmates. It instils in them the mannerisms to clean after themselves. Also, it is good progression time from home to school life.
THE BENEFITS! Developmental learning: The children learn by imitating their parents at home, and teachers in school. Singing rhymes and telling stories are a focus for language development for preschoolers. Incorporating the nature: This enables the heart of the child to open to its surrounding and to become aware of the aesthetic qualities of life. Branches, leaves, soil and twigs are played with on regular basis. Activity-based: The same concept is learned using various methods, hence simplifying the learning for the children. They develop their motor skills by doing activities like cooking in groups, building blocks and more.
THE TRANSITION.. Preeti says, “Like any other school even Waldorf students need to be affi liated with examination boards like ICSE and CBSE. Yes, an integration into mainstream is possible. However, it needs a certain amount of planning and preparation from both the school and parents. It is recommended that the child studies in Waldorf school till the age of five, as they are prepared by then for higher admissions in regular schools.”
IN YOUR CITY..
✏ Inodai Waldorf School, Andheri, Mumbai
✏ Tridha Waldorf School, Andheri, Mumbai
✏ Abhaya School, Hyderabad
✏ Shloka School, Moinabad, Telangana
✏ Bangalore Steiner School, Chikkadunnasandra, Karnataka
MORE ABOUT IT The groundwork for the Reggio Emilia approach was established shortly after the World War II in Italy. The movement was led by a gentleman called Loris Malaguzzi. Tasneem Mesiwala, director of Serra International preschool, Colaba, Mumbai says,”The teaching is environment based. The methods used to teach the children are with natural resources such as pebbles for counting, and twigs, leaves and sky for colours.” She further adds, “The best way for the children to learn is for them to ask questions rather than providing them with information or encourage rote learning. The main principle is to constantly engage in having dialogue with them.”
THE BENEFITS! Inquiry-based learning: The classes use provocation techniques for the children to ask questions. For example, teachers release a caterpillar in the classroom. The children then observe and ask questions on factors such as the movement, from where they come from and so on.
Teachers as facilitators: In this methodology, the teachers are not instructors. Rather, they provide assistance and partner in the child’s learning. Educators observe, listen and document the child’s work and the growth of the classroom in order to provoke and stimulate thinking and collaboration with the peers.
Parental involvement: There are several activities that are indulged in with the help of the parents. For example, a parent who knows how to bake, comes to the school and has an interactive and fun baking session with the children. Parents often accompany the children to field trips as well.
THE TRANSITION.. “A Reggio Child is more understanding in comparison to other children. The feeling of wanting to do more is stronger than any other child. The main objective of the methodology is to make them love learning. They develop to grow as practical thinkers. Therefore, integration in higher standards is not diffi cult,” says Tasneem.
IN YOUR CITY..
✏ Creative Kids, Mumbai
✏ Greenwood High Preschool, Bengaluru
✏ Vibgyor Kids, Vadodra
✏ Vivero International Preschool, Pune
✏ IBambini Preschool, Gurgaon
WHAT IS IT? Interactive illume is a Kidzee preschools pedagogy. The curriculum is based on the philosophy of WRFC (What’s Right For the Child). With this style of teaching, children realise their unique abilities in a systematic and a self-paced manner.
MORE ABOUT IT Kidzee schools have over 1500 centres across Asia. Dipnarayan Chakraborty, Research Head, Zee Learn Ltd, says, “Children are observed non-intrusively and tracked on their individual developmental goals. It provides an environment free from anxiety and encourages spontaneous exploration and learning.” He further adds, “The classrooms are comfortable, well-lit, spacious and airy at Kidzee. They are also equipped with appropriate learning technology.” Engaging in theme-based activities are planned. The activities help in develop creative thinking and encourage free expression.
THE BENEFITS! Individual attention: The method focuses on the potential of each child. There is a well-balanced facilitator-child ratio so that each child gains from the individual attention. Comprehensive learning: Rather than focusing on specific concepts, the curriculum integrates various methods through real-life connects.
THE TRANSITION.. Dipnarayan says, “Students in Kidzee centres across Asia are well equipped to be a part of any school board after the completion of all the levels at Kidzee. We focus on the development of skills in our students rather than rote learning of concepts. Language, number and cognitive skills, once developed, help children grasp concepts easily in the future, hence making the child a success irrespective of the school’s board.”
IN YOUR CITY..
✏ Kidzee, Balavinayagar Nagar, Chennai
✏ Kidzee, Thakurpukur, Kolkata
✏ Kidzee, Kirti Nagar, New Delhi
✏ Kidzee, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune
Some other methods
GURUKUL Gurukul education is type of a residential school in India with the students living near the teacher (guru), often in the same house. It is a school that teaches moral values and imparts spiritual knowledge. The students have to live away from their parents and in an environment with little or no luxury. It teaches the students to be disciplined and become independent. The principle behind this teaching is that the child from an early age learns to deal with situations without any help from the parents. By the time they reach adolescence, they are capable of choosing the right way of dealing with people.
BANK STREET Educator Lucy Sprague Mitchell founded what is now known as The Bank Street School. The focus of the method is not just what children learn, but also how they learn it. The basis of bank street school is the Developmental-Interaction approach with the children. The approach emphasises on development of children at different ages, and that each child learns on their own terms. The teachers employing this philosophy must have deep knowledge of human development and be highly skilled at observing children. On the other hand, interaction refers to the child’s engagement with the world and how the teachers are able to mould the child by being aware of their student’s interests. ■