Instead of telling children what to do, Waldorf early childhood teachers encourage children to find the will within themselves to do what is right. But how is this done?
In this article, Patricia Cornelius, Early Childhood Teacher and Faculty Chair at The Waldorf School of Philadelphia, explains exactly how Waldorf early childhood teachers foster children’s imagination and awe to help them master their will and develop empathy.
She says: “We can use awe and wonder to help entice children to find the capacity within themselves to do what is needed. For example, when it is snack time, we want the children to start snack quietly, because children tend not to eat when they are talking and we want them to be well nourished. Now, as an educator I could use my own will and impart consequences on the children to make them be silent. But then they won’t learn how to manage their will. But if I wait to light the candle at the table and say, ‘The fire fairy wants to come to the table, but needs quiet,’ then the children can find a way to hold themselves, hold their will, and develop that will, to be quiet at snack time.”
- Early Childhood
- Waldorf Education