To truly acquire knowledge, and not simply memorize it for an upcoming test, a student of any age needs time for that seed of knowledge to take root and grow. Waldorf education uses the block structure of learning to make sure that students have the time they need to experience true learning and find relevancy and interest in the topic at hand. We call this academic learning block Main Lesson.
Teachers typically present new concepts in a three or four week blocks to provide an in-depth learning experience of a single subject. In a block system, students are immersed in one subject at a time in order to fully focus on the content area and gain a complete understanding before moving on to the next course of study.
This method helps students, who may not enjoy a particular subject, focus on improvement, since they cannot simply tune out during a 30 to 40-minute class each day, but are instead immersed in the topic for several weeks.
This method helps teachers use a multi-sensory and multi-activity learning approach because the time allotted allows them to engage the children with a wide variety of activities to help increase student motivation and interest in the topic at hand.
This method also makes little use of worksheets and there are no textbooks to be read. The teacher reads the source material and presents it to students in an engaging and relevant way. Skill practice comes in the form of hands- on, project and process-based learning versus memorization and mimicry.
While teachers ultimately decide when and how to present material, there is a typical three-pronged approach to each Main Lesson and a three-day approach to new material presented.
- Waldorf Education