How does this school meet the needs of individuals, who may have different learning styles?

┬áThe Waldorf curriculum works with a child’s learning strengths, and then from there attempts to bring greater balance to the child. As an example, a child may have no interest in reading but he is interested in drama. This child may be asked to read scripts, or to write his own script, for a play. This builds on the child’s natural enthusiasm to perhaps kindle a passion in another area.

Academics are taught in an integrated fashion, involving the three main senses of seeing, hearing, and feeling/moving. At our school, on a daily basis, children in the lower grades get up to 45 minutes of rhythmic activities and sensory / motor integration skills. The length of sensory integration activity diminishes in the upper grades, and is replaced by academic drills. This creates a bridge between areas in which the child is strongest and the other areas. As an example, if the child already has well-developed visual skills, the child can utilize those skills to enhance his listening skills and his coordination, and to integrate them so he is learning with his whole being.

Waldorf teaching is very much in alignment with Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, which include Verbal/Linguistic, Visual, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Logical/Mathematical, Bodily/Kinesthetic and Naturalistic. Waldorf is designed to develop and integrate all of these.

Many teachers in mainstream classrooms would like to utilize these types of teaching methods, and may do so as best they can, but their curriculum is often constrained, to some degree, to strictly academic methods of teaching. Increasingly, mainstream curriculum is focused primarily on Verbal/Linguistic and Logical/Mathematical intelligences.