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Notes for Prospective Students
The mission of Shining Mountain Waldorf School is to provide a comprehensive education that engages and nurtures the child physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Waldorf education addresses the child as no other education does.
What does it mean to be a Waldorf school?
Shining Mountain, like all Waldorf schools, is rooted in the methods and philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, Austrian-born scientist, educator, and philosopher.
Stages of Human
The Waldorf approach works with human nature and recognizes that capacities emerge in students at fairly predictable stages, while also allowing room for individual rates of maturation.
Until age six or seven: Children learn primarily through physical activity and imitation. The goal at this stage is to provide a warm, calm, secure, aesthetic environment that nourishes the senses, the imagination, and the creativity of the young child.
From age seven until fourteen: Children at this stage learn best when academics appeal to the feeling life, and lessons are conveyed through an artistic medium such as painting, drama, music, storytelling, and other direct experiences that stir their emotions.
In the High School: Themes and methods stimulate higher-level intellectual skills.
The Waldorf approach relies upon an interdisciplinary structure within each grade level and progressing through the years.
Role of the Arts
The arts permeate all aspects of school life at Shining Mountain. Fine and practical arts – painting, sculpting, drawing, singing, instrumental ensembles, woodwork, handwork, drama, movement – provide:
- a bridge for social interaction
- a way of knowing, i.e., a cognitive process that stresses observation and discernment
- an education of the senses, which awakens us to the wonder permeating our world and our humanity
- a humanizing activity that allows us to feel our co-creative abilities with others
- a discipline that teaches patience, flexibility, concentration.
Academics come alive when conveyed through an artistic medium. Every detail imaginable contributes consciously to the totality of the Waldorf learning experience: the colors in the classroom; the colored chalk drawings on the board; the rhythm of the lesson and the day; the way the teacher speaks, moves, and balances humor with seriousness.
At Shining Mountain the movement curriculum recognizes that healthy physical activity lays the foundation for healthy brain and neural development; enhances physical, emotional, ethical, and spiritual aspects of the human being; and provides a vital pathway for self-exploration.
Cooperative games in the early grades yield to competitive sports in middle and high school.
Waldorf education at Shining Mountain embraces the living, direct relationship between teacher and student as the optimum catalyst for successful learning.
An Educational Community
We recognize that healthy individualization goes hand-in-hand with community building.
Moreover, we work out of a comprehensive view of humankind that honors various spiritual traditions.
The need for imagination, a sense of truth and a feeling of responsibility – these are the three forces which are the very nerve of education.