Trend Steiner education is an innovative way

Trend AnalysisAn overwhelming task for many parents is selecting a school for their child. Parents nowadays are given the choice of enrolling their child into mainstream education or alternatives such as Steiner education, Montessori or Dalton. With this wide range of curriculums schools have to offer, parents need to weigh the pros and cons of each and determine what is best for their child.One alternative method of educating was introduced by Rudolf Steiner. Steiner education was first introduced in 1919 in Stuttgart, Germany and has grown to 1.092 Steiner schools in over 64 countries (Waldorf, 2017). Steiner’s education system focuses on the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the child through the acquisition of knowledge instead of solely teaching academic knowledge to meet the needs of an exam-oriented education. The Steiner system encourages creative thinking through the use of the arts, music and  physical activity. One of the aims set out by the Steiner philosophy is to create a learning environment where children find joy of learning and experience the bounty of a fulfilled childhood rather than early specialisation (About, 2018). Although the objectives of Steiner education inspire a lot of parents to choose in favor of Steiner education, it has received a backlash on controversy regarding the philosophy on which the education was created. Founder Rudolf Steiner, was a philosopher, who based his foundation of education on his spiritual philosophy, where he engages religious ideas from the Far East with aspects taken from multiple forms of religious practice (Williams, 2016). It was through this idea, that the controversy about the so-called reincarnation through the races, emerged. Steiner believed that the souls of humans evolve through reincarnation with white people ranking at the top and that people of colour could only hope to be reincarnated if they have good karma. Many parents with children enrolled at a Steiner school have experienced odd and racist altercations. However, despite the controversy, Steiner education is an innovative way of teaching and is an educational curriculum that encourages both academic knowledge and creative development. To be able to survive in a professional working environment, children should have to learn and get used to the fact that results are achieved through practice and acquisition of knowledge. Despite varying in execution of the curriculum from mainstream schools, both provide creativeness in academic learning. When looking at the educational structure of Steiner schools in Australia, for example, the curriculum consist of two phases of which the first focuses on subjects such as Maths, History and Science and the second of Civil Economics, the Arts and Health Physical Education (Day, n.d.). A variety of topics are then integrated across many subjects to provide the students with a multitude of perspectives. As aspiring teachers, the group chose to analyse a growing trend within the field of education because of the importance of the awareness of developments and trends within one’s field. Although the Steiner education system received some negativity, it is still a growing trend and also happens to be the largest group of independent schools in the world (R., 2015). Throughout the years, the field of English teaching has changed in content and curriculum design where more cross-curricular programmes are being adopted so that beginning teachers develop cultural awareness. The emphasis is not only on teaching language skills, but also on critical thinking and integration of technology (Sun, 2014).  The group finds that the changes have a positive impact on the way of educating at the University of Applied Science Utrecht because the group supports these changes in the educational field of English teaching. Steiner education has proven itself to bring new ideas into the field of education and offer an alternative unlike the majority of philosophies seen at the time. Despite other trends such as the flipped-classroom being evident in classrooms, Steiner education is a trend that coordinates with many of the educational goals of the 21st century with a focus on creativity, flexibility and the capabilities of individual students (Bak, 2017). The group recognizes Steiner education as valid alternative form of education that embraces the originality in the identity of its’ students and encourages learning. IntroductionThe search for misconceptions of pupils as described in this report will take place at ROC van Amsterdam, Hilversum. ROC van Amsterdam is a secondary vocational school (MBO) for students aged between 16 and 25, located in a rich area, Het Gooi, of Hilversum. However, students at an MBO are, generally speaking, not from the richest families. As noticed through interaction with the students and teachers, many students come from poorer families and the percentage of immigrants is relatively high, compared to Dutch schools for higher education. This school has many different departments where students are prepared for different professions in, for example business, health care or social work. Students can come in at three different levels and, during their education, can achieve a higher level through their results.The most common misconceptions about Steiner education are regarding the freedom of the students, so the hypothesis is that the student respondents will say that students at Steiner schools get too much freedom and will, therefore, not graduate with a valid diploma. In case some students have not heard of Steiner education before, a small piece of information on Steiner education will be provided.The main question for our research is ‘To what extent are the positive aspects of Steiner Education adopted by other educational institutions?’. In order to answer this question, it is necessary to find out which aspects of Steiner education are the most positive and if these suit any other educational institutions. SummaryThe investigation on the misconceptions of Steiner Education aims to explore to what extent the positive aspects of Steiner education have been adopted by other educational institutions. Many questions related to the research question were then displayed to the students of ROC van Amsterdam in the form of an online survey using the platform Survio. An online survey was used as the instrument of measurement due to the convenience for the pupils as well as rapid and accurate portrayal of data. By using an online survey it was very easy to get a quick overview of the collected data, since Survio automatically creates graphs with the results. Moreover, it is a convenient way for pupils to fill in the questionnaire. The data displayed through the online survey showed that students had a positive outlook on the personal expression, access to more creative subjects and minimal evaluation structure despite 82 percent of the students being unaware of Steiner education before taking this survey.Theoretical FrameworkThe paragraphs below describe the answer to the question what misconceptions are and which misconceptions exist around Steiner (Waldorf) Education. OverviewMisconceptions are inaccurate ideas or opinions because they are based on faulty thinking or understanding (Misconception, 2018). The misconceptions around Steiner (Waldorf) Education are related to the liberal style of instruction found in Steiner Education, the free-spirited nature that is over exaggerated as a framework for Steiner schools, and the traditional structure seen in schools. Many aspects of Steiner education influence other educational institutions through instruction and values present in Steiner schools.IntroductionThe aim of this research investigation is to explain to what extent the positive aspects of Steiner Education are adopted by other educational institutions. Through the misconceptions explored during the research as well as the conducted survey, the positive aspects of Steiner education will form the framework for the investigation. Though many of the misconceptions stem from an aspect of Steiner education that has been over or under exaggerated, the sources analysed will show: the positive aspects of Steiner education, the adoption of these aspects by other educational institutions, and its’ impact in the field of education.Main BodyFirst paragraphSteiner education is formed on the understanding of the human being through a philosophical lense and emulates the stages of development from child to adult within its’ structure. The dominant objective for a teacher at a Steiner school is to reinforce an understanding of and appreciation for their background and identity (Krugliak, n.d.). Steiner Education is very much focused on the student itself and has many positive aspects including: the focus on the individuality of students, the consistency in structure, the alternative grading system and the concentration on the arts. The teachers at Steiner schools take great care in supporting every child with their goals, regardless of whether it is an academic or a personal matter, therefore focusing on the individuality of the child.  The children has the same teacher and class from the 1st grade until the 6th or 8th grade which allows the students to build a strong bond of trust with their teacher and provides a stable comfort zone. Another aspect of this type of education is that the belief in a traditional grading system is not accepted. The alternative used in Steiner Education is a detailed report, given to the students, that includes which talents the child possesses and their characteristics as well as an explanation of their development throughout the school year. The lack of a grading system takes away the pressure most students feel, and therefore students are less likely to fail a class. Steiner Education also has a special focus on the physical abilities of a child, such as that seen in sports and the arts. Scientists have discovered that exercising prompts the creation of new and very excitable brain cells and can induce an overall pattern of calm in certain parts of the brain. According to a study in “Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine,”(2010)  four neurochemicals are responsible for the calm feeling created after exercising and when released can have a positive impact on their performance in other subjects (Field, n.d.).Second ParagraphThe positive aspects of Steiner Education are slowly being adopted and adapted by other educational institutions. The most common aspect is the focused inclusion of more creative subjects in schools, which can most prevenantly be found in Kindergartens, where the focus lies on unfolding a child’s creativity with music, art and playing with natural resources. The child’s knowledge benefits from this because they have to explain what they see, what they play with and how they made it (Waldorfkindergarten: Konzept, Vorteile und Nachteile, 2014) Furthermore, schools have adapted the art subjects. The arts is now a serious elective subject, that you can receive a diploma in, whereas a few years ago, this option did not exist. However, the lack of evidence on the adoption of Steiner education in other regards leads researchers to assume that it was a combination of various sources that led to positive aspects, also used in Steiner Education, to appear.Third paragraphThe direct impact of Steiner education in the field of education is limited when it comes to the influence on other educational institutions; however, it adds to the field of education through the use of concepts unlike those found in mainstream education. Steiner education aims to provide the right incentive for learning by taking into account a child’s stages of development. Enlivened learning is recognized as a journey of discovery, both of the world and oneself, and because of this, the imagination plays an important role. Similar to the aim of Steiner education, the study of experiential educational strategies, magnified through the concept of holism, can enhance learning within compulsory environments. This allows meaningful and lasting learning experiences to take place. The benefits thereof can be seen across education because of the importance for the impactfulness on students and can provide insight into ways to better educate students.An article from Education Review (2016) shows that, Dirk, a german student, hopes his research will have some influence on the impending decisions surrounding educational systems and help bring about changes to current educational practices.”I am an advocate of Steiner’s educational concept because it is so well thought out in terms of relating to the child’s development in a holistic way. And particularly in this day and age, the needs of children – to develop in a healthy way – are getting more and more important. I am able to relate to Steiner’s concept very well because he creates the overall picture and out of that understanding develops all aspects to it. Everything is interrelated and that, to me, makes a lot of sense.” (Barback, 2012)