Wonder is the catalyst for all understanding. Wonder brings us into a reverent relationship with all that is, creating a sense of belonging and bringing deep meaning to our existence. Inspired by Waldorf education, all teaching in our classrooms is intentional, serving multiple purposes at one time. Its methods have the underlying aim of nourishing the soul and spirit of the children, igniting their curiosity and sense of wonder, and deepening their understanding of themselves and their world. Our approach prepares students to become moral, caring individuals who are responsible stewards of our earth and the evolution of humanity.
At Berkeley Rose, teaching is an art. In bringing the curriculum at the developmentally appropriate time through art, the teacher is able to arouse the feeling life of the students, thereby helping them to arrive at living concepts which change and grow with the child over the years. By appealing to the heart through art, teachers ignite the child’s love of learning. They help them to feel their personal connection to the natural world; to see it as a mirror of themselves. Students remember that with which they have had a personal connection.
Our approach to teaching also feeds the inner life of children by teaching from a perspective of wholeness and connectedness. Living teaching starts from the whole and then goes to the parts. Everything is interrelated and compared to each other, not isolated and separate from the greater whole.
Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy and Waldorf education, explains that the child will become hardened if you make her commit to memory, with no meaningful context, concepts and their explanations. Thus, at schools inspired by Waldorf education, students are not bombarded with a barrage of facts, but rather they are given a richer, fuller experience based on a direct experience that whets the child’s appetite for more exploration. Rather than using textbooks, teachers give the students a meaningful experience, building a picture out of it, and the students themselves arrive at the concepts. Out of these experiences they create in their lesson books their own record of what they have learned. Through this process they learn that, like the great thinkers of our history and modern time, they have the power to make their own discoveries. This feeling of possibility and capability lives on in them as they grow into adults. Through this participatory approach students become independent thinkers and investigators who can use their penetrating thinking, as well as imagination, as vehicles to discover new frontiers.
At Berkeley Rose Waldorf School, children are seen as seeds: everything they will become is already contained within. Children have innate capabilities and talents; it is the teacher’s job to allow these to slowly unfold with loving guidance and an eye toward the goal of a lifelong love of learning.
Please see the links to the right for program-specific information.