Waldorf didn't kill creativity

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The following is a first-person account of Waldorf education from a Waldorf alumnus, Shane Alexander. To learn about the difference between Waldorf and Montessori schools, read our comparison guide. You can also read our guide to Waldorf preschools.

Creativity at Waldorf


"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

I'm going to be honest. I didn't really know what I was going to write this week. I surfed around the net looking for different types of inspirations thinking of what would I pen about this week. I thought of everything. I even thought of doing a little article about graduation. Too early. I thought about doing one about skipping class'. Nah. My ex- teachers read this stuff on Facebook. Detentions? I wasn't awake for them. Don't remember. The big blue bus? Nope. I'm saving that for the spring. Good memories, though. I then decided to zoom by this site that always seems to show me the flashbulb of ideas. TED. If you don't know, TED - Ideas worth Spreading is a non profit academic organization owned by The Sapling Foundation whose main goal is to spread great ideas. Yeah. That's it. The site has cool creative inspiring videos that I watch once in a while.

I came across this one video. It was by Ken Robinson and the lecture was about how school kills creativity. Wow. What a bold statement. I would agree, though. Actually I do agree - if you're talking about the everyday public school in the suburbs. However, creativity was alive at Waldorf. I've mentioned this many times before on the blog. I found my creativity thanks to Waldorf. It helped me feed it. Nurture it and encouraged me to use it for my life's work. Which I have. I'm grateful to Waldorf for it. I sometimes feel privileged to know that I was able to go to such a creative based school like TWS where they fueled my imagination through dance, art, singing, painting and even woodworking and knitting. I feel bad for the public school system who haven't yet realized the value and confidence it gives an individual in the long run with some type of arts in their repertoire. The arts build character - especially at such a young and innocent age where the soul is ready to take in new information and ready to learn about themselves and how these little ideas they have in their head will turn out if they actually try them out in real life. Waldorf fed me the information. I came up with the ideas. And then, they came alive. By the time I left Waldorf, my creativity was a white horse galloping around the open field looking for the next race. The next stack of hay. Waiting to get fed more and more.

Robinson talks about how they start you off by educating from the waist up and then they start to only concentrate on the head. And at most times, only one side of it. He also mentions that he believes that "We are educating people out of their creativity," It's an interesting lecture that's both intelligently spoken while being pretty funny.

If you have a chance, take some time to check it out. The video is around 20 minutes long. Here's the link.

—Shane Alexander
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Toronto, Ontario
Davenport Rd/Spadina Rd
 
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"Waldorf education is 'schooling with heart'. Students and parents love our smaller class sizes, strong teacher relationships, incredible curriculum, unique opportunities and arts-infused academics!" —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $21,700 to $24,700
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Waldorf Academy 21700 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Burlington, Ontario
 
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"Redefining high school education: A micro-school that merges the best of homeschooling and private school. Developing wisdom, wonder and well-being. Classical & experiential, conservative, experiences, nature & God." —From the school

  • Gr. 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; Waldorf
  • $16,000 to $20,000
  • Day school
  • 60 students
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Willowbrook Heights 16000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Burlington, Ontario
Appleby Line/Upper Middle Road
 
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"Halton Waldorf School offers an education that fosters confidence, independence and intelligence. Located on five forested acres, the school has been uniquely designed to support the goals of Waldorf education. Est 1984" —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $14,360 to $19,360
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Halton Waldorf School 14360 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Calgary, Alberta
 
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"Calgary Waldorf School’s rich and engaging curriculum carefully balances academic, artistic and practical activities to stimulate intelligence and encourage creativity." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 9 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $3,890 to $14,850
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Calgary Waldorf School 3890 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Thornhill, Ontario
Bathurst St/Rutherford Rd
 
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"Toronto Waldorf School offers a curriculum that integrates academics, arts and movement while addressing the intellectual, physical, emotional and social aspects of child development from preschool to gr. 12." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $18,000 to $24,000
  • Day school
  • 360 students
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Toronto Waldorf School 18000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Bathurst St./Eglinton Ave. West
 
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"WITH LICENSED DAYCARE! Bring your child for a free trial to let him or her experience the difference. Don't be surprised if he or she doesn't want to go home at the end of the day! SUMMER CAMP PROGRAMS AVAILABLE!" —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum; Waldorf
  • $15,500 to $17,500
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Alive Montessori & Private School 15500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
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