The effort to complement students' natural abilities begins at an early age and continues throughout their time at a Waldorf school. It is encouraged by the curriculum and supported by the fundamental understanding that a child's strength should not become their weakness because of one-sided development.
Understanding Waldorf Education
Developmental Profile of a Grade 3 Child*
Noticeable physiological, psychological and cognitive changes take place in the child this year. The nine/ten year threshold represents a very significant step in self-awareness. Children realize they are separate from their surroundings and meet the world as individuals, often resulting in increased questions, self-doubt and wonder.
A process begins to unfold through which the child experiences, with increasing strength, a sense of objectivity alongside growing subjectivity. Subjective inner experiences and objective world reality stand at odds within the child's soul. Questioning, doubt, aloneness and a dawning tendency to criticize are emergent feature in the child's psychological landscape.
In this period the child empathizes with stories of the Old Testament, the fall from Eden and man's first struggles to live in social groups on the earth. At this age, children are very interested in the origin of things.
They want to discover new ways of doing things in the world and imagine themselves in very primitive conditions. The practical life is taken up in studies of house building, farming, gardening, cooking and finding out about the jobs people do.
Grade 3 Core Subjects
* Reference: The Educational Tasks and Content of the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum,
Edited by Martyn Rawson and Tobias Ritcher