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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Arts-Embedded Education: Experiential Learning in a Waldorf First-Grade Classroom


This article provides an overview of the first-grade art and literacy curriculum of Waldorf schools, the world’s largest, non-religious independent educational network. The Waldorf curriculum was created by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, a contemporary of John Dewey and Maria Montessori who shared their belief in the advantages of active learning. Yet Steiner was unique among his contemporaries in his focus on an artistic approach to learning. Under their teacher’s direction, children draw, sing, play and learn the sounds of alphabet letters.

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