Exercise is essential to Waldorf education. Rudolf Steiner recognized this almost 100 years ago when he founded the first Waldorf school in Stuttgart, Germany in 1919. Medical experts concur that young people who exercise learn more appropriately and have longer term retention than children who do not. Read this article for more details.
How Exercise Can Boost Young Brains by NY Times writer @GretchenReynolds in the Well section reaffirms what Waldorf educators have known about the benefits of exercise for many years – certainly since the Rudolf Steiner School opened in 1929.
Researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign studied eight- and nine-year old children for one year to examine executive function in conjunction to academics.
What was found is what Steiner advocates for:
“Extended physical education classes during school hours could also ensure that children engage in sufficient physical activity for brain health, of course. But school districts nationwide are shortening or eliminating P.E. programs for budgetary and other reasons, a practice that is likely shortsighted. If you want young students to do well in reading and math, make sure that they also move.”