Waldorf Humanities Curriculum

Take a few minutes to read a fascinating article about the Humanities curriculum of Waldorf education, commonly referred to as The Spiral Curriculum. Then, click the “Read More” hyperlink (below) to learn more about Waldorf education from the author of the article, Humanities teacher Carol Bartges.

Waldorf Humanities Curriculum

Carol Bärtges, a Rudolf Steiner High School Humanities teacher, discussed The Spiral Curriculum with parents at an evening event. Based on The Journey In and Journey Out: The Waldorf Elementary and High School Curricula, an article written by Ms. Bärtges for Renewal Magazine, the Journal for Waldorf education, Ms. Bärtges spoke about how Waldorf education connects from Elementary School through Grade 12.

Parents with children in Nursery through Grade 8 attended this lecture and fostered a better understanding of the Waldorf curriculum and developmental approach to the Waldorf High School through this discussion, and the subsequent article.

The full realization of a student’s education in a Waldorf School is found in the completion of the High School program; this last phase of student life, which High School teachers feel privileged to guide, is associated with capacities uniquely different from the earlier years. Together, the Lower School and High School education form two, interlocking spirals which complement one another and constitute an organic whole in the way the High School curriculum mirrors and deepens what has so lovingly been offered in the Lower School years. Ms. Bärtges explored the journey of the Waldorf student, who moves through an artistically composed pedagogical experience – first in the sphere of loving authority in the hands of the class teacher, and, finally, to the individually-oriented mentoring of the High School specialist.

Ms. Bärtges has had an unusually varied experience with Waldorf education. She was a Steiner student from Kindergarten through twelfth grade. She has served as a class teacher, a middle school English teacher, and currently, a High School Humanities teacher. As an alumna of Steiner, Ms. Bärtges valued Waldorf education so deeply that she sent her two children, Max and Sarah, to Steiner as well (today, Sarah is a High School Science teacher at her alma mater). Ms. Bärtges also serves on the Association of Waldorf Schools Leadership Council, representing the Mid-Atlantic regional Waldorf schools. She is finishing her PhD in Comparative Literature at CUNY’s Graduate Center.