School Life

Upper School: Kawayan

Freeing the Mind

In high school, Waldorf students are engaged actively, emotionally and thoughtfully as they were in their earlier education. However, during this third phase of education, the emphasis moves decidedly toward thinking, which is developed through the subjects that are taught and through the habits that are cultivated.

By the time of puberty, Waldorf Upper School students have a foundation for broad knowledge to support and enrich their maturing intellectual thinking life. Specialist teachers guide them through a challenging and rigorous curriculum with a balance of the arts, humanities and sciences.

The main lessons, whether in science, English, math or art, arise out of a "theme" for each year. All lessons relate to this theme, resulting in a curriculum that is both holistic and organic with cross-references through many disciplines. This enables students to stand secure within a balanced, overall picture, and able to develop with confidence to the next stage.

The teachers guide the students towards developing independent judgement and encouraging the examination of problems from many points of view. As they begin their quest for truth, these adolescents understand the difference between thinking about an issue and merely memorizing the "right answer" for a test. Emphasis is given on the development of clear thinking and moral responsibility.

Rudolf Steiner believes that the experience of truth, beauty and goodness is an essential part of what children should receive in school. This is also how we can best describe what Waldorf students encounter through the K - 12 curriculum.