Meeting the Child in Steiner Kindergartens
What can early years practitioners learn from Steiner kindergartens?What is distinctive about Steiner kindergarten teachers' ways of getting to know children?As demands for accountability in early years settings continue to grow, external pressure to assess children and to measure their progress can disrupt the development of informal and intimate relationships between teachers and children. The contributors to this book, who include both experienced Steiner educators and early childhood experts from other backgrounds, have worked together to explore and understand what is distinctive about Steiner kindergarten practice. They present a variety of perspectives on the ways in which kindergarten teachers' practices, values and beliefs can help children to find and construct their own identities, through play and through engagement in the life of their community. The authors explore key aspects of Steiner kindergarten practice, including caring for the physical environment, establishing rhythms and routines for children's activity, and providing times and spaces in which teachers and children can get to know each other. By meeting with children and teachers, through rich accounts of day to day life in kindergartens and through accounts of the values and principles which inform their practice, readers will be encouraged to question and reflect on their own approaches to observation and assessment.