How does PNCS compare with Waldorf Schools?
Parents who consider PNCS sometimes also consider Waldorf schools. Sometimes they ask us how they compare. It's not a simple question, and this is by no means a full answer, but here are some observations.
Waldorf schools are based on the educational philosophy developed by the Austrian philospher Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). Steiner was a Christian, but took an unconventional, universalistic approach to religion. He was active in theosophical circles, and developed a philosophy that he termed anthroposophy. He was influenced by Goethe, who in turn was influenced by Swedenborg. Swedenborg's theology is at the root of New Church education, so in a way the Waldorf School model and the New Church Education model are on close branches of the same tree.
Like New Church schools, Waldorf schools come from a perspective of valuing spirituality, and do not see a conflict between spirituality and science. They value the independence to develop methods and curriculum that are best suited to educating children. Typically, too, in both cases, class sizes are small, and there's a holistic approach - educating mind, body and spirit.
Some things that would see at PNCS that you might not see at a Waldorf school are:
- Classrooms have mixed ages of children.
- Students don't have the same teacher all the way up through the grades.
- Children typically spend more time on "regular" skills - reading, writing, and 'rithmetic.
If you are interested in Waldorf schools, you might also like New Church schools. Come take a look at PNCS! It is something special, and it's well worth a visit to see for yourself.