EUGENE, Ore. – Step inside the world of the Eugene Waldorf School.
Math and word problems are solved on a chalkboard.
Students hold pencils in their hands.
You won’t find a single computer.
“I think it’s better to learn without technology,” said Julia Obsbury, an 8th-grader.
“I think it’s just fine without a computer,” said Allison Prince, a 5th-grader.
It’s part of the Waldorf philosophy.
“For the early childhood, it just makes no sense,” said Bonnie Stambaugh, a kindergarten teacher at the school.”It’s like trying to make them into little adults, and they’re not adults yet. It’s not their world for them.”
So Waldorf students just say no to HTML and PowerPoint to take a hands-on approach to learning.
“Our children may not be the programmers of the future, the testers of the computers,” said parent Monica Prince, “but they will be – I feel like they will be – the CEOs.”
The school encourages the appreciation of art and values social interaction.
They believe computers isolate children, hindering their personal growth and ability to learn.
Something else takes its place. Kids learn their multiplication tables through movement and rhythm.
In the upper grades, bean bags are replaced with more complex problems. They do use calculators, but just simple ones.
For recess, nature is the playground.
Waldorf’s philosophy is a stark constrast to many other schools that integrate computers and even iPods into learning as early as kingergarten.
So what do education experts think of Waldorf’s low-tech approach?
“The research shows that as long as students are engaged and engaged in inquiry, they’re learning with or without that particular technology,” said Joanna Goode at the University of Oregon School of Education.
The Waldorf School will be having an informational session with several guided classrooms tours on Wednesday, March 14th. To find out more about the Eugene Waldorf School, visit their website: www.EugeneWaldorf.org