Steiner Talk Part 5.
Steiner’s education philosophy consistently relates the component of rhythm, including eurhythmy ( combines music and language) in developing language and literacy through imagination and communication, especially using storytelling, rhymes and props like puppets. I remember Susan Perrow, who owns/owned a Steiner-based child care centre, giving a workshop on storytelling skills, which she believes can strongly heal or at least redirect a child’s problematic behaviour. Rhythm appeals not only to the young ones, but also to the older audience.
The rhythm in language learning mirrors the rhythm in a child’s daily routine, as drawn from the consistent patterns of activities and experiences in the child’s setting, cycles of season in a year and even the upcoming holidays and festivals or celebrations surrounding the child’s life. This kind of rhythm is important as it helps the child to predict and expect events, facilitate memory and provides security from the continuity of the environment.
And this is why the child stays with their key teacher, in respect to the continuity of relationships, for a long period of time. Montessori proposed that the child has the same key teacher for 3 years, while it’s suggested that in a Steiner-inspired environment, the child stays with the key teacher until the age of 14-years-old (EYE magazine, June 2008).
I would like to hear from readers who are willing to touch base on this aspect: until what age should a child continue to stay with a teacher, from the point of a Montessori’s or Steiner ‘s background?
With the question above in mind, I would also like to share this music video about the metaphorical red dragonfly and an adult’s dream as opposed to a child’s dream. This song was sung by the 6-years-old in the kindergarten I taught six years ago. Enjoy!