Waldorf Kindergartens Today – an Introduction

By Marina N. Monteiro, March 2014

Georges Snyders, in 1980, wrote that society has got used to see children as they used to do with slaves, black people, housemaids, commoners, and women, regarding them as an inferior type of human being.

In the foreword of the book Waldorf Kindergartens Today, Marie-Louise Compani and Peter Lang call our attention to the fact that only in the beginning of the twentieth century society started to understand the importance of taking good care of children and respect their rights and needs. And, according to my opinion, they agree with Snyders when they emphasize that, although it has improved a lot, until today children have their rights disrespected in different levels around the world.

Waldorf Kindergartens Today addresses this issue by presenting Rudolf Steiner’s ideas of childhood and children’s development, the way and the reasons why Waldorf Kindergartens were created and their challenges to adapt their work to society’s necessities today.

Through the entire book, that is compounded by fifteen articles divided in three parts, authors are not only worried about explaining Steiner’s theories clearly but also take into consideration works of other important educators, researchers, psychologists and scientists. Besides, it is important to emphasize that they explain how to put into practice all theories and studies they deal with.

In the first part of the book, Peter Lang tells readers how the first Waldorf School was founded and Steiner’s feelings and statements about the future necessity for pre-school. He also motivates readers who are interested in founding kindergartens, providing them with very useful information on how to do it and who to do it with. Marie Louise Compani talks about the challenges of waldorf kindergartens today and Peter Lang deals with the subject of Salutogenesis.

In the second part, Claudia McKeen explains the way children’s growth forces change into thinking forces, and Angelica Prange demonstrates it teaching readers to understand how children show this process through their drawings. Marie Louise Compani calls the attention to importance of free play, explaining its seriousness and its phases through child development.

In the third and last part, Birgit Krohmer, Mari-Louise Compani, Freya Jaffke, Jacqueline Walter-Baumgartner, Elisabeth Göbel, Andres Neider, Peter Lang, Michael Kassner and Claudia Grah-Wittich, help readers understand, through practical suggestions, advices and information, how to take care of children according to their needs, explaining again the way their development happens, the importance of parents collaboration, the importance of nutrition and food preparation, effects of media interaction under seven years-old and the importance of music, rhythm and eurythmy to form a solid development foundation.

Waldorf Kindergarten Today makes a fine connection between real life and theory, providing kindergarten teachers and researchers, waldorf teachers and professionals, parents and children’s care takers with useful information on how to work and fight for children’s rights to be fully respected around the world.


Waldorf Kindergartens Today. Edited by Marie-Luise Compani and Peter Lang; Translated by Matthew Barton, Floris Books,  224 p., £ 16.99


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