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Toronto Waldorf School
Arts-integrated academics that inspire students to evolve into confident, creative thinking individuals who pursue life with passion and purpose.
Arts-integrated academics that inspire students to evolve into confident, creative thinking individuals who pursue life with passion and purpose.

Toronto Waldorf School's posts

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"Adventure and Risk are vital to Kids' play"

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"Could a 4-year-old possess better instincts for scientific discovery than a college student?

This is just one of the many fascinating studies described in Alison Gopnik’s latest book The Gardener and the Carpenter, which makes a compelling case that parents should get out of the way of children’s natural drive to learn through play and observation of the world. The book explains how young children decide whom to believe; why they categorize; and how their intuitive understanding of statistics, mass, and gravity operates. Especially compelling are the sections on the role of experimentation and playing pretend in learning. Gopnik even explains the incessant “why” questions common in 3-year-olds."

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All school and no play raises anxiety and depression in children
"Unstructured play time for kids is a thing of the past and that’s unfortunate. Kids need to create and build things; they have to pretend they’re superheroes, and work out feelings of anger, fear, and stress from their everyday world. You may hear them mimic dad or mom to work out dilemmas they don’t understand. Through play, they learn to share and follow rules. When you ask children what makes them feel happiest, they’ll tell you playing with siblings or friends. Playtime helps kids build confidence."

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"From inner-city schools to those in rural and remote towns, we have accepted tech in the classroom as a necessary and beneficial evolution in education.

This is a lie.

Tech in the classroom not only leads to worse educational outcomes for kids, which I will explain shortly, it can also clinically hurt them."

On October 20th, check out Screenagers at the Waldorf Academy. Screenagers is a film that demonstrates the harmful effects of Teens' over-reliance on technology. Tickets can be purchased here:

"As educators, we face tremendous pressures to pack technical materials into our courses. So why should we include history in our lesson plans?
First, history provides a compelling perspective on the process of scientific discovery. We have known through research that historical references can help students clear up common misconceptions about scientific topics, ranging from planetary motion to evolution."
Looking at the story of science over centuries enables students to understand that research and discovery are continuous processes. They can then see that the laws and the equations that they use to solve problems were discovered through long and sometimes painful processes. #WaldorfEducation #ContextualLearning #HighSchool

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"The ability to feel concern for others is one of the key characteristics that make us human. Sympathy binds individuals together and increases cooperation among the members of the society. This has been observed in developmental research. For example, in a long-term study conducted with 175 children, we found that when children showed high levels of sympathy at age seven, they were better accepted by peers and shared more with others up to age nine."

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This is a very informative blog post explains the role that imitation plays in how a child learns.

'We know the power of imitation to be intuitively true as we often fall into the patterns of our upbringing. But it scientifically bears out as well. In fact, a recent study of indigenous children in Australia uncovered an important phenomenon in cognitive modeling.

Children in this study were found to “over-imitate,” meaning simply that they modeled all adult behavior in a teaching task regardless of whether it seemed to drive toward a purpose. The purpose in this case was opening a box. The children were shown a convoluted and complex method of opening the box and they imitated it exactly when given the task on their own.'

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"The interesting fact most people don’t know about Lego is that it comes from Denmark. Created by a Danish carpenter in his workshop in 1932, it was called Lego as a contraction of the words leg godt, which means “play well.” Even then, the idea of using your imagination to play freely was in full bloom.

The more they play, the more resilient and socially adept they will become. It’s a very natural process. Being able to “Leg godt” or “play well” is the building block to creating an empire of future happiness."

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"Between six and 12 months, an infant can differentiate between different types of emotional expressions and begins to understand that other people have intentions. The imitation behaviour continues and becomes more frequent over the first two years of life. In the second year, children also develop the ability to pretend and imitate behaviours in order to simulate emotions in others, rather than just immediately copying reactions. Emotional expressions in others evoke a child’s own memories of similar emotional experiences – the foundation of empathy."

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Kids who play more outdoors may be less likely to have problems with peers
"Kids who spend more time outdoors seem to gain a boost in their peer relations, according to a new report from Statistics Canada.
On Wednesday, the agency released a report on outdoor time, physical activity and sedentary time and health indicators of Canadians aged 7 to 14.
Canadian guidelines suggest that kids between five and 17 years old get at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity per day. Only nine per cent of children do. (The rule of thumb is if you're able to carry on a conversation easily then you're not working hard enough.)"
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