The Casuarina Steiner School is a member school of Steiner Education Australia. Casuarina is founded on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) and his picture of human growth and development.
To teach a child, a teacher must understand the developmental level of each year level. They must truly know the children in their care, to understand their phases of growth, physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually. Only by having a holistic understanding of child development, can teachers bring a comprehensive curriculum to each child.
Though Steiner brought his indications to the world at the beginning of the 20th century, they are even more important today, as children will grow up to be young people ready to face a world of sophisticated technology, global citizenship, significant environmental challenges and a global economy. To be able to understand the world, a child must first know themself, and feel confident and empowered to achieve their potential in life. Steiner education aims to do that.
Steiner identified 3 distinct stages:
- From birth to the change of teeth at around 7. During this time the child learns about their world through action, based upon imitation. In Early Childhood the curriculum and activities are based upon the child’s ability to imitate.
- From 7 to around 14. At this time a child relates to the world much more through their imagination, the pedagogy devotes itself to bringing an academic and global curriculum in an imaginative and experiential way.
- From 14 to 21. At this stage a young person learns to think rationally and critically. Teachers at High School must be masters of their subjects to meet the needs of this age.
Out of this understanding of human development a truly comprehensive curriculum has been developed and it is delivered in over 1000 Steiner schools worldwide.
Dr. Rudolf Steiner was a scientist, educator, philosopher, artist and ‘a universal genius in an age of specialists’. He had an unusually deep insight into human nature.
It is out of this insight that he was able to offer an artistic, academic and creative pedagogical style. A company owned by the wealthy Astor family contracted Rudolf Steiner to offer his method of education to local children in Waldorf, Germany. He wrote several books, which continue to be studied today for their observations of human nature and the development of self.
Rudolf Steiner called his ideas about the world and humanity Anthroposophy. He wanted to indicate the difference from his ideas and the philosophies developed by others before him. Anthroposophy has influenced agriculture, medicine, care for the disabled, the arts, architecture, banking and business and continues to be studied worldwide.