A screen-free school
Steiner Schools generally ask that parents keep their children’s screen and electronic media use to a minimum, and in the case of young children (early childhood and lower primary) to remove the possibility altogether. Research highlights that the biggest issue regarding electronic interaction is not so much the content, but the medium itself, affecting metabolic and brain development.
In addition, the presence of electronic media in a child’s life is often clearly seen in the Early Childhood room in behaviour and learning patterns. A child may be ‘stuck’ in certain play, unable to play anything but a certain character or theme. It shows up in their speech, tone of communication, and social skills, limiting play to those who have watched the same programs. More subtle changes may be noted in a child who cannot sit still during a story, not being able to be drawn into the wonder and delight of oral storytelling. In addition, many children experience challenges due to immaturity in movement development. Other children seem to lose their imagination and can’t think of anything to play
One of the key aims in the Steiner method of education is to help the child towards developing free imagination. In our rooms we use many raw materials such as stones, shells, coloured sheep wool, veils, tables and chairs. These become through the child’s imagination, buns, plates, animals, cloaks, islands and trains. The child has to clothe the story with his/her imagination. This ‘free imagination’ develops into creative thinking.
Free imagination is a foundation stone of Steiner Education – essential in developing the individual initiative central to “Education towards Freedom”.
Technology in good time
At our school technology is gradually introduced during the middle school years in a meaningful curriculum, and both media and technology are fully integrated into our high school program to prepare students for university and beyond.