School rings in 30th
Imagination, experiential learning part of curriculum
This Toronto school may have moved locations over the decades, but its commitment to the intellectual development of its students hasn’t changed. We spoke to Diana Miklos, a teacher who’s been part of the Waldorf experience for nearly 30 years.
What is the school’s approach to teaching?
It’s a school with a soul. It’s a school where we are trying to create well-rounded human beings, students who would be flexible in their thinking. The role of imagination in learning is integral for the development of creative and analytical thinking. This educational approach is aimed at providing an environment where young people can develop free thinking.
The school stresses the importance of hands-on learning. Why?
Through creative arts, such as knitting and woodworking, students also learn the basic arithmetical skills of counting, geometry and fractions. They learn about science, zoology and biology by crafting animals and dolls out of pine cones, rocks and other materials they find outside. In later grades, students also learn through storytelling, hands-on art projects and textbooks they write and illustrate themselves. It’s important to use all elements of teaching.
What has changed in 30 years of education?
What we’ve tried in the last few years is to … include more of the needs of different cultures … and bring the festivals that would be speaking to these communities to try to be inclusive. [And] nowadays, children need more movement. In an urban environment, this is something that we need to encourage. This was not an issue when we first started. (250 Madison Ave., 416 962-6447).
One of the early Waldorf locations on St. George, 1991