This new series on the blog summarizes and takes excerpts from the Moving through the Grades chapter in the book Waldorf Education: A Family Guide by Fenner and Rivers, © Michaelmas Press. Today’s post looks at Lucille Clemm’s contributed chapter about the curriculum of Grade Eight in Waldorf Education.
She says, “With the completion of the eighth grade the children should have a well-rounded general picture of human life and universe … to enter fully and potently into the life of their own time.”
Here is a summary of curriculum highlights for each subject:
History – Industrial Revolution to Modern Day history is taught with special care taken to study outstanding leaders such as Lincoln, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.
Science – The theme in science study is practicality. How has mankind used its knowledge of physical sciences? This is shown by exploring principles in electricity and magnetism, hydraulics, aerodynamics, thermodynamics and more. Geography study in this grade gives a “comprehensive picture” of “mineral resources to plant and animal life” along with “the role played by every part of the earth in modern industrial civilization.” Chemistry and organic chemistry is also studied for its practical applications in industry and food.
Math – Practical application is key in math for this grade as well – looking at how the world uses arithmetic, algebra and geometry through measurement of surfaces and volume, the study of graphs and so forth.
Literature and Language – Shakespeare takes the stage and so do the children as they put on an 8th grade play. They also study literature written about human freedom and their in-depth study of foreign languages and culture continues.
Music – Choir, orchestra and band continue to teach acoustics, music reading and more.
Handwork – Becomes the culmination of eight years of hard work. Paintings take life with highlights and shadows, machine sewing is done and carpentry is “Devoted to big projects.”
For more information about Spring Garden Waldorf’s unique Class 8 curriculum, speak with or email our Admissions Director who can also put you in touch with our current Class 8 instructor.