I recently spent two days at a New York State Waldorf school. I know a bit about the Waldorf educational movement. I have some friends who were Waldorf educated and know folks who chose it for their own kids. While I don’t choose it for my children, I appreciate this thoughtful approach taken by others. The Waldorf method of educating kids comes originally from a dude named Rudolf Steiner and his views on individual development which are part of his larger spiritual philosophy, Anthroposophy, which regards the human being as composed of body, soul, and spirit.
Where sexuality education is concerned, this really resonates for me since sex ed should include (must include!) far more than just what a body does. With a focus on social capacities, the fostering of both creative and analytical modes of understanding, as well as critical and empathetic understandings of the world, Waldorf in many ways is a perfect environment for sex-positive sexuality education.
I feel very luck to have had time with the grade 7 through grade 12 students. They were active, curious and supportive learners. They were pretty typical (pre-)adolescents. They hung on to my words (they were such hungry hippos), laughed uncomfortably (which is fine and healthy) and had opinions and perspectives on growing up and having access to good information.
I also feel lucky for the time I spent with the faculty sharing my general observations and making suggestions around how it can integrate sexuality education into their existing curricla. Given the scope and breadth of sexuality as part of the human experience, there are so. many. ways. to make it a part of everyday learning.
Finally, I spoke to about 100 Waldorf parents. The talk was recorded and can be watched here:
(Grab some popcorn, and settle in ’cause its just over an hour.)