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En läroplan för själen?: En studie av de svenska Waldorfskolornas läroplan och utbildningsfilosofi, i jämförelse med den nationella läroplanen, Lpo 94
Södertörn University College, Lärarutbildningen.
2011 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
A curriculum for the soul? : A study of the curriculum and educational philosophy of Waldorf education in Sweden compared to the national one (Lpo 94). (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this essay is, firstly, to – through a text analysis – compare the curriculum of Waldorf education in Sweden (in the essay referred to as “WL”) to the Swedish national curriculum “Lpo 94”, to uncover possible differences and similarities between these documents, and, secondly, to present the roots and educational philosophies that these two curricula, respectively, are based upon. The purpose hereby is to be able to trace, describe and explain the differences between the pedagogical practices of Waldorf education and that of conventional Swedish schools.

In the essay, a historical investigation of the main traditions of ideas behind the Swedish national curriculum is briefly carried out, where I swiftly present the educational philosophies of John Dewey (1859-1952) and Lev S. Vygotsky (1896-1934). Next, an investigation of the worldview and philosophy of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) is effectuated, where I attempt to bring to light Steiner’s anthroposophical and holistic worldview – a worldview that throughout the 20th century has developed into an international and wide-ranging anthroposophical movement – as well as his concepts of knowledge, science and educational philosophy. It is made clear that Steiner’s texts and lectures are continuously centred on a holistic outlook on mankind and nature, as well as the spiritual development of humankind and deeper development of the mind.

Even though the text analysis of the two curricula shows several similarities between the curriculum of Waldorf education and the national one – in particular regarding in what way the text is structured, as well as in what way the basic (democratic) values are expressed – the analysis also displays a wide range of differences. The curriculum of the Waldorf education displays a closer relation to Steiner’s holistic worldview and educational ideas than does Lpo 94 to the educational ideas of Dewey and Vygotsky, and it focuses more on the importance of the child’s playing activities, creativity and art compared to conventional schools, even though these perspectives do exist here as well.

It is argued that, above all, it is the outlook on mankind behind the curriculum that shapes the educational system and the practices within it. The outlook on mankind of Steiner and the Waldorf curriculum focuses on the importance of the pupil’s spiritual development, something that is seldom – if ever – considered in the conventional school. This seems to have an impact on the Waldorf schools in the sense that the pupil is less likely to share materialistic values, and, instead, to have a better understanding of civic and democratic values as a whole. Thus, the curriculum of Waldorf education can – in a much higher degree than the national one, Lpo 94 – be viewed as a “curriculum for the soul”, i.e. to be a curriculum that focuses on the pupil’s spiritual development.

Curriculum, Waldorf education, Lpo 94, Rudolf Steiner, educationalphilosophy, anthroposophy, John Dewey, Lev S. Vygotsky

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 51 p.
Keyword [en]
Curriculum, Waldorf education, Lpo 94, Rudolf Steiner, educationalphilosophy, anthroposophy, John Dewey, Lev S. Vygotsky
Keyword [sv]
läroplan, waldorfpedagogik, Lpo 94, Rudolf Steiner, utbildningsfilosofi, antroposofi, John Dewey, Lev S. Vygotskij
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-9416OAI: diva2:426243
Subject / course
Education Studies
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-06-23 Created: 2011-06-22 Last updated: 2011-06-23Bibliographically approved

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