Designing Curricular Units on the Old Testament within Waldorf Developmental Stages
While other traditional schools and types of education place more emphasis on subject content and discipline knowledge, the purpose of Waldorf education is not to train students for the future professional world, but to discover talents and live life meaningfully through its emphasis on spirituality (life meanings) and students’ developmental stages (Zhang, 2014). “Spirituality” in this paper represents the inner sense, the meaning of life and the meaning or purpose of learning/education, which is something going beyond the surface. Specifically, the Waldorf’s spiraled curriculum is built upon its developmental theory and spirituality. It attends to the inner sense and developmental stages of the children, and teaches the same content but with deeper understanding over and over again (Barnes, 1991). In this paper, I argue that Waldorf education should be encouraged since it gives meaning and purpose (spirituality) to education and attends to whole child developments/needs through emphasizing the life meanings or “spirituality” and Waldorf developmental stages (Zhang, 2014). Waldorf developmental stages, as they apply to spirituality, necessitate a different treatment of the Old Testament stories and texts in the 3rd and 10th grade in ways that go beyond what we more broadly think/know about 3rd and 10th graders. Specifically, I focus on how the story The Golden Calf chosen from the Old Testament can be taught differently to the 3rd and 10th graders, attending specifically to spirituality and the Waldorf’ developmental stages. I use Understanding by Design framework to design two unit plans for the 3rd and 10th grade since this backward planning design’s emphasis on three-stage alignments (Desired Results-Assessment Evidence-Lesson Plan) make the concept of “Waldorf developmental stage” consistent throughout the whole curriculum planning process. Using this framework helps make the whole curriculum planning purposeful and consistent. Hopefully, my capstone serves a role not only in introducing the Waldorf education or ethical education that gives meaning to students’ lives, but it also promotes future discussion and research on Waldorf’s developmental stages, and implies appropriate instructional methods and curriculum design (like backward designing, etc.).