Mountain Sunrise Academy is a new, free K-6 public Waldorf charter school that opened in 2020 and will be adding 7th grade next year and 8th grade the subsequent year. We are located along the north side of Utah Lake in Saratoga Springs.
Mountain Sunrise Academy is working towards accreditation as a Public Waldorf Charter School through the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education and is adhering to best practices for public Waldorf Charters including following the principles and pedagogy of Waldorf Education.Check out our new building
Waldorf education is based on the educational philosophy of founder, Dr. Rudolf Steiner. This pedagogy strives to develop students’ intellectual, artistic, and practical skills in an integrated and holistic manner.
Waldorf Education uses a developmental model that follows 3 distinct stages from ages 0-7, 7-14, and 14-21. Through the use of Waldorf methodology, children’s cognitive development and their natural love of learning are nourished by incorporating the unique developmental stages each child experiences into the curriculum and instruction.
The Waldorf developmental model engages the child in a healthy developmental and psychological way, which leads to children thriving intellectually, emotionally, socially, and physically.
Waldorf schools honor and protect the wonder of childhood. There is a focus on whole child development which recognizes human beings consist of body, soul, and spirit and have a rich inner life. Education is taught in a holistic way that engages thinking, artistic expression, and physical hands-on activities in experiential ways. This is often referred to as educating “head, heart, and hands.”
Waldorf education values creating a secure and nurturing environment for children which is why teachers ideally loop with their class in subsequent grades. This creates a rich, deep relationship and connection with teachers and students staying in the same group throughout the grades.
Nature is highly valued in Waldorf Education. Classroom time includes much time outdoors including gardening classes and field trips. Natural materials in and outside the classroom are used where possible.
Waldorf education has a consistent philosophy of child development underlying the curriculum. Curriculum and content are introduced in line with appropriate neurological (brain development), physiological, and psychological developmental way. One example is younger children have a greater need for movement and the curriculum through the grades reflects that. Another example is use of media. Technology can be a great tool and in Waldorf schools it is introduced at a more developmentally appropriate time in the older grades.
Waldorf Education has a rich multi-cultural focus in its curriculum through the grades and explores many cultures through literature, festivals, dance, art, and music. This creates value and respect for diversity and an appreciation for all people.
Finally, Waldorf schools produce graduates who have developed themselves in a holistic way. They have cultivated academic, artistic, emotional, social, moral, and physical capacities and also possess the 21st century learning ideals of critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. Throughout the grades, students have explored the adage “Know Thyself” and have developed the capacities to fulfill their life path purposes and desires.
Currently, there are more than 1,200 Waldorf schools and 1,700 kindergartens in 80 countries. Approximately 202 Waldorf schools are currently operating in North America.
In 1919, Dr. Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian philosopher, scientist and artist, was invited to give a series of lectures to the workers of the Waldorf-Astoria factory in Stuttgart, Germany on education. Thus came the first school and the name, Waldorf Education. A century later, it has become the largest independent school movement in the world and is growing quickly and substantially in the public sector.
The Waldorf public school movement is currently expanding rapidly in the United States. In 2010 there were 12 Waldorf-inspired public schools, in 2019 there were 54 such schools.