Resilience in Children

Resilience is recognized as a quality essential to meeting the challenges of life, undaunted.  Being willing to have a go – and another go – to ask for help, to work with others, to solve the problems we’re confronted with, to see things through. 

In Waldorf schools we seek not to mould students into pre-determined forms, but to enable them to become thoughtful, capable and resilient human beings. This capacity of resilience is built over the years through both the content of the curriculum and its mode of delivery.  Some specific aspects include:

  • Every aspect of the curriculum is related to the human being – leading later to the inevitable question: Where and who am I in this situation? 
  • The Main Lesson approach facilitates a deep level of engagement with every subject. Time for digestion/reflection is consciously built in, leading to a more measured approach to learning, rather than an expectation of ‘instant gratification’.
  • The comprehensiveness of the curriculum requires each student to tackle areas they would normally ‘choose’ to avoid. Skills and understandings emerge that might otherwise remain undiscovered or lost.
  • There is no streaming: students learn with others who are more capable and less capable in any given area.  They learn to support each other, make allowances for each other and celebrate their gifts and the diversity of the class community.
  • The class is like a family. Particularly in a K-12 school with only one class at each year level, relationship challenges must be worked with: they cannot be avoided, or walked away from!
  • The inclusion of practical and artistic subjects right through the school builds a ‘can do’ mentality. Students learn to feel capable of working in the world, transforming the world and serving others.
 Felicity Hickman