Waldorf Education: Producing Creative Scientists

Fifth grade students may not be ready to write research papers but they are ready to make their first steps in that direction. Our Fifth grade students had their first introduction to group research work this Fall. Some liked working in groups and others were challenged by this work. When asked about this, Fifth grade teacher, Mr. Schofield says:

“I feel an obligation to introduce my fifth grade students to group work. I feel Waldorf Education can potentially produce individuals who are creative scientists and mathematicians. That is what I am trying to achieve.”
- Mark Schofield, Class 5 Teacher

Our fifth grade curriculum has North American Geography as a topic for grade five. Mr. Schofield, thought the idea of studying biomes (ecological communities) went nicely with their study of plants this year and animals last year.

Students were organized into groups of 3 or 4 students and asked to choose a Biome and research it. The assignment was to draw a food web for their biome. The students picked the desert, the plains, the tundra and the boreal forest biomes.

The project had strict parameters on the research. Students read 2 or 3 books on their biome and were asked to do research based on those books. Once the research was completed and the projects were ready, the teams of students presented their projects to classmates and their parents. Students were encouraged to engage visitors and tell them about their subjects and their work.

Classmates and parents came ready with questions to ask the student teams and all who attended were impressed with the students’ ability to present what they learned.

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