De Vrije School

The range of types of education and schools is large. What to choose depends on your own needs and preferences. This month I present to you: De Vrije School (The free school/Waldorf education). What is the idea and how does this work out in practice?

Head, heart, hands

The founder of this concept is Rudolf Steiner, which is why this education is also called Steiner Education.

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner 1861-1925

Learning in the free school should combine the head, the heart and the hands. The hands stand for the physique. The heart represents the entire emotional life, built out of concepts as commitment, empathy, social IQ, self-confidence, self-esteem and sense of beauty. The head gives the ability to think and understand; to conclude and abstract. Free school education is education based on the intrinsic development of the child, that is: the desire of the child to develop. This concept revolves around people, as individuals and social beings. To be completely himself, the child does not only need knowledge, but also a warm feeling of life and a strong body. Heart, head and hands are all equally important. Children develop these three powers in the course of about 21 years.

 De Vrije School In the first seven years of education the main instrument is the body: crawling, walking, running, jumping, climbing, hopping. In the second seven years children experience the things that come to them emotionally. Those emotions can be beautiful or ugly, good or evil, clean or dirty, dangerous or safe, fun or boring. During this period they learn by their enthusiasm.  After 14 years, children learn to think and judge, the intellect is addressed. Effective teaching is to take into account the developmental stages of the child. This is the essence of Vrije school (Waldorf education).


Children are enabled to develop in freedom (hence the name), in addition to the economic and legal life. For this reason, in addition to reading, math and spelling also much attention is given to foreign languages ​​like English and German,artistic subjects like music, painting, drawing and drama and activities such as gymnastics, eurhythmy, horticulture, handicrafts and needlework.

Different is that the teacher lasts throughout the entire school with the children. From group 1 to 8 the children are accompanied by the same teacher. The advantage of this is that there is a deep connection between the teacher and the child. Children still have to deal with other teachers sometimes, because some teachers are present in different education areas.

Finally, after primary school children go on to secondary education. Children of the Vrije school can stay in the Vrije-School concept for their VWO, HAVO or Mavo certificate or enroll in regular education.

[Source: Wat is de Vrije School

Next edition: integral education

Leony Lasschuit
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