This is an edited excerpt from the Parent Handbook. Some details have been left out which are addressed in the handbook.
Electronic Media at the Eugene Waldorf School
The passivity inherent in watching television or playing video games is increasingly recognized by educators and parents as counterproductive to the process of learning and growth in the young child. Waldorf education has long been in the forefront of the movement against excessive “screen time”; we are pleased that other professionals now voice the same opinion.
The fast pace and fragmentation of television work against the cultivation of capacities for concentration and imagination. Imaginative play, such as listening to stories, watching and creating puppet shows, dress up, baking, etc., foster in the young child an active participation in the world about him or her. The Waldorf School aims to develop creative, fully engaged individuals. We urge you as parents of young children, to resist the convenience of television and video games and involve your children in meaningful play as much as possible.
Many Waldorf schools implement an official policy prohibiting the use of electronic media by children during the school week. At our school, we feel this may not be possible for all families. We work to educate parents and the community about the negative effects that electronic media have on children, and trust in parents’ decisions in this area. If you could use some helpful hints in weaning your child from the television and video games, please ask any member of our faculty or staff.
It should be stressed that at Eugene Waldorf School we are not opposed to electronic media per se, but rather we feel that electronic media are counterproductive to healthy childhood development for grade school children.
Part of what makes a Waldorf school special is the attention accorded to creating an environment that is visually pleasing. When a child is surrounded by beauty, beauty is reflected within him or her and encouraged to grow and flourish. For this reason, some of the clothing guidelines requested of parents who send their children to a Waldorf school are different than those of many other schools.
There is no school uniform. Parents are free to dress their children as they see fit, provided they send their children to school bathed and combed and dressed in clothing that is clean and well-cared for, without holes. This helps instill a child’s respect for self and others. It is asked that children be sent to school in clothes that are free of large commercial logos and any characters so that the child’s own being can shine, without the distractions and commercial consciousness such logos and characters are so apt to bring into the classroom. Small logo identification marks are acceptable.
On assembly days, children are asked to dress with special attention to honor the event. Extra finery adds to the celebration, and special dress lends significance to the event.
For the complete dress code, please reference the parent handbook.