Curative Education is essentially a broad approach to teaching children with developmental and intellectual disabilities initiated by Rudolf Steiner in 1924. It was further developed by Dr Karl König who started the Camphill movement, founding the first Camphill Community in Scotland in 1940. These communities now exist in many countries around the world and the Curative Impulse continues spreading throughout Asia and the Middle East. Today Curative teachers are working in special schools, special preschools and kindergartens, disability services and home programs, and in Social Therapy work with adults.

Children with special needs are viewed in just the same way as all children, but nourishing the soul, building hope and trust, and encouraging hidden potential in these children often comes with significant challenges.

Curative Education takes a very individualistic and holistic approach to each child. Generally the teacher attempts, through artistic expression, to bring those aspects of body, soul and spirit, which are out of balance, back into equilibrium. This is often, but not exclusively, done by emphasizing those elements of colour, movement, form and sound which embody the opposing polarity to that characterized by the child. Through this process the child is helped to develop a healthy sense of self. He or she becomes more able to develop meaningful social relationships and when ready, will be introduced to the subjects of the Key Learning Areas through the school’s curriculum. As with all children the ultimate goal is for each child to reach his or her full potential.

At Warrah Special School the teachers and therapists meet for individual child case studies and, through observation and intuition, generally arrive at suitable methods through which to work with each child. After consultation with parents, teachers and therapists these are then incorporated into the child’s Individual Education Program (IEP) which is regularly reassessed and may be revised as and when required through the year.

Warrah School’s curriculum is based on the Rudolf Steiner Waldorf Curriculum for mainstream children. Generally age appropriate subjects are chosen but, as the class groupings often span age and ability levels, some adaptability is required in the manner in which a subject is presented so that it remains a meaningful experience for the class. Presenting subjects in a rich and artistic way is found to be an effective method of reaching the child beyond his or her intellectual disability.

Through the imagination and creativity of the teachers the Key Learning Areas (KLAs) are thus presented artistically and by direct experience, generally through stories, drama, poetry, painting, movement, music and practical projects.

To complement the work done by the class teachers, a range of individual therapies are also offered, such as individual remedial literacy and numeracy, Nordoff-Robbins music therapy, speech and movement therapy, etheric massage and RDA horse riding. At times Eurythmy may also be offered.

More Information

For more information about Curative Education, visit warrah.org or www.melbournewaldorffarmschool.com.au