Waldorf In the News: Using Nature in the Classroom

Waldorf Principle Explored: Natural Supplies in the Classroom

If you have ever explored a Waldorf toy catalog or website you have probably noticed that every toy, school supply and piece of clothing is “all natural”. This means that the supplies are made from natural materials like cotton, beeswax, wood, plants and other natural materials. To someone new to this way of education it can seem a bit overwhelming to make the switch from modern plastics, air fresheners, synthetics and electronics to a nature-based classroom. However, numerous studies show that even making small chances can have a big impact on the students in the classroom. This article explores air quality at home (and by extension any room where people spend a lot of time at work or school).

Research by Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Scented candles and air fresheners ‘are adding to pollution that kills 40,000 people a year in UK’

Lives are being put at risk from air pollution inside homes caused by everything from boiler fumes to air fresheners and scented candles, it has been claimed.

The warning comes from a joint study by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to be published this week.

The danger of pollution in the street from car fumes is well understood, but many people are ignorant of the risks from air inside the home.

The drive to cut energy bills by insulating properties – keeping out drafts and installing windows that do not open – is playing a part in trapping a potentially toxic cloud of air.

The report, Every Breath We Take, warns that at least 40,000 deaths a year in the UK can be linked to the effect of air pollution outside and inside the home.

According to the report ‘indoor air pollution may have caused or contributed to 99,000 deaths annually in Europe’.

It suggests that everyday kitchen products, faulty boilers, open fires, fly sprays, air fresheners, deodorants, DIY and cleaning products contribute to poor indoor air quality.

Later in the article the researchers conclude by saying…

Professor Jordi Sunyer, of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, in Barcelona, found that children who went to schools in areas of higher pollution scored lower in memory and thinking tests.

His team studied 3,000 children between the ages of 7-9 across 40 schools.

They found that children in areas of high pollution took longer in solving problems and made more mistakes. Researchers also observed that on days of high pollution children’s performance was worse, regardless of the type of the school.

Read the full article HERE

Read our free article about Natural Elements in the Classroom HERE

This article is part of our “Waldorf Education in the News” series. We use this series of posts to direct you to news relating to Waldorf educational principles highlighted in the news or supported by scientific studies. To see more articles like this click the “Waldorf in the News” link  here or to the right of the blog (on the computer) or following the blog (on mobile). You can use this series to gain more insight yourself or help others understand why you choose Waldorf education for your child.

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