Grade Eight marks a significant milestone for the students and teacher, many of whom have journeyed together since Grade One. Grade Eight represents both the culmination of the middle school experience, which by now has grown familiar and comfortable, and the transition to high school with its exciting unknowns.
Amid studies of the great revolutions and the dawn of new societies, students weigh tradition against progress. Reading Shakespeare, writing lab reports, and examining current events, the class moves toward an evaluation of what is true. At the same time, a gradual but significant shift is taking place: the didactic presentation of a subject by the teacher is giving way to the mutual consideration of a subject by teacher and class together. A sense of community develops, in which speaking becomes more thoughtful, listening more attentive. The result is a greater sense of self. More importantly, students leave with compelling questions that will continue to fuel their love of learning in the years ahead.
Algebra & Platonic Solids
Not only does Laura spend her days with an amazing group of seventh graders singing, dancing, and playing with fractions, she is a local storyteller and currently serving as the Vice President of The Southern Order of Storytellers. Laura earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas A&M University, and her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Texas Woman's University. She completed her Waldorf Certification at Sunbridge Institute. She has previously taught students from preschool through high school, and has taught a variety of subjects, including creative movement, ESL, reading and math enrichment, American literature, and theater arts. Laura loves her class, folk dancing, and pie - in that order. Laura has an adult daughter who graduated from Academe of the Oaks, the Waldorf high school.Grade Eight Pedagogical Overview
A Waldorf eighth grade experiences a gradual but significant shift from the presentation of a subject solely from the teacher to the class, to the mutual consideration of a subject by teacher and class together. A sense of community develops in which speaking becomes more thoughtful and listening more attentive. With the awakening capacity for logical thinking and free, independent judgment, the eighth grader now wants to be in the world more than ever before. They want to do, to discover, to know, and to find relevance in their studies by finding connections with the outside world.
Throughout this year, the students continue to expand their sense of place in the world. They plunge into the Age of Revolution, and embark on a study of noteworthy individuals who have found the courage to follow their passions in revolt against the status quo. In addition to their continued inquiry into scientific phenomena and experimentation, students study the lives and struggles of scientists and inventors who first discovered chemical and electrical laws. These studies ground students in the human aspect of scientific thought, while providing a picture of the profound effects of modern technology upon society and culture.
The eighth grade year marks the students' final year with their Class Teacher, and culminates in the completion of their Waldorf grade school experience. Given the huge step these students are about to take in the world, the curriculum is designed to inspire passion and highlight the incredible potential of the human mind and soul. It is our hope that our students will graduate with compelling questions that will continue to fuel their love of learning for years to come.