A Case Study at a Waldorf School
Abstract: The purpose of this case study is to investigate Waldorf pedagogy. In particular, it investigates how assessment of productive language skills, speaking and writing, is carried out at a Waldorf School. To this end, semi-structured interviews were conducted at a compulsory school. One in-depth teacher interview was held and one group interview with four students. Participants were observed in their natural classroom setting on a few occasions. The results indicate that how assessment is carried out depends on the class, situation and the task performed by students. There is a tendency to assess speaking on an individual level or in smaller groups. Findings indicate that personal texts written by students are somewhat more assessed and that communicative ability in general is more valued than accuracy. This study demonstrates that decisions are made when assessing different skills, where the teacher decides on what as well as how to assess. Focus on form/grammar has a role in assessment since distinctions are made between mistakes. Students have an informal yet clear understanding of how they are being assessed. In this Waldorf School we see that different educational techniques were employed by the teacher. For instance, different types of assessment were used. Discrimination of minor errors and those that interfere with communication were part of assessment sometimes. This study also shows that different parts of language were assessed and that the process of learning was given priority and therefore part of assessment.
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