Globes and Globe-Making
by Pankaj Sulodia - Class 7 Teacher
During last term’s geography Main Lesson, Class 7 were very busy making papier mache globes. They have been studying the geography of the world. Rudolf Steiner indicated that pupils should get an image of the world as a whole before moving into the geography of the individual continents.
"Geography can really be a vast channel into which everything flows, from which in return much can be drawn."
Geography in the Curriculum
This is one of the most important subjects in the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum. It encompasses many aspects of the world around us and widens out as the children go through the school. In the earlier years, the children are helped to become aware of their close surroundings. They notice the kingdoms of nature, the elements, and the seasons.
In Class 3, things broaden out. There are Main Lessons about farming, building and other local trades with as much hands-on experience as possible. The children learn about basic traditional work as well as modern methods. They plough a field with a horse-drawn plough and watch tractors working the land on a local farm.
In Class 5 the children study the British Isles. They become acquainted with maps, observing our position on the edge of the continent. In the following year, in Class 6, they look at Europe, each choosing a country to study in more depth and then sharing what they find with the rest of the class.
Multiple Views of our World
It was fascinating to see children consciously looking at our world with a view which is not just Euro-centered, but from different perspectives and angles. They were noticing the actual positions of individual countries, continents, and oceans.
Interesting comments burst out as we were working on our globes, such as, ‘Oh, I never realised that Russia and America are so close to each other!’
Globes as Artworks
The children helped each other and were very much involved in their learning process. They all drew an exact, or almost exact, geographical position of all the continents on their globes, which was no easy task. The pupils from Class 7 embraced this challenge with determination and positive attitudes.
Their globes - the end result of all their efforts - are also stunning, beautiful, and true pieces of art.
(Click any of the pictures above to see a slideshow.)