Main Lessons are one of the most distinctive aspects of schools working out of the impulse of Dr Rudolf Steiner. Our Main Lesson practice is both a method and a content:
Main Lesson Method: Deep Learning
We learn best when we are engaged, when we have time to be immersed in a subject, when our feelings are stimulated, when we can be active in our learning. Dr Steiner’s suggestion was quite simple: all these characteristics of healthy and effective learning can be met if lessons are organised in blocks of teaching over an intense period. So we organise key teaching and learning into significant blocks of time that are spread over a three week period. This extended period enables students to go deeply into a topic, to be immersed in it, to make connections between disciplines. Above all, it enables students (and teachers!) to be deeply and inwardly engaged with a topic in a way that is not possible in the relatively short time of a single period.
Such short periods are ideal for rhythmical learning, where subjects need regular repetition to build a specific set of skills (eg basic skills in English and Maths, Languages, the creative arts, Sport).
In the core subjects of English, Maths, Science and Humanities (History/Geography) the secret of the main lesson success is the daily work. Taking in new material one day and sleeping on it, allows our deep unconscious to embed learning more deeply in our mind. Picking up the learning the next morning ensures a freshness and vitality in how a student embraces the content of the main lesson. Over the three weeks, this daily process builds what has become the “holy grail” of contemporary educators: deep learning.