“The inner question of the eighteen and nineteen year old Class 12 student differs from the seventeen year old. How can I as an individual human being, make an impact on social, economic, technical or political affairs? What is my place in the world?” 1 These are questions of self-realisation, with each Class 12 student developing ideals and values and then acting upon them.
Class 12 is a synthesis; a bringing together and it is intended to integrate what has formed over twelve or more years of Waldorf Education. There are two distinct activities in the year that make it different from other years in Waldorf Education; they are the Class 12 Plays and the Class 12 Projects Presentations.
Through the Class 12 Play each student “demonstrates their responsibility for the whole and shows how efforts towards a common goal” 2 bring about creative, powerful and memorable performances. These plays are student directed and managed with school teacher assistance.
We complete our Waldorf experience with the Class 12 Projects in July. Each student takes on a project consisting of a practical and a theoretical component and spends all year together with mentors developing their idea and components. These are presented at an exhibition and performance evening where the school community meets to listen to each student’s journey through their formal spoken presentation. During the Class 12 year each student, in addition to the plays and projects, continues with Main Lessons that are unique to the year, for example World History, Philosophy, Architecture, Biology, Biochemistry and Physics. Daily lessons in Mathematics and Languages continue throughout the year.
The Class 12 Projects mark the completion of the full Waldorf curriculum. Thereafter the Class 12’s launch into full preparation of the NSC matric examinations which is concluded at the end of the 13th year.
Rudolf Steiner asks teachers to “Respect the freedom of the child – a freedom we must not endanger; for it is to this freedom that we educate the child, that that child may stand in freedom in the world at our side.” It is this freedom that we cherish in the education of the Class 12 student.
“Class Twelve trains powers of synthesis with the question: Who? Who is this being called human? Who stands behind the outer play of global events and natural phenomena, pulling them together into a synthesizing whole? Class Twelve not only recapitulates the themes of the four years of High School but also returns to the place where the Waldorf curriculum began in Class 1, with the image of the whole.” – Douglas Gerwin (Douglas Gerwin is co-director of the Research Institute for Waldorf Education in the USA).
1 “The Tasks and Content of the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum” Avison, Rawson and Richter