Lifelong Learning Platform | LLLP - European Civil Society for Education

Schools in Europe: How do you cope with distance learning?

The European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education follows the developments around the Corona pandemic closely. Schools in many places are closed and more and more of them are obliged to offer distance learning to their pupils or feel the urgent need to make an offer to families independent of legal obligations.

ECSWE therefore tries to help members by exploring the different answers that schools and member federations have found in dealing with this immense challenge and by making available a good practice collection from Waldorf and non-Waldorf schools across Europe. This can subsequently be used to develop online trainings or to facilitate peer-learning between interested teachers.

Please help us better understand the situation in Europe

But what exactly is the picture in Waldorf schools in Europe? Do you have guidance for your schools from the federation or are the schools left to fend for themselves? ECSWE would be interested in seeing what strategies have been developed and collect them centrally for further dissemination. There are many questions to ask ourselves, and whatever answers you find to them is highly interesting for us:

  • What roles have your schools defined for parents, educators and pupils in terms of distance learning?
  • How does your school’s or federations approach respond to the developmental needs of children and what is your experience with it so far?
  • In your experience, what are the best screen-free tools for distance learning of different age groups (school books, other books, building blocks, puzzles, board games, …)?
  • How are parents supported in limiting their children’s task-switching between school-related and recreational screen media use (e.g. limit access to devices to certain hours, use time limitation and filter software, …)
  • In your experience, which proportion of the former school hours should be spent with official „distance learning“ activities and which proportion should be spent with everyday activities (e.g. shopping, cooking, cleaning, gardening, ..), or physical activities (exercise, walking, …) conducive to learning?
  • In your experience, and given the current Corona prevention measures in place, what are the best ways to support children’s physical, psychological and mental wellbeing (salutogenesis, fostering health, …).
  • In your experience, what are the best screen-based tools (online and offline) for distance learning of different age-groups?
  • In your experience, how important/suitable are group activities online (for many students), vs.  1:1 online (telephone or video chat) sessions for your students of different ages?
  • How are you coordinating the work with synchronous tools (like Zoom calls) and what rules are needed to make this work?
  • What are the tasks of the colleagues involved with regards to distance learning and responding to the Corona pandemic in general?
  • What leadership model is needed in these times and how to collaborate with colleagues?
  • Are there any distance learning schedules provided to pupils to replace their timetable, and if yes, what kind?
  • What has been your timeline in rolling out a distance learning plan in your school?
  • What are the short-term and medium term training needs and how to address them under the current circumstances?

How can you share material?

Please send an email to if you have any material to share. ECSWE will exchange the material with the Pedagogical Section at the Goetheanum, where a similar collection is feeding into a blog on homeschooling in times of Corona. Thank you for helping!

Read more here in the original article on ECSWE website