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Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Educational Studies Faculty
Looping is an educational practice of a teacher instructing the same group of students for two or more consecutive school years. Looping dates back to the early twentieth century in Germany where an Austrian educator, scientist, and philosopher, named Rudolf Steiner founded the Waldorf Schools on the notion that children would benefit from a long-term connection with their teacher. In Waldorf Schools, teachers typically stay with their students from grades one through eight. This study examines students’ perspective on looping in a Waldorf School and its impact on students’ educational experiences. In this study, I conducted 8 in-depth one-on-one interviews with 2008 Waldorf graduates who were looped for at least four years at an independent school in the Mid-Atlantic. Students in this study held mostly positive experiences with looping. They reported that looping (1) allowed them to get to know their peers and teacher well, (2) created a positive classroom climate, (3) encouraged class participation and risk-tasking, (4) provided stability, and (5) developed their conflict resolution skills. A few students felt that looping limited their opportunity to meet new students and exposure to different teaching styles. Transfer student often felt like an “outsider” at the beginning of their transition to the new class. Unlike traditional classrooms, looping classrooms provides students stability and intimacy. Overall students felt that the advantages greatly outweighed the disadvantages.
Pootinath, Pornpat, "Students’ Perspectives on Looping in a Waldorf School". Senior Theses, Trinity College, Hartford, CT 2014.
Trinity College Digital Repository, https://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/theses/353