Waldorf Education is the largest independent, non-denominational educational philosophy in the world. Over 900 schools and 60 countries are part of this growing movement, which reaches the heart, mind and soul of its students.
Waldorf education strives to instill in children the ability to meet the challenges of our world with confidence and enthusiasm. It is based on the conviction that the dignity and individuality of the growing child is foremost and meets each child with reverence, respect and love.
The Waldorf curriculum recognizes that education must appeal to the particular capacities for learning and thought that are present at each stage of a child’s development. Waldorf education reaches beyond the academic, into art, imagination and social responsibility—fostering a sense of wonder and vibrant interest for life and humanity.
About Rudolf Steiner, Founder of the Waldorf Education Method
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was born in Austria. He found his life’s work in the realms of consciousness and cognition. His techniques for the development of clear critical thinking, the cultivation of daily meditation and concentration practices and awareness of nature’s cycles, can lead individuals to reach spiritual levels of consciousness safely. He believed working along with the spiritual worlds enriches the life of the individual and the world.
A university student of mathematics, science and philosophy in Vienna, he later earned a doctorate from the University of Rostock. He edited the scientific writings of Goethe, whose approach, based on intensified, selfless observation of nature, became a source of inspiration for his own work. Steiner’s doctoral dissertation dealing with Fichte’s theory of knowledge was later expanded and published as Truth and Science. In 1894, he published The Philosophy of Freedom, which he felt to be his most important philosophical work.
Steiner brought forth out of his spiritual experiences an abundance of scientific, medical, agricultural, social, educational, architectural, and artistic renewal. Steiner called this science of spirit Anthroposophy, meaning ‘wisdom of the human being.’ Anthroposophy is non-religious, and enhances many Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, and other traditional practitioners’ endeavors.
Author of almost thirty books, Steiner also gave approximately 6,000 lectures on a wide range of subjects. He initiated Waldorf education, biodynamic farming and gardening, an approach to the care and education of people with disabilities, anthroposophical medical work, and an art of movement called eurythmy.
Waldorf Articles and Resources Here is a list of articles, videos and interviews we are compiling about all things Waldorf including education, philosophy, Steiner and more!
Testimonials on Waldorf Education
From our Blog
Ideal for the child and society in the best of times, Rudolf Steiner’s brilliant process of education is critically needed and profoundly relevant now at this time of childhood crisis and educational breakdown. Waldorf education nurtures the intellectual, psychological and spiritual unfolding of the child. The concerned parent and teacher will find a multitude of problems clearly addressed in this practical, artistic approach.
Joseph Chilton Pearce, Author, Magical Child, The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, and Evolution’s End: Claiming the Potential of Our Intelligence
Waldorf education addresses the child as no other education does. Learning, whether in chemistry, mathematics, history or geography, is imbued with life and so with joy, which is the only true basis for later study. The textures and colors of nature, the accomplishments and struggles of humankind fill the Waldorf students’ imaginations and the pages of their beautiful books. Education grows into a union with life that serves them for decades. By the time they reach us at the college and university level, these students are grounded broadly and deeply and have a remarkable enthusiasm for learning. Such students possess the eye of the discoverer, and the compassionate heart of the reformer which, when joined to a task, can change the planet.
Arthur Zajonc, Ph.D.,
Professor of Physics, Amherst College
Arthur Zajonc, Ph.D., Professor of Physics, Amherst College
American schools are having a crisis in values. Half the children fail according to standard measures and the other half wonder why they are learning what they do. As is appropriate to life in a democracy, there are a handful of alternatives. Among the alternatives, the Waldorf school represents a chance for every child to grow and learn according to the most natural rhythms of life. For the early school child, this means a non-competitive, non-combative environment in which the wonders of science and literature fill the day without causing anxiety and confusion. For the older child, it offers a curriculum that addresses the question of why they are learning. I have sent two of my children to Waldorf schools and they have been wonderfully well served.
Roger McDermott, Ph.D., Professor of Education and Anthropology, Stanford University