Although studies about Waldorf education tend to be small-scale and vary in national context, a recent independent comprehensive review of the literature concluded there is evidence that Waldorf education encourages academic achievement as well as “creative, social and other capabilities important to the holistic growth of a person”.
In comparison to state school pupils, European Waldorf students are significantly more enthusiastic about learning, report having more fun and being less bored in school, view their school environments as pleasant and supportive places where they are able to discover their personal academic strengths, and have more positive views of the future. Twice as many Waldorf students as state school pupils report having good relationships with teachers; they also report significantly fewer ailments such as headaches, stomach aches, and disrupted sleep.
A 2007 German study found that an above-average number of Waldorf students become teachers, doctors, engineers, scholars of the humanities, and scientists. Studies of Waldorf students’ artistic capacities found that they averaged higher scores on the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking Ability, drew more accurate, detailed, and imaginative drawings, and were able to develop richer images than comparison groups.
Some observers have noted that Waldorf educators tend to be more concerned to address the needs of any weaker students who need support than they are to meet the needs of any talented students who could benefit from advanced work.
For more details on this topic, see Studies of Waldorf education.