Why Waldorf?
How and why does the Waldorf system of education work? Learn about the history of the approach and features of today's Waldorf schools, or sign up for a meeting to see for yourself.

How did Waldorf education get started?

In 1919, Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian philosopher, scientist and artist, was invited to give a series of lectures to the workers of the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart, Germany.

As a result, the factory’s owner, Emil Molt, asked Steiner to establish and lead a school for the children of the factory’s employees. Steiner agreed to do so on four conditions:


– the school should be open to all children;

– it should be coeducational;

– it should be a unified twelve-year school; and that

– the teachers, those who would be working directly with the children, should take the leading role in the running of the school, with a minimum of interference from governmental or economic concerns.


Molt agreed to the conditions and die Freie Waldorfschule (the Free Waldorf School) was opened on September 7, 1919.

Who was Rudolf Steiner?

Dr. Rudolf Steiner was a highly respected and well published scientific, literary and philosophical scholar who was particularly known for his work on Goethe’s scientific writings.

His background in history and civilizations coupled with his observation in life gave the world the gift of Waldorf Education. It is a deeply insightful application of learning based on the Study of Humanity with developing consciousness of self and the surrounding world.


Consistent with his philosophy called anthroposophy, Steiner designed a curriculum responsive to the developmental phases in childhood and nurturing of children’s imaginations. He thought that schools should cater to the needs of children rather than the demands of the government or economic forces, so he developed schools that encourage creativity and free-thinking.

Waldorf Schools Today

Heritage
Waldorf schools are among the largest group of independent non-denominational private schools in the world. They thrive on every continent, in every culture and within a wide range of ethnic contexts, including US, UK, Russia, Germany, Israel, Egypt, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Taiwan, Japan, Brazil, China etc.
Distribution
Waldorf education is one of the fastest growing education movement in the world.
Experience
There are currently over 1,100 Waldorf primary and secondary schools worldwide and 1,800 Early Childhood centers in over 70 different countries.
Waldorf System of Education

Our Curriculum

The Waldorf curriculum is based on over 100 years of successful practice worldwide. It is an interdisciplinary program that attends to the student’s intellectual and cognitive faculties, artistic and imaginative capacities, and practical life skills. At the core of our approach is meeting the child’s needs at every stage of their development.

Holistic approach

Waldorf education aims “to produce individuals who are able, in and of themselves, to impart meaning to their lives”. We educate the whole child through the “head, heart and hands”. Teachers are dedicated to creating a genuine love of learning within each child.

International perspective

Waldorf education is global. Waldorf curriculum frameworks have been developed in many different local, national and international environments. Despite these widely differing contexts, the underlying holistic and spiritual perspectives of the pedagogy ensure the maintenance of a core unifying element in the various curricula. Waldorf school teachers, educators, and curriculum researchers have developed the touchstone features of the Waldorf curriculum in a way that facilitates its adaptation across different cultural, linguistic and racial groupings in every continent, in as many as seventy nations as diverse as China, India, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Zealand, and in many countries in South America and Africa, the USA, United Kingdom, and the European Union.

FAQ
What kind of training do Waldorf teachers have?
While requirements within individual schools may vary, most Class Teachers have both a university degree and a teaching certification from a recognized Waldorf teacher education college or institute. Some Waldorf education programs can also grant B.A. and M.A. degrees in conjunction with Waldorf teaching certification. Typically, the course of study for teachers is from two to three years and includes practice teaching in a Waldorf school under the supervision of experienced Waldorf teachers. Teachers must also satisfy whatever state credential and licensing requirements might apply.
How does your school support students with learning challenges?
Waldorf teachers view each child holistically as a divine puzzle with a unique mix of behaviors, traits, strengths, and challenges. . A given child’s weaknesses in one area, whether cognitive, emotional or physical, will usually be balanced by strengths in another area. It is the teacher’s job to try to bring the child’s whole being into balance. Waldorf teachers use differentiation strategies to address the varying needs of the class. A child having difficulties might be given extra help by the teacher or by parents; accommodations and/or modifications may be arranged, or tutoring and/or therapies might be suggested.. Correspondingly, a child needing more challenge might be given harder problems of the same sort to work on or might be asked to help a child who was having trouble.
How well do Waldorf graduates do on standardized tests? How well do Waldorf high school graduates do in college?
To the best of our knowledge, no controlled studies have been done on these questions, but anecdotal evidence collected from various sources would seem to suggest that Waldorf graduates tend to score toward the high end on standardized examinations such as the Scholastic Aptitude Tests. As far as higher education goes, Waldorf graduates have been accepted as students at, and have graduated from, some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the United States, UK and other countries.
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