Waldorf education is the largest and fastest growing nonsectarian educational movement in the world, with over 1100 schools worldwide, on every continent and in over 60 nations.
Developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, Waldorf Education is unique in its view on the needs of the growing child. Waldorf teachers offer a true “Renaissance education” by educating the whole child—the heart and the hands, as well as the head. The Waldorf curriculum is challenging, experiential, and comprehensive, structured to respond to the three developmental phases of childhood: from birth to approximately 6 or 7 years, from 7 to 14 years, and from 14 to 18 years.
Modern education tends to focus so intensely on acquiring information that it overlooks what a child needs in order to build a meaningful life. In addition to thoughtfully-presented academics, Waldorf teachers help children develop a positive emotional life (emotional health, aesthetics and social skills), a healthy will (confidence and the ability to get things done), and a strong inner compass that discerns right from wrong. In addition to providing children with information, critical thinking and skills that traditional schools provide, Waldorf education helps children to become well-rounded, imaginative and confident problem-solvers, with a deep sense of empathy and social responsibility.
Today there are more than 1100 Waldorf schools in 60 countries. Both classical and progressive, Waldorf education helps children become the people who are most needed for our culture and for our future. As Waldorf nears its centennial anniversary, the founding ideals and methods are just as relevant today as when Rudolf Steiner founded the first Waldorf School nearly 100 years ago.
Association of Waldorf Schools of North America
The work of Dr. Rudolf Steiner is the heart of all we do in Waldorf education. While not well-known in the United States, this respected Austrian scientist, philosopher and educator is one of the most-translated and widely-read visionaries in the world today. His ideas, born in the early 20th century and known as “Anthroposophy,” led to innovative and holistic approaches to academics, agriculture, theater, movement, science, architecture and medicine. Dr. Steiner was a true Renaissance man. His many contributions have been rediscovered and validated today by 21st century scientists and thinkers around the world who have adopted Waldorf education, biodynamic farming and more.