About Waldorf Education
For nearly 100 years Waldorf education has provided a unique model for instructing and inspiring children of all ages. The Waldorf curriculum is broad and comprehensive, structured to respond to the developmental phases of childhood. Vibrant teaching methods inspire students to engage fully in each educational experience, inspiring a life-long love of learning.
All academic classes are infused with art to encourage creative thinking, inspire self-discipline, and deepen the students' understanding of subject matter. Courses such as painting, drama, chorus, movement and orchestra support the academic lessons while practical arts-- weaving, woodwork, and metal work-- foster self reliance and a genuine engagement with the world.
At the heart of the Waldorf approach is the recognition of the spiritual nature of the human being. Children are encouraged to remain open to the interconnectedness of life, and the entire education is crafted to support them in their growth as globally aware and socially-responsible individuals.
With more than 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide and about 250 Waldorf schools and initiatives in North America, Waldorf education is the fastest-growing educational movement in the world.
Who Was Rudolf Steiner?
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), an Austrian philosopher, educator, scientist, artist, and the founder of Waldorf education, emphasized the importance of achieving balance in the three realms through which a person relates to the world--the realm of thinking, the life of feelings, and physical activity. This head, heart, and hands synergy forms the essence of Waldorf education, and it nurtures each child's self-reliance, while building personal integrity and a sense of social responsibility.
Subsequent findings of eminent child specialists such as Jean Piaget, David Elkind, Joseph Chilton Pearce, and members of the Gesell Institute confirm the soundness of Steiner's approach to education.
Facts about Waldorf Education in North America
- Introduced to North America in 1928.
- Schools and institutes 100% independently founded. Every school is an independent organization, self-directed and based on Waldorf pedagogy.
- Covers 3 countries in North America, 34 states, 4 provinces in Canada, 3 regions in Mexico and 1 Native American nation.
- 162 affiliated Waldorf schools.
- 250+ early childhood centers.
- 17 teacher education institutes with over 600 students preparing to be teachers.
- 39 complete Waldorf Education programs pre-K through high school.
- 1 school entirely adapted to the needs of children with special needs.
- 1 school adopted by Native Americans.
- 165 stores sell Waldorf-inspired products.
- 8 Waldorf schools with educational programs designed in partnership with farms practicing organic or biodynamic agriculture and 57 schools with gardening and farming programs.
- 2 children's outward bound camps for further education.
(Excerpted from Inform--A Newsletter for Waldorf School Communities, March 2010.)