Waldorf Education: An Introduction

Founded in the early 20th century, Waldorf education is based on the insights, teachings and principles of education outlined by the world renowned artist, and scientist, Rudolf Steiner. The principles of Waldorf education evolve from an understanding of human development that address the needs of the growing child. 

Waldorf education aims to inspire life-long learning in all students and to enable them to fully develop their unique capacities. Waldorf schools offer a developmentally appropriate, experiential, and academically rigorous approach to education. They integrate the arts in all academic disciplines for children from preschool through twelfth grade to enhance and enrich learning.

Music, movement and theater, writing, literature, legends and myths are not simply subjects to be read about and tested. They are experienced. Through these experiences, Waldorf students cultivate their intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual capacities to be individuals certain of their paths and to be of service to the world. 

Professors who have taught Waldorf students across many academic disciplines and across a wide range of campuses—from State Universities to Ivy League—note that Waldorf graduates have the ability to integrate thinking; to assimilate information as opposed to memorizing isolated facts; to be flexible, creative and willing to take intellectual risks; and are leaders with high ethical and moral standards who take initiative and are passionate to reach their goals. Waldorf graduates are highly sought after in higher education.

Teachers in Waldorf schools are dedicated to generating an inner enthusiasm for learning within every child. This eliminates the need for competitive testing, academic placement, and rewards to motivate learning and allows motivation to arise from within. It helps engender the capacity for joyful life-long learning.

Waldorf education is truly Inspired Learning.  © AWSNA

Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility—these three forces are the very nerve of education.
— Rudolph Steiner

Waldorf Celebrates 100 Years!

Waldorf Education is celebrating 100 years of education in the world in 2020!

The film "Learn to Change the World" shows people from around the world who work on the big pedagogical tasks of our time based on Waldorf/Steiner pedagogy. This video shows concrete approaches to these tasks.

A Holistic Approach

Choosing the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions you can make. On this page we provide links to articles that may be of interest to you and your family as you search for the educational approach  best suited to your child’s needs. Many of these articles do not specifically discuss the Waldorf pedagogy. Rather, they independently confirm the value of core elements of a Waldorf education. These include the tremendous and underrated importance of play and the arts in child development, as well as a de-emphasis on technology.

The Waldorf curriculum is notable for its holistic approach to education. The process of learning the familiar “three Rs”–Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic–is integrated with play, music, art, movement, handwork and more, all in developmentally-appropriate ways. Children are met where they are, and so grow to be infused with understanding, resilience, a strong sense of their own capabilities, and a love of learning that will last a lifetime. They also receive an academically rigorous education in English, History, the sciences, Mathematics and more. Waldorf graduates go on to graduate from prestigious universities around the world.

Please check back as we continue to update this page, and feel free to contact us with questions.

Also, for further exploration, this link will take you to a list of FAQs about Waldorf education at WaldorEducation.org, the site of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.