|Waldorf or Rudolf
Steiner education is based on an anthroposophical
view and understanding of the human being, that is,
as a being of body, soul and spirit. The education
mirrors the basic stages of a child's
development from childhood to adulthood, which
in general reflects the development of humanity
through history from our origin, far back in past times up to the present.
The central focus
for the Waldorf teacher is the development of that essence in every person
that is independent of external appearance, by instilling in his/her pupils
an understanding of and appreciation for their background and place in
the world, not primarily as members of any specific nation, ethnic group
or race, but as members of humanity and world citizens.
the Waldorf kindergarten cultivates
and works in support of the pre-school child's
deep, inborn natural attitude, belief and trust in and basic reverence
for the world as an interesting and good place
to live in.
In the lower grades
in elementary school, this
leads over to more of a stress on using artistic elements
in different forms (rhythm, movement, color, form, recitation, song, music),
not primarily as a means of personal self expression,
but as a means to learn to understand and
relate to the world, building an understanding for different subjects out
of what is beautiful in the world in
the broadest sense of the word.
in the upper grades and high school,
this leads in steps to an ever more conscious
cultivation of an observing, reflecting and experimental scientific
attitude to the world, focusing on building an understanding of what is
true, based on personal experience,
thinking and judgment.
The goal of
Waldorf or Rudolf Steiner education is to enable students as fully as possible
to choose and, in freedom, to realize their individual path through life
forms the philosophical and theoretical basis of the teaching methods
used in Waldorf schools and is reflected in the attitudes of many Waldorf
teachers and in the general structuring and orientation
of Waldorf education during the different stages
of development, anthroposophy
is not taught as such to the students in the
overwhelming majority of Waldorf schools world wide.
is taught in some form by an individual teacher, it is done
against the basic Waldorf tradition and in complete
contradiction of the intention of Waldorf education, as expressed by
Rudolf Steiner as the founder of Waldorf education.
Most of the appr.
1.000 Waldorf schools world wide in different countries are non-profit, independent
schools, starting with no public financial support. But an increasing number
of Waldorf schools are supported by government funding in different countries.
In the U.S., several schools have been established as Waldorf-methods
"charter schools" within the public school system.
the future Waldorf schools may increasingly
be based on school vouchers. This will make a basic Waldorf oriented education
freely available to all as one option among others, irrespective
of the socioeconomic status of the parents.
For more information,
2004-2014: Robert Mays and Sune Nordwall