|Kenneth Chenault, (also here) Chairman and CEO of American Express, former Waldorf student (Waldorf School of Garden City):
"My parents were looking for a school
that would nurture the whole person. They also felt that the Waldorf school
would be a far more open environment for African Americans, and that was
focused on educating students with values, as well as the academic tools
necessary to be constructive and contributing human beings. ... I think
the end result of Waldorf education is to raise our consciousness. There
is a heightened consciousness of what our senses bring us from the world
around us, about our feelings, about the way we relate to other people.
It taught me how to think for myself, to be responsible for my decisions.
Second, it made me a good listener, sensitive to the needs of others. And
third, it helped establish meaningful beliefs. In all the Main Block lessons
-- in history, science, philosophy -- we really probed the importance of
values and beliefs. In dealing with a lot of complex issues and a lot of
stress, if that isn't balanced by a core of meaningful beliefs, you really
will just be consumed and fail."
former Waldorf pupil and daughter of Heinz Galinski, Auschwitz survivor
and Chairman of the Central Jewish Council in Germany from 1988 until
his death in 1992.
"I personally have had
only good experiences during my school time; it was liberal,
antiracist, tolerant of every faith and not missionary"
Margulies, Actress, former Waldorf student (High Mowing Waldorf
"The first time I understood the benefit
of a Waldorf education was my first week in college. Students around me
were flipping out because they were afraid of writing papers. At High Mowing
we had at least ten pages to write every night. It was such a big part
of our education that I was very confident in my writing. We had to analyze
each scene, then write the analysis. I still have my "Faust" main lesson
book with me. When I wrote about it, I was able to expand my thinking and
make it my own. That's what's so wonderful about Waldorf education. You're
exposed to all these different ideas, but you're never given one view of
it. You're encouraged to think as an individual."
Kerry, sister of United States Secretary of State John Kerry about
the time she went to the Rudolf Steiner School in Berlin in 1954 (at age
7), during their father's work there as diplomat at the American
Consulate (John, 11 at the time, was sent to a boarding school in Switzerland):
"The classes were in German. Of course
I did not understand much at first. During a stage play I had to play the
devil - the role had no lines. But in the end I knew the whole play by
heart. I learnt German quickly, and John also still knows some words."
"I think that this time in Berlin somehow set the course for my life."
(Der Tagesspiegel, Nov. 2, 2004)
9 astronaut, NASA Astronaut Technical Advisor, California Energy Commission,
former Waldorf parent:
"My daughter's experience at the Waldorf
school has been both exciting and mind opening. I hope that more people
can make Waldorf education available to their children."
Weizenbaum, Professor (now emeritus), MIT (Massachusetts Institute
of Technology), author of Computer
Power and Human Reason:
"Being personally acquainted with a
number of Waldorf students, I can say that they come closer to realizing
their own potential than practically anyone I know."
L Boyer (1928-1995), Former President, Carnegie Foundation for
the Advancement of Teaching:
interview with Prof. Weizenbaum.
"Those in the public school reform
movement have some important things to learn from what Waldorf educators
have been doing for many years. It is an enormously impressive effort toward
quality education, and schools would be advised to familiarize themselves
with the basic assumptions that under gird the Waldorf movement. Art as
it helps to reveal the use of language, art as it can be revealed in numbers,
and certainly in nature"
Watson, International fashion photographer, former Waldorf student
at the Rudolf Steiner school in Edinburgh:
"It was art-oriented, that's for sure.
They were very interested in your inner creativity, but at the same time
they were instilling a certain amount of discipline to maximise it. And
I have, from my Scottish background, a very, very solid work ethic. I'm
dedicated to the work, to doing good work and doing things the right way."
Armstrong, Ph D, Author: "In
Their Own Way. Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Personal Learning
"Cultural literacy is the key concern
throughout a Waldorf program, and here Waldorf educators are also in accord
with other experts in their field. Apparently many parents are discovering
that Waldorf fills a need for a creative, artistic approach to learning
that is hard to find elsewhere."
Chilton Pearce, Author: "The Magical Child", "The Crack in the
(Parenting Magazine, August 1988)
"The beauty of the Waldorf school is
that it is designed entirely to keep children intact until they are ready
to move out into the world as whole individuals."
Ende, Author: "The Neverending Story", former Waldorf student:
"I am deeply grateful for Waldorf education,
which woke me up and helped me rediscover my imagination."
Aniston, Actress, former Waldorf student:
"I was always fascinated by acting,
but my experience at Rudolf Steiner [school] encouraged me to pursue it
as a career." "Steiner was a free-spirited school that encouraged creativity
Utne, founder of, publisher, and former editor-in-chief of Utne
Reader, (described by The New York Times as "one of the most distinctive
voices in magazine journalism") now a Waldorf
"My son Leif attended a Waldorf school
from nursery through eighth grade. Even more gratifying than his specific
achievements are his ongoing infatuation with learning and absence of incapacitating
cynicism. ... Waldorf schools generally turn out young people who get into
the colleges of their choice, but more importantly are well prepared for
life. I hope this form of education becomes the basis for public school
curriculum throughout the United States. And I hope it happens soon."
Lagerlöf (1859-1940), 1909
"[Rudolf Steiner] taught a number of
things in which I have long believed, among them that it is no longer possible
in our time to offer a religion full of unsubstantiated miracles, but rather
that religion must be a science which can be proven. It is no longer a
question of belief, but of knowing. Further, we acquire knowledge
of the spiritual world through steady, conscious, systematic thinking ...
In years to come, his teachings will be proclaimed from the pulpits"
Bellow (1915-2005), 1976 Nobel
"If I had a child of school age, I
would send him to one of the Waldorf Schools."
Spock, Author: "Teaching
as a lively art", teacher (sister of Dr. Benjamin Spock and inspirer of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring", that led to Earth
"Waldorf education enables young people
to be in love with the world as the world should be loved."
Schweitzer (1875-1965), 1952 Nobel
"My meeting with Rudolf Steiner led
me to occupy myself with him from that time forth and to remain always
aware of his significance. We both felt the same obligation to lead man
once again to true inner culture. I have rejoiced at the achievements his
great personality and his profound humanity have brought about in the world."
H. Grosvenor (1875-1966), President & Chairman, National Geographic
Society, former Waldorf parent:
"It is a pleasure for me to write an
endorsement for Waldorf Education ...[which] has been extraordinarily successful
for my son. In three years, the remarkable, dedicated faculty has directed
his attitude and energies toward academic achievement and civic responsibility...
The school draws out the best of qualities in young people. While this
is not an instant process, the values they learn by constant contact with
the faculty will provide a lifetime platform from which to grow... - In
summary this system works!"
Zweig (1881-1942), Author, on Rudolf Steiner, after having met
him during his Berlin time:
"... meeting a man of such a magnetic
personality at so early a stage, when he yielded himself to the younger
people around him in friendship and without dogmatizing, was an incalculable
gain for me. In his fantastic and at the same time profound knowledge I
realized that true universality, which we, with the overweening pride of
high school boys, thought we had already mastered, was not to be gained
by flighty reading and discussion, but only by years of burning endeavor."
Tarkovsky (1932-1986), Russian film director (Solaris, Stalker,
Nostalghia, The Sacrifice):
"Steiner offers us a world view that
gives a reasonable place to the development of man in the spiritual area.
And if you earlier in a serious way could take a materialistic position
and explain the meaning of life and society on a physical-material basis,
that is not any more possible today. Today, we need other views, we must
develop our spiritual essence and finally ask the question about the meaning
Wilber, Author (among many works: "Integral Psychology"):
"Steiner (1861-1925) was an extraordinary
pioneer ... and one of the most comprehensive psychological and philosophical
visionaries of his time ... his overall vision is as moving as one could
Oberhuber (1925-2007), world leading expert on Raphael, former Director of
of Art Albertina in Vienna, former Professor of Fine Arts, Harvard
University, then at International Christian University, Mitaka, Tokyo:
"No other educational system in the
world gives such a central role to the arts as the Waldorf school movement.
Even mathematics is presented in an artistic fashion and related via dance,
movement or drawing, to the child as a whole. Anything that can be done
to further these revolutionary educational ideas will be of the greatest
Douglas Sloan, Ph D, Professor [Emeritus] of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University:
"Based on a comprehensive, integrated
understanding of the human being, a detailed account of child development,
and with a curriculum and teaching practice that seeks unity of intellectual,
emotional and ethical development at every point, Waldorf education deserves
the attention of all concerned with education and the human future."
Jack Miller, Professor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto:
"Waldorf education has been an important
model of holistic education for almost a century. It is one of the very
few forms of education that acknowledges the soul-life of children and
nurtures that life. It is truly an education for the whole child and will
continue to be an important model of education as we move into the 21st
Paul Bayers, (earlier) Professor at Teachers
(Personal statement 14 July, 2002)
"The importance of storytelling, of
the natural rhythms of daily life, of the evolutionary changes in the child,
of art as the necessary underpinning of learning, and of the aesthetic
environment as a whole - all basic to Waldorf education for the past 70
years - are being "discovered" and verified by researchers unconnected
to the Waldorf movement."
Walter (1876-1962), composer and conductor:
"There is no task of greater importance
than to give our children the very best preparation for the demands of
an ominous future, a preparation that aims at the methodical cultivation
of their spiritual and their moral gifts. As long as the exemplary work
of the Waldorf School Movement continues to spread its influence as it
has done over the past decades, we can all look forward with hope. I am
sure that Rudolf Steiner's work for children must be considered a central
contribution to the twentieth century and I feel it deserves the support
of all freedom-loving thinking people."
Dee Joy Coulter, Ed.D., founding member of Addressing
Children's Traumas, Waldorf parent, keynote speaker at Waldorf conferences:
I first heard of Waldorf education
about five years ago, after having carried out extensive study of the neurological
aspects of cognition, movement, and maturation. I was delighted to discover
such a neurologically sound curriculum. I heartily support efforts to spread
the awareness of Waldorf education and hope that it will spawn not only
an increase in Waldorf schools, but an infusion of at least some of the
ideas into the mainstream where they are so sorely needed. In Colorado,
I am working with several districts to incorporate various Waldorf strategies
into the teaching of reading and mathematics. The ideas are very well received
and very much needed.
W. Hipolito, Ph D, Professor of English, California
State University, Fullerton:
(Personal statement, 1984)
"For the past ten years my teaching
responsibilities have compelled me to inform myself not just about what
would-be teachers need to learn. All of my instructionally related research
into childhood has pointed toward the superiority of Waldorf education
over all other current educational methods."
M. Baker, M.D., former Executive Director of Gesell
Institute of Human Development:
"From careful observations of the child,
Waldorf education arrived at the same conclusion (Gesell Institute) and
applies the same principles to development of curricula for children's
education: pushing skills before children are biologically ready sets them
up to fail."
Shipman, History Department, Marin
Academy, San Rafael, California:
"What I like about the Waldorf school
is, quite simply, its graduates. As a high school teacher at Marin Academy,
I have seen a number of the students who come from Marin Waldorf, and I
can say that in all cases they have been remarkable, bright, energetic
Morgenstern (1871-1914), German author and poet:
"When it falls to the lot of his first
biographer to recount the life of this great man, then, and only then,
will the full extent of Rudolf Steiner's achievements and their, in the
highest human sense, creative nature be revealed. Then men will view with
profound amazement ... what irreplaceable strength and support [humanity]
has received from this man's mind while this age hurtles onwards into the
terrifying wasteland of materialism."
For more comments, see here.
See also International List of Famous Waldorf alumni (at the bottom, this page also lists Waldorf parents like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Clint Eastwood and Frances Fisher,
Hans-Dietrich Genscher [former German minister of foreign affairs], Harrison
Ford, Harvey Keitel, Helmut Kohl [former German chancellor], Jessica Lange
and Sam Shepard, Harrison Ford, Paul Newman, Liv Ullmann and Ingmar Bergman