<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//w3c//dtd html 4.01 transitional//en"> <html><head> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-16"> <meta name="description" content="Waldorf teachers informing the public about the basis, philosophy and practice of Waldorf education."> <meta name="keywords" content="Waldorf, Waldorf school, Waldorf schools, Waldorf education, education, K-12, school, charter schools, Steiner, Rudolf Steiner, anthroposophy, Anthroposophy, church and state"> <meta name="Author" content="Robert Mays, Sune Nordwall and others"> <title>Waldorf answers - What is Waldorf education?</title></head> <body alink="#0000ff" background="bg.gif" bgcolor="#fde9b3" link="#0000ff" text="#000000" vlink="#551a8b"> <center><a name="top"></a><img src="space.gif" height="10" width="10"></center> <center><table bgcolor="#ffffff" border="1" cellpadding="20" cellspacing="0" width="725"> <tbody><tr> <td align="center" valign="top" width="150"><img src="space.gif" height="10" 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<td></td> </tr> </tbody></table></center> <center><br><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" height="100%" width="120"> <caption> <center></center></caption><tbody> </tbody> <tbody><tr align="center" valign="bottom"> <td align="center" valign="bottom"></td> </tr> <tr valign="bottom"> <td></td> </tr> </tbody></table></center> </td> <td valign="top"> <center><img src="space.gif" height="10" vspace="5" width="10"></center> <center><table background="bgh.gif" border="1" cellpadding="15" cellspacing="0" height="100" width="525"> <tbody><tr> <td height="110" valign="CENTER"><font size="+3">WHAT IS WALDORF EDUCATION?</font></td> </tr> </tbody></table></center> <center><img src="space20.gif" height="20" width="20"></center> <table border="0" cellpadding="8" cellspacing="0" width="480"> <tbody><tr> <td><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Waldorf or Rudolf Steiner education is based on an <a href="Anthroposophy.htm">anthroposophical</a> view and understanding of the human <font color="#000000">being, that is, </font>as a being of body, soul and spirit. <font color="#000000">The education mirrors</font> the basic stages of <font color="#000000">a child's</font> development from childhood to adulthood, <font color="#000000">which</font> in general <font color="#000000">reflects</font> the development of humanity through history from our origin, far back in past times up to the present.</font> <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">The central <b>focus</b> 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.</font> </p><p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font color="#000000">Thus, the</font> Waldorf <b><font color="#000000">kindergarten</font></b> cultivates and works in support of the <font color="#000000">pre-school child's</font> deep, inborn natural attitude, belief and trust in and basic <b><i>reverence</i></b> for the world as an interesting and <font color="#000000"><a href="http://www.emersonwaldorf.org/?s=curriculum&amp;ss=early%20childhood" target="_blank"><i>good</i> </a>pla</font>ce to live in.</font> </p><p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">In the <b>lower grades in <font color="#000000">elementary</font> school,</b> <font color="#000000">this</font> leads over to more of a stress on using <b><i>artistic</i></b> elements in different forms (rhythm, movement, color, form, recitation, song, music), <font color="#000000">not primarily as a means of personal self expression,</font> but as <font color="#000000">a</font> means to learn to understand and relate to the world, building an understanding for different subjects out of what is<font color="#000000"> <a href="http://www.emersonwaldorf.org/?s=curriculum&amp;ss=lower%20school" target="_blank"><i>beautiful</i> </a>in th</font>e world in the broadest sense of the word.</font> </p><p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font color="#000000">And in</font> the <b>upper grades and <font color="#000000">high</font> school,</b> this <font color="#000000">leads</font> in steps to an ever more conscious cultivation of an observing, reflecting and experimental <b><i>scientific</i></b> attitude to the world, focusing on building an understanding of what is <a href="http://www.americans4waldorf.org/WaldorfHighSchool-UpperSchoolByBettyStaley.pdf" target="_blank"><i>true</i></a><font color="#000000"><a href="http://www.americans4waldorf.org/WaldorfHighSchool-UpperSchoolByBettyStaley.pdf" target="_blank">,</a><a href="http://www.americans4waldorf.org/WaldorfHighSchool-UpperSchoolByBettyStaley.pdf" target="_blank"> </a>bas</font>ed on <a href="http://www.emersonwaldorf.org/?s=curriculum&amp;ss=high%20school" target="_blank">personal experience</a>, thinking and judgment.</font> </p><p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">The <b>goal</b> 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 as <font color="#000000">adults</font>.</font> </p><p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">While anthroposophy forms the philosophical and theoretical <b>basis</b> of the teaching methods used in Waldorf schools and is reflected in the attitudes of many Waldorf teachers and in the general <b><i>structuring</i></b> and <b><i>orientation</i></b> of Waldorf education during the different <font color="#000000">stages of development,</font><font color="#cc33cc"> </font><font color="#000000">anthroposophy <i>is not taught as such</i></font> to the students in <font color="#000000">the overwhelming majority of Waldorf schools world </font>wide.</font> </p><p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">If <font color="#000000">anthroposophy <i>is</i> taught in some form by an individual teacher</font>, it is done against the basic Waldorf tradition and in <a href="Injunction.htm">complete contradiction of the intention of Waldorf education</a>, as expressed by Rudolf Steiner as the founder of Waldorf education.</font> </p><p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">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 <a href="PublicWaldorf.htm">Waldorf-methods "charter schools"</a> within the public school system.</font> </p><p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font color="#000000">In the</font> future Waldorf schools <font color="#000000">may</font> increasingly be based on school vouchers. This will make a basic Waldorf oriented education freely available to all as one option among others, <font color="#000000">irrespective of</font> the socioeconomic status of the parents.</font> </p><p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">For more information, see</font> </p><ul> <li><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Education-Towards-Freedom-Steiner-Throughout/dp/0863156517/" target="_blank">Education Towards Freedom: Rudolf Steiner Education: A Survey of the Work of Waldorf Schools Throughout the World</a> by Frans Carlgren</font></li> <li><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><a href="http://www.whywaldorfworks.org/02_W_Education/index.asp" target="_blank">Why Waldorf Works (US)</a></font></li><li><a href="http://www.steinerwaldorf.org.uk/" target="_blank"><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship (UK)</font></a></li><li><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><a href="http://ecswe.org/" target="_blank">The European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education (ECSWE)</a><br></font></li> <li> <font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><a href="WaldorfFAQ.htm">Frequently Asked Questions about Waldorf education</a></font></li> </ul> <font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">See also:</font> <ul> <li> <font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><a href="http://www.emersonwaldorf.org/?s=curriculum">The basic curriculum at one Waldorf school</a></font></li> <li> <font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><a href="http://wn.elib.com/Steiner/Articles/EduChild/EduChi_index.html">The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy by Rudolf Steiner (essay 1909)</a></font></li> <li> <font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><a target="_blank" href="http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA024/IntWal_index.html">An introduction to Waldorf education by Rudolf Steiner (lecture 1919)</a></font></li> <li><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Waldorf-Education-Teaching-ebook/dp/B00B0SAF8I/" target="_blank">Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching from the Inside out</a> by Jack Petrash</font></li> <li><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><a href="http://tedxrockcreekpark.com/portfolio/educating-children-for-tomorrow-jack-petrash/" target="_blank">Educating Children for Tomorrow</a> by Jack Petrash<br></font></li> </ul> <center><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><a href="#top">return to top</a></font> <p><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font size="-1"><a href="Copyright.htm">Copyright</a> 2004-2014: Robert Mays and Sune Nordwall</font></font></p></center> </td> </tr> </tbody></table> <center><img src="space20.gif" height="20" width="20"></center> </td> </tr> </tbody></table></center> </body></html>