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Rudolf Steiner College students are anywhere from 20 to 80 years old and beyond. They come seeking meaning in life, inspiration for creativity, ways to serve high ideals in a troubled world, and sometimes to earn an academic degree. They have come to study meditation, gardening, Waldorf education, and/or various arts.

Rudolf Steiner understood the human being as a being of body, soul, and spirit. He emphasized that to realize our destiny we must cultivate to the fullest each of these aspects. His approach to an integrated understanding of the nature of human beings and our relationship to the entire world is known as Anthroposophy, which combines knowledge of the spirit and a path of inner development.

Foundation in Anthroposophical Studies is meant for anyone interested in self-development and is the required first year for those wishing to become Waldorf teachers. It includes the study of Steiner’s thought; work in the various arts–singing, instrumental music, eurythmy, painting, drawing, handcrafts, speech and drama; and instruction in meditative techniques for personal development.

Waldorf Education is an holistic approach that seeks to help the child develop as a physical, emotional, artistic, intellectual, moral, and spiritual being. The Waldorf curriculum includes all the standard academic subjects–English, math, history, and science–and also various arts and handcrafts. Each child in a Waldorf school learns to sing, play a musical instrument, draw, paint, model clay, work with wood, knit, sew, recite poetry, and act in a play. The development of social skills, of moral awareness, and awareness of the earth is also an important part of life in a Waldorf school.

Since its founding by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, the Waldorf school movement has grown to over 800 schools throughout the world, over 150 of them in the United States and Canada. Increasing recognition from parents and educators has led to rapid expansion and, with it, a shortage of trained Waldorf teachers.

Steiner's detailed psychology of child development, described early in the 20th century, has been supported by modern research in education and neuropsychology. Through Waldorf education, Steiner hoped that young people would develop the capacities of soul and intellect and the strength of will that would prepare them to meet the challenges of their own time and the future.

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Being a Waldorf Teacher from AWSNA on Vimeo.

 

 


What Do People Think About Waldorf Education?

Waldorf Graduate:

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 am convinced that Waldorf schools deliver an essential alternative to our existing systems. A Waldorf education provides students with an approach to learning which successfully integrates the arts and sciences with the practical tools necessary to succeed in these challenging times. I am personally very grateful for the foundation that was laid during my formative years at Waldorf. Kenneth I. Chenault, President and CEO, The American Express Company

Professor:

Waldorf education addresses the child as no other education does. Learning, whether in chemistry, mathematics, history or geography, is imbued with life and so with joy, which is the only true basis for later study. The textures and colors of nature, the accomplishments and struggles of humankind fill the Waldorf students' imaginations and the pages of their beautiful books. Education grows into a union with life that serves them for decades. By the time they reach us at the college and university level, these students are grounded broadly and deeply and have a remarkable enthusiasm for learning. Such students possess the eye of the discoverer, and the compassionate heart of the reformer which, when joined to a task, can change the planet.Arthur Zajonc, Ph.D., Professor of Physics, Amherst College

Author:

Ideal for the child and society in the best of times, Rudolf Steiner's brilliant process of education is critically needed and profoundly relevant now at this time of childhood crisis and educational breakdown. Waldorf education nurtures the intellectual, psychological and spiritual unfolding of the child. The concerned parent and teacher will find a multitude of problems clearly addressed in this practical, artistic approach.Joseph Chilton Pearce, Author, Magical Child,The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, and Evolution’s End: Claiming the Potential of Our Intelligence

Waldorf Parent:

American schools are having a crisis in values. Half the children fail according to standard measures and the other half wonder why they are learning what they do. As is appropriate to life in a democracy, there are a handful of alternatives. Among the alternatives, the Waldorf school represents a chance for every child to grow and learn according to the most natural rhythms of life. For the early school child, this means a non-competitive, non-combative environment in which the wonders of science and literature fill the day without causing anxiety and confusion. For the older child, it offers a curriculum that addresses the question of why they are learning. I have sent two of my children to Waldorf schools and they have been wonderfully well served.Ray McDermott, Ph.D., Professor of Education and Anthropology, Stanford University