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  • 9200 Fair Oaks Blvd, Fair Oaks, CA 95628
  • 916.961.8727

San Francisco Waldorf Teacher Education

Rudolf Steiner College

This weekend / summer program combines both foundation courses and teacher education coursework and is ideal for those living in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Students may choose a specialization of early childhood, elementary (grades 1-8), or high school education through this program. This three-year program begins in the Fall, meets Saturdays in San Francisco during the Fall and Spring terms, and three weeks each summer on the main campus in Fair Oaks, CA.  There will be some Monday through Friday requirements in the Fall and Spring terms: Year One - seven days of classroom observation; Year Two - three weeks of practice teaching; Year Three - four weeks of practice teaching.  This program emphasizes the awakening of the faculties of the teacher and the progressive development of his/her creativity in preparation for becoming a Waldorf teacher. Qualified graduates have the opportunity to apply to Waldorf schools worldwide.

By becoming a Waldorf Teacher you will bring deeper meaning and perspective to your life...

  • Learn to renew the art of education and carry this wisdom with you in everything you explore, as parents or as teachers
  • Enhance your artistic creativity
  • Deepen your understanding of the human being and his destiny
  • Learn to renew the art of education and carry this wisdom with you in everything you explore
  • Work with master teachers who share their expertise and insights while helping you develop classroom capacities and skills
  • Learn to fully integrate practical experience, academics, and the arts while exploring social and group dynamics with your classmates
  • Prepare to become a Waldorf teacher in early childhood, elementary grades, or secondary high school

Dear San Francisco Teacher Education Students,

We are looking forward to welcoming you onto the Fair Oaks campus at the end of this month for your summer residential weeks. This letter brings our warm greetings and an official announcement of the new leadership of our San Francisco program. As you are aware, Irene Francois will conclude her work with you at the end of the summer session and will return to Montreal. We are deeply grateful for the work that she has done with the College and with all of you. Irene leaves with our heartfelt thanks and warm wishes for her new endeavors. I attended your end of year assembly and the depth and substance of the work you have done under Irene’s guidance was very much in evidence – as was your affection and gratitude for her.

As we look toward the future, we are delighted to announce our new San Francisco leadership team. Dr. Joan Caldarera will assume the position of Program Director. Many of you may already know Joan; she has been a core member of the San Francisco Waldorf School since its founding--first as a parent, then early childhood teacher, class teacher, high school teacher (Joan was one of the founders of the high school) and school administrator. She is currently teaching in the high school. Joan has taught as an adjunct faculty member at San Francisco State University and has given many public lectures on Waldorf education.

Joan served as Northern California’s founding member on the Leadership Council of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, and is currently a member of their accreditation review team. It is safe to state that Joan knows Waldorf education at every level from the inside out. In addition, Joan returned to school several years ago and completed a doctorate in Educational Leadership, placing her “Waldorf” knowledge and experience in an academic setting. She is very aware of the challenges and issues confronting contemporary education, and we know that she will be a wonderful addition to your studies. Joan will continue with some teaching responsibilities at the San Francisco Waldorf High School. She feels that this will give her an important perspective in her work in teacher education – and she loves to teach!

Joan will be joined in directing the Program by Dr. Robert McDermott. He was Chair of the Board of Rudolf Steiner College, Sunbridge College, and a member of the council of the Anthroposophical Society. He is President Emeritus of the California Institute for Integral Studies, is current Chair of its Department of Philosophy and Religion. Robert is a prolific author and accomplished, sought-after speaker on a wide range of topics related to anthroposophy, Waldorf education, and spirituality and religion. His book, The New Essential Steiner, is considered an excellent introduction to anthroposophy. We are thrilled that he will be joining our faculty and know that he will enhance your learning experience.

Joan and Robert will be working closely with the current San Francisco faculty. The structure of the Program will continue unchanged with a combination of weekends throughout the year, field experience, projects, and summer intensives. Joan will spend some time in Fair Oaks this summer and is looking forward to meeting with you. She and Robert will be in touch with you over the summer. Joan’s College email is Please feel free to contact her directly with any questions.

Joan and Robert look forward to continuing the quality of your program, nurtured to this point by Irene and the program directors who preceded her. We warmly encourage you to complete your re-enrollment paperwork for what promises to be an exciting 2014-15 academic year.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns, either over the next few weeks or when you are on campus. I look forward to seeing you then.

With warm wishes,

Liz Beaven

Program Director

Joan Caldarera, Ed.D., is excited to be joining the RSC staff this fall as the new Program Director at RSC, SF Campus. She earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Davis, in 2013 with a dissertation entitled "Through the Lives of the Teachers: How Waldorf Class Teachers Think about Morality, Waldorf Education, and the Arts in the 21st Century." Dr. Caldarera has been part of San Francisco Waldorf School for 35 years, teaching  at all levels, from Nursery through High School, where she continues to teach Humanities main lessons. She also has administrative experience, having served as High School Chair for 5 years and Head of Administration for 4, as well as being a member of the first Leadership Council of the reformed Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) for 6 years.


Please see the Admissions Requirements page of this website for details on the prerequisites for this program and each of the concentrations.


Successful completion of this program culminates in a Waldorf Teaching Diploma. An M.A. option is available*.

How to Apply

For information about the Admissions process, Tuition and Fees, and Financial Aid, go to our Admissions page or contact us. For information about this San Francisco program, please email
Please visit the BPPE Report and School Performance Fact Sheets webpage for information such as enrollment, graduation and employment of graduates for this program. 

Rudolf Steiner College San Francisco Program is committed to upholding the high quality of education of its parent-campus and thus unites a faculty of master-teachers with classes designed to progressively build-up the student’s knowledge of pedagogy, anthroposophy, didactics, and all of the arts that comprise the art of Waldorf teaching.

*MA in Waldorf Education: The Master of Arts in Education with a Concentration in Waldorf Education from Rudolf Steiner College has been reviewed and found acceptable by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), by which Rudolf Steiner College was awarded Candidacy for Accreditation as of 3/08/12. Rudolf Steiner College has been recognized as a Candidate for Accreditation by WASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Avenue, #100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510-748- 9001. This status is a preliminary pre-accreditation affiliation with the Commission awarded within the five year period allowed to achieve Initial Accreditation. Candidacy is an indication that the institution is progressing toward Initial Accreditation. Candidacy is not Accreditation and does not ensure eventual Accreditation. 

Rudolf Steiner College is a private, non-profit 501 c(3) institution that is approved to operate as a degree-granting institution by the State of California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). 

For further information, please visit See section seven of the Catalog for requirements and course descriptions. If you would like one of our faculty or staff to contact you about our MA options, please e-mail