The Power of Waldorf Education

What is Waldorf Education? And How Does it Work?

Waldorf Education is a worldwide independent school movement represented with over 1,100 schools (elementary and high school), 2,000 early childhood programs, and 530 centers for special education.

Started over 100 years ago, Waldorf Education is now in over 80 countries, and is recognized as the forerunner of many contemporary learning and teaching methods used today. These methods include theme-based education, schedule blocks, and teaching to multiple learning styles. They also include “looping” (the practice of moving groups of children up from one grade to the next with the same teacher also known as “multi-year grouping”), and “character education” (helping children develop the virtues or moral habits to live good lives and become contributing members of their communities).

However, the healing power of Waldorf Education rests upon its foundation in a developmentally appropriate curriculum (also known as an age-appropriate curriculum) and a three-fold learning process that engages “head, heart, and hands” (or thinking, feeling, and doing). It is upon these tenets that Waldorf teachers nurture and engage each child through an integrated curriculum of academics, arts, and practical skills. And it is why Waldorf schools are recognized worldwide for cultivating the following qualities in their students:

Student Library 2023

Waldorf Education works – a claim that is supported with an overwhelming body of research from the past twenty years, primarily in neuroscience, that shows how Waldorf pedagogy works to support the healthy development and optimal functioning of the brain. (SOURCE: Why Waldorf Works: From a Neuroscientific Perspective by Dr. Regalena Melrose)

Waldorf Education was started in Germany in 1919 by Dr. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) – an Austrian philosopher, teacher, social reformer, artist, and visionary. Steiner is also the founder of “Anthroposophy” – a movement that teaches an enlarged and deepened concept of what it means to be human. His anthroposophical insights, which underlie Waldorf pedagogy, have also inspired numerous initiatives related to Camphill communities, biodynamic agriculture, social finance, anthroposophical medicine, social arts, and more.

Anthroposophy itself is not taught in Waldorf schools. However, many Waldorf teachers, including those at Lakota Waldorf School, use Steiner’s insights into child development to create a nurturing environment that educations the entire child: head, hands, and heart.

Waldorf Education Resources

Videos, Websites, and PDF’s (Listed Alphabetically)

Notable Waldorf Alumni

Although fame is not the only measure of success, this partial list of notable Waldorf Alumni from around the world provides a picture of the many ways that Waldorf education prepares students to pursue their passion.

Also, here is a partial list of celebrities who have chosen to send their children to a Walschool: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Art Garfunkel, Harvey Keitel, Jessica Lange, George Lucas, Paul Newman, Rosie O’Donnell, Carly Simon, James Taylor, and Nina Rothschild Utne.

“The heart of the Waldorf method is the conviction that education is an art… To educate the whole child, his heart and will must be reached as well as his mind.”
Lakota Waldorf School Site Icon
Dr. Rudolf Steiner
Founder of Waldorf Education
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