What is Waldorf Education?
Developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, Waldorf Education is based on a developmental approach that addresses the needs of the growing child and maturing adolescent. Waldorf teachers strive to transform education in to an art that educates the whole child—the heart and the hands, as well as the head. For more information, please go to Waldorf Education: An Introduction
What is the curriculum like in a Waldorf school?
Waldorf Education approaches all aspects of schooling in a unique and comprehensive way. The curriculum is designed to meet the various stages of child development. Waldorf teachers are dedicated to creating a genuine inner enthusiasm for learning that is essential for educational success.
Preschool and Kindergarten children learn primarily through imitation and imagination. The goal of the kindergarten is to develop a sense of wonder in the young child and reverence for all living things. This creates an eagerness for the academics that follow in the grades. Preschool and Kindergarten activities include:
storytelling, puppetry, creative play
singing, eurythmy (movement)
games and finger plays
painting, drawing and beeswax modeling
baking and cooking, nature walks, circle time for festival and seasonal celebrations
Elementary and middle-school children learn through the guidance of a class teacher who stays with the class ideally for eight years. The curriculum includes:
English based on world literature, mythology, and legends
history that is chronological and inclusive of the world's great civilizations
science that surveys geography, astronomy, meteorology, physical and life sciences
mathematics that develops competence in arithmetic, algebra, and geometry
foreign languages; physical education and sports; gardening
arts including music, painting, drawing, sculpture, drama, eurythmy,
pracitcal arts such as knitting, weaving, and woodworking
The Waldorf high school is dedicated to helping students develop their full potential as scholars, artists, athletes, and community members. The course of study includes:
a humanities curriculum that integrates history, literature, and knowledge of world cultures
a science curriculum that includes physics, biology, chemistry, geology, and a four-year college preparatory mathematics program
an arts and crafts program that includes drawing, painting, sculpture, and practical arts such as woodworking, blacksmithing, and fiber arts
a performing arts program offering orchestra, choir, eurythmy and drama
a foreign language program
a sports program
For a more in-depth examination of the curriculum at Kimberton Waldorf School, please click here
How do Waldorf graduates do after graduation?
Waldorf students have been accepted in and graduated from a broad spectrum of colleges and universities including Stanford, UC Berkeley, Harvard, Yale, and Brown. Waldorf graduates reflect a wide diversity of professions and occupations including medicine, law, science, engineering, computer technology, the arts, social science, government, and teaching at all levels.
According to a recent study of Waldorf graduates:
94% attended college or university
47% chose humanities or arts as a major
42% chose sciences or math as a major
89% are highly satisfied in choice of occupation
91% are active in lifelong education
92% placed a high value on critical thinking
90% highly values tolerance of other viewpoints
Is Waldorf Similar to Montessori?
These two educational approaches began with a similar goal: to design a curriculum that was developmentally appropriate to the child and that addressed the child's need to learn in a tactile as well as an intellectual way. The philosophies are otherwise very different.
Are Waldorf schools religious?
Waldorf schools are non-sectarian and non-denominational. They educate all children, regardless of their cultural or religious backgrounds. The pedagogical method is comprehensive, and, as part of its task, seeks to bring about recognition and understanding of all the world cultures and religions.