What is Waldorf?
Waldorf schools offer a developmentally appropriate, experiential, and academically rigorous approach to education. They integrate the arts in all academic disciplines for children from preschool through twelfth grade to enhance and enrich learning. Waldorf education aims to inspire life-long learning in all students and to enable them to fully develop their unique capacities.
Founded in the early 20th century, Waldorf education is based on the insights, teachings and principles of education outlined by the world renowned artist, and scientist, Rudolf Steiner. The principles of Waldorf education evolve from an understanding of human development that address the needs of the growing child.
Music, dance and theater, writing, literature, legends and myths are not simply subjects to be read about and tested. They are experienced. Through these experiences, Waldorf students cultivate their intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual capacities to be individuals certain of their paths and to be of service to the world.
Professors who have taught Waldorf students across many academic disciplines and across a wide range of campuses—from State Universities to Ivy League—note that Waldorf graduates have the ability to integrate thinking; to assimilate information as opposed to memorizing isolated facts; to be flexible, creative and willing to take intellectual risks; and are leaders with high ethical and moral standards who take initiative and are passionate to reach their goals. Waldorf graduates are highly sought after in higher education.
Teachers in Waldorf schools are dedicated to generating an inner enthusiasm for learning within every child. This eliminates the need for competitive testing, academic placement, and rewards to motivate learning and allows motivation to arise from within. It helps engender the capacity for joyful life-long learning.
Waldorf education is independent and inclusive. It upholds the principles of freedom in education and engages independent administration locally, continentally and internationally. It is regionally appropriate education with hundreds of schools worldwide today. Waldorf education is truly Inspired Learning.
Preparing for Life:
What’s Old is New Again
Many parents these days are concerned with the high stress and pressure children are facing in mainstream American education. A study in Rhode Island showed that 29% of students in grades 3-5 felt that school was “quite” or “extremely” stressful and an alarming 41% of students “almost always” worried about their grades. 10 and 11-year-olds are needing to be reassured that their elementary SAT scores will not decide their futures. Parents are looking for an alternative. In a national conversation about how to fix the issues, people are discussing “new” solutions such as moving away from early, pressure-cooker academics, less homework and more time outside in nature, the importance of handwriting, longer-term relationships of teachers with a class of students, less emphasis on standardized testing and less screen time, just to name a few. None of these ideas are new within the Waldorf environment. Waldorf Education has 100 years of history and tradition, yet it is as fresh and relevant today as ever. It is the fastest growing independent school movement in the world with more than 250 Waldorf schools in North America and more than 1000 schools worldwide.
We strive to create a safe and nurturing environment for students and their families, while preparing our students for life beyond Maple Village. Our families face the same choices and challenges as any family does. Ultimately our students will have to make their way in the larger world outside of “Waldorf”. Our goal is to help them to know who they are so that they can go forward with confidence and equipped to thrive. We help them engage the larger world in a healthy way that allows them to develop their independence and good judgment.
Education for the Journey:
A Sense of Wonder:
On September 19, 2019, Waldorf education will proudly mark its 100th anniversary. From September 2018 through June 2020, Waldorf schools and communities around the world celebrate this anniversary through social and environmental impact projects. These campaigns aim to stimulate dialogue around human values in education and support initiatives that revitalize society and our relationship with our earth.
Learn more about how Waldorf schools around the world will celebrate in the coming months.
The world gets better one person and one action at a time. “Seeding the Future” provides a glimpse into the principles of Waldorf education, an education that fosters concern for others, connection to the world, and the capacity to be in service to society. This video is a trailer to the international film, “Learn to Change the World” (part 1 and 2) film below.