“The need for imagination, a sense of truth and a feeling of responsibility — these are the three forces which are the very nerve of education”
This is how Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the first Waldorf school in 1919, characterized what should be a human-centered approach to education.
Education in our Western society focuses on the intellectual aspect of the human being and has chosen largely to ignore the several other parts that are essential to our well-being. These include our life of feeling (emotions, aesthetics, and social sensitivity), our willpower (the ability to get things done), and our moral nature (being clear about right and wrong). Without having these developed, we are incomplete—a fact that may become obvious in our later years, when a feeling of emptiness begins to set in. That is why in a Waldorf school, the practical and artistic subjects play as important a role as the full spectrum of traditional academic subjects that the school offers. The practical and artistic are essential in achieving a preparation for life in the “real” world.
With these goals in mind, the Waldorf teachers view each child as a person who has within themselves a unique “self” worthy of care and development. Teachers work with the conviction that each child has individual talents and gifts which are of value and will play a part in our future. Waldorf teachers strive to create the environment for those “seed” talents to blossom.
The Waldorf method, however, also understands and nurtures the changing needs and consciousness of the child as he or she grows from the young child to the mature high school student:
Please see the links to the right that will take you on a journey through childhood, grade by grade, at the hand of an education inspired by the Waldorf method.