Rudolf Steiner - founder of Steiner Waldorf educationWaldorf Answers(Michael and the Dragon by Schongauer (1470), symbolizing the triumph of truth over falsehood)
since April 2004

Waldorf Graduate awarded Nobel Prize in Medicine

Thomas Südhof, a graduate of the Hannover Waldorf School in Germany, recently shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discoveries regarding the regulation of neurotransmitter vesicles in the brain.

Welcome to Waldorf Answers!

There are quite a few web sites on the internet that deal with Waldorf or Steiner education. Usually they are sites for a specific Waldorf school or an association of Waldorf schools.

This site is different. It is a private site, intending to provide answers about Waldorf education, in depth, that parents and prospective parents may have, and to clear up some of the misconceptions that may exist about Waldorf education. Our intention is to provide a straightforward presentation of the facts about Waldorf education.

Waldorf schools

Waldorf or Rudolf Steiner education is a unique form of education from preschool through high school, which is based on the view that the human being is a being of body, soul and spirit. The specific methods used in Waldorf schools come from the view that the child develops through a number of basic stages from childhood to adulthood. The Waldorf curriculum is specifically designed to work with the child through these stages of development.

Waldorf education was developed by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) at the beginning of the 20th century. It is based on Steiner's broader philosophy and teachings, called anthroposophy (literally, wisdom or knowledge of man).

Anthroposophy holds that the human being is fundamentally a spiritual being and that all human beings deserve respect as the embodiment of their spiritual nature. This view is carried into Waldorf education as striving to develop in each child their innate talents and abilities. Waldorf schools operate in a non-discriminatory way, without regard to race, gender, ethnicity, religion or national origin.

Some of the ideas in Waldorf education and anthroposophy are complex and require a degree of good will on the part of the reader to grasp. However, they form a coherent whole and Waldorf education, as documented by numerous studies and personal experiences, works well when done properly.

Waldorf methods schools

This site describes Waldorf education as practiced at schools consciously working out of an anthroposophical understanding and view of man.

There are also private and public schools which to varying degrees use "Waldorf methods". While Waldorf methods constitute selected aspects of the Waldorf curriculum and pedagogy, the teachers and administrators at such Waldorf methods or Waldorf inspired schools do not necessarily work out of a conscious or specifically anthroposophical view and understanding of the soul and spiritual nature of man. This distinction is discussed further in a separate section at this site.

The Waldorf movement

Today, the Waldorf movement is one of the fastest growing independent school movements in the world. Currently there are around 1,000 Waldorf schools world wide.

If you are a parent or prospective parent of a Waldorf school, we hope this site will provide you the background and answers to your questions, presenting the ideas of Waldorf and anthroposophy so that you are fully informed about the education you may choose for your children.

We also hope this site will provide basic information for anyone who may be interested in Waldorf education and its relation to anthroposophy as its philosophical basis.

If you think something is unclear and difficult to understand on the site, or have suggestions for improving it, please feel free to write to us about it.

Robert Mays and Sune Nordwall

return to top

Copyright 2004-2014: Robert Mays and Sune Nordwall