A Brief History of Waldorf Education
At Rowan Tree Children’s School we strive to incorporate the principles of Waldorf education.
Waldorf education is a worldwide system of education for preschool through grade 12 developed from the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. Steiner, an Austrian scientist, educator and writer, turned his attention to education after the First World War at the request of a friend who helped Steiner found a school in Stuttgart in 1919. The impulse for ‘Waldorf education’ as it came to be called, spread throughout Europe, with the first school in America being founded in New York City in 1928.
Currently there are over 1,100 Waldorf / Steiner schools and almost 2,000 Waldorf kindergartens
in more than 80 countries.
Steiner was a pioneer in the area of developmentally based, age appropriate learning, and many of his teachings were later born out by the work of Gesell, Piaget and others. In addition, he sought to develop a balanced education for the “whole child”, one which would engage the child’s feeling and willing, as well as thinking and would leave his or her inner nature acknowledged, but free. From preschool through to high school, the goal of Waldorf education is the same – a balanced education that strives to develop the physical, emotional and spiritual forces at work in each child.