What Is Waldorf Education?


Developed in Europe by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, Waldorf education is based on a developmental approach that addresses the needs of the growing child and maturing adolescent. The curriculum is carefully designed to strengthen a child’s moral purpose, creativity, and intellectual abilities toward a balanced whole. Waldorf teachers strive to artistically transform concepts in learning to living realities so that the whole child – including their intellect, their heart, and their volition – is enhanced.

We believe that children need to become creative thinkers, confident in their own abilities, possessing a reverence for life and a strong sense of personal responsibility.

The Waldorf system has become the fastest growing independent, non-denominational educational movement in the world, with schools all across the globe.

Each school is run autonomously and values meeting local needs, yet all Waldorf schools are united by a common educational philosophy.

Waldorf schools are known for their interdisciplinary approach to education and their emphasis on the cultivation of imagination in childhood.

The Waldorf curriculum is structured to offer content at a time that is most effective in engaging children at each level of their development.

Waldorf students experience subject matter in many ways, including discussion, movement, and artistically. They are challenged and inspired at each stage of growth.

Some of the key characteristics of Waldorf education are:

  • academic rigor
  • meaningful experiences of the natural world and our place in it
  • experiential learning of science and mathematics
  • art and music integrated throughout the curriculum
  • nurturing social development
  • character-building work and stories
  • respect for the value of childhood
  • space and time for young children to grow, explore, and discover the world
  • cultivation of imagination in students, leading to creative problem-solving

Our goal is that Ashwood graduates feel confident in their ability to try new things, express themselves well in varied contexts, respect others, are curious about the world around them, and feel a sense of purpose and possibility for the future.

Learn more about Waldorf education:

Why Waldorf Works

Waldorf Answers