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"Steiner-Waldorf" Educational Approach

   Rudolf Steiner
Waldorf education is a pedagogy based upon the educational philosophy of the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the anthroposophy.  Learning is interdisciplinary, integrating practical, artistic and conceptual elements.  

The first Waldorf school was founded in 1919 to serve the children of employees at the Waldorf-Astoria in Stuttgart.  As of 2012 there were 1015 independent Waldorf schools located in sixty two countries throughout the world;  as of 2011 there were 1640 kindergartens and 132 institutions for special education world-wide.  There are also Waldorf-based public and Charter schools, homeschooling environments, and Waldorf ideas are being taken up, often less in whole than in part, by expanding number of American public and private schools today.

The Waldorf approach emphasizes the role of the imagination, developing thinking that includes a creative as well as an analytic component.  The overarching goals of this educational approach are to provide young people the basis on which to develop into free, moral and integrated individuals, and to help every child fulfill his or her unique destiny, the existence of which anthroposophy posits.  Schools and teachers are given considerable freedom to define curricula within collegial structures.