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History of Waldorf Education

Waldorf education developed in the end of the 19th century by Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher and teacher who sought to apply a new way of thinking to different aspects of humanity. Art, architecture, drama, science, education, agriculture, medicine, economics, religion, care of the dying, social organization - there is almost no field he did not touch. Contemporary manifestations of Steiner's influence include Biodynamic farming and gardening, the Camphill Movement for the support of people with disabilities, and the Weleda Company, in addition to Waldorf education.

The first Waldorf School opened its doors in September 1919 in Stuttgart, Germany, under the sponsorship of the Waldorf-Astoria Company. The first Waldorf School was revolutionary for its time – a co-educational school open to children from all social, religious, racial, and economic backgrounds that provided a comprehensive and highly cultural education that would help students become creative and balanced individuals in the fullest sense.

By 1928 the premiere Waldorf School had grown to become the largest non-denominational school in Germany, serving as a model for other Waldorf Schools in other countries. Following the Second World War, the Waldorf Schools rapidly spread through Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Today, there are over 2,500 Waldorf Schools worldwide.


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