Receive the child in reverence, educate the child in love, release the child in freedom.                                                                                                     Rudolf Steiner

Often people will ask me : What is Waldorf?

The quick answer is.......It's the name of the schools and education that is based on Rudolf Steiner the founder of Anthroposophy . The name came from the first school that was opened in 1919 in the Waldorf Astoria factory to teach the children of the factory workers.

Waldorf schools are open to children from all social, religious, racial, and economic backgrounds and offer a humanistic approach to pedagogy.

The structure of the education follows Steiner's theories of child development, which divides childhood into three developmental stages, each with its own learning requirements. Early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence.

Steiner also adapted the idea of the classic four temperaments:

Melancholic, sanguine, phlegmatic and choleric – for pedagogical use in the elementary years. Steiner indicated that teaching should be differentiated to accommodate the different needs that these psycho-physical types represent. For example, "choleric's are risk takers, phlegmatic's take things calmly, melancholic's are sensitive or introverted, and sanguine's take things lightly or flippantly."

What makes Waldorf early childhood education “Waldorf”?

Rudolf Steiner spoke on a number of occasions about the experiences that are essential for the healthy development of the young child. 

These include:
•    love and warmth
•    an environment that nourishes the senses
•    creative and artistic experiences
•    meaningful adult activity to be imitated
•    free, imaginative play
•    protection of the forces of childhood
•    gratitude, reverence, and wonder
•    joy, humor, and happiness 
•    adult caregivers pursuing a path of inner development

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Children do not learn through instruction or admonition but though imitation.  Good sight will develop if the environment has the proper conditions of light and color, while in the brain and blood circulation, the physical foundations will be laid for a healthy sense of morality if children witness moral actions in their surroundings. 
        —Rudolf Steiner, The Education of the Child

Although it is highly necessary that each person should be fully awake in later life, the child must be allowed to remain as long as possible in the peaceful, dreamlike condition of pictorial imagination in which his early years of life are passed.  For if we allow his organism to grow strong in this nonintellectual way, he will rightly develop in later life the intellectuality needed in the world today
        —Rudolf Steiner, A Modern Art of Education

Children who live in an atmosphere of love and warmth, and who have around them truly good examples to imitate, are living in their proper element.
            —Rudolf Steiner, The Education of the Child


"The advent of the Waldorf Schools was in my opinion the greatest contribution to world peace and understanding in the century."

- Willy Brandt, Former Chancellor of West Germany, Nobel Prize Winner

For more info about Rudolf Steiner and Waldorf education please see the following links:

Waldorf Education  

Waldorf Canada  

International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education 

Bund der freien Waldorf Schulen  (German)


The Waldorf Philosophy encourages to be part of nature, experience weather and the seasons and rhythm of the year as well as spiritual festivals.