Introduction to Waldorf Education
As of today Waldorf education, originally coming from Germany, has developed into a complete and independent educational system with a practicing history of more than 80 years. The Austrian scientist and educational expert Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) is the founder of Waldorf education, advocating a brand-new humane spirit and innovative educational ideas. Steiner thinks that the problems resulting from our industrialized society cannot be solved merely on a material level, but we also have to change the way we are thinking and the education we are giving to our children. A civilized social order can only be gained from a harmonious development of humanity, society and the universe.Therefore, education should focus on human beings, guiding them to find their true selves, seeking their born wisdom, waken their judgment towards live and themselves. In this way, people will find their direction and their meaning in life.
Waldorf education, as a non-religious, independent educational movement, has been developing for more than 90 years. It has reached a period of relative maturity in Europe. In North- and South America and the south pacific areas it is developing vibrantly. In these decades, Waldorf education has also begun to develop in Japan, Thailand, Nepal, India, Vietnam and some parts of Taiwan. According to research conducted in 2000 by the German association “Friends of Waldorf Education” there are at present 876 Waldorf schools, 2000 Waldorf kindergartens and 300 correction educational institutes around the world. As a non-mainstream education, Waldorf education is fully recognized and supported by the UNESCO. Additionally, some Waldorf schools are also members of the UNESCO´s international educational joint school project network.
Waldorf education focuses on the nature of people and holds the goal of achieving a harmonious natural and social environment.By using natural and healthy methods, we pursuit an overall threefold development of the children's will (body), feeling (mind) and sense (consciousness). We will turn the single anthropology study into a creatively close interaction of art, handwork, movement, music and balance it with Chinese, math, science and social activity, in order to help the children with their balanced development of head, mind and body. In the process of the children's developmental process of sincerity, beauty and truth, Waldorf education is meant to help children fully understand their own potential and to encourage their pursuit of freedom. It should help them to become creative, practical and responsible persons. In that way they can devote their skills and their character to the development of our world in the future.