Rudolf Steiner

An Austrian-born scientist and philosopher, Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925) lectured extensively throughout Europe. Working from esoteric traditions as well as natural science, Steiner developed a three-fold vision of the human being, comprised of body, soul, and spirit. He named this spiritual element of his work Anthroposophy. His work extended into medicine and pharmacology; into biodynamic agriculture and farming; and eventually into political and social activism. The educational branch of Anthroposophy, Waldorf Education, was born out of this activism in the aftermath of WWI.

Waldorf Around the World

The first Waldorf school opened in 1919 in Stuttgart, Germany. Emil Molt, director of the Waldorf Astoria cigarette factory, invited Rudolf Steiner to become the pedagogical director of a school for the children of his factory workers. Steiner’s insightful philosophy, that education must be based on an understanding of human development, became what we now know as Waldorf Education.

Over the next decades, Steiner’s educational impulse proliferated, and there are now more than 1,000 independent Waldorf schools in 60 countries. Waldorf has adapted and evolved, and there are Waldorf-inspired public and charter schools, home-schooling programs, and academies. Over 2,000 kindergartens and 650 centers designed for special education exist. This represents one of the largest independent school movements in the world.

Our Beginnings

In 1928, our founders, inspired by Steiner’s unique insights, created the first Waldorf School in North America, the Rudolf Steiner School in NYC. In 1955 the Upper School opened, enabling the school to provide a Waldorf education for students spanning early childhood through 12th grade. Over the next sixty years, more than 200 Waldorf schools have sprung up around the country, each bringing the ideals of Waldorf education to their communities.