In the 1920s, central Europe was fertile ground for social initiatives arising from Rudolf Steiner’s work. A group of Americans were inspired to transport one such initiative across the Atlantic. In the fall of 1928, the first Waldorf School in North America opened its doors in New York City.
Through the next decades, this new educational impulse evolved and grew eventually to include our High School (est. 1955). As the “first Waldorf school in North America,” we watched with delight as hundreds of schools have sprung up around the country, bringing the ideals of Waldorf education to worldwide renown.
With our 100th anniversary in the not-too-distant future, the faculty and staff of the Rudolf Steiner School have begun to imagine what changes the second century of Waldorf education will demand. We are confident that our principles, articulated by Rudolf Steiner, will be as relevant in the future as they have proven themselves so far.
Who Was Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925) was an Austrian philosopher who wrote and lectured widely throughout Europe. It was his particular genius to imagine the human condition in the broadest of contexts.
In the early years of the 20th Century, working equally on natural scientific as well as esoteric traditions, Steiner elaborated a three-fold understanding of the human being as body, soul, and spirit. “Anthroposophy” is the name he gave to this spiritual anthropology. At its core, this is a contemplative study.
In his later years, Steiner branched out to the performing and visual arts, to medicine and pharmacology (Hauschka, Weleda), to agriculture (biodynamic), and in the aftermath of WWI to political activism. The Waldorf School initiative was borne of this social impulse.