23 April in 1919 – Birthday of the 1st Waldorf School, Stuttgart Germany. Emil Molt asked Rudolf Steiner for his help & guidance to start a school for his workers children. It was on April 23, 1919, after a lecture Steiner gave to the factory workers on the 3-fold social order that Molt asked Steiner to take on the planning & leadership of the new school.
Molt later said he considered this the true birth date of the school. Steiner enthusiastically accepted the task.
“In the end, the Waldorf School movement is connected to the
threefold movement. The Waldorf School movement is conceivable only within a free spiritual life”. ~Rudolf Steiner
Waldorf education is based on the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy. Its pedagogy emphasizes the role of imagination in learning, striving to integrate holistically the intellectual, practical, & artistic development of the students.
Steiner’s division of child development into three major stages is reflected in the schools’ approach to early childhood education, which focuses on practical, hands-on activities & creative play; to elementary education, which focuses on developing artistic expression & social capacities; & to secondary education, which focuses on developing critical reasoning & empathic understanding.
The overarching goal is to develop free, morally responsible, & integrated individuals equipped with a high degree of social competence.
Qualitative assessments of student work are integrated into the daily life of the classroom, with quantitative testing playing a minimal role in primary education & standardized testing usually limited to that required for college entry. Individual teachers & schools have a great deal of autonomy in determining curriculum content, teaching methodology, & governance