Waldorf education (or Steiner education, as it is known in other parts of the world) is a unique approach to working with children from preschool through high school that takes as its starting premise an understanding of the human being as body, soul and spirit. The specific methods used in schools inspired by Waldorf education come from the view that the child develops through a number of basic stages from childhood to adulthood. The Waldorf curriculum is specifically designed to work with the child through these stages of development.
Waldorf education was developed by Austrian philosopher and scientist Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925) at the beginning of the 20th century. It is based on Steiner’s broader philosophy and teachings called anthroposophy (literally, wisdom of knowledge of man).
Anthroposophy holds that the human being is fundamentally a spiritual being. This view is expressed in Waldorf education as a striving to guide each child to develop his or her innate talents and abilities and grow into a balanced adult capable of contributing to community life. In the past decade, Waldorf education in the United States has begun to move into the public sector, with many charter schools finding their inspiration in the work of Rudolf Steiner and the Waldorf curriculum.
Some of the ideas in Waldorf education and anthroposophy are complex and require a degree of good will on the part of the reader to grasp. DMS encourages parents to take up independent study and is committed to providing many different opportunities for adult education and enrichment.