The Waldorf Movement was inspired by Rudolf Steiner
(1861-1925), a universal humanist and scientist.
Steiner's insight into child development places great importance
on the mental, emotional, and physical nature of each age level,
and insists that focusing too early on intellectual activities robs
children of the growth forces they need to develop healthy physical
bodies. Many researchers and child development theorists now agree
that children need to develop basic physical, social and creative
abilities before they encounter intellectual learning.
The first Waldorf school was opened in 1919 in Stuttgart, Germany.
Since then, they have spread throughout the world, and number close
to 1000. In North America, the number has grown to 150. The curriculum
is based upon an understanding of the developing child. The arts
are totally integrated into the curriculum, and are considered to
enhance the academics. On a daily basis children are making and
doing, creating beauty, and working with their hands- painting,
drawing, woodworking and knitting. Music is integrated throughout
the day. As one walks the halls of a Waldorf school, it is almost
a certainty that you will hear children's voices raised in song,
or the sound of musical instruments.
Waldorf Education is the fastest growing, non-denominational school
movement in the world. Nurturing and protecting childhood in a warm,
homelike setting is a key element of the Waldorf early childhood
program. The goal of Waldorf Education is the balanced growth of
intellectual, emotional and moral capabilities of each child.
Today, nearly a thousand Waldorf schools around the world promote
true self-discipline, sound development and solid learning through
a head, heart and hands approach, striving to offer the right stimulus
at the right time and to help each child's abilities to fully unfold.
The curriculum, begun in 1919, is a successful model for holistic
The St. Louis Waldorf Association was formed as a not-for-profit
corporation in 1993 with the mission of bringing the quality of
Waldorf education to the St. Louis area. The SLWA embarked on a
campaign of public education, sponsoring speakers, children's activities,
and providing educational print matter on the background of this