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Rudolf Steiner, founder of Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education.
"Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility – these three forces are the very nerve of education."
- Rudolf Steiner

On Rudolf Steiner

Dr Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), was the originator of anthroposophy, the Waldorf school movement, biodynamamic agriculture and more. He was also an editor. He founded a many-faceted movement based on the notion that there is a spiritual world. He taught that perception of spiritual things is served by training of the human consciousness.

The first Waldorf school was founded in 1919 in Germany. There are now more than 1000 independent Waldorf schools and 1400 independent Waldorf kindergartens in about sixty countries throughout the world. Three-quarters of them are in Europe. Thus, the Waldorf school movement is one of the world's largest independent educational systems, aiming, among other things: at ". . . allowing the most fruitful expansion possible to individual initiative and personal worth . . ." [Rudolf Steiner, in Reordering of Society, GA 24]

Many ideas that Steiner express look good, and others hardly so. There is some evidence that Waldolf education helps. It seeks to let "heart, head, and hands" work together in harmony, as the educator Pestalozzi would have put it.

  • Less accidents and physical harm caused by other children (Hultin og Kilpinen. Helsinki, 1985).
  • Less stress-related troubles. (Thomas Zdrazil's Doctoral Thesis at Universität Bielefeld 2001)
  • Less allergic rhinitis and atopical eczema, even despite the states of their better-educated parents. (2006)
  • Presumably less sclerosis (arthrosis) and not as hightened blood pressure and as many heart diseases are found among former Waldorf School pupils in Germany. (H. Barz og D. Randoll, 2007 - Somewhat controversal findings)
Source of all the extracts above: Anette Bender. "Steinerskole og helse. (Do Waldorf Children have a better health?)" Lecture of 25 October 2007

The online Rudolf Steiner Archive has got many of Dr Steiner's lecture series, books and articles. Good luck!


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