Brussels, 15 November 2023

Adopting Generative Principles of Steiner Waldorf Education
Following a two-year drafting process, on the 22nd October 2023 in Eindhoven, our members adopted a renewed paper outlining foundational principles of Steiner Waldorf education.

Outlining the holistic approach strived for in Steiner Waldorf schools

The paper shows how Stein­er Wal­dorf edu­ca­tion cul­ti­vates social­ly respon­si­ble adults by engag­ing the whole per­son in trans­for­ma­tive learn­ing expe­ri­ences. Such expe­ri­ences cre­ate oppor­tu­ni­ties for intel­lec­tu­al, social, emo­tion­al and spir­i­tu­al learn­ing. Pri­ori­tis­ing inclu­siv­i­ty and diver­si­ty, a Stein­er Wal­dorf cur­ricu­lum tai­lors learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to dif­fer­ent ages and devel­op­men­tal stages, inte­grat­ing local cul­tures and legal stan­dards for qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion. The basic under­stand­ing of the role of edu­ca­tion is to enable full devel­op­ment of each child’s unique poten­tial and thus asks for flex­i­bil­i­ty in its implementation.

Emphasising pedagogical autonomy and the role of the teacher

In Stein­er Wal­dorf set­tings, teach­ing blends arts, crafts, and sci­ence. The inter­twin­ing of ped­a­gog­i­cal meth­ods serves to meet diverse learn­ing needs and depends on a high degree of the teacher’s ped­a­gog­i­cal intu­ition and free­dom. Teacher edu­ca­tion stress­es cre­ativ­i­ty and con­tex­tu­al­is­ing the cur­ricu­lum, joined with ongo­ing pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment. School gov­er­nance in turn pri­ori­tis­es teacher’s respon­si­bil­i­ty towards deliv­er­ing qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion, and for this pur­pose, fos­ter­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion among teach­ers, school lead­er­ship, and fam­i­lies to joint­ly find the best path­ways to school suc­cess for each learner.

Relating our approach to different education systems

By artic­u­lat­ing shared val­ues and prin­ci­ples, the paper fos­ters cohe­sion with­in the Stein­er Wal­dorf edu­ca­tion com­mu­ni­ty but also serves as a tool for empow­er­ing stake­hold­ers to nav­i­gate and advo­cate for Stein­er Wal­dorf approach­es effec­tive­ly. Thanks to their gen­er­al nature, the prin­ci­ples can be con­tex­tu­alised with­in diverse edu­ca­tion­al frame­works across Europe and serve as an effec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion tool for explain­ing the some­what com­plex nature of the Stein­er Wal­dorf ped­a­gog­i­cal approach in a sim­pli­fied way, using com­mon edu­ca­tion terminology.

A question? Please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Georg Jürgens