Waldorf Early Childhood Education
Every education is self-education, and as teachers we can only provide the environment for children’s self-education. We have to provide the most favorable conditions where, through our agency, children can educate themselves according to their own destinies. This is the attitude that teachers should have toward children, and such an attitude can be developed only through an ever-growing awareness of this fact.
— Rudolf Steiner, The Child’s Changing Consciousness
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925)
Rudolf Steiner lived in German-speaking Europe during the turbulent years of the turn of the twentieth century and the First World War. His life’s work was to bring renewed spiritual insights into modern life, to inspire individuals to take up a path of inner development, and to give practical guidance in creating the seeds for a new culture of true human freedom.
Waldorf education — an international movement named after the first school in Stuttgart, Germany that was based upon Steiner’s insights—is founded upon an understanding of each child as a unique individual who seeks to learn and grow by experiencing the path of earthly life. Those who receive young children at the very beginning of this journey can experience reverence and awe for the hidden, spiritual processes that guide the pre-birth growth and development of the child, as well as the remarkable untaught achievements of the first three years: learning to walk, speak and think.
To assist children to continue this journey into life in a healthy way, through an ever-deepening understanding of the human being in body, soul, and spirit, is the task of the Waldorf early childhood educator.
Not only professional educators, but also anyone who lives with or cares for young children can be inspired and enriched by an encounter with Waldorf early childhood education. We invite you to explore the resources we have gathered on this site to learn more.
Individuals who wish to support and contribute to Waldorf early childhood education are invited to join WECAN. Schools, training centers, and home programs may also enter on the path of organizational membership.
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Waldorf kindergartens and early childhood programs in North America: see if there is a program in your area.
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