Rudolf Steiner (27 February 1881-20 March 1925)
By Laurie Huberman
Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, author, social reformer, architect and esotericist. He was first known as a literary critic and philosopher. Then, at the beginning of the 20th century he founded an esoteric spiritual movement called anthroposophy. Around 1907, he began collaboration with the artistic media, including drama, movement arts and architecture. At this time he also wrote an essay on education, describing the major phases of child development. Finally, after World War I, he worked to establish a number of practical endeavors including, amongst others, Waldorf education.
Waldorf schools grew from ideas presented at a conference in 1922. Now there are more than 1000 Waldorf schools worldwide. These schools emphasize the importance of creativity and focus on the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of each student. The underlying spiritual dimension has led to some criticism of its rigidity and practices.
For further reading:
www.waldorfeducation.org (a promotional film)
Ecole Steiner-Waldorf Verrieres: Un autre chemin vers l'ecole