Marin Waldorf School

The History of Waldorf Education

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The history of Waldorf

Developed by Rudolf Steiner, Waldorf education is based on a profound understanding of human development that transforms teaching into an artistic and health-giving approach to education. Waldorf education inspires a life-long love of learning in children and adults alike.


At the end of WWI, Europe was teetering on the brink of economic, social, and political chaos. Rudolf Steiner was concerned about the need for social renewal, for a new way of organizing society and a shift in political and cultural life. 

In 1919, Emil Molt, the owner of the Waldorf Astoria company, asked Steiner if he would establish and lead a school for the children of the employees of the factory. Steiner agreed but set four conditions, each of which went against common practice of the day: 1) that the school be open to all children; 2) that it be coeducational; 3) that it be a unified twelve-year school; 4) that the teachers, those individuals actually in contact with the children, have primary control of the school, with minimum interference from the state or from economic sources. Steiner's conditions were radical for the day, but Molt gladly agreed to them. On September 7, 1919, the independent Waldorf School (Die Freie Waldorfschule) opened its doors.

videos on waldorf education


Listen to these stellar Alumni talk about their Waldorf education and how it has prepared them for their careers and lives.



Learn more about Marin Waldorf School's approach to media through this short film. Our experience, as a school and as a movement, is that popular culture, especially as expressed through various forms of media, overwhelms children's thinking and imagination.



Kim John Payne gave a talk about using the extraordinary power of less to raise calmer, happier and more secure children. 


WATCH: "Why Waldorf?" The original full 15 min. version  

A comprehensive film about Waldorf education and Marin Waldorf School. 

Links and Resources

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