The Waldorf School Movement in the US Midwest

Yong Joon Park
page. 121~142 / 2018 Vol.12 No.3


The purpose of this study is to describe the characteristics of Waldorf school movement in the US Midwest. For about six months, this case study was conducted at four different Waldorf schools and in a Waldorf teacher training center located in the Midwest of the USA. I informally interviewed and observed several Waldorf school teachers and teacher educators as well as parents who sent their children to the schools. I found four major characteristics of the current Waldorf school movement in the US Midwest. The Waldorf school movement is not religious, anti-intellectual, or limited to creativity, but focuses on individual students’ spiritual well-being and artistic practices with activities and curriculum inspired by Steiner’s Anthroposophy. The Waldorf school pedagogy and teacher training programs were also educational, collaborative, and artistic practices inspired byAnthroposophy (e.g. using the threefold method such as spirit, soul, and body or willing, feeling, and thinking). Fine-Arts integrated pedagogy and practices for students at four different Waldorf schools and pre-service teachers of a Waldorf teacher training program highlight the significance of these aspects of Waldorf learning. This implies that educators need to investigate the Waldorf school movement in the US and over the world.

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