Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) developed Waldorf education, also known as Steiner education, in the early 20th century. While each school is independently run, common tenets of Waldorf education include an interdisciplinary, holistic, arts-based approach to teaching and learning that emphasizes the importance of head, heart, and hands. The larger goals of Waldorf education are to nurture free and self-directed people.

In 1919, Steiner was asked to create a school for the children of workers at the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart, Germany. Steiner insisted that the original Waldorf school be open to all children, coeducational, a 12-year school, and primarily controlled or governed by teachers. Since the early 20th century, Waldorf schools have spread throughout the world. In 2011, there are over 1,000 independent Waldorf ...

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