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In 1918, the educational philosopher and polymath Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was asked by Emil Molt, a philanthropic Stuttgart industrialist, to found a school for his factory workers’ children. In 1919, the first Free Waldorf School was duly founded, and a century on, Steiner Waldorf (or Waldorf) education is the world’s largest independent schooling movement, with over 1,200 schools and 2,000 early years settings in 60 countries; an education impressively adaptable to diverse cultures and traditions.

A fully articulated spiritual perspective underpins Steiner’s pedagogy, with his 4-fold view of the human being taking full account of the person’s nonmaterial, subtle energy bodies as well as of the physical body. These supersensible insights fed directly into his educational cosmology, and in books and many lectures, the complex and ...

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