children knitting, children dancing around a maypole, dragond drawn in chalk in a parking lot, children painting suns, children sitting in a circle playing music, and a recorder choir


When we first covered Waldorf education in my Introduction to Early-Childhood Education course, I was intrigued. One of the principle ideas that made Waldorf education different from the schools that had come before, and even from the other constructivist schools of its time (such as the Montessori and Reggio Emilia schools in Italy), was what the texts called a “spiritual” component to the education. I also found the constant inclusion of the arts highly attractive. When I found out that I could choose the topic and format for my final project, I knew that I wanted to learn more about this subject.

As I dug deeper, I began understanding that the “spiritual” aspect of the school didn’t really involve the “spiritual” as we understand the word today. In other words, it is not really related to religion or religious-type beliefs or experiences, at least in terms of how Waldorf schools and classrooms are run. Even the belief system on which the schools were based could only loosely be called religious. In more modern terms, I think that it might be better to say that one of the things that makes Waldorf schools and philosophy unique is the emphasis placed on the importance of the students’ emotions in the educational process. It seems almost common sense that if students have an emotional stake in their education, they will learn better and retain more. This seems especially important to me in the face of increasing emphasis on standardized test scores, which are about the most unemotional aspect of education I can think of.

Since I really didn’t want to write a run-of-the-mill report on what Waldorf schools were (talk about unemotional), I decided to frame to project so that I could focus more on what parts of their methods and philosophy could be adapted to traditional classrooms. When I had to choose the format for this project, I wanted to choose one that would allow me to share my thoughts and what I had discovered with other teachers.A website seemed to be one of the best ways, and I enjoyed working on the code as well as the content.

I would now like to express my sincere thanks to Professor Mark Bailey of the Pacific University College of Education who has given me so much help and advise in the creation of this site.

I hope you find this site enjoyable and educational. My best wishes on your continuing journeys.

Mira Starr
Pacific University, Class of 2013