Since 1976, the Friends of Waldorf Education have been working for independency in education around the world. We regard each and every person as free and equal in dignity and rights, regardless of ethnicity, national or social origin, gender, language, world view and religious belief, or non-belief. The primary aim of the work of the Friends of Waldorf Education is to support people who are working locally, around the world, to bring education and care to children and young people, and to create better educational opportunities. We promote leadership and responsibility from the bottom up.
The Friends of Waldorf Education make a point of reflecting on their working practices and then changing them if their own practice does not conform to the guiding values and principles outlined above.
Specifically, the Friends of Waldorf Education support Waldorf schools, early years centres and therapeutic education institutions worldwide. We organise voluntary services in Germany and abroad, and support emergency educational work worldwide.
Waldorf Education and Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Steiner took up the leadership of the first Waldorf school in 1919 and developed the foundations of Waldorf education in collaboration with the teaching staff. Today there are Waldorf schools and Waldorf early years centres in more than eighty countries on all continents. The methodological principles impart neither a ready-made programme nor a closed educational system, but are based on the ongoing study of the individual pupil and student, and age-related developmental processes of the children and young people. The aim is to offer the pupils a variety of practical fields of experience through which they can shape their physical, emotional, social and cognitive development in an integrated blend of practical, artistic and cognitive challenges.
Common humanity not racism or nationalism
Anthroposophy is the foundation of Waldorf education and is against any form of racism or nationalism. The Friends of Waldorf Education are aware that Rudolf Steiner's complete works contain isolated racist-discriminatory wordings. We expressly distance ourselves from these formulations: they are in complete contradiction to the basic human-centred orientation of anthroposophy and Waldorf education. In accordance with our declared mission, the Friends of Waldorf Education have been working worldwide since our inception to ensure that children and young people respect the cultural, ethnic and religious traditions of their countries and families, and experience and learn to recognise the universal humanity that unites all people on this planet and constitutes the inviolable dignity of each individual.
Supervisory Board, Board of Directors and Staff of the Friends of Waldorf Education
Berlin, 21 February 2023