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Waldorf Education in Poland

Poland: In Poland, private alternative schools gain more and more popularity – ranging from elementary schools to universities. In the past 20 years, Waldorf education in Poland was able to flourish again after the political ch

Brief Chronology of Waldorf education in Poland
Early in 1920, Jadwiga Siedlecka brought a first spark of Waldorf education to Poland. As a former employee at the Goetheanum, she opened a first Waldorf kindergarten. Subsequently a kindergarten existed in Warsaw between 1936 and 1939. The Second World War followed by the political period of socialism did not leave any opportunity for Waldorf Education to exist in Poland.

It was only in 1987 that a course on “Waldorf education in kindergarten” took place in Poland. One year later the aftermath of this event resulted in the foundation of the first Waldorf kindergarten in Warsaw after World War II. Another kindergarten was opened in 1988 in Krakow.

After the political changes in 1989 the number of workshops on Waldorf education in Poland increased. Preparations for the establishment of foundations for the advancement of Polish Waldorf schools were under way in Warsaw and Bielsko-Biala, Gdynia and Krakow and in the same year the Pryzmat Foundation was created in Olsztyn.

The Rudolf Steiner Society was founded in 1992 and at the same time the first Waldorf school since the second world war, opened with grades 1-3 in Warsaw. Waldorf schools in Poland are usually structured according to the Polish school system: 6 years of primary school, 3 years of high school, 3 years of Lyceum after which the students graduate with a Maturity Certificate that qualifies them for higher education. Through the efforts of Professor Maria Ziemska and Joop van Heuvel from the Netherlands, a three-year course for Waldorf teachers was established at the Institute for Applied Social Sciences at the University of Warsaw in 1992. In the first year 80 students participated.

The positive trend continued in 1995, when the Waldorf School Cypriana Kamila Norwida was founded in Bielsko-Biala. In 2004, the Sub Alis Foundation as well as the Janusz Korczak Waldorf School were established in Krakow. In Bielsko-Biala, the Waldorf high school opened. In 2007, Waldorf School and Kindergarten Lipowa Alejka was founded in Poznan. And finally, in 2011, a conference entitled “20 years of Waldorf education in Poland” took place in Warsaw.

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