Key Characteristics of Waldorf education

The International Forum for Steiner Waldorf Education (IF) at its meetings in Vienna/Austria on 17 May 2015 and in Arles/France on 7 May 2016 revised and re-adopted the document “Key characteristics of Waldorf education” – first adopted in Harduf/Israel on 14 November 2014 – as binding guidance for the worldwide Waldorf school movement. These features have been formulated in such a way as to be generally valid and may be supplemented by specific cultural characteristics for use in a school’s own country. They wish to place the emphasis on and strengthen diversity, individuality and openness to development. They supplement the characteristics adopted by the International Forum for Steiner Waldorf Education (Hague Circle) in 2009.

Preliminary remarks

In order for schools to be approved as Waldorf or Rudolf Steiner schools, it is necessary to characterise key elements of Waldorf education. Once approval has been granted, this is documented by the inclusion of the school concerned in the worldwide list of Waldorf schools for which the International Forum for Steiner Waldorf Education – (Hague Circle) is responsible.

The features described here are formulated in an open-ended way and contain a characterisation of what the International Forum understands by Waldorf education. Such an understanding is involved in a process of development which means that these features will also be supplemented or replaced by others over time; in doing so however, the foundations of this system of education are maintained.

This document can serve for one’s personal or institutional guidance (e.g. for self-assessment) and forms a key basis in the approval process for a Waldorf/Rudolf Steiner school.