"Being personally acquainted with a number of Waldorf students, I can say that they come closer to realizing their own potential than practically anyone I know."
--Professor Joseph Weizenbaum, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Surveys and Studies of the Results of Waldorf Education
There are numerous studies emerging on Waldorf School Graduates. Excerpts from two recently-published surveys are available on AWSNA's website. Click on the links below for some insight into the lifetime gifts delivered by a Waldorf Education.
A survey spanning more than 60 years of North American Waldorf graduates, providing a detailed picture of where Waldorf students go and what they do after high school.
-Survey of Waldorf Graduates II
A parallel survey of Waldorf alumni from German, Swiss, and Swedish Waldorf School,with comparison to the North American Study. Includes a re-written version of the pamphlet "The Results of Waldorf Education".
-Survey of Waldorf Graduates III
THE WALDORF GRADE SCHOOL GRADUATE
An Essay by James Shipman
History Department, Marin Academy
San Rafael, California
Note: The Marin Waldorf School ends at Eighth Grade. A number of its
graduates have gone on to the Marin Academy---not a Waldorf
school---for their secondary education.]
What I like about
the Waldorf School is, quite simply, its graduates. As a high school
teacher at Marin Academy, I have seen a number of students who come
from your program, and I can say that in all cases they have been
remarkable, bright, energetic and involved.
One of my duties
is to teach World Civilizations to incoming 9th graders, so I tend to
be one of the first people who encounter a Waldorf graduate. My course
is not like the standard History of Western Civilization course, but
rather requires the student to investigate the deeper aspects of the
world's cultures. For example, we are not so much interested in the
chronology of Chinese emperors and the dynasties to which they
belonged; instead we want to explore and understand the principles of
Taoism and Confucianism and how these underlying philosophies helped
to shape the Chinese culture. We aren't so much interested in
memorizing names and dates as we are in understanding what motivates
people, and why they make the choices they do.
I find the
Marin Waldorf graduates to be entirely willing to undertake this sort
of investigation. They are eager to learn. They do not complain when I
assign, for example, a passage from the Bhagavad Gita and then ask them
what they think. Indeed, that is what I find most remarkable about
Waldorf kids: they have been taught to think; thinking is an "ok"
activity for them to engage in. I think they intrinsically understand
the difference between thinking about an issue and merely memorizing
"the right answer" for the test.
Waldorf students are not
simply bookworms, however. In fact one could find Waldorf kids
completely involved in the theatre, the arts, music and sports here at
Marin Academy. What I see here is an integration of the
faculties---mental, emotional, physical and spiritual---which, when
coupled with the overtones of personality, unite to form unique
individuals. Marin Waldorf students to me are interesting people. They
can converse intelligently on almost any issue, because they have been
taught to examine. They can be enormously sympathetic to almost
anyone's plight because they have been taught to tolerate. They can
gracefully dance or score a goal because they have been taught to move.
They can circulate among the various groups on campus and engage in a
variety of activities because they have been taught to harmonize.
use the word "wholistic" or "whole person" to describe the kind of
person I have outlined above. Whatever the term used, it is apparent to
me that the Marin Waldorf School consciously turns out calm, centered
and confident students. For my part, I deeply appreciate the school's
efforts, because based on their work, I get to enjoy those students who
come to Marin Academy. It is with humility that I note that Waldorf
students allow me and my colleagues to influence them.
It is as if somewhere in their early years of schooling they somehow got the idea that learning is a lifelong enterprise.