Yesterday the New York Times published an article describing a Waldorf school in Silicon Valley, of all places. Some Googlers send their kids there, apparently.
My girlfriend teaches at a Waldorf school, and over time, I’ve come to really value the creativity and sense of community it appears to foster. Being so exposed for so long, the Waldorf philosophy has somewhat enhanced my latent luddite tendencies, as it strongly discourages exposing students to too much technology early on. The article makes the clear point that the focus is on teaching in a very imaginative way, and on inspiring the students to respond creatively and actively engage with other people. Having folks consumed by their devices, young and old, even when other people are in the room, has a decidedly less interesting effect.
As the article mentions in passing, there is a spiritual aspect, but as far as I can tell it’s expressed as a celebration of multiple traditions and the creativity and community they inspire, not as indoctrination into any belief system—and I’m pretty sensitive to such things. There’s no mention in the article of the founder of the system, Rudolf Steiner. That’s maybe just as well, as he seemed a bit full of his own words sometimes; but the Waldorf education system was a win, in my opinion.