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Christiaan Adams ‘92
Kimberton Waldorf School
Lehigh University, Environmental Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Resident Mapping Specialist, Google.org
“Kimberton helped me to develop a broad, holistic view of the world, including the ability to see and understand the connections between many parts of life. In both my studies and research at MIT, I was able to benefit from many of the principles I learned through Kimberton’s holistic approach to knowledge, exploring the connections among disciplines.”
Deshka Foster ’03
Kimberton Waldorf School
Stanford University, Fulbright Fellow
“Waldorf Education opens the student to experiences and teaches the student to understand that he or she can go out and do practically anything in the world!”
Jonathan Steckel ’96
Kimberton Waldorf School
Oberlin College, Chemistry and Theatre
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ph.D. program
Co-founder and Director of Chemistry, QD Vision, Inc.
“Children need to be active and use their hands at a young age. I think Waldorf Education’s approach and philosophy are exactly how children should be taught.”
Kathryn Minogue ’00
Kimberton Waldorf School
“What is really valued at a school like Columbia is an interest to get to the heart of the matter, whether it be a political debate, geology, languages, literature, art history, or physics. And it is precisely this spark, this curiosity that blossomed at Kimberton. With the liberal arts curriculum and focus on understanding rather than simple memorizing, we were engaged in the ideas and problem solving – the abstract and the practical. In simplest terms, Kimberton gave me a chance to fall in love with the process of learning.”
High Mowing Waldorf School
Mount Holyoke College-B.A. Studio Art, Italian
Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinarian, Cape Wildlife Center Director
"When people ask me what I am, I usually answer in the expected way that I am a veterinarian. But, that is such a small part of the whole. The truth is that I am a human becoming. I went to a large public school in Massachusetts until middle school when I transferred to a Waldorf school. That move changed everything about the human I was becoming. I have gone through many different schools, universities, courses and seminars. Most of them ask me for my support and money each year. They all want me to remember them. I do, but not like I remember my high school. All of those schools and seminars taught me only knowledge. High Mowing taught me living.
Waldorf Education is learning in its purest form. It is learning to think, to feel and to act appropriately, completely and with conscience. Of course, the learning of specific knowledge is a part of Waldorf Education as well, the facts and figures, dates, mathematical processes, verb conjugations, physical laws. The difference is that these things are taught in a manner that requires true thinking, not just memorization. The student listens in class and then recreates the lessons while writing them, illustrating them and absorbing them that evening. The student participates in hands-on demonstrations of the principles of physics, chemistry, woodworking, weaving and astronomy. She is asked to experience life and learning through all her senses and faculties.
Coupled with that learning are the moments of learning about our own hearts. What do we feel about the world? What will we feel in the future? If I feel differently than my classmate, how do I reconcile that? Each person understands the world through their own set of experiences and filters. How do we ask another into ourselves so that we may understand him or her and thus get to know the world and ourselves better? Waldorf Education is truly unique in this. It teaches the child to awaken to the bright and vivid world around him. It encourages the child to touch, taste, smell, breathe each moment before him, whether a math problem, a Norse myth, a wood and stone creation of his own hands, or a classmate with a completely different background and experience of the world.
To this day I can remember parts of the morning verse that I learned over thirty years ago. "I gaze into the world in which the sun is shining, in which the stars are sparkling, in which the stones repose?" Do I remember that because I said it each morning for six years? Perhaps, but I would like to believe that I remember it because I still live it each day. High Mowing School still stands out of all my schooling with the most vivid colors, the loudest shouts of joy, the largest stretching of my mind and awareness. I wish that I could share that with the world. If everyone had the opportunity to grow up learning to think, feel and act with conscience and joy of life, how much different would the world be?
High Mowing School still stands out of all my schooling with the most vivid colors, the loudest shouts of joy, the largest stretching of my mind and awareness."
Waldorf School of Garden City
Bowdoin College-B.A., History
Harvard Law School, J.D.
President and CEO, American Express Company
"My parents were looking for a school that would nurture the whole person. They also felt that the Waldorf school would be a far more open environment for African Americans, and that it was focused on bringing up students with values, as well as the academic tools necessary to be constructive and contributing human beings.
During the early years, I was fascinated by the storytelling. I was captivated. The exposure to the arts-even though I didn't consider myself a talented artist-I looked forward to expressing myself. I got a tremendous amount from that. And I was very fortunate to have a teacher who had a keen sense for the needs of children. If you think of the many benefits to a child of the parental relationship, to then have a teacher who spends more time with you than your parents, to have someone you can trust and who will grow with you for eight years, that's a rare gift.
I think the end result of Waldorf Education is to raise our consciousness. There is a heightened consciousness of what our senses bring us from the world around us, about our feelings, about the way we relate to other people. It taught me how to think for myself, to be responsible for my decisions. Second, it made me a good listener, sensitive to the needs of others. And third, it helped establish meaningful beliefs. In all the Main Block lessons-in history, science, philosophy-we really probed the importance of values and beliefs. In dealing with a lot of complex issues and a lot of stress, if that isn't balanced by a core of meaningful beliefs, you really will just be consumed and fail.
(Waldorf) taught me how to think for myself, to be responsible for my decisions."
Detroit Waldorf School
McMaster University-B.A., M.D.
Physician, Emergency Medicine
"Much of my learning and life has occurred in the eighteen years since my graduation from the Detroit Waldorf School, so it may be difficult to separate the life lessons learned at Waldorf from elsewhere; however, some foundation of belief patterns from the Waldorf school is still evident to me.
I like to think that the process is more important than the result or the journey is of greater consequence than the destination. Actually, this is only half true, for if the journey is the destination, as I believe it is, this distinction is artificial. I don't think I could say the end justifies the means for if the end is worthwhile then the means must be as well. If the means is unjust then the end cannot be justified. Waldorf gave me faith in the ultimate good or sensible results that good efforts bring about.
I have traveled much and now that I am more stationary I like to think that my traveling occurs on another plane. Nothing could be sadder for me than to think that I have reached a place in my life where I have no further need of change. The Waldorf Education I received encouraged me to be an active participant in the process of discovery and allowed me to find a joy in lifelong learning that of course my current occupation demands.
I believe I can succeed in life without being ambitious in the ruthless, striving way that so much of modern life seems to demand. Many of the people I know and in fact see as patients are driven; there is an impatience about them, a dissatisfaction. I think that they will never find satisfaction in life as long as they are looking for it somewhere outside of themselves.
In the Waldorf school, we were not supplied with facts, but were given the capacity to learn. My imagination and my curiosity were not killed with facts but were fostered with stories, art, music and the natural phenomena of the world. My Waldorf Education gave me a sense of history and of our current place in history. It gave me the sense that there is in fact meaning in the world. I believe I was given a great gift.
My imagination and curiosity were not killed with facts but were fostered with stories, art, music and the natural phenomena of the world."
Toronto Waldorf School
Trent University-B.A., Political Science and Cultural Studies
Kings College, Cambridge, England-Masters, Philosophy, Social and Political Sciences
University of Toronto-Ph.D., Theory and Policy Studies in Education
"Waldorf Education taught me a particular kind of discipline that is perhaps unusual in schools today. It taught me how to think and feel my way deeply into a subject; one can call that the cultivation of imagination. It taught me how to work patiently, quietly on a project for many hours at a time; one can call that the cultivation of understanding. It taught me how to present school material beautifully and with attention to detail; one can call that the cultivation of artistic sensibility.
In short, Waldorf Education taught me that knowledge in all its forms is conveyed in and through time-that time is required for any subject to come to life. I was able to experience for myself at a very young age that the conscious, respectful use of time results in abundant rewards that show themselves on many levels-imaginative, cognitive, creative.
This sense of discipline has helped me tremendously in my chosen career. Academic studies require above all else a particular kind of concentration and rigorous patience. I knew already when I enrolled in my undergraduate courses that my goals would not be realized fully until many years in the future when I graduated with a Ph.D. I knew already that I would get tremendous pleasure and satisfaction out of practicing this kind of discipline. These were lessons many other students still had to learn.
Since graduating, I am working as a freelance writer/researcher. Any freelancer knows that discipline, coupled with a love of what you do, can determine the difference between success and failure. I feel thankful to the Toronto Waldorf School for having prepared me so well.
Waldorf Education taught me that knowledge in all its forms is conveyed in the through time-that time is required for any subject to come to life."
"Meeting with Kimberton Waldorf School seniors during their trip to Washington year after year, I have been impressed by their intellectual curiosity, maturity, and their genuine engagement with history and politics."
Dr. Richard F. Wetzell, Research Fellow, German Historical Institute, Washington, DC.
"The beauty of the Waldorf school is that it is designed entirely to keep children intact until they are ready to move out into the world as whole individuals."
Joseph Chilton Pearce, Author: "The Magical Child", "The Crack in the Cosmic Egg".
"If I had a child of school age, I would send him to one of the Waldorf Schools."
Saul Bellow (1915-2005), 1976 Nobel Literature Laureate.
"The advent of the Waldorf Schools was in my opinion the greatest contribution to world peace and understanding of the century."
Willy Brandt, former Chancellor of West Germany. Former Waldorf parent, 1971 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
"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."
Joseph Weizenbaum, Professor (now emeritus), MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), author of "Computer Power and Human Reason".
"We love Waldorf kids. We reject some students with 1600s on their SATs and accept others based on other factors, like the creative ability Waldorf students demonstrate."
Donna Badrig, Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions for Columbia University USA.
"Waldorf education enables young people to be in love with the world as the world should be loved." Marjorie Spock, Author: "Teaching as a lively art".
"Waldorf Education... has been extraordinarily successful for my son. In three years, the remarkable, dedicated faculty has directed his attitude and energies toward academic achievement and civic responsibility... The school draws out the best of qualities in young people... In summary this system works!"
Gilbert H. Grosvenor (1875-1966), President & Chairman, National Geographic Society, former Waldorf parent.
"I have the grand total of fourteen cousins who are all Steiner educated. They range in age from 21 to 38. Before choosing a school for our own children my husband and I questioned them to find out how it had been for them. We were overwhelmed, not only by what they said but also by who they were and what they had become. We were left in no doubt, based on our experience of these fourteen cousins and their varied testimonies: we want this education for our children."
Becky Morrow. Biodynamic and Organic retailer and mother of three.
"My daughter's experience at the Waldorf school has been both exciting and mind opening. I hope that more people can make Waldorf education available to their children."
Russell Schweickart, Apollo 9 astronaut, NASA Astronaut Technical Advisor, California Energy Commission, former Waldorf parent.
"What I like about the Waldorf School is, quite simply, its graduates...They 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."
James Shipman History Department, Marin Academy, San Raphael, California.
"The students that come to us from the local Steiner school are better prepared than the ones who come from the local state schools."
Steven Jones. Principal, King Edward VI Community College, Devon.
"Waldorf School graduates see behind the facts that often must be repeated or explained on examination. They are keenly interested in the macrocosm of the universe and the microcosm of the cell's ultrastructure, but they know that Chemistry, Biology and Physics can't tell them much about the nature of love... I feel certain that all Waldorf School graduates believe in the orderliness of our universe, and they believe the human mind can discern this order and appreciate its beauty."
Dr. W. Warren B. Eickelberg Professor of Biology, Director, Premedical Curriculum, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York.
"Those in the public school reform movement have some important things to learn from what Waldorf educators have been doing for many years. It is an enormously impressive effort toward quality education, and schools would be advised to familiarize themselves with the basic assumptions that under gird the Waldorf movement."
Ernest L Boyer (1928-1995), Former President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
"No other educational system in the world gives such a central role to the arts as the Waldorf school movement. Even mathematics is presented in an artistic fashion and related via dance, movement or drawing, to the child as a whole. Anything that can be done to further these revolutionary educational ideas will be of the greatest importance."
Konrad Oberhuber (1925-2007), world leading expert on Raphael, former Director of the Museum of Art Albertina in Vienna, former Professor of Fine Arts, Harvard University, then at International Christian University, Mitaka, Tokyo.
"Based on a comprehensive, integrated understanding of the human being, a detailed account of child development, and with a curriculum and teaching practice that seeks unity of intellectual, emotional and ethical development at every point, Waldorf education deserves the attention of all concerned with education and the human future."
Douglas Sloan, Ph D, Professor [Emeritus] of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University.
"Waldorf education has been an important model of holistic education for almost a century. It is one of the very few forms of education that acknowledges the soul-life of children and nurtures that life. It is truly an education for the whole child and will continue to be an important model of education as we move into the 21st century."
Jack Miller, Professor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education the University of Toronto.
"The importance of storytelling, of the natural rhythms of daily life, of the evolutionary changes in the child, of art as the necessary underpinning of learning, and of the aesthetic environment as a whole - all basic to Waldorf education for the past 70 years - are being "discovered" and verified by researchers unconnected to the Waldorf movement."
Paul Bayers, Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University.
"I think the Steiner school is a place where a child can learn real self sufficiency, and an ability and encouragement to think for themselves. I wish I had gone to a Steiner school."
Tilda Swinton, actress and parent.
"There is no task of greater importance than to give our children the very best preparation for the demands of an ominous future, a preparation that aims at the methodical cultivation of their spiritual and their moral gifts. As long as the exemplary work of the Waldorf School Movement continues to spread its influence as it has done over the past decades, we can all look forward with hope. I am sure that Rudolf Steiner's work for children must be considered a central contribution to the twentieth century and I feel it deserves the support of all freedom-loving thinking people."
Bruno Walter (1876-1962), composer and conductor.