Ehemalige Waldorfschüler und -Eltern - Kommentare über Anthroposophie von Prominenten
SOME COMMENTS ON RUDOLF STEINER, ANTHROPOSOPHY AND WALDORF EDUCATION
Kenneth Chenault, (also here) Chairman and CEO of American Express, former Waldorf student (Waldorf School of Garden City):
"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 was focused on educating students with values, as well as the academic tools necessary to be constructive and contributing human beings. ... 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."
Evelyn Galinski, former Waldorf pupil and daughter of Heinz Galinski, Auschwitz survivor and Chairman of the Central Jewish Council in Germany from 1988 until his death in 1992.
"I personally have had only good experiences during my school time; it was liberal, antiracist, tolerant of every faith and not missionary"
"The first time I understood the benefit of a Waldorf education was my first week in college. Students around me were flipping out because they were afraid of writing papers. At High Mowing we had at least ten pages to write every night. It was such a big part of our education that I was very confident in my writing. We had to analyze each scene, then write the analysis. I still have my "Faust" main lesson book with me. When I wrote about it, I was able to expand my thinking and make it my own. That's what's so wonderful about Waldorf education. You're exposed to all these different ideas, but you're never given one view of it. You're encouraged to think as an individual."
Diana Kerry,sister of former Presidential candidate John Kerry about the time she went to the Rudolf Steiner School in Berlin in 1954 (at age 7), during their father's work there as diplomat at the American Consulate (John, 11 at the time, was sent to a boarding school in Switzerland):
"The classes were in German. Of course I did not understand much at first. During a stage play I had to play the devil - the role had no lines. But in the end I knew the whole play by heart. I learnt German quickly, and John also still knows some words." "I think that this time in Berlin somehow set the course for my life." (Der Tagesspiegel, Nov. 2, 2004)
"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." An interview with Prof. Weizenbaum.
Ernest L Boyer (1928-1995), Former President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching:
"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. Art as it helps to reveal the use of language, art as it can be revealed in numbers, and certainly in nature"
Albert Watson, International fashion photographer, former Waldorf student at the Rudolf Steiner school in Edinburgh:
"It was art-oriented, that's for sure. They were very interested in your inner creativity, but at the same time they were instilling a certain amount of discipline to maximise it. And I have, from my Scottish background, a very, very solid work ethic. I'm dedicated to the work, to doing good work and doing things the right way."
"Cultural literacy is the key concern throughout a Waldorf program, and here Waldorf educators are also in accord with other experts in their field. Apparently many parents are discovering that Waldorf fills a need for a creative, artistic approach to learning that is hard to find elsewhere." (Parenting Magazine, August 1988)
"I was always fascinated by acting, but my experience at Rudolf Steiner [school] encouraged me to pursue it as a career." "Steiner was a free-spirited school that encouraged creativity and individualism."
Eric Utne, founder of, publisher, and former editor-in-chief of Utne Reader, (described by The New York Times as "one of the most distinctive voices in magazine journalism") now a Waldorf teacher:
"My son Leif attended a Waldorf school from nursery through eighth grade. Even more gratifying than his specific achievements are his ongoing infatuation with learning and absence of incapacitating cynicism. ... Waldorf schools generally turn out young people who get into the colleges of their choice, but more importantly are well prepared for life. I hope this form of education becomes the basis for public school curriculum throughout the United States. And I hope it happens soon."
"[Rudolf Steiner] taught a number of things in which I have long believed, among them that it is no longer possible in our time to offer a religion full of unsubstantiated miracles, but rather that religion must be a science which can be proven. It is no longer a question of belief, but of knowing. Further, we acquire knowledge of the spiritual world through steady, conscious, systematic thinking ... In years to come, his teachings will be proclaimed from the pulpits"
"My meeting with Rudolf Steiner led me to occupy myself with him from that time forth and to remain always aware of his significance. We both felt the same obligation to lead man once again to true inner culture. I have rejoiced at the achievements his great personality and his profound humanity have brought about in the world."
Gilbert H. Grosvenor (1875-1966), President & Chairman, National Geographic Society, former Waldorf parent:
"It is a pleasure for me to write an endorsement for Waldorf Education ...[which] 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. While this is not an instant process, the values they learn by constant contact with the faculty will provide a lifetime platform from which to grow... - In summary this system works!"
Stefan Zweig (1881-1942), Author, on Rudolf Steiner, after having met him during his Berlin time:
"... meeting a man of such a magnetic personality at so early a stage, when he yielded himself to the younger people around him in friendship and without dogmatizing, was an incalculable gain for me. In his fantastic and at the same time profound knowledge I realized that true universality, which we, with the overweening pride of high school boys, thought we had already mastered, was not to be gained by flighty reading and discussion, but only by years of burning endeavor."
Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986), Russian film director (Solaris, Stalker, Nostalghia, The Sacrifice):
"Steiner offers us a world view that gives a reasonable place to the development of man in the spiritual area. And if you earlier in a serious way could take a materialistic position and explain the meaning of life and society on a physical-material basis, that is not any more possible today. Today, we need other views, we must develop our spiritual essence and finally ask the question about the meaning of life."
Ken Wilber, Author (among many works: "Integral Psychology"):
"Steiner (1861-1925) was an extraordinary pioneer ... and one of the most comprehensive psychological and philosophical visionaries of his time ... his overall vision is as moving as one could imagine."
"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."
"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."
"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." (Personal statement 14 July, 2002)
"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."
"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."
Dee Joy Coulter, Ed.D., founding member of Addressing Children's Traumas, Waldorf parent, keynote speaker at Waldorf conferences:
I first heard of Waldorf education about five years ago, after having carried out extensive study of the neurological aspects of cognition, movement, and maturation. I was delighted to discover such a neurologically sound curriculum. I heartily support efforts to spread the awareness of Waldorf education and hope that it will spawn not only an increase in Waldorf schools, but an infusion of at least some of the ideas into the mainstream where they are so sorely needed. In Colorado, I am working with several districts to incorporate various Waldorf strategies into the teaching of reading and mathematics. The ideas are very well received and very much needed. (Personal statement, 1984)
"For the past ten years my teaching responsibilities have compelled me to inform myself not just about what would-be teachers need to learn. All of my instructionally related research into childhood has pointed toward the superiority of Waldorf education over all other current educational methods."
"From careful observations of the child, Waldorf education arrived at the same conclusion (Gesell Institute) and applies the same principles to development of curricula for children's education: pushing skills before children are biologically ready sets them up to fail."
"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 the students who come from Marin Waldorf, and I can say that in all cases they have been remarkable, bright, energetic and involved."
"When it falls to the lot of his first biographer to recount the life of this great man, then, and only then, will the full extent of Rudolf Steiner's achievements and their, in the highest human sense, creative nature be revealed. Then men will view with profound amazement ... what irreplaceable strength and support [humanity] has received from this man's mind while this age hurtles onwards into the terrifying wasteland of materialism."
For more comments, see here. See also International List of Famous Waldorf alumni(at the bottom, this page also lists Waldorf parents like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Clint Eastwood and Frances Fisher, Hans-Dietrich Genscher [former German minister of foreign affairs], Harrison Ford, Harvey Keitel, Helmut Kohl [former German chancellor], Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard, Harrison Ford, Paul Newman, Liv Ullmann and Ingmar Bergman and others).