By School Director Robert Schiappacasse
We are living in a time when public discourse in our country has become increasingly divisive and closed-minded. In this contentious atmosphere, WSL’s educational and social mission is ever more relevant. As I mentioned in a recent blog post, Waldorf education’s founder, Rudolf Steiner, “imagined that education’s promise could lead us from a world driven by strife and conflict to one where diverse individuals could learn, collaborate, and strive toward their full potential in harmony with one another.”
After the devastation of World War I, Steiner asked: “In the broadest sense, how must we bring up people so that this will be impossible in the future? Out of this privation and misery, an understanding must awaken for the role of education in restructuring human social relations.”
WSL’s mission statement highlights not only the school’s arts-integrated academic education—rich in the humanities, sciences, and practical and fine arts—but also critical thinking, collaboration, and engagement with the world. WSL’s curriculum teaches students about cultures from many countries and civilizations, both ancient and contemporary, encouraging an openness to others and respect for difference.
By approaching learning through first-hand observations, Waldorf teachers encourage students to see, learn, and think for themselves, forming their own conclusions rather than accepting another’s point of view without question.
These aspects of the curriculum and pedagogy are just some of the many ways that Waldorf education prepares students to enter the world with eyes, minds, and hearts open, seeking beauty and truth, ready to shine their lights brightly into the culture of our time.