Mission & History
The Waldorf School of Baltimore educates and inspires children to think, feel, and act with depth, imagination, and purpose.
Developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, Waldorf Education is based on a profound understanding of human development that addresses the needs of the growing child. Waldorf teachers strive to transform education into an art that educates the whole child—the heart and the hands, as well as the head. As a Waldorf school, our approach to educating children is based on the pedagogical and social insights of Rudolf Steiner and the guidance offered by two national bodies - the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America and the Waldorf Early Childhood Association Network.
The vision of the Waldorf School of Baltimore is to build a foundation for life-long learning and integrity for its students. We seek to send into the world confident young people who will lead a life of purpose and direction. We are guided in our work by the pioneering insights of philosopher and educator Rudolf Steiner.
We accomplish this by:
- Providing a quality comprehensive Waldorf education within a fully developed campus.
- Growing the school, while maintaining a financially secure organization with a faculty and staff committed to professional development and excellence;
- Fostering intellectual, artistic, and spiritual growth;
- Encouraging a dedication to community service and care for the environment.
- Building a vibrant, diverse and inclusive school that brings the wisdom and insights of Waldorf education to the greater community.
- Engaging in responsible innovation guided by the Waldorf Core Principles as we strive to meet the needs of children while taking into account their time and place.
Our School History
Our school began as the New Morning School, opening its doors to 15 preschool children in 1971. Originally housed in property rented from the City of Baltimore, this little school set off on a big journey.
In 1973 the New Morning School adopted a Waldorf curriculum, based on the teaching methods of Austrian philosopher and teacher Rudolf Steiner. The school expanded to include a pioneering first grade in 1974, and in 1978 the New Morning School changed its name to reflect the Waldorf values that had been adopted. It was now the Waldorf School of Baltimore (WSB), and part of the global network of Waldorf schools - currently over 2,500 strong, the largest independent school movement worldwide.
The 1980’s and '90’s saw hard work, growing excitement, and great expansion. By 1980 we had 150 students, had been accepted as a member the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), and were accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education. Our first eighth grade class graduated in 1987. In 1991 we were awarded accreditation from the Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS), and 186 students were enrolled. In 1994, WSB became a member of BEST (the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust).
In 1994, the School launched a $4 million capital campaign. With support from the City of Baltimore, the State of Maryland, foundations, and private donors, a beautiful new elementary building was constructed. In 1997, WSB moved into its permanent home on Tamarind Road, our location to this day. In 2010, we opened a four-classroom Children’s Garden in the lower level of the Tamarind Building and ceased to use the nearby Mercantile Building that had previously housed our pre-K and Kindergarten classes. In 2017, we built an addition to house a hall suitable for Physical Education classes, performing arts, and other community events, and two classrooms: one a flexible classroom and one dedicated to student services.
As of today WSB is thriving, and its mission to educate and inspire children to think, act and feel with depth, imagination, and purpose has produced many motivated and empowered young people.
History of Waldorf Education
Waldorf education was developed at the end of the 19th century by Austrian teacher and philosopher Rudolf Steiner. He applied new thinking to different aspects of humanity. To list just some of the areas he influenced: agriculture, architecture, art, care of the dying, drama, economics, education, medicine, religion, science, and social organization.
Steiner's work can be seen today in such areas as Biodynamic farming and gardening, the Camphill movement for the support of people with disabilities, the Weleda Company of health products, Anthroposophical medicine, the Christian Community Church and of course Waldorf education. It is important to note that Waldorf education is in no way a religious school connected with the separate church influenced by Steiner.
The first Waldorf School got its name from its sponsor, the Waldorf-Astoria Company, which hired Rudolf Steiner to open a school. In September 1919 the school he created opened its doors in Stuttgart, Germany, for the children of the company’s factory workers. This school was revolutionary for its time and place. It was different because Steiner insisted that it be a co-educational school open to children from all economic, racial, religious and social backgrounds. It provided a rich, rounded and highly cultural education that would enable students to become strong, balanced individuals with a sense of purpose.
By 1928 this pioneering Waldorf School in Germany had grown to become the largest non-denominational school in the country. Other educators around the world used it as a model for new Waldorf Schools in their native countries. After World War II, Waldorf schools quickly spread throughout Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. There are over 2,500 Waldorf schools across the globe, and it has become the largest independent school movement worldwide.