Statement on Steiner
As an accredited member of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), San Francisco Waldorf School stands behind the following AWSNA statement on racial comments in the works of the education's founder, Rudolf Steiner:
“Waldorf education espouses principles of respect for human dignity. Any narratives or indications made by Rudolf Steiner that are in contradiction to these principles are not the basis for Waldorf education and we unequivocally denounce such statements.”
The school's College of Teachers' position can be found in the statement below.
Waldorf education is rooted in anthroposophy, especially in what anthroposophy has to teach us about human development. The founder of anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), dealt with questions of individuality, diversity, and race in his talks and writings in the early 20th century. We acknowledge that some passages characterize race and other group identities in a way that we recognize as incorrect and offensive.
Throughout his life, Steiner spoke about the growing social and spiritual importance of diversity in communities of the future, principles of common humanity that we affirm. We explicitly reject any theory or statement in Rudolf Steiner’s work that characterizes or judges individual human beings as superior or inferior based on racial, gender, ethnic, or other group identity. We honor what diversity brings to the richness of human perspective.
There is no aspect of anthroposophy that the SFWS faculty embraces dogmatically. Rather we continually test it to see what is true in these times and in this particular place and what is healthy for our students. We do this while recognizing the history and ongoing impact of racism and the formative influence of the patriarchal, Eurocentric system on our culture and on educational practice in general. It is our goal to recognize these forces and awaken our awareness of unconscious biases around race, socio-economic status, sex and gender identity, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, age, physical ability, religion, nationality, and any other characteristic that might blind us to the dignity inherent in every individual.
We commit ourselves to a practice of inclusion built upon careful listening, constant learning, and heartfelt understanding of social justice and equity as we work toward a strong, diverse community based on the warmth of human relationship. We reject racism, patriarchy, and all forms of oppression through our work with young people who can bring these values into the future.
We see the future as dependent upon equity, inclusion, and justice, not only as an outcome of the way in which change happens, but more as an inevitable result of a way of being. We strive to emulate such a way of being, one based on love and morality that together manifest in the world as justice.