Philosophy

The realization of responsible human freedom is the foundational tenet of Waldorf education and San Francisco Waldorf School. We strive to help students become free, resilient, creative human beings who lead lives of purpose and direction.

Waldorf education fosters students’ intellectual, social, and emotional growth as they pass through distinct stages of development, from childhood to adulthood. Creative play in the early years is followed by arts-infused academic learning in the grade school and intellectual inquiry in the high school:

  • Until about age seven, children learn primarily through imitation and physical movement. Children need warmth, protection, and creative free play to develop their capacities. They thrive in an environment filled with beauty, goodness, and role models worthy of imitation.
  • Between the ages of seven and fourteen, students develop capacity for formal academic instruction, learning best from caring and consistent authority figures who embrace the world with interest. Imagination and creativity are nurtured through a lively and artistic approach to academic subjects.
  • High school students learn best from experts in their fields with whom they can exercise independent thinking and engage in challenging intellectual study. Students deepen their understanding of themselves and the world.

Throughout the grades, our dedicated faculty and staff support students’ sense of self-reliance, social responsibility, and moral purpose. Our diverse community is a source of invaluable human experience from which students learn and grow. Our school encourages young people to develop their highest human capacities and become citizens of the world.

Mission

With love and devotion,
we strive to nourish the unique capacities of every student,

that in each may awaken
the critical and creative intelligence
to envision the future,

the compassion and commitment to understand others,

and the courage to be a free and active participant in our common human experience