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Spring, 2007 Vol. 12 #2: Standing Out without Standing Alone: Profile of Waldorf School Graduates

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Rudolf Steiner did not live to celebrate the first Waldorf school students who, by the early 1930s, had received the full twelve years of Waldorf elementary and high school education, even though several high school classes had graduated from the original Stuttgart school by the time of his death in 1925. He could only imagine how the pupils of the very first grade in 1919 would fare and what they would make of their radically new education.

Since the advent of Waldorf high school education on this continent in the early 1940s, Waldorf teachers and parents have carried the question: What happens to these Waldorf school graduates after they leave high school? To date, most answers to this question have been anecdotal, at least in reference to the North American Waldorf high school movement as a whole, which in this decade has grown to a total of 37 schools. Now, a newly published survey, spanning more than 60 years of Waldorf graduates, provides a detailed picture of where Waldorf students go and what they do.1

The survey describes what Waldorf school graduates most love to study, which professions they select, what they think of their Waldorf education, and what they value as adults. The survey–– the first of its kind in North America––was conducted by the Research Institute for Waldorf Education and parallels a recent study of German and Swiss Waldorf graduates. The North American survey details the college life, job life, and personal life of Waldorf school graduates, starting with the first Waldorf school senior class in 1943 and culminating with the class of 2005.

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