Steiner education around the world
Steiner education is a worldwide movement, with schools in around 60 countries including South Africa, India, Brazil, Israel and Nepal. Steiner schools have been very successful in adapting to different cultural settings, taking on an appropriate curriculum, festivals and religious education to match local needs and values while keeping the core ideals of Steiner education.
Steiner schools have also brought together polarised communities and crossed cultural boundaries. During the Apartheid years, the Novalis Ubuntu Institute, a Steiner/Waldorf teacher-training centre in Cape Town, taught black and white students together and supported education projects in disadvantaged communities; they were praised by UNESCO’s Year of Tolerance project for their work in fostering reconciliation.
In Israel, the Harduf Kibbutz Waldorf school includes both Jewish and Arab faculty and students and has extensive contact with the surrounding Arab communities. It also runs an Arab-language Waldorf teacher training programme. A joint Arab-Jewish Waldorf kindergarten and primary school was founded in Hilf (near Haifa) in 2005, while an Arabic language Waldorf school serving Druze, Christian and Muslim communities has operated in Shefa-'Amr since 2003.
- Steiner education in Brooklyn
Meanwhile, in Marysville, California, the Thomas E. Mathews Community School serves young offenders and other at-risk young people, many of whom have learning difficulties. It has won praise for its ability to improve both academic outcomes and social skills, helping pupils to re-integrate into mainstream education.