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Introduction

Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)

Abstract

This chapter begins by describing how the first Waldorf school came about in Stuttgart in 1919, and the intentions behind it. The development of this alternative educational impulse into a worldwide movement is described shortly. In mainstream media today, Rudolf Steiner’s ideas in general, as well as in education, are often presented as controversial, because being perceived as un- or anti-scientific, mythological, or even racist. The misunderstandings behind these allegations are pointed out. The similarities and differences between Waldorf education and progressivism, or Reformpädagogik, are shortly discussed. Some reasons for the relative lack of academic research on Waldorf education are pointed out, and some examples of the reception of Steiner’s educational and philosophical ideas are given. Finally, there is an overview of the following chapters of the book.

Keywords

Waldorf education Progressivism Reformpädagogik 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Karlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden

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