Festive Opening of the International Master's Program in Waldorf Education

Children playing flute in their classroom
Students at the Intercultural Waldorf School in Mannheim, Photo: C. Fischer

On February 9, the first international master's program in Waldorf Education was inaugurated at the Freie Hochschule Stuttgart. The post-graduate master's program, offered in English, welcomes 25 participants from 13 different countries, including Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Iran, Italy, Canada, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Taiwan and the United States.

The new degree program fills a clear need in Waldorf education. On the one hand, there has been a global boom in Waldorf schools: over 2,000 Waldorf kindergartens worldwide and over 1,000 Waldorf schools clearly increase the demand for qualified teachers. On the other hand, no full-time program in English was currently in existence. The program in Stuttgart thus closes an important gap. The program is supported by funding from the Mahle Foundation and the Software AG Foundation.

In their opening speeches, faculty members and foundation representatives made it clear that the international degree program offers a unique opportunity to further develop Waldorf education. Although Waldorf education is sometimes seen as an important German “export,” it should in no case be viewed as a one-sided franchise model, as Professor Horst Philipp Bauer, member of the Board of the Software AG Foundation, emphasized. “Waldorf pedagogy can only be fruitful when it adopts new energy and ideas from all of the places where it is practiced,” said Bauer. “Our aim must be to learn from one another and to see these differences as treasures.” Bauer emphasized that the degree program in Stuttgart brings an international focus to the very place where the first Waldorf school was founded.