Rudolf Steiner College was founded in 1976 in order to provide educational opportunities for individuals interested in becoming Waldorf teachers or in deepening their transformative adult studies and anthropsophical education. Since then, the College has contributed to the education of adults around the world, preparing them to affect change within their communities as teachers, leaders, artists, and partners in community collaboration. The College is named after the Austrian philosopher, scientist and educator Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) whose innovative ideas and discoveries inspired a broad spectrum of practical activities worldwide–in the arts, banking, architecture, medicine, agriculture, care of people with disabilities, and education.
Located on a beautiful thirteen-acre campus in Fair Oaks, just east of Sacramento, the College offers visitors, students and conference participants the unique opportunity to enjoy the scenery and to take a deep breath and reflect. The campus hosts a bookstore, a sprawling biodynamic garden, a performance hall, student housing and an organic cafe that is open throughout the week.
Participants of the Center for Systemic Leadership workshops, conferences and community events will be able to learn more about the College and its other programs either by visiting the campus during business hours or by visiting online at www.steinercollege.edu.
Steiner’s Systemic Approach
Rudolf Steiner was a progressive social advocate, philosopher, scientist and educator who recognized and embraced increasing complexity in his work. His whole-systems approach included looking at the whole to the parts, the parts to the whole and examining both from multiple angles; inherent in his philosophy was the understanding that gathering information from diverse perspectives would improve upon his work. Using this whole-systems approach, Steiner collaborated with many others to co-create new agricultural practices known as biodynamics:, ground-breaking forms for working with money (http://www.associative-economics.com) and revitalizing educational streams for children and adults alike (http://www.whywaldorfworks.org/02_W_Education/index.asp). These are just some of the areas of interest and complexity with which Steiner worked.
Steiner recognized the relational interconnectedness of complex systems—and so he developed his own way to look at the various influencing factors that would affect any given area, idea, or issue. When Steiner took up the potent question of “What is the future of education?”, he collaborated with many others in the field as educators, parents, students, and graduates—combining their experience and knowledge in order to create an educational forum that took contemporary curriculum development, historical context, and rapidly changing social expectations into account. Steiner also recognized that education was not simply about the content or the context but also about the confluence of these two in the individual student experience. In addition to looking at educational influences, Steiner considered and encompassed human developmental influences to ensure that the resulting educational framework was engaging, adaptive, and productively freeing so that students and teachers could cultivate the capacities to be free-thinking, contributing citizens of the world.
“Receive the children with reverence, educate them in love, and let them go forth in freedom,” is one of the many inspiring visions of Waldorf Education. There are Waldorf schools and Waldorf-inspired charter schools and high schools throughout the US, although the bulk are in Europe. Waldorf High School graduates emerge with strong critical and systemic thinking skills and excel in innovative, highly-adaptive thinking at the university level.