r. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was very interested in the spiritual dimension of the education process and developed many ideas for educating children and adults that incorporated it. An Austrian scientist, philosopher, social reformer, architect and a seer, Steiner described his collected teachings as "the knowledge of the true nature of the human being." After much of the world had experienced the devastation of World War I, he founded the first Waldorf School in response to a question put to him by benefactor Emil Molt, "Is there a way to educate children that will help them develop into human beings who will be capable of bringing peace to the world?"

Waldorf education believes that drawing, painting, poetry, recitation, drama, singing and playing a musical instrument all build academic skills that deepen comprehension. Subjects as diverse as mathematics and grammar, woodcarving and knitting, sports and foreign language when taught imaginatively and artistically in widely divergent ways, leave a deep and lasting impact on the student. Waldorf education, considers a child's growth to take place in three stages of seven years each, from birth to 7 years, 7-14 years and 14- 21 years.

Rudolf Steiner's vision of education is to develop free thinking, independent, morally responsible and integrated individuals equipped with a high degree of social competence. The first Waldorf School opened in 1919 in Stuttgart, Germany. At present there are over a thousand independent Waldorf schools, about 2,000 kindergartens and 646 centers for special education, located in 60 countries, constituting one of the largest independent school movements internationally.

Dr. Steiner was a modern day seer, who was equally at home in the eastern and western modes of thinking. He presided upon the Theosophical Society of Austria and Germany and later went on to establish his own independent Anthroposophical Society, which brought new and revolutionary ideas, thinking and practices on subjects like education, farming which later came to be known as Biodynamic agriculture, science, medicine, art, architecture, drama, economics, a new art of movement called Eurythmy, religion, care for the dying, life education for the disabled and social reforms, there is almost no field that he did not touch in his spectacular lifetime.