Waldorf schools originated in Europe in 1919. The curriculum for all Waldorf and Waldorf-Methods schools is based on a developmentally appropriate curriculum that integrates the arts and music with academic subjects. This unique approach touches and develops the feeling life of the child while enhancing the development of effort and will to participate. It enlivens the thinking capacities necessary for strong academic challenges in the world today.
In both Waldorf private and public-sector schools, the early elementary grades are intentionally designed to protect and nurture childhood and to foster wonder and imagination. The carefully developed environment combining beauty with structure is purposely designed to gradually awaken the thinking capacity of each individual child. We seek to educate the whole human being so that he or she may carry the lively and joyous qualities of childhood into adult life. Early academic lessons unfold in an artistic, active and joyful manner. Simultaneously, the social skills of living harmoniously within a class and a school community are fostered. Many opportunities to use the body skillfully and with intent are structured into the daily life of the academic classes. In the middle and upper elementary years, these elements translate into vigorous academic skills for creatively sustained and original thinking capacities.
Waldorf education seeks to foster and develop a creative, educated, and healthful interest in life. People who develop skills of sensitivity and fortitude in childhood have the ability to contribute positively to all aspects of adult life as responsible individuals.
The first Waldorf-Methods public school opened in 1991 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Many parents and educators who knew the Waldorf curriculum as nurturing and healthy for children began opening charter schools across the country, knowing the methods of Waldorf education would be welcomed as an innovative and inspiring solution to current public-education challenges. The first Arizona Waldorf-Methods school opened in Flagstaff in 1995. MOS is now one of five Waldorf-Methods public schools in the state of Arizona. Not all aspects of the curriculum can be implemented in the same manner as in the private sector. Adaptations have been instituted by each charter school according to the needs and structure of the school staff and administration to meet the needs of each school community.