Why does happiness matter?
As it is written in the chalkboard of the Waldorf Morain,“we all want our children to be happy but too often, we assume that “sweetness” or “being happy” means weakness or is a barrier to performance. As the Stanford study shows, that’s incorrect, at least for Waldorf Schools, where a better environment translates directly to kids who outperform their peers, particularly in math at 5th grade and above. The fact that Waldorf students have lower rates of angst and feel ‘life ready’ is the icing on the cake.
The Stanford assessment underscores the results of a peer-reviewed, published nationwide study of American Waldorf schools, titled Twenty Years and Counting: A Look at Waldorf in the Public Sector Using Online Sources, by Drs. Abigail L. Larrison, Alan J. Daly and Carol VanVooren (published in Current Issues in Education, 2012). These scientists, led by neuroscientist Larrison, not only found that Waldorf students significantly outperform their peers on standardized tests at the end of their middle school curriculum (8th grade), they emphasize that Waldorf students’ superior performance occurs even though the students do not have a history of taking standardized tests. These scientists also highlighted the need to correct the misperception that Waldorf education is somehow less rigorous, because it is more responsive to children at their developmental stage and holistic. The scientists also noted that some of the Waldorf school skill sets in the middle grades, including high achievement in languages and music, simply do not exist in a way that would allow comparison to non-Waldorf schools”.
Who has graduated from a Waldorf school?
- Kenneth Irvine Chenault was the CEO and Chairman of American Express from 2001 until 2018.
- Thomas Christia Südhof along with Rothman and Schekman are the 2013 Nobel Prize winners in Physiology or Medicine laureates. He is currently a professor in the School of Medicine in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, and by courtesy in Neurology, and in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.
- Miguel R Forbes was a co-founder of Forbes.com and served as president of Forbes Inc.
- Alexander Gerber is the CEO of Demeter International which is the largest certification organization for biodynamic agriculture
- Thomas Jorberg is the CEO GLS Bank, the first bank in Germany that operated with an ethical philosophy.
- Alexander S. Kekulé is the Head of the Chair for Medical Microbiology and Virology of the Martin Luther King University.
- Sandra Bullock was the highest paid actress in the world in 2010 and 2014.
- John Firzallen Moore work in military electronics, communications, and spectroscopy culminated in medical electronics and x-ray products with the founding of the company Bio-Imaging Research.
- Peter Prokosch is the Managing Director of GRID-Arendal. He heads an international team of 15 different nations and manages resources to support the work of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
- Anselmo Ramos is the Co- founder of the WPP International. His company has won 8 consecutive years the EFFIE award which is the industry’s benchmark for effectiveness in terms of demonstrable results for clients.
- Gotz Rehn is the Founder and CEO of Alnatura, an organic supermarket with 77 branches.
- Dr. Ulrich Reinhardt is one of the most famous German futurologist.
- Charles Rose is a well-known architect in the US, who has won awards from the American Institute of Architects and national competitions.
- Oras Tynkkynen is a member of the Parliament of Finland.
- Florian Zech is the Founder of AMANDLA. In 2012, was awarded the “Beyond Sport Award” for the best project worldwide category “Sports for conflict resolution”.