Rudolf Steiner, the man whose principles led to the creation of Waldorf Education, once said, “The healthy social life is found when in the mirror of each human soul, the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the community, the strength of each human soul is living.”
At Waldorf Academy, we take these words literally, focusing our school’s growth on reflecting the incredible multicultural diversity of the city around us. Rooted in the heart of Toronto, which BBC Radio named as the most multicultural city in the world, we seek to build a welcoming and diverse community where every member finds purpose and every person is valued.
According to the 2016 Census, Toronto’s population is comprised 51.5% by minorities, with East Asians as the largest ethnic group and South Asians coming in second. The proportion of Toronto’s population that is foreign born is higher than almost any city around the world. Roughly half of our residents were born outside of Canada, and proudly, our city is home to people from pretty much all corners of the globe.
Waldorf Education, which celebrated 100 years in 2019, has long promoted positions of diversity, equity, and inclusion – and yet in the current climate, we realize we must do more than simply promote and profess a commitment to diversity. We must walk the walk.
This philosophy goes so much deeper than surface traits. Waldorf pedagogy sees the human-ness of each student and promotes confidence, creativity, and development for all. As independent schools, Waldorf schools offer a pedagogy that educates all children, embracing a variety of personal backgrounds and heritages toward making a truly interesting and varied society.
At our core, we are committed to developing the human potential of every child in our care. Any family may enrol, and we, like many of our sister schools, seek to provide access to families who may not be able to pay our full tuition rates. Simply put, we want Waldorf education to be available to anyone who wants to engage with it, and our tuition assistance efforts make that possible.
When students leave Waldorf Academy, we hope the pedagogy has instilled in them an understanding of the common experiences of humanity, and a respect and reverence for communities, traditions, and ways of greeting the world. Our curriculum looks for ways to evolve and grow to include the traditions and stories of our community voices, as varied and diverse as they are in Toronto.
Rudolf Steiner once advocated for the casting aside of division into races. He said, “We must seek to unite people of all races and nations, and to bridge the divisions and differences between various groups of people.”
This is the work we do. This is the outcome of a true and deep education.