Waldorf education cultivates three principal faculties in children: thinking, feeling and willing. As such, it is often described as education for the “head, heart and hands.” “Head” refers to the ability to think clearly and independently. “Heart” refers to the capacity for feeling emotionally connected to one’s work and the world at large. “Hands” refers to the willingness to take action to achieve one’s goals and to contribute to the world.
Waldorf education is also designed to produce balanced, humane individuals, with a curriculum that is both integrated and developmentally appropriate. By integrating academic learning, physical activity, appreciation for the arts and moral responsibility, it cultivates the body, mind and spirit of the child simultaneously. It is also highly cognizant of the various stages of children’s development, meeting and challenging students in ways most suited to the child’s particular age and experience.
An excellent and more detailed primer on Waldorf Education can be found in Jack Petrash’s book Understanding Waldorf Education—Teaching From the Inside Out (2002).