Three phases of research findings regarding graduates of Waldorf Schools in North America are up for free at The On-Line Waldorf Library.
These study findings are really much too long to be summarized in a blog post in any manner that will do justice to them, but I think a few points can be pulled out. I do encourage you to go and read all of the findings so these things are put within the proper context.
A few tidbits to whet your interest from the 2008 Phase Three survey results regarding North American graduates:
- Ninety-four percent of the graduates taking part in the survey reported having attended college and eighty eight percent reported having completed or were in the process of completing a college or university level degree at the time of the survey.
- Interestingly, the study found “that a significant number of Waldorf alumni/ae participating in the survey transferred from one college to another before graduating. Among the names of American colleges, seven listed in the table of most attended colleges did not appear in the initial listing. These latter include Amherst, Bowdoin, Brown, Prescott, Radcliffe/Harvard, St. John’s, and Vassar. This difference suggests that the survey participants tended to transfer to more selective colleges during their university careers.”
- I have heard parents and teachers worry that graduates of Waldorf schools will not go on to scientific, mathematical or technological fields of study and work. The results of this study showed that “compared to their non-Waldorf educated peers, up to twice as many Waldorf students go on to study science overall in college, including both the life sciences and the physical sciences. In addition, the survey data indicate that in recent years a higher percentage of graduates from all Waldorf schools have chosen a science major in college. Specifically, a greater percentage of Waldorf school graduates from the younger Waldorf schools have gone into the sciences than those graduating from the more mature Waldorf schools.”
- “The five most popular professions—education, fine and studio arts, administration, performing arts, and health or medicine—all entail the development and use of strong social skills.”
There is much more to be said, as other indicators looked at included the health of the adult, relationships of the Waldorf Graduate, leisure time pursuits, spiritual life – in other words, the whole adult. The other parts that were interesting were the constructive criticism of Waldorf school graduates regarding their Waldorf Education, and also the remarks of college professors who have taught Waldorf school graduates. The surveys with data from Switzerland, Germany and Sweden were also interesting. Please go take a look at the research reports and let me know what you think. Fascinating stuff!
- Here is Phase One: (2005) http://www.waldorflibrary.org/pg/focusSearch/focusSearch.asp?keywordType=general&keywordValue=eBook&page=1&showItem=1&ResourceID=132
- Here is Phase Two: (2007): http://www.waldorflibrary.org/pg/focusSearch/focusSearch.asp?kooeywordType=general&keywordValue=eBook&page=2&showItem=1&ResourceID=1324
- Here is Phase Three: (2008) (also includes at end results of similar surveys of graduates from Waldorf Schools in Switzerland/Germany and Sweden): http://www.waldorflibrary.org/Journal_Articles/phase3.pdf
Perhaps someday someone will undertake survey methodology such as this in order to look at graduates of Waldorf homeschooling. I look forward to that.