Social Renewal + Social Justice Pillar

Social Renewal + Social Justice Pillar

Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility – these three forces are the very nerve of education.
– Rudolf Steiner

In this work, we are striving to bring living heartfelt thinking to questions we face in our society. This is an ongoing dynamic process.

Rudolf Steiner founded the very first Waldorf school as a social renewal initiative motivated by a worldview that acknowledged the spiritual nature of human beings. Waldorf education prepares students to experience their lives as filled with purpose and meaning, contributing to the well-being of humanity.

Our Shared Values

Spiritual Understanding of the Human Being and Human Evolution:

As students of anthroposophy, we acknowledge the free and universal spirit living in every human being.  We recognize the task of bringing healing and renewal to the social forms of our world.  We consider all human beings to be free and equal in dignity and rights.  We are responsible for working with diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within the deeper context of human evolution.

Waldorf Education:

We honor the sanctity of childhood, and meet children at every age in a developmentally appropriate way, grounded in our study of anthroposophy. We recognize that anthroposophy and Waldorf education, as global movements, serve the spiritual ideal of uniting all people and nations, working in ways that respect and bridge cultural differences while honoring the uniqueness of each individual.  We work to see the individuality of each child and offer an education towards freedom.


We strive to embody empathy as we navigate differences within our community.  We wish to contribute to building a society founded upon mutual respect and cooperation between all human beings.


We dedicate ourselves to creating an environment of involvement, respect, and connection – where we all benefit from the richness of ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives. We strive to model and teach children to be included, inclusive, and respectful of all differences. We seek to cultivate an environment where all of our students can find belonging.


Our community is composed of people from a wide range of identities and the diverse perspectives and experiences that each can offer. We are committed to respecting the dignity of each community member and their race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, visible/invisible disability, gender, sexual orientation, age, body size, occupation, family constellation, political affiliation, and socio-economic status. Our differences create opportunities for empathy and collaboration.


Asheville Waldorf School is working to examine societal, racial, gender, institutional, and cultural biases, and divest from the ways we, as a school, have been participating in these.  We strive to prepare students to participate actively in creating and supporting a more equitable and just world.

Common Humanity:

A fundamental goal of our educational program is to help students understand and experience the common humanity of all of the world’s people, transcending the stereotypes, prejudices, and divisive barriers of classification by race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, visible/invisible disability, gender, sexual orientation, age, body size, occupation, family constellation, political affiliation, and socio-economic status. The curriculum supports educating children to meet the world with open-mindedness, confidence, compassion, and resilience.



We carry the threads of the curriculum from Early Childhood through 8th Grade.

  1. The students will encounter differences and diversity at school, among the faculty, staff, and other students. Teachers encourage social inclusion and empathy.  
  2. Watching for and redirecting stereotyped play: gender, race, body size, disability.
  3. We recognize the power of the stories we tell and the importance of inclusive representation and archetypes. The rich and varied stories, songs, and poetry that reflect our local community and people of the global majority – especially Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Appalachian, immigrant, and other underrepresented populations in WNC and offer windows and mirrors into world cultures and experiences.  
  4. If a child identifies as a different gender than that assigned at birth (including non-binary and gender non-conforming), this will be respected by the teacher and school.  There will be no tolerance for bullying or teasing based on gender identity. Teachers will work together with parents to best support the student with healthy and honest communication.
  5. We strive to use gender-neutral terms with groups of people (children, darlings, dear ones, folks, y’all, etc.) rather than gender-specific terms.
  6. We respect the freedom of all people to identify in their chosen way, including pronouns, and honorifics  (e.g., Ms. Mr. Mx, Te,…).  
  7. We see ALL children as spiritual beings and speak to them with respect.
  8. The community life supports the school strivings with festivals, celebrations, and aesthetics.
Early Childhood: The World is Good

We implicitly teach values in the early years, primarily through modeling.  We use dolls, puppets, artwork, stories, and characters that reflect a variety of cultures, racial identities, gender expressions, different abilities, and family structures.  We especially strive to provide a reflection of belonging to the particular constellation of students in each class. 

Grades: The World is Beautiful

Grades 1-5

We aim to present the diverse cultural experiences of people through poetry, music, stories, literature, field trips, movement, drawings, ancient art and writing. 


Grades 6-8

Due to the students’ emerging critical thinking, teaching can be brought in a more direct manner. They have an emerging infrastructure to attend to the injustices of the world.  In 8th Grade, we awaken children to larger and more complex social injustice through historical education on civil rights movements and cultural revolutions.


We strive to teach the truth of colonialism through the eyes of Indigenous people (e.g., teaching about the richness and vastness of African culture and geography before teaching about European conquerors).


Human physiology and sexuality is typically taught in middle school.

We acknowledge there is always more to learn.
We will:
  • Perpetually continue our inner work, collectively examine and unravel our own deeply held, often unconscious, biases, and beliefs so we can better model the values we hope to inspire in the students.
  • Pursue further education for our staff and faculty, including anti-bias, anti-racism, and anti-colonialism trainings. 
  • Hold respectful dialog and remain open to each other as we navigate these questions. 
  • Deepen our understanding of anthroposophy, to progress in our work as developing human beings, especially to value the freedom, dignity and path of each individual.

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Educating the whole child, in mind, body, and spirit,  

for a life of continuous learning

and meaningful engagement with the world.


89 Old Candler Town Road
Candler, NC 28715


Main office: 828.575.2557



376 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803


Asheville Waldorf School does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or national origin in its employment policies, educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.