Waldorf High School Teacher Education

Be the teacher your students need most!

Earn a graduate-level certificate to teach in a Waldorf High School.

Since 1996, practicing and aspiring Waldorf high school teachers have turned to our Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program (WHiSTEP) to deepen their understanding and mastery of this vocation.

Over 230 high school teachers across North America and beyond have successfully completed our program, earning their Waldorf Teacher Credentials.

This certificate is recognized by ASWNA and Waldorf high schools across the globe. Participants focus on specialized subject areas, as well as techniques to help ready adolescents for life as mature adults. Our graduates teach in Waldorf schools across North America as well as in Central and South America, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Our team of seasoned high school faculty draws upon the proven track record of Waldorf pedagogy and practices. At the same time, they adapt their courses each year to meet today’s changing societal environment and the needs of today’s teenagers.

Low-Residency and Online Format

As a part-time, graduate-level, low-residency program, WHiSTEP is held over three consecutive Julys. In addition to three summer intensives, trainees undertake two years of independent studies including a research project and internship in a Waldorf high school.

WHiSTEP July 2024:

Dates for Two-Week Summer Residency in Wilton, New Hampshire
  • Week I: July 14-19

  • Week II: July 21-28

Special introductory tuition rate for the first summer residency: $890 (click here)

WHiSTEP 2024 – 2026: New Cohort Begins July 14-28, 2024, in Wilton, NH (click here)

2024 Schedule for the Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program
Choice of high school subject specializations:
  • Math ~ Marisha Plotnik
  • Physics & Chemistry ~ Cedar Oliver
  • Life Sciences ~ Michael Holdrege
  • English ~ David Sloan
  • History ~ Paul Gierlach
  • Art & Art History ~ Michal Noer & Patrick Stolfo

Curriculum Overview

As a WHiSTEP student, you will deepen your understanding of teaching adolescents in one or more of six specialized academic subjects in the sciences, mathematics, humanities, and the arts.

Choice of high school subject specializations:

As a student, you’ll explore:
  • Fundamental ideas of the threefold social organism that underlie Waldorf education
  • Physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of the unfolding human being
  • Development of “living thinking” in yourself and in those you teach
  • Rudolf Steiner’s foundational work Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom and its practical applications to teaching in high school
  • A phenomenological approach to planning and carrying out your lessons
  • How to help each human being live more deeply into the world

Seminars on Contemporary Topics for Waldorf High School Teachers: Starlight Rays in Darkened Times

Portrait of David Barham

David Barham, M.Ed.

WHiSTEP Program Director

Have Questions?
Contact David Barham!

Read about Our Seminars on Contemporary Topics for Waldorf High School Teachers: Starlight Rays in Darkened Times


 

Portrait of David Barham

David Barham, M.Ed.

WHiSTEP Program Director

Have Questions?

Contact David Barham!

Credentials and Career Outlook

Upon successful completion of the program, you’ll receive a Certificate in Waldorf High School Teacher Education recognized at any Waldorf school around the world. 

Since its founding, CfA (including its high school program) has been a full member of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA).

With more than 150 Waldorf schools in North America—38 with their own high school—the need for qualified Waldorf high school teachers has never been greater. You can view a list of Waldorf high schools here.

Who Should Apply

  • High school teachers wishing to enrich their Waldorf preparation
  • Professionals seeking a career change
  • Practicing educators
Image of High school teacher training in a Waldorf classroom

Before you attend, you’ll need:

  • A University degree or equivalent diploma
  • Some experience working with adolescents preferred
  • Preparatory foundational studies in anthroposophy and the arts (available by signing up for CfA’s “Explorations” program here)
  • Experience in education and adolescent development

These foundational studies are prerequisite so that applicants come ready to engage in focused study pertaining specifically to the goals, challenges, and responsibilities of high school teachers.

WHiSTEP Faculty

David Barham, WHiSTEP Program Director
Meg O’Dell (Music)
Paul Gierlach (History & Social Studies)
Michael Holdrege (Life & Earth Sciences)
Jan Lyndes (Spacial Dynamics)
Michal Noer (Arts & Art History)
Cedar Oliver (Physics & Chemistry)
Marisha Plotnik (Mathematics)
Laura Radefeld (Eurythmy)
David Sloan (English & Drama)
Debra Spitulnik (Speech)
Nathan Wilcox (English & Drama)

Program Leadership

Portrait of David Barham

David Barham, M.Ed.

WHiSTEP Program Director

 

Watch our recent video about our Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program.

What our students have said...

I appreciated all of the variety. There was a nice balance of hands-on work and abstract thinking. Classes felt stimulating and exciting. There was a clear structure and flexibility based on student contributions. I learned a great deal. I can’t believe how much we covered.

I can’t believe how much we covered. (Physical Sciences)

As a member of the WHiSTEP faculty for the past 25 years, I can say with some longer-range perspective that the program has helped to cultivate an entire generation of teachers, many of whom now anchor Waldorf high schools across North America. Although these trainees have come to Wilton with varying degrees of teaching experience, they nearly always leave with the tools to strengthen their grasp of the philosophical and pedagogical underpinnings of Waldorf education. This past summer I was most impressed by the nearly seamless transition crafted by Douglas Gerwin, founder and long-time “Captain” of the program, and David Barham, current director. Both remain committed to building upon the foundational principles of Waldorf education while adapting the program to meet today’s urgent challenges.

The program has helped to cultivate an entire generation of teachers. David Sloan

The class felt like a pure learning experience. I learned a really incredible amount.

I learned a really incredible amount. (History)

I am aware that this journey has just begun, and I feel now like I have got a new pair of glasses to observe the outer world.

I feel now like I have got a new pair of glasses to observe the outer world. Marilia Trimboli, WHiSTEP Class of 2024

I feel my abilities to observe and to notice has been sharpened greatly and I now am noticing things I have seen thousands of times but that I had never really seen. Yesterday evening, I went outside, and my shadow was reflected onto a large maple tree out front. I found myself moving the shadow of my arms, tracing the shape of the tree from the top down into the roots. To see this expansion and contraction and the rhythm of the natural world brings such a sense of wholeness to the individual.

I feel my abilities to observe and to notice has been sharpened greatly. Jake Gerber,WHiSTEP Class of 2024

The teacher was really an admirable example of patience and good humor. She gently guided us to a confident performance, somewhat against the odds! Impressive!

[The teacher] gently guided us to a confident performance. (Eurythmy)

An example of a really engaging, charismatic personality who inspires interest in the material and has a great depth of knowledge and passion to draw from.

...personality who inspires interest in the material. (English)

The instructor was clearly prepared but also flexible to the spontaneity of the students. There was a good balance of hands-on and abstract learning, different materials and individual/partner/group work. There was a lot of depth but also a breadth uncovered through the depth.

There was a good balance of hands-on and abstract learning. (Math)

I appreciated the way the instructor was able to both keep us on track and let us derail and explore off the track when a question took us on an exploration. I also appreciated observing how he would, after a while, gently redirect us back onto the track.

[The instructor kept] us on track and let us derail and explore off the track when a question took us on an exploration (Human Development)

I appreciated the space we gave this year to talking about making new curriculum decisions and the questions we need to consider in doing this. I feel better prepared to make these decisions moving forward.

I appreciated the space... Heather Lomason, WHiSTEP Class of 2023

The instructor is a pro: practical and inspiring. He structures his classes in a way that requires students to bring their best. He brings great resources that teachers can use in their classrooms immediately.

[The instructor] brings great resources that teachers can use in their classrooms immediately (English)

The instructor wove a tapestry of thinking feeling willing that provided an experiential gateway to the philosophy of Anthroposophy. Cedar has an amazing ability to bend time.

...an experiential gateway to the philosophy of Anthroposophy (Living Thinking)

It was disorienting at times, but I feel I needed it to grow.

I needed it to grow. (Drama)
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Watch these videos to gain more insights about the program.

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Important Links for Applicants and Students

Below are links to important financial and application information.

And when you’re ready…

Students who wish to withdraw from the program should consult their Program Director. Students may with draw from the program cancel their enrollment in writing at any time and may be eligible for refund. Notice of withdrawal cancellation must be addressed to the Center for Anthroposophy Business Office, P.O. Box 15, McMinnville, TN 37111. Cancellation Withdrawal shall take effect on receipt of written notice. All refunds will be paid by check. To receive a refund (less the registration fee of $890), students must cancel at least 30 days before the start of the program. Cancellations received between 10 and 30 days before the start of a program will receive a credit voucher for future attendance (less a $75 cancellation $50 processing fee). No refund or credit voucher is given for cancellations with less than 10 days’ notice. Failure to attend classes and/or to make complete payment does not constitute official withdrawal.

Courses

FIRST year

Second Year

Third Year