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

This certification 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.

The 2023 Schedule
2023 Schedule for the Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program

Week 1: Sunday 25 June – Friday 30 June – Online

  • Year I: Adolescent development & high school curriculum (with Douglas Gerwin)
  • Years II/III: First Teachers’ Course, Research Seminar (with Paul Gierlach)
  • All Years: Specialized Subject Seminars in sciences, math, humanities, fine arts
  • All Years: Artistic ateliers

Week 2-4 (in person): Sunday 2 July – Sunday 23 July – in person:
High Mowing School
222 Isaac Frye Highway
Wilton, NH 03086.

  • Year I: Living Thinking (with Michael D’Aleo)
  • Years II: Renewal Courses (various)

David Barham, M.Ed.

WHiSTEP Program Director

Have Questions?
Contact David Barham!

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.

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:
  • Arts & Art History (with Michal Noer)
  • English Language & Literature (with David Sloan, Nathan Wilcox)
  • History & Social Studies (with Paul Gierlach, David Barham)
  • Life & Earth Sciences (with Michael Holdrege, Deborah Mann)
  • Mathematics (with Jamie York)
  • Physics & Chemistry (with Michael D’Aleo)
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

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—40 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 Chittenden (Music)
Michael D’Aleo (Physics & Chemistry)
Douglas Gerwin (Foundational Studies)
Paul Gierlach (History & Social Studies)
Michael Holdrege (Life & Earth Sciences)
Jan Lyndes (Spacial Dynamics)
Deborah Mann (Life & Earth Sciences)
Michal Noer (Arts & Art History)
Marisha Plotnik (Mathematics)
Laura Radefeld (Eurythmy)
David Sloan (English & Drama)
Debra Spitulnik (Speech)
Nathan Wilcox (English and Drama)

Program Leadership

David Barham, M.Ed.

WHiSTEP Program Director

What our students have said...

What I am taking away from this course is how I can better myself so that I can be available to the students. I liked learning about different exercises to strengthen the “I” and taking up an art as a way to remedy what you didn’t get when you were younger.

What I am taking away from this course is how I can better myself Andie Sweetman, WHiSTEP Class of 2024

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

We were able to cover and answer essentially all of the questions I had regarding lesson structure, block structure, block content, and topics to cover in grades 9 and 10.

We were able to cover and answer... Caroline Shank, WHiSTEP Class of 2024

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

I’ll bring many insights from this course into my teaching, but also, as importantly, my personal development.

I’ll bring many insights... Melissa McDonagh, WHiSTEP Class of 2023

I found the work in sculpture particularly helpful in dealing with some of the concepts that we read in Study of Man around life force forming the head. It was really a wonderful experience to work with shaping our heads in this way, mostly from the inside out. I found it both intellectually and imaginatively stimulating but also somewhat therapeutic to work on the head in this way.

It was really a wonderful experience... Heather Lomason, WHiSTEP Class of 2023

I have had a lot of antipathy toward eurythmy in the past and I found myself enjoying it in a way I never have. It also felt therapeutic in many ways.

I have had a lot of antipathy toward eurythmy in the past... Adrian Sütter, WHiSTP Class of 2023

Preparing for the performance gave the group a serious, shared goal to work towards and we felt appropriately nervous beforehand and appropriately proud of our success afterwards.

Preparing for the performance... Melissa McDonagh, WHiSTEP Class of 2023

The opportunity to hear about the projects of my classmates was even more valuable in terms of stretching my thinking about Waldorf curriculum development.

The opportunity to hear... Effie Scott, WHiSTEP Class of 2023
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