Interview with Rene Querido on Waldorf Education and the Path of Anthroposophy
In the first quarter of this century, the Austrian philosopher and educator Rudolf Steiner articulated one of the most extraordinary worldviews in modern times: Anthroposophy. Filled with profound insights that are simultaneously practical and spiritual, it has given birth to numerous successful and enduring initiatives in such fields as Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture, the Camphill communities for those with mental disabilities in need of special care, and many creative developments in architecture, medicine, and even banking. In fact, the Waldorf schools now constitute the largest grouping in the world in the field of private education. Yet Anthroposophy remains in general, poorly understood and little recognized outside Europe, despite its many achievements.
Given the exploding interest today in alternative forms of education, Lapis felt it was time to talk to one of the major influences in the development of Waldorf schools in America, Rene Querido. Born in Holland and brought up in a family with no religious orientation, he escaped the invading Nazis and came to Britain as a child in the midst of the Blitz. He was introduced to the work of Rudolf Steiner by an enigmatic Cockney workman while working in an art store, and went on to teach in one of England’s early Waldorf schools. He first came to the States in the early Sixties and returned in the Seventies to establish Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California, the West Coast’s leading center for Waldorf education. Now retired, he discusses here the nature of his life’s work and the deeper spiritual insights about the world to be found within Anthroposophy.