How It All Started
It all started with a dream.
That dream was to bring Steiner pedagogy to the Philippines and to help bring about genuine social transformation.
As Ms. Bella Tan recalls, they aimed to "…educate young children in freedom in order for them to properly develop and mature into responsible, thinking, moral human beings possessing the strength and courage to take concrete steps initially, to develop one's self, and eventually to contribute to the good of the bigger community/society."
Thus was born the Manila Waldorf School, Inc. (MWSI). MWSI is the pioneer school of Steiner education in the Philippines. Founded in 1994 by faculty pioneers Ms. Bella C. Tan, Ms. Mary Joan V. Fajardo, and Ms. Katherine C. Perlas, MWSI is a non-stock/non-profit educational foundation that is dedicated to spreading Steiner education in the country.
Steiner education is one of the fastest growing non-traditional educational movements in the world. Its pedagogy is based on the teachings of the late Austrian philosopher, Dr. Rudolf Steiner, on the development stages of childhood and adolescence. The Steiner approach nurtures the child's whole being, working from the "hands" (physical) through the "heart" (emotional and spiritual) to the "mind" (intellectual).
The first school was named Waldorf, hence the interchangeable use of the terms "Waldorf school" and "Steiner school". Since then, there are now over 800 Steiner schools and 1,000 Steiner kindergartens in 50 countries on 6 continents. Despite the close bonds that exist between Steiner schools worldwide, each school is totally independent. There is no "central organization" that goes about setting up schools across the globe. Rather, the movement spreads on its own, with the success of each school sowing the seeds of the next ones.
From MWSI's very first kindergarten class held in Ms. Fajardo's own backyard, the school now offers a full kindergarten to Grade 12 program – the only Steiner school to do so in Southeast Asia.
The school operates two campuses. It's main campus (Kindergarten – Grade 12) is located in Timberland Heights in San Mateo Rizal, just 15 minutes away from the Batasan Pambansa. It also operates a satellite kindergarten facility in E. Rodriguez Avenue in Quezon City.