Membership Categories of Schools & Institutes
For members of AWSNA, both schools and institutes, our membership process serves as a pathway to more deeply engage with the AWSNA Principles for Waldorf Schools and AWSNA Principles for Waldorf Institutes through responsible innovation. AWSNA members initially receive annual support visits and then eventually engage in a cyclical self-study/peer review process to strengthen how their organization lives these principles. Schools and institutes who engage with this responsible innovation pathway are representing Waldorf education in North America.
FULL MEMBERSHIP indicates that a school/institute has matured to stand in the world as an example of Waldorf education. The requirements, as outlined in the Association's Membership Guide, include a 7-10 year cycle of self-study/peer review or accreditation. Both are rigorous processes whereby a school/institute engages in a self-study, articulating how it meets agreed upon principles of Waldorf education, and peer review, openly engaging in qualitative assessment by a group of peers. After becoming a Full Member, schools/institutes engage in collaborative work with sister schools and institutes regionally and continentally. The intention is to support the associate member schools/institutes in advancing their membership, which demonstrates a strengthening of the school/institute. In addition, the continental Delegates work with a consensus model in establishing the levels of membership, the criteria for each level, and determining which schools/institutes have met the criteria.
Accredited Schools: Nearly all Full Member schools participate in the AWSNA accreditation process and are recognized as AWSNA Accredited schools. AWSNA has dual accreditation agreements with fourteen regional and national school accrediting agencies, and is itself accredited as an accrediting agency by The National Council for Private School Accreditation. If you have a concern that an accredited school is not meeting the accreditation criteria, please follow the Complaint Policy.
REGISTERED INITIATIVE is a non-member affiliate category for schools/institutes in the early phases of establishment as an initiative. They are guided by effective practices, the Membership Guide (available to affiliated schools/institutes) and by a mentoring team assigned from their regional Delegates.
Resources for Initiatives
In addition to the many affiliated Waldorf schools and initiatives, there are over 250 early childhood programs working out of the pedagogical insights of Rudolf Steiner. For further information about these Waldorf preschools and kindergartens, please contact:
Waldorf Early Childhood Association
285 Hungry Hollow Road