Waldorf Education & the Adaptability Quotient: Educating for an Uncertain Future


Waldorf, Adaptability, & Creativity


With increasingly rapid changes in the nature of work, employers are interested not just in intelligence and social skills, but in an employee’s adaptability quotient–their ability to adjust to new challenges with flexibility, curiosity, courage, resilience, and problem-solving skills. In Waldorf education, we deepen rigorous academics by integrating art, outdoor education, music, theater, practical work, movement and hands-on learning. The depth and breadth of the Waldorf curriculum challenges students and develops crucial capacities that will help them adapt and thrive throughout their lives.

The premise of a Waldorf education is to provide a learning environment that promotes independent thinking, cultivates creativity, builds confidence, and develops practical skills.  A holistic approach to education lays the foundation for a life full of meaning and purpose. We believe that when teaching core academic subjects, the most important thing for us to instill in our students is the ability to think critically and creatively, how to use their resources, and how to keep going. From the youngest children who spend two hours outdoors a day in the cold and rain, to the 8th grader who hikes along to the Appalachian trail carrying a heavy backpack for hours, the experiences challenge young people and affirm their ability to conquer a challenge. This is what Waldorf education is designed to do. Don’t we all want our children to face challenges head on, to work together as a team, and to find balance in their work and personal lives for a healthy, happy life?  

What's the Adaptability Quotient?

The bbc article about “AQ”, or the Adaptability Quotient, affirms the types of qualitative skills that help people adapt. It talks about how, for years, we used IQ, or intelligence quotient, as the primary indicator for determining success in career and life. More recently, EQ, or the emotional intelligence, has been in the spotlight. This article states “Both IQ and EQ are considered important to our career success. But today, as technology redefines how we work, the skills we need to thrive in the job market are evolving too. Enter the adaptability quotient, or AQ, a subjective set of qualities loosely defined as the ability to pivot and flourish in an environment of fast and frequent change. 

“IQ is the minimum you need to get a job, but AQ is how you will be successful over time,” says Natalie Fratto, a New York-based vice-president at Goldman Sachs who became interested in AQ when she was investing in tech start-ups. She has subsequently presented a popular TED talk on the subject.” 

In the loving, safe environment of a Waldorf school, with long-term teachers who know them well, students can be pushed to their own individual limits, they can learn to rely on one another, and trust themselves. 

For more information about the curriculum and how our educational philosophy instills adaptability and creativity, reach out to us!

At Richmond Waldorf School, we recognize that our student’s physical, social and emotional well-being are a key part of their ability to learn and thrive. Our holistic approach to education prioritizes critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century.

We would love you to explore if the Waldorf approach is right for your child! Join an information session or meet with our Enrollment Administrator to learn more about Richmond Waldorf School. 


Choosing a school is a very important decision in a family’s life. Our admissions process is designed to give you as much information as you need to make an informed decision about enrolling your children. Whenever possible, we encourage all families to book a visit when considering Richmond Waldorf School. We want to meet you! It is just as important for us to know who you are and what you are looking for in a school, as it is for you to know who we are and what Waldorf education is about.

Valerie Hogan
Enrollment & Marketing Administrator
| 804-377-8024 ext 3