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The Child's Changing Consciousness - Rudolf Steiner - Waldorf Education lecturesThe Child's Changing Consciousness
As the Basis of Pedagogical Practice
8 lectures by Rudolf Steiner

The Child's Changing Consciousness lectures were given in 1923 - three and a half years after the founding of the first Waldorf school - to an audience of Swiss school teachers, most of whom had little knowledge of anthroposophy. This is the context of these lectures, among Steiner's most accessible on education.

A teacher who attended the lectures wrote in the Berne School Paper: "Every morning, as we listened anew to Dr. Steiner, we felt we had come closer to him and understood better what he had to say and how he had to say it. Daily, we newcomers gathered, asking ourselves, "Why are more of our colleagues not here? It is untrue that anthroposophy limits a person, develops blinkers, or avoids real life.... For step-by-step Dr. Steiner shows its application to life ... illuminating the details, disclosing their connection with profound questions of life and existence." I came to the conference to stimulate my school work. I found benefit in abundance. But also, I unexpectedly received a greater richness for heart and soul-and, from this in turn shall stream richness for my classes...."

In other words, these are ideal lectures for someone approaching Waldorf education for the first time.

Using language that any teacher or parent can understand, Steiner goes into the essentials of his educational philosophy, providing many examples and anecdotes to convey his meaning. In this way, against the background of the developing child, he allows the curriculum and the method of teaching to emerge as the commonsense conclusion of practical experience.

Anthroposophic Press
(8 lectures, Dornach, Switzerland, 1923; GA 306)
Foreword by Douglas Sloan
Translated by Roland Everett (revised for this edition).
232 pages, paperback
ISBN: 0-88010-410-4


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Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) called his spiritual philosophy 'anthroposophy', which he defined as 'the consciousness of one's humanity', and the disciplined methods of studying this he termed ‘spiritual science’.  As a highly developed clairvoyant and spiritual initiate, he spoke from his direct cognition of the spiritual world. However, he did not see his work as religious or sectarian, but rather sought to found a universal 'science of the spirit'.

His many published works (written books and lectures) - which include his research into the spiritual nature of the human being, the evolution of the world and humanity, and methods of personal development - invite readers to develop their own spiritual faculties.  He also provided indications for the renewal of many human activities, including education - both general and special - agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science, philosophy, religion and the arts. He wrote some 30 books and delivered over 6000 lectures across Europe, and in 1924 founded the General Anthroposophical Society which today has branches throughout the world.
 


 

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