Skylark Books

What is Waldorf Education? - lectures by Rudolf SteinerWhat is Waldorf Education?
Three selected lectures by Rudolf Steiner
with an introduction by Stephen Keith Sagarin

What is Waldorf Education? consists of three selected lectures by Rudolf Steiner which introduce the reader to the basic principles of Waldorf Education. What is stressed is that Waldorf education is not a codified system for teaching but an approach which addresses the whole of the child as a conscious, growing and changing individual and relies very much on the sensitivity, intelligence and capacity for feeling and enthusiasm in the teacher. These qualities act as a stimulus to the whole development of the child, mentally, emotionally, morally and thereby even supporting the health of the child.

The guiding principles of the methodology, quite apart from these expressed qualities of the teacher, are those which Steiner describes as rooted in the spiritual perception of the child is a developing individual. This is seen both in relationship to the child’s own fulfilment in life and the child’s relationship to the society around him or her. Some of the elements will seem familiar to those who have experienced excellence in teaching themselves in their childhood, while others will appear as something new. The latter is because Steiner’s approach derives not from theory or “common sense” but from particular qualities of spiritual perception which he maintains the teacher must also develop in some degree. Steiner describes the nature of the child, as with all his examinations of humanity and nature, from his own developed faculties of perception which convey in detail the soul and spiritual elements as well as the physical.

Because of this background to his approach, it needs to be made clear that though the teachers are steeped in the training necessary to become a qualified Waldorf teacher, the teaching itself contains no dogma or any reference to a belief system, spiritual, religious or otherwise. Children are educated in a well-rounded way to prepare them for life in whatever forms they choose in their developing life.

Steiner Books
128pp; paperback
ISBN: 0-88010-527-5

 

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Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) called his spiritual philosophy 'anthroposophy', meaning 'wisdom of the human being'. As a highly developed seer, he based his work on direct knowledge and perception of spiritual dimensions. He initiated a modern and universal 'science of spirit', accessible to anyone willing to exercise clear and unprejudiced thinking.

From his spiritual investigations Steiner provided suggestions for the renewal of many activities, including education (both general and special), agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science, philosophy, religion and the arts. Today there are literally thousands of schools, clinics, farms and other organizations involved in practical work based on his principles. His many published works feature his research into the spiritual nature of the human being, the evolution of the world and humanity, and methods of personal development. Steiner wrote some 30 books and delivered over 6,000 lectures across Europe. In 1924 he founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world.

 

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