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.
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What is Waldorf Education? - Rudolf Steiner
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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Copyright © 2004 Skylark Books