8 lectures, Stuttgart, June 12-19, 1921 (CW 302)
In these eight talks on education for adolescent-aged young people, Steiner addressed the teachers of the first Waldorf school two years after it was first opened. A high school was needed, and Steiner wanted to provide a foundation for study and a guide for teachers already familiar with his approach to the human being, child development, and education based on spiritual science.
Steiner’s education affirms the being of every child within the world of spirit. This approach works within the context of the child’s gradual entry into earthly life, aided by spiritual forces, and children’s need for an education that cooperates with those forces.
Some of Steiner’s remarks may be controversial, but unbiased study will lead to an appreciation of the profound thought and wisdom behind what is presented here.
German source: Menschenerkenntnis und Unterrichtsgestaltung (GA 302).
Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.
HANS-JOACHIM MATTKE taught German literature, art history, architecture, and drama in the high school of the Stuttgart Waldorf School and in the teacher training. He directed numerous theater productions. He lectures on education, literature, drama, and art history. He is a consultant in Waldorf schools throughout the US and helped found new high schools. He has written widely on educational issues and edited, among others, Steiner’s Education for Adolescents. He was a member of the group of editors of “Erziehungskunst” (“Art of education”) for many years. He has been connected to the Rudolf Steiner Institute since 1982.