As early as 1884, while tutoring a boy with special needs, Steiner began a lifelong interest in applying spiritual knowledge to the practical aspects of life. Steiner originally published the essay at the core of this book in 1907. It represents his earliest ideas on education, in which he lays out the soul spiritual processes of human development, describing the need to understand how the being of a child develops through successive “births,” beginning with the physical body’s entry into earthly life, and culminating in the emergence of the “I”-being with adulthood.
Also included are several early lectures on education, ranging from 1906 to 1911, well before the birth of the Waldorf movement in 1919.
“The Education of the Child in the Light of Spiritual Science,” essay
“Teaching from a Foundation of Spiritual Insight,” Berlin, May 14, 1906
“Education in the Light of Spiritual Science,” Cologne, December 1, 1906
“Education and Spiritual Science,” Berlin, January 24, 1907
“Interests, Talent, and Educating Children,” Nuremberg, November 14, 1910
“Interests, Talent, and Education,” Berlin, January 12, 1911
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.Christopher Bamford
is Editor in Chief for SteinerBooks and its imprints. A Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, he has lectured, taught, and written widely on Western spiritual and esoteric traditions. He is the author of The Voice of the Eagle: The Heart of Celtic Christianity
(1990) and An Endless Trace: The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West
(2003). He has also translated and edited numerous books, including Celtic Christianity: Ecology and Holiness (1982); Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science;
and The Noble Traveller: The Life and Writings of O. V. de L. Milosz
(all published by Lindisfarne Books). HarperSanFrancisco included an essay by Mr. Bamford in its anthology Best Spiritual Writing 2000.