10 lectures, Arnheim, Holland, July 17-24, 1924 (CW 310)
The underlying thesis of these lectures, volume 20 in the “Foundations of Waldorf Education” series, is that true education must be based on knowledge of the whole human being and that such knowledge cannot be attained without love. On this basis, Steiner presents his understanding of every aspect of child development—bodily, psychological, and spiritual.
At the same time, Rudolf Steiner shows that, to prove worthy of their calling, teachers must begin a process of inner development. In Steiner’s view, it is human beings who give value and meaning to the world. Modern education, however, is gradually undermining this meaning. These lectures demonstrate that education can heal that lack of meaning and restore the meaning of humankind for the world.
Steiner also discusses the practical, day-to-day operation of the school. He talks about styles of teaching, teacher conferences, parent-teacher meetings, and how Waldorf education is related to the anthroposophic movement.
This book, while serving as a good introduction to Steiner’s ideas on education, also represents the fruits of four years experience in the Waldorf school.
“No such lecture cycle is ever complete in an encyclopedic way, but each nevertheless covers ‘the basics’ in its own way. Any lecture by Rudolf Steiner also has its own incomparable value. Yet this sequence is truly extraordinary and incomparable in a different way, both because it is the last that Steiner gave on education and because, in his last months, Steiner was graced with a remarkable clarity and penetration that allowed him to address old topics (as well as new) with uncanny spiritual luminosity, precision, and sheer humanity. If anyone is looking for the ‘last word’ on Waldorf education, this is perhaps it—in more ways than one.” —Christopher Bamford (from the introduction)
C O N T E N T S:
Introduction by Christopher Bamford
1. The Need for Understanding the Human Being
2. Incarnation of the Human Being in a Physical Body
3. Walking, Speaking, Thinking
4. The Three Stages of Childhood
5. Teachers’ Conferences in the Waldorf School
6. Parent–Teacher Meetings
7. The Temperaments and the Human Organism
8. Diet and the Four Temperaments
9. Styles of Education
10. Education and the Anthroposophic Movement
German source: Der pädagogisch Wert der Menschenerkenntnis und der Kulturwert der Pädagogik (CW 310).
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.