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Rudolf Steiner in the Waldorf School, GA#298
Rudolf Steiner

26 Lectures, Addresses, etal from 1919 to 1925
Introduction by Gayle Davis
Translated by Catherine E. Creeger
ARJ2 Chapter: Spiritual Science
Published by Anthroposophic Press/NY in 1996
A Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2018


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In December 1919, Rudolf Steiner addressed the assembly of the very first Waldorf School and asked the children, "Do you love your teachers?" He received a resounding reply of "Yes!" — as Gayle Davis relates in her Introduction to this book, which includes Lectures and Talks that Steiner gave to Waldorf students, parents, and teachers from 1919 to 1925, during the last six years of his lifetime. Each time he came in front of Waldorf students he asked this same question and received a loud and enthusiastic Yes!

Davis wrote in her Introduction in 1996:

[page xii, Introduction] The numerous Waldorf schools in Germany may have had some hope of carrying this mandate to influence social life, but in America there were only ten schools as late as 1965. In the last twenty years, however, a change has taken place and there are now over one hundred twenty schools and several public Waldorf teacher training colleges, university education departments, and state and local departments of education.

Currently, in 2018, according to Google, there are over a thousand Waldorf schools in 60 countries. In a recent news broadcast, I heard that top executives of large Silicon Valley tech companies are sending their children to a Waldorf school where they are not allowed to use computerized gear, but write using paper and pencil instead. These parents who know high-tech tools best are choosing to have their children taught in a living spiritual way using their hearts and hands by teachers who love them — this is truly the highest tech of all.

Steiner realized that a truly love-filled teaching can reach individual students even in larger classrooms. His view counters the popular illusion that small class sizes makes for the best individualized teaching environment, and he explains why this is so. Note that "life-filled" teaching refers to a teaching which flows from soul-to-soul on the wings of words(1).

[page 4, 5] What teachers do . . . must be born anew, in each moment of their activity, out of their living understanding of the developing human being. Naturally, the objection can be raised that life-filled teaching of this sort will fail because of classes with a large number of students. Within certain limits, this objection is certainly justified. However, those who take it beyond these limits only demonstrate that they are speaking from the viewpoint of an abstract, normative [rule-based] theory of education. In fact, a living art of teaching, one that rests on a true understanding of the human being, has a thread of strength running through it that stimulates individual students to participate, so that it is not necessary to keep their attention through direct "individualized" treatment. It is possible to structure the subject that is being dealt with so that each student learns and grasps it in an individual way. For this to happen, what the teacher is doing need only be sufficiently strongly alive. For those who have a sense for a true understanding of the human being, the developing human being becomes one of life's riddles to solve, to such an extent that their attempt at solving it rouses their students to participate. Participation of this sort is more fruitful than individualized treatment, which all too easily paralyzes the student as far as real independent activity is concerned. Still staying within certain limits, it may be stated that larger classes with teachers who are full of the life that is stimulated by a true understanding of the human being will achieve greater success than small classes with teachers who are incapable of this because they take a normative theory of education as their starting point.

The term Normal College was formerly applied to a college which educated teachers in the norms of pedagogy and curriculum. This term has been replaced by Teacher's College in recent years, but the name itself indicates the basis for teaching teachers was normative or rule-based.

Teachers who use a rule-based theory of education can become computerized representatives of a top-down bureaucracy rather than human beings who love and care for the children entrusted to them. Children who hate school do so for this very reason. No such bureaucracy could get children to reply to this question, "Do you love me?" with an enthusiastic "Yes!" If you are looking one prime reason for sending your children to a Waldorf school, you have found it.

Why is it important to start off a child in school using paper and pencil? With a keyboard, for example, the child has no chance of feeling the artistic flow of the letters from its finger-tips, a process which activates the entire human being, not just the intellect, as the use of the keyboard does. Learning to write is a life-filled activity, not an intellectual one and, rightly understood, works best for a child's maturation when it precedes the intellectual activity of reading. After writing out the various letters with its own hand, the child will be excited to see those same letters formed into a word at a later time! This is one example of life-filled teaching which one finds in Waldorf schools.

[page 6 italics added] If our teaching one-sidedly takes advantage of the children's intellect and abstractly acquired abilities, their willing and feeling nature will be stunted. In contrast, if the children learn in a way that allows the whole human being to take part in the activity, they will develop in a well-rounded way. When children draw or do rudimentary painting, the whole human being develops an interest in what is being done. This is why we should allow writing to develop from drawing. We should derive the forms of the letters from shapes that allow the child's naive artistic sense to make itself felt. We should develop writing, which guides us toward the element of meaning and intellect, out of an activity that is artistic and attracts the interest of the whole human being. Reading, which draws our attention very strongly into the intellectual realm, should be allowed to develop only as a result of writing.

Rote learning often gets criticized as bad for children, but it is good and important if it's done for children between teeth change and puberty. Steiner says on page 6, "learning certain things purely through memory is related to the developmental forces that are present between the sixth or seventh year and the fourteenth year of life." He emphasizes that it is important for "people later on in life when something they learned purely by rote at an earlier stage reawakens in their souls, and they find that they now understand it out of themselves because of the maturity they have gained." (Page 8) He stresses that teachers should not strive to have their children understand everything, but rather to leave some things to be understood later. This is a process I have learned to respect and refer to it as the "power of the unanswered question"(2). Steiner respected and explained how the process works.

[page 8] Through things that are still beyond their understanding in some respect, an awakening force is enkindled in the children by the teacher's living ardor. This force will remain effective throughout their entire lives.

What is education? Few have expressed it as cogently as Rudolf Steiner:

[page 16]

Science that comes alive!

Art that comes alive!

Religion that comes alive!

In the end, that is what education is.

Note carefully that Steiner does not say "Materialism that comes alive." We cannot educate living human beings with tenets from a dead science such as promulgated by the supporters of Bacon and his materialistic followers. Steiner does not downplay the importance of science and technology, but recognizes its limitations in educating our youth.

[page 16, 17] Now, it has never occurred to me to denigrate contemporary science. I am full of regard for all the triumphs it has achieved, and will continue to achieve for the sake of humanity's evolution, through a scientific viewpoint and method that are based on understanding nature. But for that very reason, it seems to me, what comes from the contemporary scientific and intellectual attitude cannot be fruitfully applied to the art of education. Its greatness does not lie in dealing with human beings or in insight into the human heart and mind. . . . It is impossible to develop the living art of education out of what makes our times so great in mastering dead technology.

In Waldorf education, Steiner strove to "raise what is alive in the human being from the dead." (Page 17) He explains further:

[page 17, 18] The dead — and this is the secret of our dying contemporary culture — is what makes people knowing, what gives them insight when they take it up as natural law. However, it also weakens the feeling that is the source of teachers' inspiration and enthusiasm, and it weakens the will. It does not grant human beings a harmonious place within society as a whole. We are looking for a science that is not mere science, that is itself life and feeling. When such a science streams into the human soul as knowledge, it will immediately develop the power to be active as love and to stream forth as effective, working will, as work that has been steeped in soul warmth, and especially as work that applies to the living, to the growing human being. We need a new scientific attitude. Above all, we need a new spirit for the entire art of education.

The human being evolved along with the cosmos in which we find ourselves. This happened over cosmic time scales as Steiner outlined in his book, Occult Science. Closer to home, we can understand that the human being today evolved over historic times, but lacking a true science of history, few understand the implications of that process.

[page 19] As long as we have no real science of history, so these educators(3) say, we will also not be able to know how an individual human being develops, because the individual human being presents in concentrated form what humanity as a whole has gone through in the course of its historical development.

What passes for historical analysis is actually a process of retrodiction which projects our current understanding of the world back into historical times when such human understanding had not yet developed, all of which creates an illusory history and a shaky foundation for understanding humankind in past times.

[page 20] We must know all the mysterious things that are going on in the body as a result of a completely new physiology that is not yet available to modern science. But we must also know what is accompanying this transformation on an emotional level. We must know about the metamorphoses of human nature. In the case of individuals, we will at least not deny, although we may be powerless to fully recognize the fact, that humans experience metamorphoses or transformations on the basis of their inmost being.

If this fact does not resonate in you with meaning, hold it as an unanswered question for now. Steiner shows us the effects of a recent evolution of human consciousness in the fifteenth century, when one giant leap in consciousness occurred. There are many of these, and the presence of these leaps are ignored by historians at their own peril and lay waste to the value of their conclusions.

[page 20] We do not accept that great leaps have taken place in humanity's historical evolution. Looking back over historical developments, we find the last leap in the fifteenth century. Humanity's ways of feeling, conceptualizing, and willing, as they have developed in more recent times and as we know them now, have only taken on this subtle character among civilized humanity since the fifteenth century. How this civilized humanity differs from that of the tenth or eighth century is similar to how a twelve-year-old child differs from a child who has not yet reached his or her seventh year.

Look around you and you may realize how important the leap of consciousness that humankind took in the fifteenth century affects you now in the twenty-first century.

[page 21] And everything we are living with now in the twentieth century — our striving for individuality, the striving for new social forms, the striving to develop the personality — is only a consequence of what the inner forces of history have brought up since the time in question.

Steiner famously said, "Discussion begins when knowledge is lost." I would like to build on that by saying that "Experiments begin when knowledge is lost." Rightly understood, we use experiments in an attempt to find the innate knowledge we had earlier. That innate knowledge I understand to be how to use soul-to-soul communication. You can do endless experiments and never understand why some teachers can use the butterfly-chrysalis metaphor to effectively illustrate the process of death to children and why others can't. You'll simply find that some can and some can't, and give statistics.

Steiner gives us the innate knowledge that is lost in those who can't, and that is the knowledge of how to do effective soul-to-soul communication(4). The key is in lesson plan preparation.

[page 24] It is really only possible to convey to the children what we ourselves believe in the depths of our souls. Only when we have wrestled our way through to the feeling that the image of the butterfly and chrysalis is no mere cooked-up comparison, but one presented to us by divine spiritual nature itself, only when we can believe in the truth of the image in the way that the children are meant to believe it, only in that instant are we able to convey living spirit to them.

We do not need experiments to tell us how to teach effectively.

[page 25] What we as educators need is an awakening of our living human nature, which will experience in itself the whole of the child to which it makes a spiritual connection.

If you have the notion that Waldorf education is full of dogma, you may have it confused with "dead science" which fills to overflowing with dogma. Steiner states the case clearly: Waldorf education is based on no dogma, but rather on living knowledge of human beings.

[page 26] We are not trying to bring about a dogmatic form of education. We are striving to turn what we have been able to learn from spiritual science into a living act of education. We are striving to include in our instructional methods a way of dealing with individual souls that can originate in a living spiritual science. Dead science can give rise only to knowledge; living spiritual science will give rise to instructional methodology and practical applications in the soul-spiritual sense. We strive to teach, to be able to educate.

Steiner shows his ability to reach children when he creates a story of a bird with two wings which enables it to fly. Children would love to be able to fly like birds, and Steiner explains how they can learn to fly.

[page 30] You see, my dear children, there are beings on earth that are not like human beings — for example, the animals around us — and we might often think that we should envy these animals. You can look up and see the birds flying, and perhaps then you might say, "Oh, if only we could fly, too! Then we would be able to soar into the air." We human beings cannot fly like the birds because we have no wings. However, dear children, we can fly into the element of the spiritual, and we have two wings to fly there. The wing on the left is called "hard work," and the other wing on the right is called "paying attention." We cannot see them, but these two wings — hard work and paying attention — make it possible for us to fly into life and become people who are really ready for life.

Oh, sure, you may be thinking, like my kids would enjoy learning more than playing with their friends! Steiner understood that dynamic and explained how learning can bring a lifetime of enjoyment while the other fun things come to an end, your friends will grow up and leave home, for example.

[page 30, italics added] You know, you can sometimes think that there are things that are more fun than learning. But that is not really true; there is no greater joy than learning. You see, when you enjoy something that lets you be inattentive and does not make you work hard, then the joy is over immediately. You enjoy it, and then the joy is gone. But when you enjoy what you can learn, when you are flying on the wings of hard work and paying attention, then, my dear children, something stays behind in your souls. (Later on you will know what the soul is.) Something stays in your soul, and you can enjoy that over and over again. When we have learned something good and proper, it comes back again and again; we enjoy it again and again with a joy that never stops. But the other fun things, the ones that come only from inattentiveness and laziness, they come to an end.

During an address to a monthly assembly, Steiner commends the children for singing to him, comparing them first to singing coming from little birds, but goes to explain the big difference.

[page 35] We are glad when we hear the little birds singing. But we know that something else is present when we hear what you perform for us. This is something that we call the human soul. It is your human souls that speak to us and sing to us. This is what human beings make out of what speaks to them out there in nature. In the woods, we hear the birds, but when you sing many other things that are heard come toward us out from the human soul.

Then he explains that everything they have learned that is human turns to light in their souls. This is light brought to them by their teacher who acts as the Sun does to plants.

[page 36, 37] And just think what the plants would be without the sun. They would not be able to come out of the ground. They would always remain roots that would not be able to develop flowers, and it would be dark. This is what it would be like for you if you went through the world without ever finding a school where you could learn something. You would be like a plant that never finds the sun. The soul finds its sun in people from whom it can learn something. . . . Be glad in your souls that you are coming back to the Waldorf School where the sun is lit for you, the sun that people need for life.

On a talk during a parent's evening, Steiner focused on the problems of a child in a school with a fixed curriculum.

[page 40] From day one, the child was confronted with this curriculum, with something foreign and cold that determined with unrelenting strictness everything comprising the child's life of soul and spirit from the first day on. Not only the entire goal of teaching was already set, but in the last few decades it had even been determined at what stage instruction was supposed to be and at what date, from class to class and from week to week.

It occurred to me while reading this that a neutered dog has a fixed curriculum, living a life that is foreign and cold to him. This is equivalent to confronting a grade school child with what Steiner calls the big fat book Grammar. It appeals only to the head of the child, which means not appealing to them at all. Their attention wanders and they shun any hard work, becoming flightless birds.

[page 44] If we understand the nature of the child correctly, we will be forced to admit that children have subtle reasons for not paying attention when they are confronted with a lesson of this sort. The power of wisdom that wants to protect them from harm makes them resist the big book, resist an intellectual way of looking at things. The inattentiveness that appears is a means of self-defense for them. They are evading the leveling influences of a lesson of this sort. If you teach like this from the first hour to the last, then the children attempt to escape from the lesson by being inattentive.

In my wife's high school, football players in chemistry class, no matter what question the teacher would ask one of them, the jock would give this answer, "Copper Sulfate, Prof!" They were resisting the big book of the fixed curriculum, acting just like a small child, and using levity to break the boredom. A hundred years ago Steiner noted a similar process occurring.

[page 46] I would like to point out that this is related to a very specific phenomenon that occurs in the later grades. Students deal with the school system as a whole with a sarcasm that pervades all of their behavior toward their teachers and their schools. You all know from your own school days what fun it was to be critical of the teachers.

The next phenomenon is not fun but very serious, and its presence in our school systems today is ominous: suicide. Animals never commit suicide, so far as we know, but a young man subject to the cold, poisonous application of a fixed curriculum can either joke about it, as the jocks above did, or succumb to the pressure. Often no one around him knows about the problem until after the precipitous suicide has happened.

[page 46] Add to that the phenomenon of suicides among children of school age. These ominous phenomena are becoming ever more pronounced, and school administrators are ever more helpless in the face of them. Real life forces that want to become active in a natural and appropriate form of instruction have been dammed up. Everything that has been held back in this way then causes the nervousness that we see as a typical ailment of the times manifesting in the school system.

Held back long enough, these forces break through and can run rampant. Something of what Steiner observed in the 1920s showed up later in the weak-willed bureaucrats and the strong-willed Nazis in Germany.

[page 47] And what happened to the will? Either it was so broken that we now have human wrecks serving in responsible positions, or on the other hand we have those brutal and violent human beings who come out trampling everything under their feet as a consequence of not having been able to cultivate their will.

Waldorf school systems strive to direct will forces into creative channels and divert them from violent destructive ones.

[page 51] When we apply this way of looking at things to the school, the creative joy that enlivens us will bear fruit, and we will see that contemporary life is forced to take the school into account. Creative forces can only come out of schools in which such forces are not held back but are developed, so that the children's first day of school does not constitute a crisis. Instead, the children are introduced to school in a way that opens them up to their life to come. They leave school, not as violent individuals and not as people burdened merely with head-knowledge, but as individuals who can stand for an education of a new sort, the truly human education of a new age. Inherent in truly understanding the human being is a pledge to support our nation's evolution in the future.

In Waldorf schools, children learn to read and write later than in other schools. Steiner's goal in doing this was to avoid giving children something that will stultify their healthy development, namely, teaching them reading and writing very early and in this order: reading then writing. The classic three R's in English are Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic, but in Waldorf schools, the 'Riting comes before Reading. Why is that?

[page 70] In many respects, it is a mistake to learn to read and write as early as this happens in other schools. The point is not to make the children acquire certain capabilities as quickly as possible, but rather to teach them to be good and capable people later on in life, people who do not make life difficult for themselves. Outer circumstances can make life difficult enough for many people as it is; we do not need an inner feeling of weakness or inability messing up our lives. We must find a method of teaching reading and writing very carefully and on the basis of the children's natural tendencies and skills.

Early on, a child loves drawing and painting, both of which activate the child's will. Once a child is shown how to draw artistically the various letters of the alphabet which resemble animal and human features, the f a fish, the m human lips, etc, these structures are stored in its muscle memory and can be easily recognized as components of word. Once a child has undergone these fun artistic writing of letters, they will be able to read without any strain from memorizing the arcane shapes of abstract block letters. The slightest strain on a young child can create an aversion to an activity which it finds difficult and a good teacher will avoid such strain by easily leading the child from writing into reading.

[page 70] Let me just mention that we start by first letting the children draw certain forms from which the forms contained in the letters of the alphabet are developed. We let the children get into reading by starting with writing, because the more we start from something that has its basis in the entire human being, the better it is for the children's development.

Have you met people who seem to take no real pleasure in anything, who seem old before their time, and who tire easily? Steiner does the world a big service by pointing to the early years of childhood development as the source of this otherwise mysterious condition in people.

[page 71] It comes from the fact that as children in the sixth, seventh and eighth years of life, they were not taught writing and reading in the right way. Those who understand human nature know that children who learned to read in the right way, who were not force-fed at age six or seven but learned to read and write naturally, may master reading and writing a bit later, but they will take along what they gained from learning to read and write as a real gift that they will have for the rest of their lives.

A parent can ask, "Do I want my children to leap into reading if it will hamper their development as healthy and happy adults?" In Waldorf schools the goal is for children to acquire living forces which will foster their future development.

[page 71] If we drum it into them in all kinds of artificial ways that disregard their natural tendencies and developmental possibilities, we can get children to read and write at seven-and-a-half, but in many respects we will have crippled these children's souls for life. In contrast, if we have gone about it in the right way, the children only learn to read and write at age eight, but life forces develop in them as they are learning. That is what we want. While the children are in school, we want them to acquire life forces, forces with effects that will last for their entire lives.

Why did Steiner always ask children in the Waldorf schools he visited, "Do you love your teachers?" One reason can be understood directly, children who love their teachers are happy to be in school, and Waldorf schools are designed to encourage children to be happy in school. One new teacher gave a boy a detention after school to do math work. The rest of the class wanted to join him because they loved doing math work! Note how different this is from the response from kids in today's public schools who mostly hate being kept after school and hate doing math work.

[page 77] The things we foster really are drawn from what I have called "understanding the human being." This is characteristic of our school. It is also the reason why, as far as we can tell, the children are extraordinarily happy to come to school. I come to the school from time to time and take part in the lessons. We are striving to work out of the nature of the child in such a way that the children feel that they want to know the things we intend them to know, to be able to do the things we intend them to be able to do, rather than having the feeling that things are being forced upon them.

Coercion sucks, and kids hate to be forced to do something they don't like. But if they like being in school, find it a happy place to be, they will engage in whatever activity the teacher offers them in a willing fashion. This is how a Waldorf school operates, the process it uses is non-coercive while being usefully directive in providing the what, the content of education the society requires.

[page 79] The "what" is a result of social necessities; we must apply our full interest to deriving it from a reading of what people should know and be able to do if they are to take their place in our times as good, capable individuals. The "how," on the other hand, how to teach the children something, can only result from a thorough, profound and loving understanding of the human being. This is what is meant to work and to prevail in our Waldorf School.

People can come from work all tired and later go out dancing all night. Steiner separates the human being into three systems: the head, rhythmic, and limbs. The head and limbs can get tired after a day at work, but the rhythmic system consisting of the heart and lungs never gets tired. Applying these principles in Waldorf schools keeps the children happy and never tired. A few hours of head work in the morning changes into artistic movements of dance or eurythmy in the afternoon which allows them to leave school feeling refreshed and happy. If your children are coming home tired from school, look for the cause in some imbalance or overloading of their head and limb systems during school hours.

[page 142] It was asked if the children do not get tired. I must draw your attention to the fact that in principle in our way of teaching we do not count on head work at all when dealing with children between seven and twelve years of age. That would be wrong. Instead, we count on the involvement of the rhythmic system and of the emotions connected to the rhythmical system of breathing and circulation. If you think about it, you will realize that people get tired, not through their rhythmic system, but through their head and limb systems. If the heart and lungs were to get tired, they would not be able to be active throughout an entire lifetime. The other systems are the ones that get tired. By counting on the rhythmic system during these years, we do not make the children as tired as they would get otherwise.

During an address at a monthly assembly Steiner told several elaborate metaphors to illustrate the benefits to children who follow their teacher' s lead even when asked to do something difficult, who always work earnestly and learn seriously. This will lead them to a happy life. In his stories, some children pick sweet-smelling flowers, and others pick grasses, thistles, and grains. They argue over which is better, and a calf tells them, "I need the grasses, thistles, and grains to make the milk you drink." In this next passage, he summarizes the stories for the children.

[page 175, 176] Now, dear children, when you go to school, it is like taking a walk on a beautiful Sunday, and you are meant to get the very best that you can out of school to take with you into life. And if you can take along a bouquet of everything your dear teachers have taught you, this bouquet will give you great pleasure. But all the different flowers must be in it, not just the sweet ones! You must learn that you sometimes have to take in things that are not exactly sweet. If you work hard and learn seriously, you will notice that the bouquet you are able to take with you into your later life has not only sweet flowers in it, but all the things that are full of life, all the things your life depends on. Think about that, my dear children, and obey your teachers lovingly each time they ask you to do something difficult. Then when you leave school you will have the most beautiful bouquet to take with you into life, and you will like it best if it has all of life's different plants in it. Each memory of your time in school will give you the strength you need in life, because when human beings grow up, they gain the most beautiful forces for their life if they take a bouquet of that sort with them when they leave school. These are life forces that last until death and even beyond.

Note how Steiner's elaborate metaphors emphasize the foods, milk and honey, milk which comes from grasses and honey from the nectar of flowers. Milk has amazing constructive forces for children and honey similar forces for adults. It was this reason that the ancients who could see these invisible forces sought to find a "land flowing with milk and honey" — they knew such a land which would nurture strong, healthy children and adults.

Steiner saw that the coercion of the state and the experiments of science were leading education into a dead end, leading to a perceived need for a new form of education based on living principles rather than on abstract scientific reasoning and bureaucratic control. He knew that the living principles of his anthroposophy could be the basis needed, and when Emil Molt heard him talk about those principles, he decided to found a school in this Waldorf-Astoria factory for his workers' children with Steiner's help.

[page 186] It was clearly apparent to us that we had to work out of a striving that had remained unconscious to Fröbel and his ilk, that we had to create our curricula and educational goals on the basis of a true understanding of the human being, which can only grow out of the fertile ground of anthroposophy. Then we would have a universally human school, not a school based on a particular philosophy or denomination, but a truly universally human school.

What are children to do when they eventually leave their Waldorf school? Steiner knew the most important school awaited them.

[page 209] You will leave the Waldorf School, to be sure. Some of you will leave after the eighth grade and some will leave after a few more grades. Just now we have had to send the first ones to complete the highest grade out into life. But when all that is over with, that is when you really start going to school, because the most important and meaningful school of all is the school of life, and you enter the school of life only when you have left school. It is our job to be the preparatory school for the school of life.

To prove to the children that they will enter the school of life, he explains to teachers present in the assembly how they are still school-children in their own way, always learning from the school of life. My own insight into this crucial aspect of the school of life came when I was only 37 and I expressed it this way: "Thus a Teacher, So Also a Learner!" In every good teacher, there is a life-long learner — someone who goes to work each day to learn from their pupils, so that teaching and learning flows both ways in the classroom of a school and in the school of life.

[page 209] When I look at the school like this, I have to say that the most important schoolchildren are the men and women who are the teachers! It is very important that they have come to this school, because they are learning all the time. And do you know from whom they want to learn the most? From you! They want to learn the best way for you to be able to bear sorrow and joy; they want to learn how it happens that you are healthy or sick. They have so much to learn from you so that out of the fullness of their love for you, they can teach you to be people who can stand on their own feet in life.

People who wish to create a new pedagogy can formulate the most wonderful plans and principles, but there's always a problem with such plans.

[page 222] The principles are very clever, the statutes and paragraphs are very clever, but you cannot do anything with them in real life. The only way to do anything in real life is to feel life itself pulsing within you and to create out of this pulsing life.

One avoids stuffy dogma by planting one's principles in the fertile ground of anthroposophy, teaching and learning in life's classroom using living principles of the full human being.

---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------

Footnote 1.
For more information on the soul-to-soul process, see my Discussions with Teachers review.

Return to text directly before Footnote 1.

Footnote 2.
See Matherne's Rule #25, "What is the Power of an Unanswered Question?"

Return to text directly before Footnote 2.

Footnote 3.
Referring to Theodor Vogt and Wilhelm Rein.

Return to text directly before Footnote 3.

Footnote 4.
Everyone can do soul-to-soul communication, but ineffective teachers communicate their feelings of ineffectiveness stemming from their lack of effective preparation. This creates disinterest and boredom in their students who can't tell their teacher this directly, but show it in their sometimes unruly actions.

Return to text directly before Footnote 4.



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I. Allgemeine Menschenkunde als Grundlage der Pädagogik: Pädagogischer Grundkurs, 14 lectures, Stuttgart, 1919 (GA 293). Previously Study of Man. The Foundations of Human Experience (Anthroposophic Press, 1996).

II. Erziehungskunst Methodische-Didaktisches, 14 lectures, Stuttgart, (GA 294). Practical Advice to Teachers (Anthroposophic Press, 2000).

III. Erziehungskunst, 15 discussions, Stuttgart, 1919 (GA 295). Discussions with Teachers (Anthroposophic Press, 1997).

IV. Die Erziehungsfrage als soziale Frage, 6 lectures, Dornach, 1919 (GA 296). Previously Education as a Social Problem. Education as a Force for Social Change
(Anthroposophic Press, 1997).

V. Die Waldorf Schule und ihr Geist, 6 lectures, Stuttgart and Basel, 1919
(GA 297). The Spirit of the Waldorf School (Anthroposophic Press, 1995).

VI. Rudolf Steiner in der Waldorfschule, Vorträge und Ansprachen, 24 Lectures and conversations and one essay, Stuttgart, 1919-1924 (GA 298) Rudolf Steiner in the Waldorf School: Lectures and Conversations
(Anthroposophic Press, 1996).

VII. Geisteswissenschaftliche Sprachbetrachtungen, 6 lectures, Stuttgart, 1919
(GA 299). The Genius of Language (Anthroposophic Press, 1995).

VIII. Konferenzen mit den Lehrern der Freien Waldorfschule 1919-1924, 3 volumes
(GA 300a-c). Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner, 2 volumes: Volume 1, Volume 2 (Anthroposophic Press, 1998).

IX. Die Erneuerung der pädagogisch-didaktischen Kunst durch Geisteswissenschaft,
14 lectures, Basel, 1920 (GA 301). The Renewal of Education (Anthroposophic Press, 2001).

X. Menschenerkenntnis und Unterrichtsgestaltung, 8 lectures, Stuttgart, 1921
(GA 302). Previously The Supplementary Course: Upper School and Waldorf Education
for Adolescence. Education for Adolescents
(Anthroposophic Press, 1996).

XI. Erziehung und Unterricht aus Menschenerkenntnis, 9 lectures, Stuttgart, 1920, 1922, 1923 (GA 302a). The first four lectures are in Balance in Teaching (Mercury Press, 1982); last three lectures in Deeper Insights into Education (Anthroposophic Press, 1988).

XII. Die gesunde Entwicklung des Menschenwesens, 16 lectures, Dornach, 1921-22
(GA 303). Soul Economy: Body, Soul, and Spirit in Waldorf Education (Anthroposophic Press, 2003).

XIII. Erziehungs- und Unterrichtsmethoden auf anthroposophischer Grundlage, 9 public lectures, various cities, 1921-22 (GA 304) Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy 1 (Anthroposophic Press, 1995).

XIV. Anthroposophische Menschenkunde und Pädagogik, 9 public lectures, various cities, 1923-24 (GA 304a). Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy 2 (Anthroposophic Press, 1996).

XV. Die geistigseelischen Grundkräfte der Erziehungskunst, 12 Lectures, 1 special lecture, Oxford, 1922 (GA 305). The Spiritual Ground of Education (Anthroposophic Press, 2004).

XVI. Die pädagogische Praxis vom Gesichtspunkte geisteswissenschaftlicher Menschenerkenntnis, 8 lectures, Dornach, 1923 (GA 306) The Child's Changing Consciousness as the Basis of Pedagogical Practice (Anthroposophic Press, 1996).

XVII. Gegenwärtiges Geistesleben und Erziehung, 14 lectures, Ilkley, 1923
(GA 307) Two Titles: A Modern Art of Education (Anthroposophic Press, 2004) and
Education and Modern Spiritual Life (Garber Publications, 1989).

XVIII. Die Methodik des Lehrens und die Lebensbedingungen des Erziehens, 5 lectures, Stuttgart, 1924 (GA 308). The Essentials of Education (Anthroposophic Press, 1997).

XIX. Anthroposophische Pädagogik und ihre Voraussetzungen, 5 lectures,
Bern, 1924 (GA 309) The Roots of Education (Anthroposophic Press, 1997).

XX. Der pädagogische Wert der Menschenerkenntnis und der Kulturwert der Pädagogik, 10 public lectures, Arnheim, 1924 (GA 310) Human Values in Education(Rudolf Steiner Press, 1971).

XXI. Die Kunst des Erziehens aus dem Erfassen der Menschenwesenheit, 7 lectures, Torquay, 1924 (GA 311). The Kingdom of Childhood (Anthroposophic Press, 1995).

XXII. Geisteswissenschaftliche Impulse zur Entwicklung der Physik. Erster naturwissenschaftliche Kurs: Licht, Farbe, Ton — Masse, Elektrizität, Magnetismus
10 lectures, Stuttgart, 1919-20 (GA 320). The Light Course (Anthroposophic Press, 2001).

XXIII. (NA) Geisteswissenschaftliche Impulse zur Entwicklung der Physik. Zweiter naturwissenschaftliche Kurs: die Wärme auf der Grenze positiver und negativer Materialität, 14 lectures, Stuttgart, 1920 (GA 321). The Warmth Course (Mercury Press, 1988). This Mercury Press edition may still be in print.

XXIV. (NA) Das Verhältnis der verschiedenen naturwissenschaftlichen Gebiete zur Astronomie. Dritter naturwissenschaftliche Kurs: Himmelskunde in Beziehung zum Menschen und zur Menschenkunde, 18 lectures, Stuttgart, 1921 (GA 323). Available in typescript only as "The Relation of the Diverse Branches of Natural Science to Astronomy."

XXV. Six Lectures in Berlin, Cologne, and Nuremberg from 1906 to 1911, (Misc. GA's.) The Education of the Child — Early Lectures on Education (a collection; Anthroposophic Press, 1996).

XXVI. Miscellaneous.

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