A Modern Art of Education
In this fine introduction to Waldorf education, written out of a series of lectures given in 1924, Steiner provides one of the most comprehensive introductions to his pedagogical philosophy, psychology, and practice. Steiner begins by describing the union of science, art, religion and morality, which was the aim of all his work and underlies his concept of education.
Against this background, many of the lectures describe a new developmental psychology. On this basis, having established how children’s consciousness develops, Steiner discusses how different subjects should be presented so that individuals can grow and flourish inwardly. Only if the child absorbs the right subject in the right way at the right time can the inner freedom so necessary for life in the modern world become second nature.
Balance in Teaching
Speaking to the teachers at the first Waldorf school in Stuttgart, Steiner asserts that the unfortunate presence of dishonesty and alienation in society today cannot be addressed without a completely renewed and holistic education. He states fact that successful teaching requires a living synthesis of the “spiritual gymnast,” the “ensouled rhetorician,” and the “intellectual professor.” Of these, the formative effect of the rhetorician’s cultivation of artistic speech is the most important.
“It’s impossible for true teaching to be boring,” declares Steiner, and he offers several examples of how teachers can observe a natural phenomenon so intimately that its creative life can flow into the children through a teacher’s own words in the classroom. He also describes, in spiritual scientific depth, how the actions of teachers directly affect the physiological chemistry of their students. From this perspective, education is really therapy, transformed to a higher level, and should be seen as closely related to the healing arts. Steiner also shows how the perception of hidden relationships between education and the processes of human development can kindle a heartfelt enthusiasm and a sense of responsibility in teachers for the far-reaching health effects that educational activities can produce.
Christianity as Mystical Fact
Christianity as Mystical Fact (and the Mysteries of Antiquity) by Rudolf Steiner was first published in English in 1914. The work is an esoteric and mystical interpretation of Christ and his historicity, which was derived from a series of lectures he gave in the autumn and winter of 1901-2 to the Theosophical Society.
Discussions With Teachers
For two weeks, prior to the opening of the first Waldorf school in Stuttgart, Rudolf Steiner intensively prepared the individuals he had chosen to become the first Waldorf teachers. At 9:00 a.m. each day, he gave the course now translated as Foundations of Human Experience; at 11:00 a.m., Practical Advice to Teachers; and then, after lunch, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., he held the informal "discussions" published in this book.
The tone is spontaneous and relaxed. Steiner does not prescribe specific methods but introduces topics and situations, offering guidelines and allocating practical assignments that are taken up and discussed in the next session. The discussions are filled with insights and suggestions in many different areas of teaching―history, geography, botany, zoology, form drawing, mathematics, and more.
Speech exercises are included. This edition also includes, for the first time in English, three important lectures on the curriculum, given the day just before the school opened.
These fifteen discussions constitute an essential part of the basic training material for Waldorf teachers.
Education as a Force for Social Change
These illuminating lectures were given one month before the opening of the first Waldorf school, located in Stuttgart, following two years of intense preoccupation with the social situation in Germany as World War I ended and society sought to rebuild itself.
Well aware of the dangerous tendencies present in modern culture that undermine a true social life―psychic torpor and boredom, universal mechanization, and growing cynicism―Steiner recognized that any solution for society must address not only economic and legal issues but also that of a free spiritual life.
Steiner also saw the need to properly nurture in children the virtues of imitation, reverence, and love at the appropriate stages of development in order to create mature adults who are inwardly prepared to fulfil the demands of a truly healthy society―adults who are able to assume the responsibilities of freedom, equality, and brotherhood.
Relating these themes to an understanding of the human as a threefold being of thought, feeling, and volition, and against the background of historical forces at work in human consciousness, Steiner lays the ground for a profound revolution in the ways we think about education.
Also included here are three lectures on the social basis of education, a lecture to public school teachers, and a lecture to the workers of the Waldorf Astoria Cigarette Company, after which they asked him to form a school for their children.
Education for Adolescents
In these eight talks on education for teenaged 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.
Education, Teaching and Practical Life
Rudolf Steiner describe a way of educating and teaching children and youth that aims toward educating the whole person according to body, soul and spirit in a balanced way. Such an education can be carried out only if the educator is aware how in evolution the physical is formed out of the soul and spirit. For one can participate in the education of a being only if one understands the laws of this education. This book is filled with gems to be mined by teachers, parents, students of spiritual science, and scholars.
Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner
The Waldorf school movement has its roots in the chaotic period following World War I. Struggling to create the first school, Rudolf Steiner worked on every detail-lesson plans, religious education, school hours, course resources, administration, finance, and child study. Guiding the faculty, Steiner moved toward his goal of creating a vehicle for social transformation. These two volumes span 1919 to 1924 and cover, meeting by meeting, the development of the first Waldorf school. Participating in a work in progress, Steiner deals with an amazing array of problems, frustrations, successes, and failures. His sleeves rolled up and his sight on a vision that he made a reality, Steiner lays the foundations of Waldorf education. This detailed look behind the scenes will interest not only teachers, but also parents, students, and anyone who wants to know how a successful worldwide school movement arose.
How to Know Higher Worlds: A Modern Path of Initiation
This is the classic account of the modern Western esoteric path of initiation made public by Steiner in 1904. He begins with the premise that “the capacities by which we can gain insights into the higher worlds lie dormant within each one of us.” Steiner carefully and precisely leads the reader from the cultivation of the fundamental soul attitudes of reverence and inner tranquility to the development of inner life through the stages of preparation, illumination, and initiation.
Steiner provides practical exercises of inner and outer observation and moral development. By patiently and persistently following his guidelines, new “organs” of soul and spirit begin to form, which reveal the contours of the higher worlds thus far concealed from us.
Steiner in this important work becomes a teacher, a counselor, and a friend whose advice is practical, clear, and effective. The challenges we face in life require increasingly deeper levels of understanding, and Steiner’s text helps readers to cultivate the capacities for such insights and places them at the service of humanity.
This is Steiner’s most essential guide to the modern path of initiation he advocated throughout his life. It has been translated into many languages and has inspired hundreds of thousands of readers around the world. How to Know Higher Worlds has been admired by some of the most brilliant minds of our time.
Human Values in Education
The underlying thesis of these lectures, volume XX 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, he 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.
Intuitive Thinking As a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom
Of all of his works, Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path is the one that Steiner himself believed would have the longest life and the greatest spiritual and cultural consequences. It was written as a phenomenological account of the “results of observing the human soul according to the methods of natural science.
This seminal work asserts that free spiritual activity―understood as the human ability to think and act independently of physical nature―is the suitable path for human beings today to gain true knowledge of themselves and of the universe. This is not merely a philosophical volume, but rather a warm, heart-oriented guide to the practice and experience of living thinking.
Readers will not find abstract philosophy here, but a step-by-step account of how a person may come to experience living, intuitive thinking―“the conscious experience of a purely spiritual content.”
During the past hundred years since it was written, many have tried to discover this “new thinking” that could help us understand the various spiritual, ecological, social, political, and philosophical issues facing us. But only Rudolf Steiner laid out a path that leads from ordinary thinking to the level of pure spiritual activity―intuitive thinking―in which we become co-creators and co-redeemers of the world.
Mystics Of The Renaissance: And Their Relation to Modern Thought
There are certain magical formula which operate throughout the centuries of Man’s mental history in ever new ways. In Greece one such formula was regarded as an oracle of Apollo. It runs: “Know Thyself.” Such sentences seem to conceal within them an unending life. One comes upon them when following the most diverse roads in mental life. The further one advances, the more one penetrates into the knowledge of things, the deeper appears the significance of these formula. In many a moment of our brooding and thinking, they flash out like lightning, illuminating our whole inner being. In such moments there quickens within us a feeling as if we heard the heart-beat of the evolution of mankind. How close do we not feel ourselves to personalities of the past, when the feeling comes over us, through one of their winged words, that they are revealing to us that they, too, had had such moments!