In the year 1920, when these lectures were given, the Waldorf School in Stuttgart was barely eight months old, and the educational theories and methods developed by Rudolf Steiner were hardly known outside of Central Europe. Far more influential at that time – and still exerting a powerful effect on educational theories and methods to this day – were the educational philosophies of John Dewey and Maria Montessori.
As the Waldorf school movement continues to expand in North America, it is inevitable that there will be some dilution of its basic principles. With this in mind, it is not surprising that the passionate and comprehensive celebration of the Christian Festivals that characterized the Waldorf movement in its earlier years is fading. What follows are some thoughts on how this important change has come about and how the future of these Festivals may be understood.
Studies published in the July 2005 Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine conclude that television viewing tends to have an adverse effect on academic pursuits. In spite of this, many researchers are reluctant to voice condemnation of television viewing by children. By looking at the “mechanics” of the television set we may come to a better understanding of its impact on the child.
The election of Barack Obama to the Presidency may indeed bring much-needed change to many domains of public life, but it is unlikely that the emphasis on high-stakes testing will look any different under a Democratic administration. As this article indicates, both political parties have been enthusiastic supporters of the standardized testing that has characterized the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. Do Waldorf schools present a viable alternative?
Otto Scharmer is one of the few contemporary thinkers who has been able to effectively bring the fruits of Rudolf Steiner’s research into the world of business and non-governmental organizations. This article looks at his “Theory U” in the light of Steiner’s investigations into the nature of the “past” and the “future.”
Near the end of the twentieth century, Judith Rich Harris’ book The Nurture Assumption (The Free Press, New York, 1998) appeared amidst great publicity and controversy, and then proceeded to all but disappear. Neither the controversy nor the rapid fade into obscurity should have been surprising. The argument arose because Judith Harris was questioning one of the most basic premises of modern child psychology: the seemingly incontrovertible fact that parental influence was the most important element in the life of the child.
Stories, which offer some of the richest and multifarious ways of explaining phenomena, are underutilized in today’s schools. We explore the way in which Waldorf education works with narrative content to meet the “cry for myth” that lives in today’s child.
The emphasis on guided play — and the de-emphasis on intellectual activity — in the Waldorf kindergarten often leads to the misconception that the children aren’t “learning” anything. This article explores the profound interrelationship of kindergarten play to scientific understanding in later years.
Though widely studied and broadly medicated, ADHD remains an enigmatic disorder. Using the remarkable picture of the child developed by Rudolf Steiner we explore the nature of thinking, feeling, and willing. What lives in the young person with ADHD may serve as a revelation of the needs of today’s children.