These talks were given in 1923—three and a half years after the founding of the first Waldorf school—to an audience of Swiss school teachers, most of whom have little knowledge of anthroposophy. This is the context of these lectures, among Steiner’s most accessible on education.
A teacher who attended the lectures wrote in the Berne School Paper:
Every morning, as we listened anew to Dr. Steiner, we felt we had come closer to him and understood better what he had to say and how he had to say it. Daily, we newcomers gathered, asking ourselves, “Why are more of our colleagues not here? It is untrue that anthroposophy limits a person, develops blinkers, or avoids real life…. For, step-by-step, Dr. Steiner shows its application to life … illuminating the details, disclosing their connection with profound questions of life and existence.” I came to the conference to stimulate my school work. I found benefit in abundance. But also, I unexpectedly received a greater richness for heart and soul—and, from this in turn shall stream richness for my classes.
In other words, these lectures are ideal for anyone first approaching Waldorf education. Using language that any teacher or parent can understand, Steiner goes into the essentials of his educational philosophy, providing many examples and anecdotes to convey his meaning. In this way, against the background of the developing child, he allows the curriculum and the method of teaching to emerge as the commonsense conclusion of practical experience.
German source: Die pädagogisch Praxis vom Geichtspunkte geisteswissenschaftlicher Menschenerkenntnis (GA 306).
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