Balance in Teaching
9 lectures, September 15–22, 1920 and October 15–16, 1923 (CW 302a)
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.
C O N T E N T S:
Introduction by Douglas Gerwin
PART ONE: BALANCE IN TEACHING
1. The Educational Task of Central Europe
2. The Three Fundamental Forces in Education
3. Supersensible Physiology in Education
4. Balance in Teaching
PART TWO: DEEPER INSIGHTS INTO EDUCATION
Preface by René Querido
1. Gymnast, Rhetorician, Professor: A Living Synthesis
2. Forces Leading to Health and Illness in Education
3. A Comprehensive Knowledge of the Human Being as the Source of Imagination in the Teacher
About the Author
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.
Ruth Pusch, born Ruth Barnett, was raised in New Haven, Connecticut. After a period of time spent in Dornach, Switzerland, as a student of spiritual science, she married the actor Hans Pusch in 1932 while in the U.S. Together, they returned to Dornach, where Ruth studied eurythmy with some of the pioneers of that new art form. She later taught eurythmy in New York City and was an early teacher at the Waldorf School New York City. She and her husband were also active in bringing the anthroposophic impulse to the dramatic arts in North America. Along with Hans, Ruth Pusch also helped translate Rudolf Steiner’s four mystery plays.
René M. Querido, LLD, was a seminal figure in Waldorf education for a half century. He was educated in Holland, Belgium, France, and England and studied mathematics and physics at London University. Mr. Querido lectured throughout the world on historical and educational topics and was director of Rudolf Steiner College (Fair Oaks, California). He was also Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America.