An Outline for a Renewal of Waldorf Education: Rudolf Steiner’s Method of Heart-Thinking and its Central Role in the Waldorf School
Mark Riccio’s book is a masterful presentation not only of the heart of Waldorf Education, but of ways of nurturing the heart-opening approach of this educations such that it – and those who teach it – spring to life, creative and loving in the here and now. Heart-Thinking, an articulation of Steiner’s cognitive approach, when done with open eyes, a smiling face, and a warm heart leads the thinker through successive levels of understanding, each culminating in a flowering metamorphosis transforming into the next level. So, too, Riccio’s 100 page gem of a book – to engage in his understanding, to try out his exercises (which are fun – no long faces here!), is to find oneself at a point of transformation – and the choice (the only real choice) is to embrace life more fully, open your heart, and move on to the next level.
As Riccio tells us, the heart of Waldorf Education takes the students (and their teachers!) on such a journey of heart-opening transformation as it teaches them the things they need to know to become part of the family of humanity.
The seed of revolution (or, more correctly, evolution) that is this book lies in the suggestion, the hope, of the author (and myself) that teachers and staff at Waldorf Schools embrace the challenge of developing their own capacities of Heart-Thinking (and in my mind, this applies without modification to homeschooling co-ops and parents). Were this to occur, it would transform the education offered into something that fills all of society with a new life – and nurtures rather than drains those who provide it and support it.
I have great hopes that many will embrace these proposals, this way of learning to love without blindness. Not just our children, but all of us, will thrive on the effort.
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