The Child with Special Needs: Letters and Essays on Curative Education
Karl König founded the Camphill movement and was a prolific lecturer and writer on a wide range of subjects, including Anthroposophy, Christology, social issues, therapeutic education, science, and history. The Karl König Archive is a program that will gradually publish all of König’s works.
In this remarkable collection of Dr. König’s letters and essays, he considers and discusses the fundamentals of special needs education. He shows that there are three core aspects of a successful holistic approach to healing. First is a positive social environment, which in the context of Camphill arises through small family units of caregivers and children. Second, the caregivers’ work is based on insightful understanding of the nature and potential of each disability. And third, medical treatment it imbued with courage to keep the faith that the impossible can be made possible.
This collection of Karl König’s letters and essays makes a significant contribution to social and pedagogical discussions surrounding the fundamentals of special-needs education and therapeutic settings.
C O N T E N T S:
Foreword by Peter Selg
Introduction: “Karl König—Curative Teacher and Physician” by Georg von Arnim
1. Letter to the Parents of Camphill at Lake Constance
2. To the Mother of a Down’s Syndrome Child
THE TASK AND ETHICS OF CURATIVE EDUCATION
3. The Purpose and Value of Curative–Educational Work
4. The Care and Education of Handicapped Children
5. Basic Issues of Curative–Educational Diagnosis and Therapy
CURATIVE EDUCATION, MODERN CIVILIZATION AND SOCIAL COMMUNITY
6. The Three Foundations of Curative Education
7. Modern Curative Education as a Social Issue
8. Curative Education as a Social Task
THE HISTORY AND FUTURE OF CURATIVE EDUCATION
9. Mignon: The History of Curative Education
10. Adalbert Stifter and Curative Education
11. The Problem of Euthanasia
12. Euthanasia as a Challenge to Society Today
About the Author
Karl König (1902–1966) was born in Vienna, in Austria-Hungary, the only son of a Jewish shoemaker. He studied medicine at the University of Vienna and graduated in 1927, with a special interest in embryology. After graduating, he was invited by Ita Wegman to work in her Klinisch-Therapeutisches Institut, a clinic in Arlesheim, Switzerland for people with special needs. He married Mathilde Maasberg in 1929. Dr. König was appointed paediatrician at the Rudolf Steiner-inspired Schloß Pilgrimshain institute in Strzegom, where he worked until 1936, when he returned to Vienna and established a successful medical practice. Owing to Hitler’s invasion of Austria, he was forced to flee Vienna to Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1938. Dr. König was interned briefly at the beginning of World War II, but on his release in 1940 he set up the first Camphill Community for Children in Need of Special Care at Camphill on the outskirts of Aberdeen. From the mid-1950s, König began more communities, including one in North Yorkshire, the first to care for those beyond school age with special needs. In 1964, König moved to Brachenreuthe near Überlingen on Lake Constance, Germany, where he set up another community, where he died in 1966.
Peter Selg studied medicine in Witten-Herdecke, Zurich, and Berlin and, until 2000, worked as the head physician of the juvenile psychiatry department of Herdecke Hospital in Germany. Dr. Selg is director of the Ita Wegman Institute for Basic Research into Anthroposophy (Arlesheim, Switzerland), professor of medicine at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences (Germany), and co-leader of the General Anthroposophical Section at the Goetheanum. He is the author of numerous books on Rudolf Steiner, anthroposophy, medical ethics, and the development of culture and consciousness.