The Roots of Education

Rudolf Steiner

Translated by Helen Fox
Anthroposophische Pädagogik und ihre Voraussetzungen
GA 309

Schmidt Date   Comments
5675 April 13, 1924    Lecture 1
5676 April 14, 1924    Lecture 2
5678 April 15, 1924    Lecture 3
5680 April 16, 1924    Lecture 4
5683 April 17, 1924    Lecture 5


April 13, 1924
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Lecture 1
A new education requires a new knowledge of the whole man in Body, Soul and Spirit. The change of teeth marks the end of the first age of childhood. Soul and Spirit descend into a body given by inheritance and use it as a model for building a "second man." The child in the first age is a sense organ and perceives not only outer actions but moral influences as well. The influence of the teacher's temperament on the child. Just as each part of an organism is related to every other part in space, so experiences at one time are related to other times. The teacher should have a delight in growth.

April 14, 1924
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Lecture 2
The aim of Waldorf education is not to teach Anthroposophy or to found numerous schools, but to reveal new methods of teaching for all. The power of spiritual perception is not necessary to understand fundamental truths about man and child. Difference of nature and man in the matter of sleeping and waking. The seasons are contracted in man. Thinking is an etheric grasping as etymology reveals. Effect of materialistic ideas in causing insomnia in later life. The child's imitative nature in the first period must be met by moral actions. How the Elberfeld horses counted. The right dolls for a child. Physical effects of psychical influences appear later in life than psychical effects.

April 15, 1924
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Lecture 3
Memory before and after the change of teeth. Contrast of physical and etheric or life bodies. Etheric body can be understood through the experience of modeling, astral body through musical experience. Relation of musical scale to human body. Masterlinck and Steiner. Ego to be comprehended through the living study of the sounds in speech. Teacher should undertake therapy. A doctor brought in from outside not recommended. Shape of second teeth indicates development of child's memory. The teaching of letters.

April 16, 1924
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Lecture 4
Alteration in sense organization and moral development at the change of teeth. After this age the child rightly accepts from the teacher what he cannot yet intellectually understand. Arithmetic to begin with the whole. The child brings religious nature into bodily experience from before birth. After seven he needs images and lives in sympathy and antipathy. After fourteen he feels experiences as connected with his individual destiny. Clever educational plans of today lead nowhere. The Waldorf School began with particular teachers and children, not with theories. Plant teaching to begin pictorially and present plants as belonging to Earth. Relation of animals to man. Child must feel himself as belonging to the world.

April 17, 1924
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Lecture 5
Three divisions of the middle period of childhood and their treatment. Nature and History teaching. Education is needed to overcome the "Fall." The teaching of minerals. After puberty children "go into life." Experience of immortality. Punishment. Reading the child. Need for a living knowledge of the other person today. Moon and Sun forces in the plant world. Spiritual science alone reveals the unity of world and man.