Steiner Rudolf - A modern art of education

Author : Steiner Rudolf
Title : A modern art of education
Year : 1923

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Introduction. Christopher Bamford. Rudolf Steiner’s lectures and lecture courses on Waldorf education fill at least twenty volumes. Therefore, it is not surprising that there is a certain amount of repetition in these works. It is the differences that are surprising. These often have to do with who Rudolf Steiner was addressing. He spoke differently, for example, to anthroposophists in Germany or Swiss public school teachers than he did to English audiences. The English lectures are especially interesting and uncannily accessible for the obvious reason that Anglo-Saxon, English-speaking culture is closer to us in America than, for instance, German or Dutch culture. Like The Kingdom of Childhood and The Spiritual Ground of Education, A Modern Art of Education has an immediacy and intimacy that makes it one of the best introductions to Waldorf education. Steiner presented the lectures printed here in England in 1923, his sixth visit. He had first come to London for Theosophical Society congresses in 1902, 1903, and 1905, but did not return again until May 1913, after the split with Theosophy. When he did so it was at the request of the newly formed English anthroposophical group. He spoke then on two topics: “Occult Science and Occult Development” and “Christ at the Time of the Mystery of Golgotha and Christ in the Twentieth Century.” These important lectures have exceptional liveliness and depth, indicative of Steiner’s respect for honest British “matter-of-factness,” which demanded that topics be broached head on and without prevarication. He clearly enjoyed the freedom this offered. There was no need for long-winded introductions. The Great War, and its chaotic aftermath, then intervened to make travel impossible. As a result, Steiner was not able to cross the Channel again until 1922, when he gave several lectures and courses, including the education lectures published as The Spiritual Ground of Education, given at Oxford university and hosted by Professor Millicent MacKenzie of University College, Cardiff. As a consequence of these lectures, Rudolf Steiner was invited to give a lecture course the following year at Ilkley in Yorkshire under the auspices of “The Union for the Realization of Spiritual Values in Education.” A number of experienced Waldorf teachers (including Hermann von Baravalle, Carolyn von Hildebrand, and Karl Schubert) accompanied Steiner (they were all on their way to the International Summer School in Penmaenmawr, Wales) and gave demonstrations of the practice of Waldorf education. ...

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