Education as a Force for Social Change

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SteinerBooks, 1997 - Education - 241 pages
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These dazzling, radical lectures were given one month before the opening of the first Waldorf School--following two years of intense preoccupation with the social situation in Germany as World War I ended and society sought to rebuild itself.
Well aware of the dangerous tendencies present in modern culture that undermine a true social life--such as psychic torpor and boredom, universal mechanization, and a growing cynicism--Steiner recognized that any solution must address not only economic and legal issues but also that of a free spiritual life.
Steiner also saw the need to properly nurture in children the virtues of imitation, reverence, and love at the appropriate stages of development in order to create mature adults who are inwardly prepared to fulfill the demands of a truly healthy society--adults who are able to assume the responsibilities of freedom, equality, and brotherhood.
Relating these themes to an understanding of the human as a threefold being of thought, feeling, and volition, and against the background of historical forces at work in human consciousness, Steiner lays the ground for a profound revolution in the ways we think about education.
Also included here are three lectures on the social basis of education, a lecture to public school teachers, and a lecture to the workers of the Waldorf Astoria Cigarette Company, after which they asked him to form a school for their children.
German sources: Die Erziehungsfrage als soziale Frage (GA 296); lectures 4, 5, and 6, the "Volkspadagogik" lectures in Geisteswissenschaftliche Behandlung sozialer und padagogischer Fragen (GA 192); lectures 2 and 11, Neugestaltung des sozialen Organismus (GA 330-331).
 

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My full review of this book is at: http://www.doyletics.com/arj/efsgrev.htm
Bobby Matherne

Contents

Dornach August 9 1919
3
Dornach August 10 1919
25
Dornach August 11 1919
43
Dornach August 15 1919
54
Dornach August 16 1919
72
Dornach August 17 1919
84
BACKGROUNDS OF WALDORF EDUCATION
103
Proletarian Demands and How to Put Them into Practice
105
The Social Basis of Public Education
125
2 Stuttgart May 18 1919
146
3 Stuttgart June 1 1919
167
A Lecture to the Union of Young Teachers Public School Teachers
185
Notes
219
Further Reading
233
Index
237
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About the author (1997)

Austrian-born Rudolf Steiner was a noted Goethe (see Vol. 2) scholar and private student of the occult who became involved with Theosophy in Germany in 1902, when he met Annie Besant (1847--1933), a devoted follower of Madame Helena P. Blavatsky (1831--1891). In 1912 he broke with the Theosophists because of what he regarded as their oriental bias and established a system of his own, which he called Anthroposophy (anthro meaning "man"; sophia sophia meaning "wisdom"), a "spiritual science" he hoped would restore humanism to a materialistic world. In 1923 he set up headquarters for the Society of Anthroposophy in New York City. Steiner believed that human beings had evolved to the point where material existence had obscured spiritual capacities and that Christ had come to reverse that trend and to inaugurate an age of spiritual reintegration. He advocated that education, art, agriculture, and science be based on spiritual principles and infused with the psychic powers he believed were latent in everyone. The world center of the Anhthroposophical Society today is in Dornach, Switzerland, in a building designed by Steiner. The nonproselytizing society is noted for its schools.

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