Waldorf education , also known as Steiner education , is based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner , the founder of Anthroposophy. Its pedagogy strives to develop pupils' intellectual, artistic, and practical skills in an integrated and holistic manner. The cultivation of pupils' imagination and creativity is a central focus. Individual teachers and schools have a great deal of autonomy in determining curriculum content, teaching methodology, and governance. Qualitative assessments of student work are integrated into the daily life of the classroom, with quantitative testing playing a minimal role and standardized testing usually limited to what is required to enter post-secondary education. The first Waldorf school opened in  in Stuttgart , Germany.
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Setzer vwsetzer ime. Last modified: Dec. Anthroposophy, from the Greek "knowledge of the human being," was introduced in the first quarter of this century by the Austrian Rudolf Steiner. It may be characterized as a method of knowing the nature of the human being and of the universe, extending the knowledge obtained with conventional scientific methods, and its application in almost every field of human life.
The index of the home page of this site www. To jump to a chronological biography of Rudolf Steiner, please click here. For a catalog of his complete works GA, "Gesamtausgabe" , click here. In the sequel, we give a list of aspects which characterize Anthroposophy and how it distinguishes from other ideas, philosophies and practices:.
It covers the whole of human and nature life - hence its applications in almost every field of life. The most popular of these practical realizations, Waldorf Education - which still represents a revolution in educational terms - has its visible results in more than schools all over the world more than in North America, 13 in Brazil - see the Latin American Directory on Waldorf Education , and may be examined by anyone: it suffices to visit one of them.
Conceptual framework. It is presented under the form of concepts which are directed to the thinking capacity and to the search for knowledge and understanding of the modern human being. For an introduction in Portuguese to the human constitution from the Anthroposophical point of view, by V.
Setzer, please click here. Through its method, it arrives to the conclusion that the universe is not constituted just of physical matter and energy, reducible to pure physical-chemical processes. Anthroposophy discovers a spiritual world, structured in complex forms in various levels. For instance, human beings have a level of spiritual, non-physical "substance" higher than that of plants and animals, hence their distinction in relation to the latter.
It also describes purely spiritual beings, who do not have physical expression, and who act in different levels of spirituality. Some of these beings are in levels above those of the human constitution. Nevertheless, they are understandable by a comprehensible thinking, and may be consciously perceptible through a direct supersensible observation. For Anthroposophy, physical substance is a condensation of the spiritual, non-physical "substance. In the realms of the microcosms of the atomic and sub-atomic "particles," as well of the macrocosms of stars and galaxies, one is already entering a non-physical world.
In this sense, Anthroposophy represents a monism: for it, there exists no paradox of the spirit acting upon matter: the spirit is the origin and permeates everything. Its starting point for the understanding of the whole universe is the human being, who is the reason for the existence of the physical universe. In its evolution, the human being originated the world of animals, which represent specializations of the former.
Even the evolution of the spiritual world depends on humans. Development of extra-sensorial organs of perception. Anthroposophy demonstrates that the spiritual world may be observed with as much or even higher clarity as we observe the physical world with our eyes. For this, it is necessary to individually develop organs of perception which exist in a latent state in every human being; individual meditation exercises are given for this purpose.
What is commonly called "intuition" is, for Anthroposophy, a spiritual perception. Nevertheless, it is not a conscious and self-controlled inner activity, as spiritual observations which are adequate for the modern human being should be.
Modern humans want to absorb ideas with the understanding of their intellect, want to make their own observations and do not want to have beliefs and superstitions. Anthroposophical meditation is based upon the activity of conscious thinking, which should preserve its clarity, should be fully controlled and should be strengthened and developed to the point of not being dependent on concepts and images stemming from the physical world.
Development of consciousness, self-consciousness, individuality and freedom. Anthroposophy proposes that these four human characteristics we have the first one partially in common with animals should be radically preserved and even developed. Open view of the world. The works of Rudolf Steiner about 40 books written by himself or with collections of his own writings, and 6, lectures grouped into volumes have been published. There is absolutely nothing secret in Anthroposophy.
Historical perspective. Anthroposophy gives a grandiose perspective for the evolution of the Earth and of the human being, encompassing the whole of the historic and pre-historic past.
Through it, it is possible to conceptually understand much of what was transmitted in ancient times through images such as oriental and occidental myths, as well as the Old and New Testaments in particular, of the Christ cosmic being and his manifestation , the Greek philosophy, the heretical movements, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, up to modern materialist movements.
Thus, it re-establishes historical continuity, showing how the human being is the consequence of a sequence of spiritual and physical processes since the origins of the universe. In Portuguese, a good introduction to this perspective may be found in Lanz, R. Renewal of scientific research. Anthroposophy indicates how scientific research could be enlarged, becoming more humane and more coherent with nature.
It has provided for excellent results in the development of drugs, in the understanding of animals and plants, etc. In particular, his Theory of Colors has been extended and better understood from research done and published by Anthroposophists. For an essay on Goethean Science by Dennis Klocek, please click here. Moral development. Anthroposophy recommends a moral development which should be done individually, based upon the knowledge of the essence of the human being and of the universe.
For it, moral development grounded on unselfish love is the mission of the human being on present Earth. Moral attitudes should preserve individual freedom, that is, should not depend upon external commandments, dogmas and laws, but irradiate from unselfish love and individual knowledge in full freedom. Mysticism is essentially based upon feelings and visionary imagery without being accompanied by cognitive thinking; it is transmitted through images and metaphors.
Anthroposophy is the result of observations permeated by conscious thinking; it is transmitted through concepts, directed to the longing for understanding of the modern human being.
It has no cults. It is cultivated individually, in open study groups and in the institutions where it is practised. The development and the use of extra-sensorial organs should be done in a full awaken consciousness, preserving self-awareness and individuality.
On the contrary, it shows that the essence of each human being, what it calls the "Superior I," and whose evolution is our mission in the present Earth, has no sex, no race, no religion and no nationality. There are no behavior rules for those that adopt it as a life principle. Each person has to establish her own rules of conscious behavior, according to knowledge and not from unconscious impulses.
Rudolf Steiner referred many times to the fact that one should not believe in what he expounded, but take it as a working hypothesis awaiting for personal observation.
In particular, one should always verify if what he transmitted agrees with what one observes in nature, forms a coherent whole, and does not contradict scientific facts. Attention: one should distinguish scientific facts from theories and judgments based upon these facts - obviously, there may be contradictions to the latter.
He also said that Anthroposophy was adequate to his time, and should be dynamic and follow the evolution of the human constitution, which does not remain static. Nobody who studies Anthroposophy receives secret indications; everything has been published and study groups may be visited by anyone with enough basic knowledge to follow the discussions. Everyone may become a member of the General Anthroposophical Society, directly or through the branches of each national Society.
Admission to the Society does not depend on ethnic, religion, social-economic status or education. We would like to add a last observation, on a word that has raised many misunderstandings and may lead to prejudices. Steiner employs the word occult in a very precise sense. He wants to refer with it to what is not accessible to our physical senses. If we consider the 5 usual senses, maybe still adding the sense of warmth, his formulation should not be considered a strange one: with those senses it is not possible to observe inner human activities, such as thinking, feeling and willing.
In particular, modern science is nowadays practically reduced in its experimental part to the detection of visual impulses, either directly or, more frequently , through the results shown by some equipment.
Obviously, nobody has ever seen our will impulses, our feelings and our thoughts. If some apparatus, like a magnetic resonator, detects some physical reaction of the organism to those inner activities which were called by Steiner soul activities , certainly it is not detecting those activities themselves, but their consequence upon our organism. Similarly, what gives life to a living being is occult: we may perceive its manifestation through the being itself, but the "force" that constitutes the essence of life cannot be perceived with our physical senses.
A fundamental contribution by Steiner was to call the attention to the fact that this non-physical "occult" may be investigated with the same clarity with which we investigate physical phenomena - but with other methods and other organs of perception which also remain "occult," contrary e. For those that understand Portuguese which include, with a little effort, Spanish-speaking people and are interested in an introduction to Anthroposophy, we recommend the booklet by R.
Please click here to jump to its index, introduction and two first chapters. See also in Portuguese An introduction to he human constitution from the Anthroposoohical point of view , by V. For a catalog of Steiner's books published by Ed. Please click here to jump to a catalog of the complete GA edition and its volumes at that library. For the individual it is felt as a basic need of the heart and of feeling.
It must find its justification in the satisfaction of this necessity. It will be recognized only by those who find in it what they are seeking in their hearts. Anthroposophists may therefore only be those who feel certain questions about the nature of man and the universe as intensely as they feel hunger and thirst. Frank Thomas Smith. Text " An Anthroposophical introduction to the human organization " by Valdemar W. Essay " What is Goethean Science? Schweitzer and others, translated into English copied from the excellent electronic magazine Southern Cross Review No.
For many books and lecture cicles by Rudolf Steiner translated into English, see the Rudolf Steiner Archive activate one of the options at the menu "Archive Sections". To receive Steiner's Calendar of the Soul weekly, accompanied with a water color by Edith Bierman, please subscribe at eurythmy tinyworld.
Uitgeverij Christofoor Postbus Completion Press 29 Mirani St. Floris Books 15 Harrison Gardens. Helios Fountain 7 Grassmarket. Mercury Press Hungry Hollow Road. Michaelmas Press POBox Rudolf Steiner Bookshop 35 Park Road. Aethera Landhausstrs.