Rudolf Steiner, Guardian Angel of Children

“Nowhere in
our observation of the human being and nature do we encounter spirit and soul
so directly as when we contemplate the manifestations of life in a child.”



No one wrote
with such obvious affection and true reverence for children in the 20th
century than Rudolf Steiner.  Unfortunately
his tender, yet nonetheless meaningful observations of children are sometimes
couched in difficult concepts, philosophical wanderings, and somewhat esoteric
ideas.  The truth remains however.  There was no greater advocate for the total
health and well-being of children the past 100 years than Rudolf Steiner. 

His ideas of
education and child development arose during a time the world was in the throes
of war.  They arose in a culture where
children were “to be seen and not heard.” 
They arose when education was meant to be hard, cold, intellectual, with
the only aim to produce robotic beings enslaved to materialism and political
ideologies.  Steiner spoke of children as
holy.  He spoke of them as holding the keys
to the future.  He spoke of them with
such passion that his ideas, though unorthodox for the times, spread like wildfire.  When any good teacher speaks with enthusiasm,
the message spreads.  And Steiner loved
children.  In no other area did he focus
more spiritual, mental, or physical energy and Steiner gave himself to many
different areas—gardening, economics, spirituality, art, dance, philosophy,
literature, even bees.  When he spoke of
education and of children however, his eyes danced, his voice rose, his spirit
soared.  He knew his subject matter was
of the most vital importance.  He knew
that children suffered; he knew they were being stifled and mired in
educational nonsense.  He wanted children
free—children free to grow and thrive. 
To do this Steiner knew children needed to be taught with, and through,
the arts.  He knew their whole bodies
needed to be involved in education.  He
knew they needed to be happy, loved, cherished, understood, and observed if
they were to be fully educated.

I have loved
Steiner’s educational ideas since I first discovered them for myself about 15 years
ago.  Being a teacher in the public
school system for the past two years I have chosen to keep most of my ideas
about education under wraps.  I made a
few videos about education, but largely, here, at the Wonder Child Blog, I have
been silent about education in general. 
No more.  I am returning to my
educational home: Waldorf Education.

While I
believe there is no one system of education that can reach every child, there is one that comes the closest; one that nourishes
the drastically soul-starved school-child of today—that’s Waldorf Education as
described by Rudolf Steiner. 

I encourage you
to explore Steiner’s writing and the writings of such wonder Waldorf Educators
as Jack Petrash, Else Gottgens, Marjorie Spock, among many others.  And stay tuned here as I embark on my journey
back into the Waldorf Schools, I will be sure to share more of what I discover.

I’ll close
with another quote from Rudolf Steiner:

“All human
beings should function from a fundamental sense of gratitude that the cosmos has
given us birth and a place within the universe…This feeling [of gratitude] is
essential in teachers and should be instinctive in anyone entrusted with
nurturing a child.  Therefore, the first
important thing to be worked for in spiritual knowledge is thankfulness that
the universe has given a child into our keeping.”



Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog

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