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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

The Roots of Education
GA 309

In this series of five lectures, given just eleven months before his death, Rudolf Steiner finds a variety of ways to call for a change in the practice of teaching. This will depend on how the teacher is able to view the developing human being and the curriculum that responds to the child’s changing needs.

Lecture One April 13, 1924
A new education requires a new knowledge of the whole human being in body, soul, and spirit. The change of teeth signals the end of the first stage of childhood. Soul and spirit descend into a body provided by inheritance, which is used as the model for the “second” human being. During the first stage the child is a sense organ that perceives moral influences. The influence of the teacher’s temperament.
Lecture Two April 14, 1924
The goal of Waldorf education is to reveal new methods of teaching. The power of spiritual perception for understanding children and adults. Sleeping and waking. The seasons reflected in the human being. Thinking as an etheric “grasping.” Materialistic ideas and insomnia. Psychic influences and physical effects.
Lecture Three April 15, 1924
Memory before and after the change of teeth. The physical and etheric bodies. The etheric body and sculpting. The astral body and music. The I-being and speech. The musical scale and the human body. The teacher as therapist. Doctors and the school. Teaching letters.
Lecture Four April 16, 1924
The sense organization and moral development at the change of teeth. Mathematics begins with the whole. The child’s natural religious impulse. The need for images after seven. The need to feel a connection with destiny after fourteen. The child’s relationship with the world.
Lecture Five April 17, 1924
The three divisions of the middle stage of childhood. Nature and history. Children after puberty go into life. The experience of immortality. Punishment. Reading the child. The need for a living experience of one another today. Moon and Sun forces in the plant world. Spiritual science reveals the unity of the human being with the world.