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Articles

Articles in the Online Waldorf Library come from many sources. Quite a number are from the archives of journals and publications published over the past 50+ years. When possible we have noted the specific source although this is not always possible.

Included in the "article" search database are all articles in currently in print journals: Gateways, the Research Bulletin and the Waldorf Journal Project.

The Online Waldorf Library includes:
Education as an Art
, the first widely circulated journal about Waldorf education in the United States. It began in 1940 as the Bulletin of the Rudolf Steiner School Association. The purpose of the journal was to inform Americans about Rudolf Steiner's pedagogy. In 1969 the journal became known as Education as an Art: A Journal for the Waldorf Schools of North America.

To search for articles specifically from Education as an Art, please enter the journal name into the search box "with the exact phrase".

Lectures from the 2002 AWSNA National Teacher's Conference, to search for the 8 lectures presented, please enter AWSNA lecture in the search box and click "exact phrase"

Thoughts on the Relevance of a Waldorf Education

click here for a pdf of the article

This article was first published in Renewal. A Journal for Waldorf Education Volume 1#1, 1991

The following address was delivered at the high school commencement of the Rudolf Steiner
School in New York in June, 1991. Peter Nitze graduated from the Steiner school in 1976 after
thirteen years there. He attended Harvard College entered the business world, did graduate
engineering work at Stanford and presently works in Baltimore for a firm making industrial
machinery.
One of the comments often heard about Waldorf education is that it does not prepare the
young person for life in the cold cruel world, for achievement in a competitive and highly technological
society.
Mr. Nitze's case and testimony imply the contrary. In fact, Mr. Nitze credits to Waldorf
education qualities and attitudes which have served him well in career and life: intellectual curiosity;
the impulse to take the path less traveled by the belief in human freedom and in the potential for
growth through learning; the confidence in himself as integrated, and the love of making things and
making them well.

R.E.K.

When I graduated from the Rudolf Steiner School in 1976 1 did not have a clear sense of how
my experience at the school had shaped me. I can remember struggling to find some frame of reference
to help me sort out what had been valuable and what was lacking; but I had never attended
another school so I had no basis for comparison. It seemed to me then that what I had learned in thirteen years and
the way I had learned it was good enough - good enough to survive the SAT's and Achievement tests, good enough
to gain admission to an Ivy League college - so I did not agonize too long over what was special about the
education I had received.

Read more: Thoughts on the Relevance of a Waldorf Education

To Become A Teacher

Download the article: To Become A Teacher

Published in Education as an Art, Vol. 33, No. 1 – Fall/Winter 1974/75

Where is that book to be found in which the teacher can read what teaching is? The children themselves are this book! We should not learn to teach out of any other book than the one lying before us and consisting of the children themselves; but in order to read in this book, we need the widest possible interest in each individual child. (3)    RUDOLF STEINER

Who is a Waldorf teacher? What distinguishes this education? How often have we asked ourselves this question! Is it teaching in blocks? Organizing the day around a main lesson? Continuing as a class teacher from year to year with the same group of children? Teaching in pictures? Knowing about reincarnation and karma? Teaching woodwork, painting, bookbinding, recorder, and eurythmy?

Rudolf Steiner says that "what is of most importance for the teacher is his conception of life and of the world . . . . The inspiration that flows to the teacher from a world conception inwardly and ever newly experienced is carried over into the soul constitution of the children entrusted to him." In other words, this means, he says, that we should learn to "read" the world and to "read" the riddle of man's being in quite new ways. "There must arise in the whole human nature of the teacher an intensive impression of the child, again as one whole being, and what is perceived in the child must awaken joy and vitality. This same spirit-awakening joy and vitality in the teacher must be able to grow and develop, till it becomes immediate inspiration, answering the question, 'What am I to do with this child or with that?'

Read more: To Become A Teacher

Trust, the miracle of being human

Download the article: Trust, the miracle of being human
by Henning Kullak-Ublick

Published online in Erziehungskunst, February 2019

Trust is perhaps the most important condition to find our bearing in the world at all. That applies with regard to children but also our everyday practical life – and it does so to a far greater extent than its opposite, control. How else is it possible to move through traffic with millions of cars? What does this sibling of love, which can only be given as a gift but not demanded, mean for the growing child?

Anyone who has ever looked into the eyes of a few-days-old child
will never forget the infinite depth and purity of their gaze in which the moment appears to turn into eternity and in which the most ancient knowledge of the world encounters the promise of an equally far-reaching future. “Who are you?”, “Where do you come from?”, “Where are you going?” are questions which pass through our soul more or less consciously.

What comes to meet us is complete and unmitigated trust. Already in the many months of pregnancy the child feels itself secure, supported, enveloped by the voice of the mother, her thoughts, feelings and actions as she passes through all the changes associated with pregnancy, until they finally together live through the birth, an experience which is as existential as death at the other end of our life on earth.

Read more: Trust, the miracle of being human

Understanding and Educating Transgender Youth in the Waldorf School

Download the article: Understanding and Educating Transgender Youth in the Waldorf School
by Jack Palmer
Oriinally published in Research Bulletin #23, Volume 2 Autumn/Winter 2018

Appropriate treatment and rights of the transgender community has recently become a topic of much attention and controversy at the national level. Special attention has also been placed on transgender youth, and their rights and treatment within the school system. At the national level, there are discussions regarding which sports teams, locker rooms, bathrooms, pronouns, and names these children are entitled to use. In addition to these practical, materialistic concerns, there are the questions of morality and ideology: should the transgender condition be accepted and respected, or is it a sign of psychological dysfunction, to be dismissed or eradicated? Across the nation, individual schools, school districts, and state legislators have taken up a variety of positions on this issue.

While the nation struggles to find an approach to the transgender issue, as students of anthroposophy and leaders within our Waldorf school communities, we must ask ourselves if spiritual science can provide insight. After all, as Rudolf Steiner states in his lecture, Man and Woman in the Light of Spiritual Science:
Anthroposophical spiritual science does not exist in order that human beings be estranged from life through some kind of mysticism. It should in no way divert people from their tasks in daily life or the present. On the contrary, spiritual science should bring strength, energy, and open mindedness to humanity so that people can meet what daily life and our times demand. Hence it follows that spiritual science must not concern itself solely with the great riddles of existence, of the nature of human existence, and the meaning of the world, but must also seek to cast light on those questions which confront us directly. (Steiner, 2011, p. 36)

Read more: Understanding and Educating Transgender Youth in the Waldorf School