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All of the material published on this website is provided solely for the users of this website, and may not be downloaded from this site for the purpose of uploading to other sites or services without the express permission of the Online Waldorf Library.


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"

What is Gravity?

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Published in New View, Spring 1997 (UK)

Gravity is most interesting, for it cannot be perceived directly but its effects are very obvious. We incarnate into the realm of gravity and grow up with it, so that by the time we begin to think for ourselves it is so natural that it took the genius of Sir Isaac Newton to recognize it, name it, and describe it in a scientific way in the 17th century. But that is all he did, for he did not know how it ‘works*. This worried him for he was deeply suspicious of force 'acting at a distance’ without any obvious intermediate ‘links’ or other means through which it acts. The concept of touch had become so important for science that it seemed all forces and influences should act through direct contact, such as when one ball hits another. This we can badly visualise, and think about materialistically. The loss,'even the spuming of spiritual causes arose perhaps particularly through Newton, although he was deeply religious. Kepler before him, who discovered the laws of planetary motion, still thought that angels pushed the planets round their orbits. Such an approach was anathema to Newton, who sought clearly visualisable influences of a material kind. It was he who proposed that even light should be made up of tiny particles flying through space. To be the discoverer of a force that acted without any clear material intermediary worried him to the end of his life.

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What Is It that Makes Waldorf Education Come Alive?

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Waldorf education is not a collection of recipes, rather it is a constant creative process. First, Waldorf teachers must be well-grounded and balanced and possess a quest for self-renewal. Second, the preparation of the inner-self accomplished outside of the classroom allows the teacher to trust in imaginative creativity in the moment.

Every school and every teacher researches the foundation upon which Waldorf education is based. Fundamentally, Steiner was interested in the evolution of the human being. He brought to western civilization a pathway to train human thinking. He recognized the human being as a spiritual being as well as a physical being, and he saw that the power of the spirit permeated the world. His published works on spiritual science provide exercises and active tasks that an individual can practice, out of freedom, to gain higher perception. This higher consciousness and its resultant loss of egoism allow them to serve others. Behind and within every subject in a Waldorf school is the image of the evolving human being. This makes every subject relevant to the unique character of each child as he/she passes through his/her developmental stages.

In 1924 Steiner founded the Anthroposophical Society in Dornach, Switzerland. It is a karmic event when one takes on the study of spiritual science (or anthroposophy, as Steiner also called it) and when one makes the decision to become a member of the Anthroposophical Society. The word anthroposophy can be loosely translated from its Greek roots to mean the wisdom within the human being.

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What is Phenomenology?

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Originally published in the Waldorf Science Newsletter, Volume 10, #19 Fall 2003

A few years ago I recall standing in the checkout line of a large store. There were still a couple of people in front of me who were paying for their purchases when a woman came up behind me with her approximately three-year-old child. The woman first glanced at the long line and then noticed a simple child’s puzzle near the checkout. The simple puzzle had three or four wooden cutouts that would fit nicely into the flat piece of wood from which they had been cut. Each piece was cut in the shape of a barnyard animal and was painted appropriately. “Look,” the woman said to the child, “this is a sheep!” With this exclamation she removed a particular piece of wood that was shaped and painted in the outline of a sheep.
Immediately, I saw a problem:

Read more: What is Phenomenology?

What on Earth is Religion?

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Published in Child and Man, Vol.1, #5, 1968 (England)

RELIGION is not an easy subject to talk about. Apart from the fact that it usually arouses strong feelings-and feelings are rarely conducive to clear thoughts about a matter-the things with which religion has to do are so far removed from ordinary understanding, that they impose a certain restraint on the speaker from the start. The worst one has to fear in talking about anything else, is that one may hold one's ignorance up to ridicule or contempt. In expounding a view on religion one may all unwittingly offend. Nonetheless one can, and up to a point should, repeatedly ask oneself what religion really is, if one is not to connive at some of the most lifeless traditions of human society or (by refusing to entertain the subject at all) to cut oneself off from one of the strongest supports and impulses of human nature. If only because religion has such deep roots in a past beyond any power of recall, one should ever and again ask, "Has it after all any reality which can still recommend it to the serious attention of modern man and, more specifically, warrant its inclusion in any programme of modern education?"

Read more: What on Earth is Religion?