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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"

When Shall Grammar be Taught?

Download the article: When Shall Grammar be Taught?

Published in Education as an Art, Vol.1, #1, 1940

In an effort to make education a less stereotyped and more living experience for the child, there is a marked tendency to defer the study of grammar to a much later age than formerly. But this raises two questions.
1) Is the child of today at a disadvantage in not possessing a working knowledge of his mother-tongue?
2) Can this knowledge be brought to him in a manner suited to his stage of development?

Rudolf Steiner, whose art of education closely follows the child's natural development, contends that the child of nine or ten not only is ready for the study of grammar but actually needs it. For a knowledge of the structure and laws of his mother.tongue gives him a feeling of confidence in using it, Be-fore the age of nine or ten, children speak or write largely from their unconscious instinct of imitation, but from then on it is important for them to become more conscious in forming their sentences, in choosing their words. At this age a child becomes really aware of himself as an individual and the study of grammar helps him to strengthen this awareness.

Read more: When Shall Grammar be Taught?

Where Do Organisms End?

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Published in In Context, Spring 2000, pp 14-16

This short essay was stimulated by a question Eliot Schneiderman -- a biologist and neighbor -- raised after reading the description of bloodroot in In Context #2. Eliot mentioned that ants are known to disperse the seeds of bloodroot. He briefly described this fascinating process and then remarked: you described bloodroot in its annual cycle, but don't the ants belong to the wholeness of bloodroot as well? My immediate reaction was: of course! I had tried to show that we need to go beyond any one momentary state of the plant and begin to grasp it as a process in time. But I didn't go further, which Eliot pointed out. It is a further step to view everything we call the "environmental interactions" of an organism as part of that organism, for without these interactions the organism wouldn't exist. Because our minds grasp spatial entities most easily, we tend to become lazy and not make the effort to see how every organism extends beyond itself as a physical entity, revealing itself functionally as part of a larger whole.

To read further download the article above.

Keywords:science, observation, phenomenological

Wish, Wonder, Surprise

Download the article: Wish, Wonder and Surprise

Published in Education as an Art,  Vol.32, No. 2 – Spring/Summer 1974

In seventh grade English lessons, a study is made of the themes, Wish, Wonder and Surprise. Rudolf Steiner indicated that these would be important avenues of exploration for young people just reaching adolescence. In teaching seventh graders, one becomes quickly aware of the richness of their emotional life but also of its chaotic quality. They are up one minute, down the next; they love the world, hate the world; laughter and tears come tumbling out, one after the other. How is the young person to find balance? How is he to learn to find perspective in his dialogues with the world?

The breadth of the Waldorf curriculum tries to meet these problems from many vantage points. This intriguing study of Wish, Wonder and Surprise, I discovered, is one of the most direct ways. We can ponder the three words - wish, wonder, surprise - for many hours. We can ask ourselves as teachers what is really expected of us here. The study goes under the guise of a writing block, so certainly it is a means to study the difference in style between a wish, a statement of wonder, and the description of a surprise. But soon, as one begins with one's students to explore these themes, these attitudes of life, a whole mysterious landscape comes into view.

Read more: Wish, Wonder, Surprise

Working with the 12 Senses

Download the article: Working with the 12 Senses
by Jeff Tunkey

Published in the Association for Healing Education Newsletter, September, 2013

Touch, Health, Movement and Balance as a Foundation for Academic Progress
A helpful lens on human development was provided by Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the Waldorf education movement which now numbers some 1000 schools worldwide. We work with the picture that we have much more than the five traditional senses... in fact, twelve! If you’re like most people, you might initially have a mystified or puzzled reaction to hearing someone say humans have twelve senses—not just the five that science usually describes. However, the twelve senses approach – first described by Rudolf Steiner 90 years ago – is similar in many ways to the “Multiple Intelligences” education theory popularized by Harvard professor Howard Gardner in the 1990s. In any event, the idea of the 12 senses isn’t meant to be analyzed in a literal or scientific way, but rather to be carried as a picture that might shine new light on how parents and teachers can contribute to the healthy growth of children. The particular definitions for the capacities to be described as the spectrum of 12 interrelated senses, can be quickly grasped by placing them in the light of ‘common sense’ everyday expressions.

To read the entire article click on the article link above.