spacer "Vague and general phrases...cannot provide the basis for a genuine art of education, which depends on real knowledge of the human being. It is not that such phrases are wrong, but that they are as useless as saying that all parts of a machine must be made to work together harmoniously. To make a machine work you have to apply real, detailed knowledge, not phrases and truisms. For the art of education likewise, what is important is specific insight into the way the human being is constituted, and how each aspect develops." In his earliest and most succinct statement regarding education, Rudolf Steiner describes the stages of childhood development and explains why it is important to introduce aspects of the curriculum at specific times. He relates developmental steps in children to the "births" of the non-physical aspects of the human being: the etheric body that accompanies the change of teeth, the astral body that becomes apparent at puberty, and the birth of the "I" that heralds the individual's maturation to adulthood. Without this knowledge, says Steiner, well-meaning but misguided educational theory and practise can cause harm.
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Author Biography - Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) called his spiritual philosophy 'anthroposophy', meaning 'wisdom of the human being'. As a highly developed seer, he based his work on direct knowledge and perception of spiritual dimensions. He initiated a modern and universal 'science of spirit', accessible to anyone willing to exercise clear and unprejudiced thinking. From his spiritual investigations Steiner provided suggestions for the renewal of many activities, including education (both general and special), agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science, philosophy, religion and the arts. Today there are thousands of schools, clinics, farms and other organizations involved in practical work based on his principles. His many published works feature his research into the spiritual nature of the human being, the evolution of the world and humanity, and methods of personal development. Steiner wrote some 30 books and delivered over 6000 lectures across Europe. In 1924 he founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world.