We can say that the actual carrier of human judgment, that force within the human that enables him or her to judge a given situation, is basically speaking only born when sexual maturity is reached and slowly matures from the 12th year onwards. When you know this and appreciate it, you are also aware of the responsibility you take on, when you let a child judge independently at too early an age.
In this respect, the most disastrous prejudices are prevalent in our times: there is a preference to let the child get used to independent judgments as early as possible. We have said that we must focus on the child in such a way that he experiences the influence of an authority, that he accepts something because the authority working alongside him accepts it. When the child is used to this approach by the teacher or educator, and it accepts the truth because the educator represents the authority, we prepare the child in the right way, to exercise free, independent judgment later in life.
Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 301 – Die Erneuerung der pädagogisch -didaktischen Kunst durch Geisteswissenschaft – Basel, May 6, 1920 (bladzijde 169)
Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger