Education / Self-education

Essentially, there is no education other than self- education, whatever the level may be. […] Every education is self-education, and as teachers we can only provide the environment for children’s self-education. We have to provide the most favourable conditions where, through our agency, children can educate themselves according to their own destinies.

Rudolf Steiner: The Child’s Changing Consciousness

Source: Essentials of Waldorf Early Childhood Education – Susan Howard

German source of this quote: GA 306 – page 131

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Previously posted on 2 October 2018

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We will not reach our goal with beautiful slogans

It is true that there are often wonderful ground principles mentioned regarding pedagogy. For example, it is rightly said: Yes, in education there are such principles as “one should not cram things into the children from outside; one should let that what one wants them to acquire come out of their own talents and capabilities.” Very true, an excellent basic rule – but abstract and theoretical. And thus we see that by far the majority of our practical life is based on abstractions, is born out of theoretical programs. Because what one really needs in order to be able to draw forth from the individuality that which the child needs to develop, is true knowledge of the human being. Human insight which enters into the depths of the being of man. However such knowledge the science available to modern civilization, despite her great triumphs, does not have.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 297a – Erziehung zum Leben – Amsterdam, 28 February 1921 (p. 51)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on 30 september 2018

Without the ability to perceive super sensibly, it is not possible to have insight into the being of man

What does one really gain through this spiritual science as I now sketched in broad outline? Above all one gains true knowledge of the human being. Without the ability to perceive super sensibly, it is not possible to have genuine insight into the being of man. [….] And a true pedagogical art, a true art of education can only be born out of true human knowledge.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 297a – Erziehung zum Leben – Amsterdam, 28 February 1921 (p. 49-50)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on 29 September 2018

The pupil can sometimes be more brilliant than the teacher

As a teacher, one has a variety of individualities before one, and one should not stand in front of the class with the feeling: The way I am, is the way these pupils should all become through my teaching and education. This is how one should absolutely not feel. Why not? Now there could be, if we are lucky, among the students that we have in our class, apart from those who are not very clever, two or three who may be exceptionally talented. And you will have to admit that it is not possible to have only geniuses for teachers and that in fact it will not infrequently occur that the teacher does not have the capacities that those they are teaching and educating will perhaps develop in the future. But the teacher does not only need to teach those who have the same capacities as he has himself, he must also educate and teach those who are far more talented and would surpass him in time. However, he will only be able to do this if he does not try to educate the pupils as if they should become similar to what he is himself.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 306 – Pädagogische Praxis – Dornach, April 20, 1923 (p. 130-131)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on  27 september 2018

The social question is essentially an educational question, and this in turn a medical question

We need an art of education that teaches and instructs the children in a way conducive to real health. This is the element that makes hygiene a social question. For the social question is essentially an educational question, and this in turn a medical question — but only in the sense of a medicine, of a hygiene permeated with Spiritual Science.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 314 – Hygiene – a Social Problem – Dornach, 7th April 1920

41lzc7iwq8l._sr600315_piwhitestripbottomleft035_sclzzzzzzz_Previously posted on 18 October 2014