What is learnt on examination is very soon forgotten again

When those who wish to become teachers or educators are examined today, attention is paid above all to what they have acquired in the way of knowledge — which really is quite unnecessary, for when they are preparing themselves, they can always read up in a suitable compendium what it is necessary for them to have for teaching purposes. What is learnt on examination is very soon forgotten again. 

We can see this best when we remember how our own school life was carried on. I once had to go through an examination. At the appointed time the professor was ill. I went to the assistant who said: “Yes, the Professor is ill, and his illness may last another week; I can sympathize with you; if you have to go about in this grand condition for a week, you will have forgotten everything, but there is no help for it.” It is therefore reckoned that what one has to give out in the examination will very soon be forgotten! It is simply a comedy! 

But what will have to be taken into account will be to consider what sort of man is being let loose on the young. The question is to study the human being in each one, not only what he has squeezed into the mechanism of his life of ideas. The question is whether the real man is in a position to establish that mysterious relationship to youth which is necessary.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 181 – Anthroposophical Life Gifts: Lecture III: Thoughts about the Life Between Death and Rebirth – Berlin, 2nd April, 1918

Previously posted on June 11, 2017

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The sixth post-Atlantean epoch of culture will be more spiritual

The next age (the sixth post-Atlantean epoch of culture 3573-5733), following our own, will already be more spiritual. There the sentiments will play a role even in connection with science. If any one shall then wish to stand an examination for admission to some scientific study, it will be necessary for him to be able to sense the light that exists behind everything, the spiritual world which brings everything into existence. The value of scientific work in any test will then consist in the fact that one shall observe whether a person can develop in the test sufficient emotion; otherwise he will fail in the examination. Even though the candidate may have any amount of knowledge, he will not be able to pass the examination if he does not have the right sentiments.

Source: Rudolf Steiner: GA 130 – BUDDHA AND CHRIST: Jeshu ben Pandira: Lecture I – Leipzig, 4th November 1911

Translated by Olin D. Wannamaker

Previously posted on August 29, 2016

Julius Robert Mayer

The development of science, you know, is sometimes remarkable. A monument stands today in Heilbronn — certainly it is rather dreadful as a work of art, but still it stands there and represents Julius Robert Mayer. If you hear about him in science today, you learn that he was a pioneering genius through his researches in the 40’s of the last century into the nature of the action of heat.

Julius Robert Mayer was born in Heilbronn, practiced there as a doctor and went about without being particularly noticed. The scientists of the time paid no special attention to him. And although today he is described everywhere as a highly gifted pioneer in physics, at that time when he sat for his medical examination at Tubingen he failed it. If you made investigations, you would come on the remarkable fact that the majority of men who later became geniuses failed earlier in their examinations.

And this was also the fate of Julius Robert Mayer. By the skin of his teeth, he managed to get through and become a doctor. But no one considered him remarkable during his lifetime — in fact, quite the contrary. He became so enthusiastic about his discovery that he talked of it everywhere. Then people said that his mind was wandering and put him in an asylum. His own generation put him in a madhouse while posterity looks upon him as a great genius and puts up a monument to him in his native town.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 354 – The Evolution of the Earth and Man and The Influence of the Stars: Lecture XII – Dornach, 18th September 1924

Translated by Gladys Hahn

Julius Robert von Mayer

Julius Robert Mayer

What is learnt on examination is very soon forgotten again

When those who wish to become teachers or educators are examined today, attention is paid above all to what they have acquired in the way of knowledge — which really is quite unnecessary, for when they are preparing themselves, they can always read up in a suitable compendium what it is necessary for them to have for teaching purposes. What is learnt on examination is very soon forgotten again.

We can see this best when we remember how our own school life was carried on. I once had to go through an examination. At the appointed time the professor was ill. I went to the assistant who said: “Yes, the Professor is ill, and his illness may last another week; I can sympathize with you; if you have to go about in this grand condition for a week, you will have forgotten everything, but there is no help for it.” It is therefore reckoned that what one has to give out in the examination will very soon be forgotten! It is simply a comedy!

But what will have to be taken into account will be to consider what sort of man is being let loose on the young. The question is to study the human being in each one, not only what he has squeezed into the mechanism of his life of ideas. The question is whether the real man is in a position to establish that mysterious relationship to youth which is necessary.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 181 – Anthroposophical Life Gifts: Lecture III: Thoughts about the Life Between Death and Rebirth – Berlin, 2nd April, 1918

The sixth post-Atlantean epoch of culture will be more spiritual

The next age, (the sixth post-Atlantean epoch of culture 3573-5733), following our own, will already be more spiritual. There the sentiments will play a role even in connection with science. If any one shall then wish to stand an examination for admission to some scientific study, it will be necessary for him to be able to sense the light that exists behind everything, the spiritual world which brings everything into existence. The value of scientific work in any test will then consist in the fact that one shall observe whether a person can develop in the test sufficient emotion; otherwise he will fail in the examination. Even though the candidate may have any amount of knowledge, he will not be able to pass the examination if he does not have the right sentiments.

Source: Rudolf Steiner: GA 130 – BUDDHA AND CHRIST: Jeshu ben Pandira: Lecture I – Leipzig, 4th November 1911

Translated by Olin D. Wannamaker

Previously posted on September 25, 2014