Skylark Books

Deeper Insights into Education
3 lectures by Rudolf Steiner

“Education must have something of the process of healing.”

The unfortunate dishonesties and inhumanities in contemporary civilization can be most fruitfully counteracted by a renewed, holistic education, argues Rudolf Steiner in these three lectures on the Waldorf approach to education.

Steiner explains why modern education requires a new synthesis of the three historical ideals of the educator: the spiritual gymnast of ancient Greece, the ensouled rhetorician of ancient Rome and medieval Europe, and the intellectual professor of more modern vintage. Of these, the most important is the formative effect of the rhetorician’s cultivation of artistic speech.

“No true teaching can ever be boring,” declares Steiner and proceeds to give several examples of how the teacher can observe a natural phenomenon so intimately that its creative life can flow back to the children through his or her own words in the classroom.

The book also describes in spiritual scientific depth how the deeds of the teacher have a direct effect upon the physiological chemistry of the students. From this point of view, education is a kind of higher metamorphosis of therapy and should be seen as closely akin to the healing arts.

Steiner shows how the perception of hidden relationships between education and processes of human development can kindle in the teacher a heartfelt enthusiasm and a sense of responsibility for the far-reaching health effects which educational activity can produce.

Trans: R. Querido (3 lectures, Stuttgart 15 - 16 Oct 1923, GA302a); 53pp
Anthroposophic Press
0 88010 067 2; paperback


Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) called his spiritual philosophy 'anthroposophy', which he defined as 'the consciousness of one's humanity', and the disciplined methods of studying this he termed ‘spiritual science’.  As a highly developed clairvoyant and spiritual initiate, he spoke from his direct cognition of the spiritual world. However, he did not see his work as religious or sectarian, but rather sought to found a universal 'science of the spirit'.

His many published works (written books and lectures) - which include his research into the spiritual nature of the human being, the evolution of the world and humanity, and methods of personal development - invite readers to develop their own spiritual faculties.  He also provided indications for the renewal of many human activities, including education - both general and special - agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science, philosophy, religion and the arts. He wrote some 30 books and delivered over 6000 lectures across Europe, and in 1924 founded the General Anthroposophical Society which today has branches throughout the world.

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