Saturday, May 21, 2011

Corrected Quote on Waldorf Education

A popular quote describing Waldorf Education goes like this: "Receive the child in reverence, educate the child in love, let the child go forth in freedom." This is attributed to Rudolf Steiner, but the reference is never cited.

The sentiments have been lifted from Dr. Steiner's lecture Spiritual Ground of Education:

If we have received the child in religious reverence, if we have educated him in love up to the time of puberty, then our proper course after this will be to leave the youth's spirit free, and to hold intercourse with him on terms of equality.  

We aim, — that is not to touch the spirit but to let it be awakened. When the child reaches puberty we shall best attain our aim of giving the child over to free use of his intellectual and spiritual powers if we respect the spirit and say to ourselves: you can remove hindrances from the spirit, physical hindrances and also, up to a point, hindrances of the soul. What the spirit has to learn it learns because you have removed the impediments. If we remove impediments the spirit will develop in contact with life itself even in very early youth. Our rightful place as educators is to be removers of hindrances.

-Lecture IV: 19th August, 1922