Adam Blanning MD

What Forces are at Work in Waldorf Education?

All our methods, all our ingenious, formed, outer methods of education, are of little value in this respect. Answers to the question —how can this or that be achieved? — are of little use. What is of the greatest importance, however, is for a person to have enthusiasm in his work and to be able to develop this enthusiasm to the full if he is to be a true teacher. This enthusiasm is infectious, and it alone can work miracles in education. The child eagerly responds to enthusiasm, and, when there is no response on his part, it usually indicates a lack of this enthusiasm in the teacher. - Rudolf Steiner

Forces Leading to Health and Illness in Education

We can say, of course, that the outer life within which human beings stand, making it possible for them to earn a living, requires them to have capacities that they cannot have yet as children. We must impart such capacities to them. The behavior proper for adults is also, perhaps, something that the child cannot acquire by himself; it must be imparted to him through education. - Rudolf Steiner

This weekend, I am fortunate to witness the burning fire of education, as I meet early childhood teachers from around the country at the WECAN Early Childhood Educators Conference. As I watched a workshop led by Dr. Adam Blanning, I could see this infectious enthusiasm that Steiner spoke about, the great humility of the task of a teacher and physician, and the experience of a former Waldorf student as he now stood as the teacher of teachers.

This is the magic I have witnessed within the Waldorf education community, a place that nurtures the enthusiasm and love for children and the reserved task of education. As we share lectures and books each Sunday on this blog, it is my hope that it will invite you into this magical world of education that has as its focus a reverence for what it means to be human. A place where human development and the nurturing of each soul is of the highest importance.

As I spoke to Dr. Blanning after his workshop, he shared that as a child in a Waldorf school it was this underlying intention that energized his schooling years. As you read the complete lecture take time to sit with it and take it into your work with children as a neighbor, community member, or family member. Our world’s children need us to share our gifts with enthusiasm to kindle their own light for the world. - Kathy Donchak

Forces Leading to Health and Illness in Education by Rudolf Steiner