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References to Main Lesson Blocks appearing in the lectures of Rudolf Steiner
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When Rudolf Steiner inaugurated the first Waldorf school, he established the “main lesson”—a two-hour class during which all academic subjects except for foreign languages would be taught. The subjects taught in the main lesson were studied for block of time lasting from three to six or more weeks.
Teaching in main lesson blocks has become one of the most successful and distinguishing features of Waldorf education, for it allows teachers to cover the curriculum intensively and economically, and it provides the students with the fullest possible immersion in a subject. The students’ experience of the subject is further deepened by allowing the subject to “go to sleep,” before being “reawakened” later in the year or in the following year. Through this process of forgetting and remembering, students return to a subject with new interest and new insights. The time between the main lesson blocks in a subject allows students’ concepts to develop gradually and to mature. Knowledge needs time to take root, blossom, and bear fruit. The main lesson block assures that students have sufficient time to experience a living process of learning.
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