The Waldorf Journal Project, sponsored by the Waldorf Curriculum Fund and published by AWSNA Publications, brings to English-speaking audiences translations from essays, magazines, and specialized studies from around the world.
Journals are published twice a year and all articles in issues from 2002 to the present are available on the Online Waldorf Library.
Download the article: Encountering the Individuality of a Child
by Walter Riethmüller
An Image of Adoration
One can hardly tear oneself away from the enchantment emanating from the crib of a newborn baby. It is what underlies everything that nurtures the child, albeit in different ways. The shepherds kneeled down in humility to adore it; the kings bowed their heads in reverence; Mary expressed in her posture a gesture of devoted, fulfilled adoration and Joseph one of reflective meditation. Even we, if we go deeply into the wonder of a birth, cannot resist such a moving impression.
Download the article: Tell Me a Story: The Narrative of Active Learning
by Martyn Rawson
The traditional debate as to whether human behavior is learned or inherited seems to have found an answer—it is both. The young child is an unwritten page, a “tabula rasa,” or an imperfect being, “weak and helpless, without knowledge or understanding,” as the English philosopher John Locke (1632–1704) put it. In his Second Treatise on Government, Locke outlined the duty of parents: “To inform the mind and govern the actions of their yet ignorant nonage [offspring] till reason shall take its place and ease them of that trouble is what the children want and what the parents are bound to.”1 In Locke’s view, the task of parent and educator is to fill up the empty page of the child’s mind with everything a responsible adult may reasonably be required to know or be able to do.
Download the article: Sleep as a Task of Waldorf Education
by Peter Loebell
Lehrer Rundbrief #53 published by the Bund der Freien Waldorfschul
The paths trod by children night after night into the depths of the spiritual world into which they immerse themselves are of immense importance to the success of our education. Rudolf Steiner already pointed this out at the beginning of the Study of Man like a prelude to the founding of the first Waldorf school.1 At the same time, the task of fathoming a connection between daily experience and nighttime sleep was put forward in order to fructify our teaching practice. Especially the rhythmic phenomena of the nightly rest period exhibits impressive characteristics that together with the background of various indications by Rudolf Steiner are very interesting and motivating. Hansjoerg Hofrichter pointed out such phenomena in an article in Erziehungskunst in May, 1994.2
The state of sleep is not a passive giving up of oneself. It is actively initiated.3 The fact that we can, today, by reason of observations made on people sleeping, describe the various states of sleep has been adequately documented. Aristotle circa 350 B.C. identified the phases of rapid eye movement that are associated with dreaming. What is remarkable is the rhythmically swinging immersion into the various observable states of sleep. Measurement of electrical brain activity by an EEG gives an exact delineation of the physiological processes.
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Download the article: The Effect of Lunar Nodes on Human Biography: Our Hidden Plan
by Susanne Donato
In a lecture in Dornach, Switzerland, on April 16, 1920, Rudolf Steiner explained how the macrocosmic breathing process in the heavens is connected to the microcosmic breathing process in the human world and comes to expression through a rhythmic time cycle of 18.6 years. In human biography, we find this rhythmic cycle in the lunar nodes rhythm or moon nodes. According to Steiner, important things are happening with the human soul at these points in time.
Download the article: The Adolescent Years
by L. Francis Edmunds
Originally published in Education as an Art, Vol. 35, No. 2
The transition from childhood to youth brings many problems. The critical faculty is awake but not yet maturity of judgment. The impact of life becomes deeply personal but the direction in life is in no way clear. The most familiar relationships fall subject to question. The young person needs guidance but jibes at authority. He guards jealously the little flame of independence of which he now becomes aware. There is a longing for self-expression and little ability to express—this gives rise to all manner of crudities. There is quick resentment over little things. Moods swing easily from elation to depression. The will to love and be loved brings confusing emotions and desires, if not actual eroticism, nursed to profusion by our “sexy” age. Ideals and aspirations wrestle with worldly ambitions, “castles in the air” are rife. Even the intelligent youngster is not secure from sudden follies. To understand is not to conform. Temptations come strong. Vanities play their part. In a chaotic environment where the adults themselves live in fear, anxiety and contradiction, what can these young folk do?