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Archive for the ‘Walldorf Education’ Category

For the Healthy Farmers among us… an interesting VIDEO message from Prince Charles on Bio-Dynamical Farming and Rudolf Steiner.

video message Prince Charles on BD Farming

Follow the link to see the message online.

Video di apertura convegno del Principe Carlo di Inghilterra

 

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Workshop on Walldorf education for the teachers involved at schools and projects managed by ISS Sevapur. Introduction by: Aban Bana
From recording on march 11 2010 

Walldorf education is an alternative method of education and philosophy developed by Rudolf Steiner.
R. S. stated that the human being relates to the world around him and the environment on three fundamental principles.
The 1st. principle he  mentioned was the “thinking” or through our “thoughts”. THINKING
The 2nd.  one is through our feeling. (sympathy, desires, love, hate etc.)  FEELING
And The 3rd principle,  through our ACTIONS or DOINGS


These are the 3 fundamental capacities of the human being through which he or she can relate to the world and receives all what the world has to offer.
Now in conventional education we only focus on the 1st, the Thinking. And we forget the other two.
But as Steiner said we have to educate our children in all the 3 levels.
The 3 levels or stages:  Head – Heart – Hands/Limbs as he calls them.

Steiner said, we must develop the thinking capacity of the child. And we have to activate, stimulate the free thinking, not suppress the thinking, as we do in conventional education.
In conventional education we give the information to the child all the time, facts and numbers by which we make the child unfree.
In Steiner education we make the child think for him/her self. In Walldorf education the goal is to make them participate and think independently and without restrictions.
When the teacher is teaching he should approach the children in a way so the children think for themselves, starting with what they know about the subject.
So in waldorf education it is important that at the beginning of a new subject the teacher activates the interest of the child.
That means that when a teacher comes into the classroom he doesn’t say, “open your books on page 15” or so but he actualy puts the books aside. In fact Steiner didn’t use text books. 

A teacher should start creating the atmosphere in the classroom in such away that the children are already interested in the subject even before he has mentioned the subject or started explaining about it. Brainstorming thus is an important aspect in Walldorf Education. 
So we basically go from the known (what we already know from the subject) to the unknow (what we want to know).  It’s like a journey, you start from where the children are and then gradually you develop the subject in such a way that as the subject grows also their interest grows. 
Secondarily we always start, even if it is a very abstract subject like maths or science, to remember what is the ‘concrete’ and then we move to the ‘abstract’.
That is the way you approach the HEAD of the child and that is how you make the child more creative and interested.

But now we move to the 2nd level or stage the HEART.
If we nurture the heart, the feelings of the child become more sublime.
So what are the subjects of the heart?
– Poets, stories, music, arts, and crafts etc. you can see the word heart contains the word art. All these things we just mentioned touch the heart.
In fact this is something we have to emphasize, if you teach them subject of the heart they will develop a lot of compasion, kindness and this is what our society needs more than anything else.
You can also touch the heart of the children by telling them stories about remarkable people like Lea provo (Sevapur), Ghandi, Martin Luther King and other wonderfull people who contributed so much of themselves to society in such a selfless manner.

The 3rd principle or level is the ‘Action’ or the ‘Doing’ or in other words the HANDS/LIMBS.
What do you think are the subjects that  are involved in this part?
– Sports, drawing, dance, etc. and especially gardening is very important.
See the thing is that gardening  is the best way to teach them about ecology.   
When they plant a seed and see how much time and effort it takes for a seed to grow into a plant they will develop so much compassion and so much reverence that they will never want to cut down a tree.

It is very important that we teach our children to use their hands in a creative, productive and sensible manner.
Basket weaving, pottery, other crafts, gardening, but the most important  is cleaning. Because our country is so dirty. The first thing one sees when he looks at the environment is garbage, plastics and dirt.
People like to clean themselves so we have to teach them also to clean their surroundings, villages and streets.
Now when you travel in India you go through beautiful villages but you also see piles of garbage, plastics etc.

Now here we come to some overall understanding conclusion.  If you teach them to think freely they will understand the difference between right and wrong. If they know to think in an independent way they will know the difference.
If you teach the children on the level of the feeling you will awaken in them the feeling for compassion, kindness, goodness.
And when you make the children to use their hands, their ‘limbs’ in a productive creative and sensible way you will create in those children the strength of moral principals, you strengthen their morality.

We should also speak now in terms of the three virtues of Ancient Hinduisme.
Satyam / truth –  Sundram / beauty –  Shivam / goodness or religion as you can also call it.
Satyam will be translated as truth so this is the value which we interrogate in the right approach of the head.
Sundram not just external beauty but inner beauty, the estetic beauty of the world we live in. This is the beauty that we activate in the education of the Heart.
Shivam can be expressed as Goodness. (action hands limbs ) gardening, drafts, cleaning.

Subjects that belong in the sphere of the mind the thinking, Satyam are, science, maths, 2 + 2 is 4 or that the sun rises in the east. It’s absolutely true. There are certain laws that you incalculate in the children that are quite definite. Also we have Subjects of the facts like political science, history, economics.

What are the subjects that belong to the sphere of the heart or Sundram (beauty)?  Here ofcourse we will give the subjects of the Arts.

And what will be the subjects that belongs to Shivam or Goodness, to the Action or in other words to the Hands or limbs?  What is the greatest subject that is acting on your hands, goodness, actions?
Moral subjects! And how would you call moral subjects in one word? RELIGION.
We are not thinking about building churges, or tempels or mosques that is ritual, this is the spiritual side of religion.
It’s not Hinduisme, Islam or Christianity. We here talk about humanity, the religion of humanity!
How to do good things, actions. This is what mother Lea always has been talking about when she spoke about Real Religion.
Going to the tempel and ring a bells and so is OK but it’s Only one small thing of religion.
We are pursuing the moral principals through the actions, the doing, through the actions. Because what we think is important, what we feel is important but then we all leave this world and go to the other world and what would remain if we are not here?
What we think and what we feel will overpass but what we do will remain, stay behind. It’s only through this that we transform the world we live in. We can only transform the world through our actions.

Now I will end by saying that ofcourse we won’t be able to have Walldorf schools all around India especialy if you think we only have 5 walldorf schools in India and that there are only 1000 in all the world.
So we can not have walldorf schools everywhere but that is also not important. But it is important that we have an understanding of child education on the basis of the 3-fold nature. 

The pictures in this article where taken at the Annai Lea Higher Secundary Highschool in Sevapur.  Eurythme and Walldorf Alternative Education introduction workshops.

Walldorf Alternative Education workshop were given at ISS Sevapur in Tamil Nadu  by Aban and Dilnawaz Bana from the Anthroposophical association in Mumbai/India. http://www.anthroposophyindia.org/

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