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Waldorf Journal Project

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.

Waldorf Journal Project

Waldorf Journal Project #19

Technology (entire issue in one file)

Rudolf Steiner and Technology by Rudolf Steiner
A Few Quotes on Technology
by Rudolf Steiner
Education for Adolescents by Rudolf Steiner
On the Philosophy of Freedom by Lorenzo Ravagli
On Freedom by Henning Köhler
Human Capital – Commercial Value or Creative Potential? by Henning Köhler
An Information and Communication Technology Curriculum for Steiner/Waldorf Schools by William Steffen
“Building Inner Fire” Independent Working and Learning: Teaching through Projects by Sibylla Hesse
I Question, Therefore I Am by Henning Köhler
Technology and the Celebration of Work as Developed in Waldorf Education by David Mitchell
Will-Developed Intelligence: Craft and Movement Gesture in Education by Bernard Graves for The Hiram Trust
Praise for Authority by Henning Köhler
What Does Term Extension [for Atomic Power Plants] Have to Do with Our Children? by Henning Köhler
Helping Adolescents Improve Their Memory by Albert Schmelzer
When a Child Has Problems, It’s Not Always the Parents’ Fault by Henning Köhler
Education Through Experience – Experienced Education by Dietrich Esterl
Panacea: The Magic Remedy for a Contemporary Education by Johannes Kiersch


Waldorf Journal Project #18

Observing the Class Observing the Children (entire issue in one file)

The Art of Observing Children by Christof Wiechert
What Does a Good Child Observation Entail? by Klaus Hadamovsky
What Is a Child Observation? [Child Study] by Anna Seydel
Different Children – Changed Childhood by Armin Krenz
Born as an Original – Died as a Copy by Henning Köhler
Love Melts Away Fear by Henning Köhler
The Secret of Children’s Drawings by Armin Krenz
Normal Is the Difference: Maxims for Successful Integration by Henning Köhler
Anything but Children’s Play: What Play in School Means for Learning by Irene Jung
Love Enables Knowledge by Lorenzo Ravagli
Methods before the Age of Nine by Ted Warren
What Was That? Forgetting and Remembering by Albert Schmelzer
Brought to School by the Police? by Henning Köhler
Elemental Beings Are Real for Many Children - Conversation with Katharina Dreher-Thiel
Laughing with the Ninth Graders – Humor in the Main Lesson by Florian Heinzmann

Waldorf Journal Project #17

From Images to Thinking (entire issue in one file)

Foreword by David Mitchell, Editor
Children Learn in Images by Rosemary Wermbter
The Fairy Tale of the Crystal Ball by Christianne Brown
Interpreting Fairy Tales by Rudolf Steiner
How to Create, Tell and Recall a Story by Rudolf Steiner
The Secret of Children's Pictures by Armin Krenz
Research into Resilience by Christof Wiechert
Resilient Children: First Food or Fast Food by Katherine Train
Why Waldorf Works: From a Neuroscientific Perspective by Regalena Melrose, M.D.
The Senses by Eileen M. Hutchins
The Training of Observation by Eileen M. Hutchins
Observation and Thinking by Eileen M. Hutchins
The Activity of Thinking by Eileen M. Hutchins
An Education for Our Time by Christof Wiechert
A Bold Step Forward by Andreas Neider
Internet Crutch by Mathais Maurer


Waldorf Journal Project #16

Classroom Considerations (all articles in one file)

The Role of Mythology in Education by Jorgen Smit
Thinking and Willing in Mythological Form by Jorgen Smit
A Little Introduction to Grammar by Jorgen Smit
Subject, Predicate and Object in Grammar by Jorgen Smit
The Past, Present and Future by Jorgen Smit
The Child's Word Sense and Thinking Sense by Jorgen Smit
Picture and Concept by Jorgen Smit
Remembering and Imagining by Jorgen Smit
The Youth of Our Day by Jorgen Smit


Waldorf Journal Project #15

Michaelmas (all articles in one large file)

Michaelmas and the Soul Forces of the Human Being by Rudolf Steiner
The Activity of Michael and the Future of Humanity by Rudolf Steiner
The Michael-Christ Experience of Humankind by Rudolf Steiner
The Work of Michael by Dr. Ita Wegman, MD
Why Do Waldorf Schools Celebrate Michaelmas? by David Mitchell
Working with the Festivals Through the Twelve Senses by David Mitchell
The Deeds of Michael: A Collection of Tales and Legends from Around the World
Feast of St. Michael (from the Golden Legend); Michael Legends (from a speech by Pico Della Mirandola); Gothic Hymn unto the Archangel Michael (from the Greek); Michael (Greek Hymn from the Middle Ages);
Michael in the Ancient Orient
Michael as Indra (from the Rigveda); The Bhagadvad-Gita as a Reflection of Michael's Battle in Heaven; Michael as Mithra (from the Avesta); Mithras, Revealing the Sacred Names (from a Mithras Liturgy); Michael as Marduk
Michael According to the Conceptions of the Hebrew People
Creation of Adam; Michael as Guardian of the World; Michael Tests Moses' Willingness to Sacrifice; Michael, Savior of Isaac; Moses' Death; The Four Winds; The Rainbow; The Bowl of the World; The Book of the Seventy-Two Signs; Michael Guardian of Paradise
Michael and the Mystery of Golgotha
Golgotha (Russian Legend); Michael and the Risen One (from Rejentime Easter Play, 15th Century)
Michael According to Manichean Conceptions
Michael and the Evil (Ancient Bulgarian Legend); Michael and the Doubter (German Legend)
Legends Concerning Michael's Workings in Places Consecrated to Him
Michael's Sanctuary in Chonae (from the Greek); The Sanctuary of Michael on Mount Gargano (Latin Legend); Mont Saint-Michel (French Legend); Mont Saint-Michel (Chronicle of the City of Speyer)
Michael as Healer
The Leper Jew; The Unfulfilled Vow; The Blind Man; The Posessed
Worship of Michael from the Time of Charlemagne to the 10th Century
Sequence on St. Michael Dedicated to Emperor Charlemange (Latin Hymn from the Middle Ages); The Dragon of Ireland (French Legend)
Michael's Transition from Legend to the History of the Fading Middle Ages
Michael as Friend of Mankind (Icelandic Legend); Michael Leads the Army of Barbarossa (German Legend); To St. Michael (Latin Hymn, Middle Ages, 11th Century); How Henry II Beheld Michael on Monte Gargano and How He Was Touched and Lamed by Him (German ); Prayer (from Old Norway, circa 1300); The Death of Elizabeth of Thuringa (German Legend); Lucifer's Crown( from "Singers' Contest of Warburg, " 13th Century); The Vision of Jeanne d'Arc (Account of Jeanne d'Arc's Deposition); Michael, the Angel, Speaketh
Michael in the European East
St. Michael on the Crescent Moon (After a Polish Legend); Of Michael, the Archangel (from the Russian)
Michael According to the Conceptions of Simple Folk
Why the Sole of Man's Foot is not Even; Miner's Song (from Bohemia); The Devils Scythe (French Legend); What the Peasants of Normandy Tell about Michael
Michael's Cosmic Activity
The Twelfth Chapter of the Revelation of St. John; Concerning the Iron in the Kalewala and the Spiritual Forge in the North
Spanish Michael Legend
The Legend of Mont Saint-Michel
(Guy de Maupassant)


Waldorf Journal Project #14

Darwin and More (all articles in one file)

Forward by David Mitchell
What Makes Human Beings Human? by Wolfgang Schad
Darwin's Incomplete Knowledge of Death by Wolfgang Schad
Darwin Suffered from Darwinism by Wolfgang Schad
Body Movements are Invisible Thinking, Mathematical Thinking is Inner Movement by Erik Marstrander
What is Goetheanism? by Trond Skaftnesmo
The Hippopotamus and the Eagle by Trond Skaftnesmo
Close Contact with the Earth: Necessary Experiences that Provide a Basis for Lessons in Natural Sciences - An Interview with Linda Jolly by Eli Tronsmo
Physics Lessons that Start with the Human Being by Geir Oyen
The Power of Observation in Literature Lessons by Tom Horn
Insight into Human Nature as a Basis for Waldorf Education: Anthroposophy and Modern Brain Research by Helge Godager
Think Globally and Act Locally: The Ecology Practicum in the 11th Grade by Holger Bauman
Music: An Endangered by Magne Skrede
Performing Arts versus Degraded Speech by Magne Skrede
From Crisis to Cooperation by Sylvia Fuehrer
Productivity and Receptiveness - How Do We Work Together on the School Organism? by Karl-Martin Dietz


Waldorf Journal Project #13

Educating the Will (all articles in one file)

Foreward by Editor: David Mitchell
Awakening the Spirit Powers of the Head: Educating the Will by Christof Wiechert
Wake up Your Headspirit: At Eye Level by by Tobias Richter
Awaken the Spirit of the Head: Pyramids and Stars by by James Pewtherer
Man's Will is His Kingdom of Heaven by by Hartwig Schiller
Artistic Activity - Individual Resonance - New Paths by Claus-Peter Roh
Bringing the Will into Thinking in Adolescence by Betty Staley
Learning is a Royal Path to Freedom by Hartwig Schiller
Rhythm is a Source of Regeneration by by Dirk Cysarz
Art: Awakener of Consciousness, Humanizer for Society by Van James
The Push for Early Childhood Literacy: A View from Europe by Christopher Clouder
Childhood Falls Silent by Dr. Rainer Patzlaff
Painting and the Child by by Caroline von Heydebrand


Waldorf Journal Project #12

Research into Childhood (all articles in one file)

Foreward by David Mitchell
Rhythm and the Learning Process by Dirk Cysarz
Novel Methods of Researching Learning by Gunter Haffelder
The Advantage and Disadvantage of Brain Research for Pedagogy by Christian Rittelmeyer
The Symphony of Life Importance, Interaction, and Visualizing of Biological Rhythms by Maximilian Moser
Observations on Neurological Development by Compiled by David Mitchell
Seven "Myths" about the Social Participation of Waldorf Graduates by Wanda Ribeiro and Juan Pablo de Jesus Pereira
Study of Waldorf Graduates in Denmark by Troels Hansen


Waldorf Journal Project #11

Morality and Ethics in Education #2 (all articles in one file)

Forces Leading to Health and Illness in Education by Rudolf Steiner
Transformative Education and the Right to an Inviolate Childhood by Christopher Clouder
The Human Self by Karl Brodersen
The Free and Human Self by Ted Warren
Recapitulation (Recall) in the High School Main Lesson by Ken Power
The Odyssey of Conscience by Henning Andersen, Reviewed by Oddvar Granly
War and Peace and Moral Imagination by Oscar Borgman Hansen
The Power of Moral Education- Geography by Christof Goepfer
Ethics and the Perspective on Nature by Oscar Borgman Hansen
The Being of the Internet by Sergei Prokofieff

Waldorf Journal Project #10

Morality and Ethics in Education #1 (all articles in one file)

Education and the Moral Life by Rudolf Steiner
Education of the Will as the Wellspring of Morality by Michaela Glockler
Human Development and the Forces of Morality by Ernst-Michael Kranich
Conscience and Morality by Karl Brodersen
The West and East in Us by Jorgen Smit
Reincarnation and Pedagogy by Valentin Wember
Moral Imagination by Oscar Borgman Hansen
The Christmas Mystery and the Knowledge of Evil by Hermann Popplebaum
Evil and the Well-Intended by Oscar Borgman Hansen
Crafts and Morality by Dr. Thomas Weihs

Waldorf Science Project 9: Teaching Science Through the Grades

All articles from this issue in one file, click to download

A Study of the Element"Water" by Christian Smit
Water as the Medium for Life by Jorgen Smit
Goethe's Theory of Color by Torger Holtsmark
Zoology and Mythology by Jens Bjorneboe
Chemistry in Grades Seven to Nine by Jan Haakonson
Astronomy: The Oft Forgotten School Subject by Sven Bohn
The Starry Heavens and Our Self by Jorgen Smit
Teaching Biology in a Human Context by Graham Kennish
Aesthetic Knowledge as a Source for the Main Lesson by Peter Guttenhofer
Adolescents - Their Relationship to the Night and the Senses in Connection With Their own Development by Peter Glasby
Thoughts on Information and Communication Technology by Florian Oswald

Waldorf Journal Project 9: A Study of the Element "Water"

Download the article: A Study of the Element "Water"

Translated by Ted Warren

In middle school physics, it is fruitful to bring well-known phenomena into more clear and conscious light. Such an everyday topic is water. Because we take water for granted and we assume we know so much about it, we rarely reflect upon the element’s being and meaning. Every child enjoys splashing in it. No one outgrows the fun of water. But they may be surprised to discover the nature of this element.

We studied water in a three-week block, using our imagination, curiosity and flexible thinking. We practiced sculpting thoughts and concepts in order to follow the winding stream on which water led us.

The water cycle as the basis for life

This theme was taught in the fifth grade biology lessons, so we began our study with review: The warmth of sunlight draws water from the seas, oceans, moist earth and vegetation up to the atmosphere. There the water forms a layer of wet air around the earth, which condenses into rain, snow and hail that wander back to the earth, seas and oceans. We recalled that water movements in fresh water begin in the different levels in rivers, waterfalls and rapids, while movements in salt water begin with temperature differences, wind pressure, the rotation of the earth and tides.

We admired the miraculous balance between evaporation and the discharge of rivers into the oceans during this pulsating cycle. We looked for other ways in which water or any fluid moves through a cycle. Our attention fell upon the great ocean currents, and we made drawings of the Gulf Stream before focusing on the circulation of blood in our bodies. We agreed that the movement of fluids provides
a unique foundation for life.

Read more: Waldorf Journal Project 9: A Study of the Element "Water"

Waldorf Journal Project 9: Water as the Medium for Life

Download the article: Water as the Medium for Life

Translated by Ted Warren

If we observe a tree trunk, for example an old, rugged oak trunk, we observe something that was once alive. Through the tree trunk, life still streams. But in the coagulated form before us, life has almost completely disappeared. As soon as the living parts of the plant become hard and stiff, the plant is removed from the living stream. In the forms created by the dying substance, we observe a life-stream in a coagulated condition. The dead or partially dead plant materials still serve life as a supportive base, and are thereby part of the totality of the living organism. New life can grow forth on the old, half-dead trunk’s coagulated formations. But where does it grow forth? Only there where something is still soft enough that there is a possibility for a streaming, rhythmical movement. It needs no more than a weak indication of such streams, but the possibility must be there.

The prerequisite for such a streaming movement to appear is liquid. The streaming, moving can also be air, for example in our lungs, but for the most part flowing liquids are the element of life. Solids are either a supportive base for the streaming, moving liquids or they are actually in a dissolved condition when taken into the moving life-stream. Of all of the liquids, water has a unique ability to enable life to unfold.

Read more: Waldorf Journal Project 9: Water as the Medium for Life

Waldorf Journal Project 9: Goethe's Theory of Color

Download the article: Goethe's Theory of Color

Translated by Ted Warren

Goethe’s Theory of Color is one of the least accessible documents in the history of modern interpretations of nature. The writer considered it his main piece of work and his testament. At the same time he compared himself to a chess player who had merely made his introductory moves. He knew many years would pass before the general public would understand his distant goal. With bitter irony he stated that his theory would rest in a dormant state until the year 2000. What is the position it now holds in 2007? A renaissance for Goethe’s Theory of Color has not taken place but many outstanding scientists have considered it necessary to take a position to it. From the highest, most responsible academic quarters it has been stated that Goethe’s method holds the seed to a new approach to nature and that this approach is more encompassing than the natural scientific approach we have today. They add that Goethe’s science is yet a distant, future possibility and that mankind must first follow its present course to the end.

One thing is certain: from an educational perspective Goethe’s Theory of Color is an important and highly relevant document. Obviously one can never teach it as it is. That would be a misunderstanding, one reason being that his actual presentation was limited by knowledge available at the time and his conflict with Newton that was merely of local, historical interest. One aspect of the theory that we can learn a great deal from is that colors are treated as objective realities in nature. Nor is the traditional border drawn between so-called subjective and objective sensory qualities.

Read more: Waldorf Journal Project 9: Goethe's Theory of Color

Waldorf Journal Project 9: Zoology and Mythology

Download the article: Zoology and Mythology

Translated by Ted Warren

Zoology is actually an aspect of mythology. Many of the most well known animal species appeal to such powerful feelings that they provoke the same, deep layer of our unconsciousness that can only be touched with the most simple and true myths. The word tiger contains just as mystical and secret a sound as the word Cain. Eagle, lamb, lion and hare are all words that can penetrate right through us, and sink into deep layers of our soul, like a stone that falls far into the earth through a deep mineshaft.

Elephant—what an endless, soul-like firmness lies in that word! And what a remarkable group of sounds, vowels and consonants meet each other here! Nightingale, swan, and shark! Butterfly and rhinoceros! Yes, there may be no doubt that we belong to their family, together with lonesome wolves, mother hens and rooster chicks. We are created in their picture also. In our distant past we must have had a lot in common.

The great English mystic and author William Blake wrote the beautiful poem on the tiger and it begins with two lines that are already powerful:

Tiger, tiger, burning bright,
In the forest of the night......

He describes the tiger as a mystical, supernatural being, the true tiger of fairy tale-like dimensions, liberated from nature’s most awesome secrets.

Lessons in zoology can build upon the dream-like dimensions of the animal, on the soul of the animal and the most complete equivalent, its ideal physical expression. Every animal is a human characteristic, a soul condition held in ideal form.

Read more: Waldorf Journal Project 9: Zoology and Mythology

Waldorf Journal Project 9: Chemistry in Grades Seven to Nine

Download the article: Chemistry in Grades Seven to Nine

Translated by Ted Warren

A teacher takes on the task of conveying to young people natural phenomena as well as insights into the relationships between natural events, and preferably in such a way that they receive a powerful developmental impulse. Chemistry is relevant in the seventh grade. But in chemistry lessons a negative effect can easily take place, either a cramping effect that leads to direct antipathy for the subject or the creation of rigid and abstract mental images. The first is more often found among girls and the latter among boys. This is not chemistry’s fault, for this subject can answer some of the deepest riddles in nature and in the human being.

In addition we can practice active thinking. To do so, we cannot pack chemistry into a gray mass of formulas and experiments. If the teacher starts with methods that result in abstraction, it is hard to make chemistry come alive again. The children’s first meeting with chemistry must help them understand that the subject has to do with them and with the world around them. Teachers should not believe they can introduce chemistry in the seventh grade according to scientific recipes. Chemistry must be embedded in a number of subjects, whether children are learning within the world of nature, culture, art or handicrafts. The subjects should support each other, and in that way children will be engaged from many sides and can respond from different aspects of their beings.

Read more: Waldorf Journal Project 9: Chemistry in Grades Seven to Nine

Waldorf Journal Project 9: Astronomy: The Oft Forgotten School Subject

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Translated by Ted Warren

Astronomy has never enjoyed a distinguished place among modern school subjects. Despite the decisive meaning of our globe’s daily rhythm and the changing of the seasons for all life on earth, the study of astronomy lacks a certain relevance that would bring more focus to it as a school subject. A few sections can be found in the final pages of geography books, a situation that not even modern space travel has been able to change.

Is this exaggerated? Do most people know the modem scientific worldview of our solar system with the planets circling in continually wider elliptic paths? And that the shining stars are newer suns in space, perhaps with planets circling. And who does not know there are star clouds that in truth are huge Milky Way like system galaxies far, far away? Most significantly we associate astronomy to the foundation of reliability: magnificent [astronomical!] numbers. Temperatures of millions of degrees, massive formations as large as entire planetary systems, density thousands of times more concentrated than gold. And most impressive are the enormous distances. Just to the moon it is as long as circumnavigating the earth, it is 150 million kilometers to the sun, the closest fixed star is four light years away. Does everyone know what a light year is? The diameter of the Milky Way is 100,000 light years, enough to give you goosebumps when you read these numbers. Kant must have felt this when he spoke of devotion for the starry heavens above and the moral laws within. Did someone say education in our times is weak in astronomy?

Read more: Waldorf Journal Project 9: Astronomy: The Oft Forgotten School Subject

Waldorf Journal Project 9: The Starry Heavens and Our Self

Download the article: The Starry Heavens and Our Self

Translated by Ted Warren

Modern astronomy has provided an incredible amount of knowledge on the stellar heavens. With help of enormous observatories and powerful computers, all of what we know about the phenomena of the heavens is now charted with more precision than ever before, our observations double what was previously available.

We can participate in this knowledge through large encyclopedias, thick astronomical books and popular science accounts. But has all this development and accessibility of information resulted in a closer, human relationship to the stars than we have had before? Or has it, to the contrary, actually distanced us from a more intimate experience of the stars?

Modern astronomy presents a model of the starry heavens that resembles a huge machine. And despite the fact that many propose there is probably life and consciousness somewhere else in the cosmos than on earth, it is still unknown. We are most interested in the purely quantitative content, the cold, hard facts, for this kind of information can be manipulated by computers. Life and conscious beings on other planets are only used to balance out the known facts in all kinds of fantasies in the comics and in novels, just as distant from reality as the knowledge that we now have concerning the starry heavens is dead.

Read more: Waldorf Journal Project 9: The Starry Heavens and Our Self

Waldorf Journal Project 9: Teaching Biology in a Human Context

Download the article: Teaching Biology in a Human Context

Reprinted from Steiner Education, Vol.22, No.1 (UK)

“Your body is a space capsule, your head the command module.” So begins the introduction to a three-dimensional moving pop-up picture book on the human body now available in the U.K. “When you reach puberty your hormones switch on,” announces a heading in the London Science Museum permanent exhibition called A Study of Ourselves. An advertisement for beer displayed on vast billboards in the U.K. recently shows a series of ape-like figures progressively reaching a vertical posture, the penultimate figure with a bowler hat (symbol of the English business gentleman) and the final figure carrying a can of the appropriate beer. A question mark points to the potential evolutionary leap which awaits discerning drinkers.

These three examples are particularly gross reflections of deeply held beliefs in the West, beliefs firmly underpinned by faith in scientific objectivity. One of these is that the human body is nothing more than a highly complex machine which human beings will eventually be able to take apart and reconstruct. A second, that our bodies and our minds are subject to the outcome of a complex chemistry. The third, that human beings have evolved from a primitive animal condition and that any further evolution is in the random and arbitrary hands of environmental influences. In teaching any science to adolescents one is aware of the forceful nature of these beliefs which are carried subliminally or openly throughout our culture.

Read more: Waldorf Journal Project 9: Teaching Biology in a Human Context