natural learning

“Too much education - not enough understanding!” - Randolph Stone

“One generation of teaching children to know their relation to Nature would go farther in advancing the human race than thousands of years of building encyclopedic brains.” - Lao Russel

introduction

We must build a new universe with the eyes of the Spirit. That is why God took me behind the scenes, away from the illusion of the senses into the universe of knowing, so that with the eyes of the Spirit I could see what the universe and man really are; so that I could see the illusions by means of which man has built up wrongful theories; and so that I could see the senselessness and the waste of man building materially from empirical knowledge based upon the observations of his sensed body, with illusions that have deceived him so completely that his text books of today on science are to me as though they were written by the sages of King Arthur's time wherein they said the earth was flat and upheld on its four corners by wild elephants.” - Walter Russel

“There is no question that education is on the mind of every soul today. We can see it everywhere. And if we advocate an art of education taken directly from spiritual life and perception, it is its inner nature that distinguishes it from the reforms generally demanded today, not the urgency of its outward appeal. (…) The art of education I will speak of, however, is concerned instead with the inner development of human civilization. It is more concerned with what has changed the souls of men and women through the ages; it is concerned with the evolution through which these souls have passed over hundreds, even thousands, of years. ” - Rudolf Steiner

Our highest endeavor must be to produce individuals who are able, in and of themselves, to impart meaning and direction to their lives.” - Rudolf Steiner

holism

First we grasp the whole, and then the parts. If we count merely by placing one object next to another and then adding them up, we eliminate the wholeness of being human. We appeal to the whole human being by first visualizing the total as a whole and then proceeding to the parts that make it up. (…) Whatever the subject, the concrete human element must be retained; everything must be related, in some way, to the human being.” R. Steiner

curriculum of life

The secret of all success lies in building ourselves. Never mind the product, never mind the skills. They will come if we spend all our energies in building ourselves.” - Walter Russel

“Be a student of Knowledge today, for a student you are. Choose the curriculum that has chosen you. Choose the curriculum that will redeem you and through you the world. Choose the curriculum that fulfills your purpose here and that exemplifies your life beyond this world, which wishes to express itself here.” - M.V. Summers

“(…) to be in the world is to learn and to demonstrate the result of your learning.”- M.V. Summers

“EFFECT is complex - infinitely complex – but one can have no KNOWLEDGE of effect. One can but be INFORMED of effect. Information is not knowledge. Our educational processes INFORM us but until we have recognized the eternal truth which underlies that information we have no knowledge of it. Like food in the grocery store, it is not nourishment until it is converted to the blood stream. ALL-KNOWLEDGE is possible for anyone – and the Cosmos gives it to him who asks, but all information is impossible.” - Walter Russel

“If you want to teach people, young or old, you must start where they are: at their level of understanding — and use words they under-stand. When you have captured their attention, you can take them as far as they are able to go. If you perceive that they are already beyond your level of understanding, let them teach you.” - Peace Pilgrim (Mildred Norman)

“(…) institutions such as schools, churches, governments and political organizations of every sort all tended to direct thought for ends other than truth, for the perpetuation of their own functions, and for the control of individuals in the service of these functions.” - Robert M. Pirsig

“Suffering is part of learning” - Frank Serpico

(todo)

children

“(…) all education is based on the question of why we educate in the first place. This is the grand question. Because we are human and not animals, we must ask: Why do we need to educate people? How do animals grow up and function in life without education? Why can’t we acquire what we need in life by simply observing and imitating? Why should teachers intervene in the freedom of children? (…) We consider it an obvious fact that we must educate our children, but in the children’s subconscious life, they do not.” - Rudolf Steiner

For children the school must be their life. Life should not just be portrayed. (…) The school must create a life of its own.” - Rudolf Steiner

“(…) every child's schooling should end at not later than fourteen, preferably ten. After the age of ten everything taught him should be by way of demonstration. Memory tests should be entirely eliminated beyond the necessity of sufficient repetitions to make mathematical tables and the alphabet automatic. Any educational extension after the maximum age of fourteen should be limited to professional training in law, medicine, statesmanship and the skills of the various arts and sciences. Every day spent in such training beyond the age of twenty may add to information but at the cost of lessening creative power. The ability to create can be multiplied all of one's life if begun early in life, but if interfered with during youth by formal educational processes based upon memory tests, it may be stultified beyond recovery.” - Lao Russel

The day will come when teachers will not be tested for [intellectual] knowledge, or even pedagogical principles, but for what they are as human beings.” - Rudolf Steiner

(todo)

curriculum designs

(todo: exploration of various holistic curriculum designs)

self knowledge and balance

(todo)

purpose and relationships

(todo)

ecology, gardening and nutrition

(todo)

creativity and work

(todo)

logic systems

“To question why we teach mathematics will help define how to educate teachers to help students learn for themselves. What do we want to pass on to the next generation? What mathematical tools and thinking will uplift the human experience towards what ideals? (…) Creativity in mathematics education is not a math problem; it is broad-spectrum, individual human development problem. (…) [Currently] mathematics is a rigorous discipline with a defined knowledge base. It is not an open and fluid means of easily expressing new ideas. It is a closed, fragmented, largely an outmoded system of logic that does not reflect our current experience. A new worldview will eventually unify mathematics with all human activities. Without individual and collective alignment to the Whole, creativity has little benefit. It is no longer acceptable to teach only the tools of mathematics without the responsibility of a greater good in using mathematics. If math education is not about progressive values and growth, then it is simply job training.” - Bradford Hansen-Smith

see also