Sunday, 23 June 2013

In conclusion....

A really weird thing happened when i wrote my conclusion, i realised that i should have written my essay in a completely different way! ;-/

Here the conclusion is:-

It is telling how in not a single lecture nor line, does Steiner opine about results or ‘excellence’. He reiterates the importance of the human being’s relationship to the spiritual realm, cosmos as well as its surrounding environment.

In this the challenge of Waldorf education is two-fold:

1.      Firstly, how do we adapt the teachings and principles given in this lecture to present-day culture where children are overstimulated, awakened by this overstimulation at an ever increasingly young age and exposed to forms of play or cultures which have little to do with the healthy development of the human being e.g. gaming culture, and

2.      Secondly, how a bridge, if it is at all possible between the current expectations of mainstream education, where is an overwhelming emphasis on exams and test scores, and the central concern of Waldorf education which is the child’s need to develop into a healthy individual who has a meaningful connection to his or her surroundings as well as deep sense of purpose and the wherewithal to carry out that purpose. (This is despite all evidence that the current form of education serves only an extremely select minority well, has negative effect on the well-being of the majority and has contributed to the destruction and degradation of all social/cultural, economic and ecological structures, there is still a blind adherence to the results-based culture.)

The former may be addressed through what Steiner himself has suggested – art and a lively imagination in the teacher. To this I would add close working with the parents and colleagues. The latter, will involve a dialogue with sectors in mainstream education that are open to honest questioning and much change. 

But perhaps our children, through conscientious and genuine efforts of the teachers, will be the best argument for a radical overhaul in the education system. Till then, keeping the faith, understanding what it is that we do and why we do it, will be the path which we must tread in that journey towards freedom.

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