The most important thing for which we can prepare a child is the experience of freedom, at the right moment in life, through the understanding of one's own being.

 

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925)

Foundations
Baby, toddler, senses, movement, will, imitation, play, environment
By: Heinz Zimmermann, January 2001,

Education prior to the change of teeth


In the early years of life children first learn through their own movements and the use of their senses to form and take hold of their own body. The will to learn which they have brought with them from the prenatal realm expresses itself in a tremendous urge to move and be busy. Their movement organization is activated by every impression they receive through their senses.

The term we use to describe the link between sensual experience and will activity is "imitation". For the children, learning at this stage is thus a matter of experiencing their new world through their senses and then using play as their means of absorbing those experiences. Current brain research has repeatedly shown that this activity directly influences the development of the body. It is the sense impressions which help to develop both the functioning of the sense organs and thus also the maturing processes in the brain. (Herman Haken, Maria Haken-Krell. "Erfolgsgeheimnisse der Wahrnehmung", Berlin 1994; The secrets of perception, German only). Steiner formulated this as follows in 1907: "Just as the muscles in the hand grow strong when they do work suited to them, so are the brain and the other organs set on the right course if they receive suitable impressions from their surroundings." (Rudolf Steiner, "The Education of the Child and Early Lectures on Education", Anthroposophic Press, 1996)

This leads us to ask ourselves: How can we give children an environment that enables them to have primary sensual experiences of this kind? How can we protect them against sensual overload? What are we offering them that is worth imitating? Since children depend on human affection and attention it is up to those who educate them both to protect them and to act as models worthy of imitation. Anything simple and natural, including what they are given by way of toys, provides far better stimulus for their own inner activity than does a technically perfect environment.

 

Published in:

Waldorf-Pädagogik weltweit
© Copyright 2001 by Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudolf Steiners e. V.



To top

International Early Childhood Conference
Wed 10.06.2020 - Sat 13.06.2020
  https://www.goetheanum.org/en/the-dignity-of-the-child   The dignity of the child «I...
Cancelled! Education Innovation Summit
Tue 23.06.2020 - Fri 26.06.2020
  Dear Colleagues, In light of the impact of COVID 19 on our schools, institutes, and...
Summer Painting Course
Wed 01.07.2020 - Tue 07.07.2020
  www.rudolf-steiner-malschule.ch/courses/summer-course/   Two Summer CoursesSummer...
International Kolisko Conference
Wed 08.07.2020 - Sun 12.07.2020
  Rebuilding the Golden Age of Childhood: Striving for Identity through the Challenges of...
RSUC Master Programme
Sat 01.08.2020
  Consider taking a master degree in Waldorf Education  RSUC Master Programme Are...

 

Please Donate

 

 

 

With kind support by