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)

Teaching Practice
Mathematics, high school, sense perception, day/night, astral body, physical body, spiritual substance, intuition, developmental process, cooperation, responsibility.
By: Stephan Sigler, October 2016, Journal Pedagogical Section Midsummer No. 57

Teaching in the Interplay between Power and Freedom (1)

Stephan Sigler, lecturer at the seminar in Kassel and high school teacher, uses mathematics to illustrate how dynamic teaching techniques in the high school can help pupils to become active in life's processes. This article sums up Stefan's lecture at the 10th World Teachers' Conference 2016 at the Goetheanum.

A little while ago I was walking through the school, a bit tired from having tried to share something of the beauties of mathematics with a Class 8. Behind me I heard two Class 10 pupils, whom I vaguely knew, chatting together. They were talking about a subject that was being discussed in main lesson. At first I did not pay any attention but I did notice that one of them seemed to be getting quite excited about something. Suddenly this pupil called out: "Yes… yes… It was really cool! Honestly!" And more of that kind. 


That roused my curiosity, so I turned round and asked her what had led to such a display of enthusiasm. She responded: "Mrs XY was so cool. She was just brilliant." While saying this, she took on the typical cheering post for her age goup by rolling her eyes upward and clenching her fist. So it was clear that she meant exactly what she said! Mrs XY was a teacher (!), a colleague at the school whom I knew. I was very surprised to see such a degree of enthusiasm in a Class 10(!) pupil.


Understandably this made me even more curious so that I went to the staffroom in the hope of finding Mrs XY there. Fortunately, she just happened to be present. I spoke to her and told her about my little encounter with the two pupils from Class 10. In her infinitely modest way she could at first find no explanation as to why that might be. But in the further course of the conversation she had to admit that at the start of the main lesson the day before she had had an idea and that it had evidently worked quite well in the discussion part of the lesson today. 


The day before she had spoken about a certain subject, which she had never talked about before, for about 20 minutes in this main lesson; various work projects had resulted from this and they had talked about it a little today. She could not keep on doing the same things all the time and just had to think up something new every so often. The reason for that was that she herself did not actually understand what she was teaching in very great detail but was simply incredibly interested in it. That is the gist of what she said.


I consider this event to be of such significance because evidently a very normal lesson using the apparently very simple, conventional method of frontal teaching was so successful that pupils of a Class 10, who normally have no difficulty in giving vent to their feelings of pleasure and emotion with great coolness and restraint, became so enthusiastic. 


Just think:

· no loud and trendy motivational phase; 

· no utilisation of a world of media images apart from a blackboard drawing;

· no sophisticated teaching materials; 

· not even a teacher who as learning mentor supports the completely individualised, self-organised learning processes of the pupils and guides the pupils to evaluate the growth in their skills permanently themselves;


but instead a methodological repertoire which from today’s perspective comes from the Stone Age: narration, the resulting work projects, plenary discussion. Everything presented in a very simple, almost despotic way by the teacher from the front. The educational Stone Age, as we might think – and then such enthusiasm! Or perhaps not the educational Stone Age after all, but simple good “Waldorf teaching” in the upper school? 


As upper school teachers, we only have a limited number of sources where we can look for support. There are very few things Steiner said that relate in greater detail to the methodology of teaching in the upper school and which may be considered as a direct help. As upper school teachers we can therefore only rely on a small number of sources. The lecture of 14 June 1921 may be considered a key text in which Steiner develops the structure of the main lesson in upper school in the form of conclusion, judgement and concept. 


Using a small snapshot from mathematics lessons in Class 8, I would like to go through these three steps and attempt to clarify the educational possibilities and intentions, the educational direction which can be derived from them. 



The content of the teaching sequence can start with the following imagination exercise: 


"Imagine a rectangle which is slightly wider than it is high. It lies straight in front of you. A diagonal line is drawn from the bottom left to the top right corner. This diagonal line divides the rectangle into two congruent right-angled triangles. The one lies on the top left and the other on the bottom right in this rectangle. Now think of the midpoint of this diagonal and let it wander to the top right corner and back. Now draw a vertical and horizontal line through this midpoint. This creates a small rectangle in the top left section and another one in the bottom right section of the original rectangle. These should be coloured yellow. At the top right and bottom left there are another two smaller, congruent right-angled triangles on one another. Now the midpoint, that is the intersection between the vertical and horizontal lines, wanders a little along the diagonal towards the top right so that the vertical line moves right and the horizontal one upwards. The yellow top left rectangle becomes a little wider and less high; the bottom right yellow rectangle becomes higher and less flat. If this movement is continued, the top rectangle disappears into a horizontal, the lower rectangle in contrast into a vertical line." (2)


Now the movement of the midpoint would have to return to its starting point and then go into the bottom left corner and back again. All of this would have to be described slowly and in detail.


What happens in the pupil in such an exercise? The teacher stands at the front of the class and through their words has caused the pupils to imagine a geometrical form in a certain movement and dynamic. The latter were not emotionally prepared for what was about to happen. The experience occurs quite directly. If it goes well, the pupils’ attention will be focused completely on the matter, almost as if completely given over to it. The words only form the substrate for the geometrical event that is happening in the pupils’ minds. As such these words take a back seat. They only serve as the tool to build up the shape in the pupils which as a tool goes otherwise unnoticed. In experimental subjects, such an experience does not, of course, require words. In physics lessons, an expressive series of experiments which can come to life in the pupils with great sensory immediacy makes such words superfluous.


In any event, the pupils put themselves in the hands of the teacher. To this extent it is an act in which power is intensively exercised. But not force: the pupils subject to that power have followed the teacher’s will as if it were their own, they have affirmed the action of the teacher and internalised it. The teacher’s words have found a place in their soul without any imposition of force. Here their will was not just neutralised but it has even made itself subject to the form created by the teacher. (3)


The geometry in the words has continued in the pupils. And it has done so in as clear-cut a way as possible without providing for any great interpretative opportunities or, indeed, individual alternative forms of action. The pupils should imagine precisely what the teacher wanted. They should have very little opportunity to imagine anything else. A corresponding experiment would take place in a completely clear and self-explanatory way so that it captures the pupil’s imagination.


Steiner probably had something of this kind in mind when he spoke in the previously mentioned lecture about how a new subject was to be introduced. He speaks about the teacher who narrates things, who draws things on the blackboard, who does experiments, who “places something” within the child "[…] by way of physical reality, through the eyes, the ears, the reason which grasps it …". (4)


The teacher who “places something” within the pupil is not one who offers something from which everyone can help themselves to what they need but who ensures that something very specific is placed within the pupil. "Comprehending perception" (5) in an arrangement set up by the teacher – but with a high level of sensory, indeed full bodily presence and guided intentionality in which the division between subject and object is not removed completely but does appear to become more fluid – that is what this is about! The pupils wholly identify with the phenomenon; they are then associated with their whole being, but particularly with their will, with this shape.


This is therefore something completely different from a purely cognitive process in which "information" is communicated which leads to knowledge of a certain value. With a physical experiment this is even clearer. But particularly also in such an imaginative exercise, in which we give ourselves over to it in generating the phenomenon, sensory activity and sensory experience are strongly stimulated: the activation, for example, of the sense of balance in creating symmetry, or the sense of our own movement in creating the dynamic of the geometrical shape form the bodily foundation and space in which our own geometrical visualisation can resonate. 


The world is brought to appearance in and through the resonant space of the body. "The whole human being" (6) must accommodate himself or herself to something that is foreign, something foreign that may also be disconcerting, awkward or resistant, but which displays a clear factual contour without any ambiguity. Such absence of ambiguity is established by the pupils themselves through a creative act of comprehension which affects the unconscious (7) and which takes possession of the impact of the physical facts with fully awake, physical presence. 


This leads initially to an elementary creation of forms and is kept at this level without necessarily already leading to the discursive availability of "a piece of knowledge". Such elementary opening up, such creative development of forms normally takes place in life completely unconsciously, automatically and at lightning speed in respect of the phenomena of the world so that we always have the impression that the reality of the world around us is already finished. 


In this part of the lesson we thus descend into the unfinished part of the world and are actively involved in constructing reality. The connection to the developmental forces of the world cannot be obtained until we unfold, extend and savour this process in the way the lesson is organised. This depth dimension in experiencing reality which we strive for in the second septennium through the immersion in images must be realised in the upper school through the encounter with the physical world. This step, as elementary as it may be, is of crucial importance – but often difficult to set up. It must be guided by the teacher and not be subject to the accidental nature of pupil behaviour.


And there is something else which I consider important in starting the lesson in this way: it is not just that the division into subject and object between the pupil and the lesson content is destabilised, but the division between the pupil and teacher as two separate beings in the present is less clearly defined. The intensive, interest-led orientation of the teacher towards the subject of the lesson (and that also has to be there at every moment!) means that the pupils are enabled to immerse themselves in the teacher’s flow of attentiveness. This turns it into a common one; it is enhanced and focused. The pupils structure their perceptual process within the mantel of the teacher’s I. The teacher thus takes on the responsibility for the way that the pupil encounters the world.


How different the atmosphere would be in a classroom in which the pupils had to work on such an imaginative exercise with worksheets using, for example, a series of pictures. The strength and attentiveness in the person of the teacher then disappears immediately behind anonymous factual constraints coming from barren worksheets. The initiation into their content is no longer borne by personal support and responsibility so that it becomes lost in the arbitrary acquisition of pure “worksheet processing skills”. 



What a change, then, in the character of this next teaching phase in which, in the teaching example just cited, things are drawn, measured, the results transferred to tables and subsequently examined. In this phase the whole process is gone through once again but now with more precise judgement. The continuous movement is dissected into individual steps which in turn must be assessed in their relationship to the whole (cf. diagrams).



In a rectangle with the external measurements of g1 = 10 cm und h1 = 6 cm, the following shapes can be drawn with the corresponding lengths which have to be measured out:


If this series is continued with g1 = 7 cm, g1 = 8 cm and g1 = 9 cm, we obtain the following table in which A refers to the area and U the perimeter of the rectangle. It can be seen from this that the areas of the two rectangles A1 and A2 must be the same in each drawing:



It is not difficult to imagine what happens in the class when such a task is set –  there is certainly no deathly silence in which each pupil comes to the same result on their own, but lively working together, in which the results are sometimes fiercely disputed. One pupil obtains 1.8 cm for the length of a particular side of the rectangle while another comes up with 2 cm. Each one has made the judgement that their drawing is absolutely exact and correct. These judgements now have to be negotiated so that another judgement can be made as to which value is "more correct". 


After all,  making judgements is a process which underlies the whole existence of every person. It is always a personal, individual process in which a person places themselves into a relationship with the world. The statement "my result is more correct" is an expression of such a relationship in that we assign a place to our drawing in relation to other drawings, but also in relation to ourselves. The pupil cannot remain vague, but has to come to a point of view how they see the matter. They must make a decision with real consequences. 


But that is only possible if they are willing to affirm the matter about which they have to make a judgement. Each judgement must be accompanied by an affirmation. And such affirmation is a process which is crucially supported by the feelings and as a consequence is based and resonates in the middle sphere, the arms and rhythmical system. (8) Judgements are our assessments. They give security to our lives in positioning us in relation to the world. (9) They create order, a kind of overview, a totality, and raise what was achieved in the first part, the “conclusion”, into the discursive sphere, thus putting it indirectly and in some circumstances also instrumentally at our disposal.


As a result, however, the pupils put themselves in a different relationship to this geometrical shape: they are no longer harnessed into actively consummating the coming into being of the world with their will but distance themselves from it and use their subjectivity to position themselves in relation to the world. Personal empathy, affectedness, but also our sensitivities, in other words all of our emotional development, have their rightful place here. This is, of course, also a part of our connection with our experience of new content. (10)


The night

The main lesson can end on that note and there follows a caesura with regard to the arc of the content, namely the night. Now Steiner describes how the astral body and the I separate from the physical body and etheric body. The things that have been assimilated by the astral body and the I by way of the physical can be passed through once more in a much broader and more spiritualised way, he says; something of this is then available the next day. (11) And this something fits in with the physical and etheric body which have been exposed to the processes on the previous day. But what is this something? Should we imagine that the pupils gain access to concepts in the spiritual world during the night with which they can comprehend and truly understand what was experienced on the previous day?


Surprisingly, however, Steiner explains this process using the example of eurythmy. What, in learning the movements of the physical body and etheric body, is imposed on the astral body and the I, and the way the latter have to adapt to "what is taught them from outside through their own physicality" (12) – that is taken into the night and gone through once more as described. Next morning there is a health-giving force when "spiritual substance" is carried into the human being. 


I believe this example can show us that such "spiritual substance" is not some fixed content or some kind of specific idea which appears as a defined conceptual and meaningful connection. On the contrary, it is a more flexible power, a more flexible intellectual ability which is created on the first day through connecting our own will with the way the world is created and which through the effects of the night is made available to the pupils in a more universal, living and pure form; and which – this is crucial – fits with the physical entity and can be perceived as a health-giving force – an indication that the soul and spiritual entity in the human being incarnates in the world in the right way, that is in accordance with the individual biography, through bodily physicality.


But this health-giving force is always missing where people cannot unite with the world through their will. The key to spiritualising concepts thus lies in the “conclusory” examination of the world. The spirit cannot be had without such an examination of the physical world. The spiritual spark of a matter can only be struck in the physical sphere and then emerges out of the night. A purely idea-based encounter with the world always leads to ossification and never to vitalisation. The teacher merely reporting about the spiritual background or the spiritual meaning of some lesson subject fits exactly into this latter category! Spiritual activity or its wellspring is precisely what is not addressed in this way. All that is left in the pupil is word husks and dead concepts.



Next morning, the main lessons starts with a phase of deepening and broadening through the thinking, that is with the so-called observational or concept part. The things which were already analysed and judged on the previous day are now infused, penetrated, generalised and broadened with concepts. 


Here, a fundamental problem arises when we attempt to describe this process of the gradual acquisition of knowledge because it is a very individual one. In this situation, the teacher only provides the framework for the spiritual action we have just described to unfold. The activity comes from the pupils. The skill of the teacher here consists only of allowing the tentative, partially still very incompletely formulated thoughts of the pupils to melt into a whole through small, cautious interventions in the joint class discussion. 


To this extent we can only describe the content of what we will now discuss. Let us take up the problem of the equal size of the two rectangles.


It has to be shown in the shape above that the two rectangles have the same area. "How many triangles do you see?" might be an opening question which directs the attention in the lesson to important aspects. The pupils note that there are six: two small ones in the top right corner, two medium-sized ones in the bottom left corner and two large ones which each contain a rectangle as well as one small and one medium-sized triangle. Since in the large triangles the medium-sized and small triangles are each equal in size, the areas of the rectangles must also be equal in size, because the large triangles are the same size.


The searching, qualitative motion of the discussion with the whole class turns such thoughts of the pupils into common thoughts. These gain in intensity if they are grappled with in "common now time" (13), in which they are turned this way and that, are expressed in multiple variations in different words, and are reflected in the pupils' faces as understanding dawns. True independent understanding spreads – it actually radiates, is infectious: for the listener, but also the speaker.


But how are the thoughts, which are developed here, formed here, how does such knowledge arise? We can actually only say, it sets in. The evidence expresses itself and can only be perceived. Suddenly everything becomes clear; the parts of the puzzle fall into place. We see the solution. It has become manifest. There really is no other way to describe it. The thinking has taken the form of perception. It is like the consolidation of the thinking gaze which illuminates the phenomenon and makes the connections, that is the spiritual links, visible in the phenomenon. 


Everyone can see it because they already saw and lived through the phenomenon on the day before. No theory or model is required to explain the phenomenon in any way; neither are any thoughts required with which to think about the phenomenon. In this cognitive act the theory is congruent with the phenomenon. Essence and appearance together form the reality. It is here that Steiner’s basic epistemological position of conceptual realism is honoured, namely that the idea as operative idea, as operative agent, lives in the things of the world. 



This places main lesson teaching, structured in this way, in sharp contrast to the constructivistic approach of learning theory common today, in which it is assumed that an insight is only a simulation taking place in the head of the learner, which in this sense has no reality content. The category of truth is thus completely useless because it can never be examined whether the simulation corresponds to the original or not. That has to be so because any thinking about whether the simulation has any connection with reality can in turn, only be thought of as a simulation. In contrast, the approach presented here aims for a different attitude to truth. We will elucidate it with an image. 


If we have two intersecting straight lines and move them gradually so that they become parallel, their point of intersection disappears along the line of the two straight lines into infinity. If we try to observe the intersection point of these two straight lines in our mind during this movement and, above all, observe the moment at which the point disappears, we will be forced to conclude that we cannot do so. Because for as long as the point is in movement and we can imagine it, it will not “arrive” at infinity. It lies precisely in the nature of the infinite that the process of movement has no end. No matter where the point is, there is still another point after it, the process continues. 


But if we turn the straight lines so that they are parallel, the intersection point has disappeared into infinity. Despite its disappearance, the matter does not end up as something arbitrary: the direction of the parallel straight lines are a guide which lets us share in infinity. In terms of perspective we are aligned in a very specific way towards infinity and in this sense share in it. Just as I share in infinity, I share in truth, in something that is universal, as part of the cognitive process. Steiner says each simple thought already contains intuition. But: "Intuition is the conscious experience of a purely spiritual content which takes place in the purely spiritual sphere." (14)


The life of our thoughts is woven from the substance of truth, although there are many ways in which we can be in error. But in our whole existence as human beings our orientation is towards the truth, it is the intention of our cognitive life – always! The truth tends to lie in the process of striving in a certain direction. It does not lie in the fulfilment of that striving. Because in the completion of the process the intersection of the two straight lines disappears just as the truth disappears when we believe that we possess it completely. in 1893 In a letter to Vincenz Knauer in 1893, Steiner put it as follows:


"I too am of the opinion that a last word cannot be spoken either in an intellectual or ethical respect and that all scientific striving is a developmental process." (15)


The key thus lies in the developmental process! This is what must be inspired in the young person! They must develop the feeling that a force lives in them, a force which finds access to the world in a way which is cognitively optimistic and which fundamentally is capable of understanding the world. The soul and spiritual entity of the young person can thus incarnate in the world through their body – not in a world which has been completed but in a world which is in the process of becoming. They are the actor, they become the fellow creator of the world process. 




If we look once more at the origin of such cognition, I tried to set out that this lies in the first part of the lesson when the will converges with the essential will of the world. Thus this phase of the encounter – the experience of things – is not just a trigger for understanding which supplies sensory data of one sort or another, but already an initial form of cognition within which everything actually already has its foundation in embryonic form. The things which lie in this encounter then take on the form of knowledge in the further course of the lesson. 


So the things which actually lie in the life of the pupil’s will are illuminated in the consciousness, become transparent and clear. The will itself becomes bright. The thoughts are born out of the life of the will which is ignited on the world. If the pupil grasps reality in this sense, an educational process is realised which in its character is self-education in the real sense. The pupils themselves structure the life of their will from the inside. This gives such an approach a transformational character. In learning, the soul and spiritual entity of the pupil is transformed through itself, it becomes something that is truly different, it becomes richer because it links up with the world through their body.


It would, in my view, be a gross misunderstanding if such a concept of learning were to be understood as indicating that learning facts, dates, arithmetical techniques, grammatical structures and so on runs counter to this. Occasionally it is said in polemical pointedness that these things are indeed completely superfluous or indeed damaging because they bring about illness. The only important thing – put polemically – was the encounter between the pupil and the teacher who in an "artistic" and "living" way have joint experiences in which the pupils feel themselves perceived, valued and individually supported by the teacher. Such an attitude is particularly popular with regard to extra-curricular activities and events such as class trips, work placements, class plays, etc. All the things with which Waldorf schools like to highlight their specific profile. 


These are, of course, educationally important things, but only if lessons remain the intellectual focus of the school. And in these lessons something naturally has to be learnt, something which is available for use later on, such as facts, arithmetical techniques, etc. But such knowledge has to be formed out of the living examination of the world, just as some sedimentary rocks are formed from the skeletons of living creatures. These sediments form the solidified substrate for new life. Without such a firm substrate, progress is not possible. Every step forward requires solid ground. 


Lessons in which the teacher imparts knowledge in the classic sense, or in which such communication of information is put into the form of methodologically cleverly organised materials with the help of which the pupils then acquire the knowledge by themselves, inhibit real intellectual activity in these young people with which they would want to penetrate into the depths of the world. 


Those lessons go no further than the development of concepts in which the world appears in the pupil as an ordered image. These images can then be cleverly combined and regrouped. In this way new theories about the world are developed, but they are theories which are concepts about the way the world could be; or concepts which other, much cleverer people – that is academics or specialists – have already thought about and validated on the basis of their authority as experts. Such concepts are conceptual corpses which are always based on something that has already been thought. In this way they are linked to something from the past and are guided by what has already come about. This links the pupil solely to the forces from before birth. (16)



The link to what lies in the future as the potential of the young person can only succeed if they can spiritually incarnate in the world through their body as described; or put another way, if they can individualise the world in their abilities which lie in the spirit, if the world becomes capable of experience as part of their self. That is then the location where ideals are formed, ideals which have not arisen from subjective "desires", that is our wants, but which lie in the needs of the world. 


Lessons thus become an individualisation process in which the tasks which arise from our biography can be found in the world as the place where the future is located and do not insert themselves into the world and social circumstances egotistically only as they relate to ourselves. 


But how does it become possible for us to find our own respective tasks in the world? In what way must the soul be disposed so that we can find the tasks in the world which belong only to ourselves and then to take them up? That can only succeed if the situations in the world come very close to us, if they become part of us, if we make them our own. The encounter with the world enacted and enjoyed in the “conclusion” lesson phase is the source of such an acquisition process in which the young person is initially subjected to the power of the world. 


Such an encounter with the world receives its spiritual spark from the sphere of the night in combination with the higher hierarchies. This spiritual spark as the power of the imagination can be used in such a way that the reality of the world, which initially appears to be indifferent, is shaped into a question to the young person. A kind of natural imagination can form, which, in turn, sets the situations of the world in motion in such a way that they form into a question. A situation turns into our own situation and thus into a unique shape of destiny which is then connected indivisibly with ourselves. What does the situation demand of me? Not in general, but of me very personally. 


Only when my imagination has managed to do this, does an initially peripheral-seeming outer situation acquire the necessary challenging character which does not, however come as something mandatory from the outside but can freely be grasped inwardly. The challenge does not then remain as something coming from outside but it is like something of myself which I encounter externally. I encounter myself in the world. Being-in-the-world thus turns into being-with-myself. The main lesson is the daily exercise to achieve this.


This leads to a completely different concept of education in which the purpose of the lessons in the upper school is not to socialise young people to become part of a social order or, indeed, domesticate them to become part of it. Lessons are intended to develop a disposition of soul which experiences the world as our own world; which experiences our individual place on earth as belonging to our I for which we have to take responsibility and which desires to be changed and transformed. It is only through myself, through my cognitive optimism, through my own deeds that community is formed, that social connections are formed, that the future of this world is formed.


 In his book entitled Trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen (Engl. translation: Man’s Search for Meaning), Victor Frankl, the famous Austrian psychologist who survived Buchenwald, calls for a Copernican revolution regarding the attitude of people to the world: it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. The key thing for us as human beings was that we should give the right answer to the tasks through right action and right conduct. (17) Here the decisions must be taken in freedom. These decisions are open, highly risky and existential because, Frankl continues, human beings: 


"are the beings that always decide what they are. They are the beings who invented the gas chambers; but at the same time they are the beings who went into the gas chambers, upright and with a prayer on their lips." (18)


If we want to bring the upper school pupils to the point where they feel that they are beings who at every moment decide what they are, we as the Waldorf school movement also need a Copernican revolution: we have to engage through research we have to have a much more intensive, critical look at the concrete questions of teaching in the various subjects. But ultimately these are questions asked of us upper school teachers which concern our own understanding of the world, an understanding which forms the basis for any subject work. It will be a long and sometimes arduous path – but there is no alternative: our thinking about upper school teaching in general must take on a concrete form in the lesson. With such an orientation, we have to regain our trust in the spiritual power of lessons framed by the subject. 



Stefan Sigler attended the Nuremberg Rudolf Steiner School from 1971 to 1984; he studied Maths and Geography at Frankfurt to become an upper school teacher, attended the Upper School Waldorf Teacher Training in Kassel and worked as upper school teacher at the Waldorf School in Frankfurt. Since 2004 he is lecturer for maths, geography and the foundations of Waldorf Education at the Kassel Teacher Training and teaches middle and upper school at the Waldorf School in Kassel.



Frankl, Viktor: …trotzdem ja zum Leben sagen. Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager. München, 1996

Han, Byung-Chul: Was ist Macht. Stuttgart, 2005.

Schieren, Jost: “Schluss, Urteil, Begriff – Die Qualität des Verstehens.” In: RoSE (Volume 1, Number 2) 2010, p. 15–25. Online im Internet: URL: [Stand 2016-04-18].

Sommer, Wilfried: “Oberstufenunterricht an der Waldorfschule: Kognitive Herausforderungen für das verkörperte Selbst, Teil II.” In: RoSE (Volume 1, Number 2) 2010, p. 53–63. Online im Internet: URL: [Stand 2016-04-18].

Steiner, Rudolf: Education for Adolescents. GA 302, Hudson, NY, 1996.

Steiner, Rudolf: Briefe. GA 39, Dornach 1987.

Steiner, Rudolf: Study of Man. GA 293, Forest Row, 2011.

Steiner, Rudolf: The Philosophy of Freedom. GA 4, Forest Row, 2011.

Türcke, Christoph: Lehrerdämmerung. München, 2016.


(1) Text version of a lecture at the World Teachers‘ Conference at the Goetheanum in 2016.

(2) Reproduced here in abbreviated form.

(3) Han 2005, p. 9 ff.

(4) Steiner GA 302, p. 39.

(5) Ibid., p. 43.

(6) Ibid., p. 43.

(7) Schieren 2010, p. 18.

(8) Steiner GA 302, p. 26.

(9) Schieren 2010, p. 20.

(10) Sommer 2010, p. 58. 

(11) Steiner GA 302, p. 40 f.

(12) Steiner GA 302, p. 40.

(13) Türcke 2016, p. 117.

(14) Steiner GA 4, S. 146.

(15) Steiner GA 39, S. 188.

(16) Steiner GA 293, 2. Vortrag.

(17) Frankl 1996, p. 125.

(18) Ibid., p. 139.


translated by Christian von Arnim

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