Synopses & Reviews
Caroline von Heydebrand, one of the original teachers at the first Waldorf school in Stuttgart and a personal student of Rudolf Steiner, was a true knight of the spirit, a priestess of becoming, for whom a child's life began not with birth but in the spiritual world. Deeply aware of the spiritual reality of human existence, she was a master teacher whose reverence for and devotion to children allowed her to guard, nourish, and guide their unfolding powers in a healthy, beautiful way with unerring love and delicacy. In this book, the ripe fruit of twenty years of teaching children and studying anthroposophy, Caroline von Heydebrand deals lightly, wisely, and almost aphoristically with many aspects of Waldorf education, drawing both on her own experiences and the experiences of the children she taught. Thus, the book is full of stories, examples, and anecdotes. Starting with a discussion of a child's physical form, she goes on to speak of children's souls, taking as her guides the four temperaments-sanguine, melancholic, choleric, and phlegmatic. She shows how adults-above all, teachers-can benefit from an intimate knowledge of these. Then she moves on to consider the growth of consciousness and the development of moral, imaginative, and other capacities. As she does so, she touches on most of what makes Waldorf education unique among educational philosophies of our time. Throughout, a reader senses her deep love of nature and humanity. This is an excellent book for those wishing to understand Waldorf education from within. The author speaks from deep experience and from firsthand knowledge of Rudolf Steiner's educational philosophy.
This is the classic work on the Waldorf kindergarten. Heydebrand worked with Rudolf Steiner at the first Waldorf School, and her book contains a wealth of insights about working with preschoolers.