Rudolf Steiner defined anthroposophy as a scientific research of the spiritual world, present in the human and in the Universe, creating the Waldorf method of education, followed today in over 3,000 schools in 90 countries. He also provided the basis of biodynamic agriculture, anthroposophical medicine and euritmia.
As any other science, anthroposophy is studied through experimentation and observation, directed to the interior towards the expansion of the consciousness. It considers the physical state belongs to the material world, that we can see and touch. The soul state generates feelings and impulses towards the physical stimuli. Both are manifested in the spiritual state, which belongs to a deeper state of consciousness.
These three elements, body, soul and spirit are to be educated in school, adapting to each student particular needs, according to their age and personality. Waldorf education rely on the theory of the temper, the way the child responds to stimuli, identifying four main types: melancholic, phlegmatic, sanguine and choleric.
For Steiner colors are directly linked to energy states. Reds and oranges are associated with energy, very present in choleric and sanguine types. Calm is related with blues and greens, and associated with phlegmatic and melancholic types. The color is projected to the child interior transformed into its complementary color, therefore red would be projected as blue to sanguines and choleric, bringing calm by inhibiting the excess of energy.
Anthroposophy is a path of knowledge aiming to guide the spiritual element in the human being to the spiritual in the universe.
- Rudolf Steiner
The theory of the Periods divides the cognitive development of children in four: Motor sensory (0-2 years), when the child responds through activity, Preoperational (3-6years), when the symbolic thought starts, allowing the child to remember past events and predict future actions, Specific Operational (7-11 years), starts organizing and structuring thought, allowing to empathize with other points of view, Formal Operational (12-onwards), when logical reasoning and abstraction develops, allowing to create complex strategies.
Regarding physic development, or how they perceive themselves and reality, Steiner differentiates between 3 main phases: During the first seven years the child’s perception is based upon fantasy and imitation. From 8 to 14 years imagination dominates and after 15 he enters in the world of ideas.
Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility—these three forces are the very nerve of education.
- Rudolf Steiner
Euritmia, or harmonic rhythmic movement, is an essential activity in the Waldorf curriculum. It can be defined as the mean that allows a person to express his emotional-spiritual state, through movement coordinated with music and poetry. It promotes the artistic, pedagogic (social) and therapeutic (individual) skills, stimulating psychomotor agility, physical and internal coordination, spatial orientation, creativity, expression and social sensitiveness. Euritmia procures joy, within oneself and in relation with the others.