Apollo and Dionysus embody polar complementary forces that work in opposite ways to develop the child and young adult, but they also help teachers educate children to grow into strong and, above all, healthy human beings. Rudolf Steiner describes how children first come into the world primarily under the radiant formative guidance of Apollo; but already in the early years, and certainly by the second dentition, the turbulent stirrings of Dionysus begin to arise in these increasingly independent young human beings. The central task of teachers is to permit these alternating forces to play themselves out in the developing children and adolescents without overwhelming them. How to do this? This question stands at the heart of two series of lectures that Rudolf Steiner gave towards the end of his life for teachers at the original Waldorf school in Stuttgart, Germany. The first set was given as follow-up to an intense two-week teacher education course that Steiner had offered these teachers just before the school opened in 1919. In a series of four lectures given a year later, in September 1920, Steiner described the polar opposite forces that work on the developing child and spelled out in rare detail how teachers could use the curriculum to balance these forces. The second set, held just over three years later, in October of 1923, focused more on the historically changing mission of the teacher- from Greek gymnast and Roman rhetorician to modern professor- and laid out the need for teachers to collaborate more intimately with the medical profession in the healthy unfolding of youth. Book jacket.
Balance in Teaching
Stuttgart September 15-22, 1920 and October 15-16, 1923
Foundations of Waldorf Education
Education & Reference