Learning Goals

Students will:

  • learn the basics of the Waldorf approach to the teaching of history, particularly the developmental, symptomatological, and imaginative aspects of the task
  • have a basic understanding of Rudolf Steiner’s threefold social organism as it applies to the teaching of high school history
  • understand the application of the Waldorf approach to history in the first levels of the Waldorf high school
  • gain a basic understanding of the Ecological Footprint as an aspect of world history

Course Content

Rooted in the “painting” of historical situations, Waldorf high school teachers create imaginative pictures arising from the symptoms of the past to teach the early levels of high school. With this in mind, this course exposes potential Waldorf high school teachers to the ways in which they can identify and present the symptoms of history to their students. This includes the process of teacher and student research, especially as it relates to the use of course content, maps, primary sources, and student work. The course begins with an introduction to “symptomatology” as a method of researching and teaching history in a Waldorf high school. The seminars continue with an initial look at Rudolf Steiner’s “threefold social organism” and its application to the teaching of history. Approaching historical figures and events from the perspectives of cultural, political, and economic life, the course then examines the ninth grade and part of the tenth grade Waldorf curriculum in the actual subjects taught. We will also discuss the concept of the human ecological footprint and how it relates to the teaching of history. Teacher and students propose and discuss tools and techniques for generating age-appropriate course material. A variety of possible sample materials is provided.

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