Author: cloud
• Friday, January 28th, 2011

Development of the will forces, especially between birth and age 7, but continuing thru age 14 and beyond. I latterly attended the lecture by Gary Ward on The Development of Thinking in puberty put on by the Dawn Waldorf Parent organisation. This lecture talked with the continued image of Waldorf kid development in high school but it truly stressed the work that we do as mummies and daddies from birth on and the way the infancy and grades education our kids are receiving at Dawn prepare the kid for the thinking life. The thinking forces are vital to puberty because they’re the forces that help younger people face and answer the question, who am I?

Mr. Ward presented an image of development weaving together the image of development presented by Rudolf Steiner and Erik Eriksons development stages.

The baby leaves the mummies womb for the womb of the family. All the life processes, eg respiring, warming, nourishment, excretion, expansion and reproduction, and the senses of life, including sensing ones own contentment or not, outward movement, balance and speech all involve movement and lots of will. According to Erikson, trust develops at this time as does liberty, without which there’s shame or doubt. Further, initiative develops between ages 5 and 7 but if it shouldn’t, then guilt results.

A new birth comes to pass, the arrival of the etheric or (life) body. This birth is signaled with the change of teeth and the kid leaves the womb of the family to live in the womb of community. This is the reason why Steiner saw the requirement for a social education. The life processes present when born continue but are now also developing through the sensation life. The Waldorf curriculum continues to maintain development of the will but the key lesson now is intended to develop the feeling life. Erikson perspectives this age as the stage of industry vs. inadequateness.

The new birth is of the planetary, signaled by adolesence. The kid leaves the womb of community and becomes individuated to the life of relationship and expression by getting more dunked in the world. Steiner spoke of the young person at this time as Earth mature instead of as a grown-up. Having developed the will, the groundwork is laid to engage on Earth in a way which develops ethics.

For ages, the necessity to confront fact was tantamount to survival. We still have to confront fact to reply to the questions of self. Kids must engage in the world through physical work. Small children must be given responsibilities and pushed toward liberty with consistency. Kids in the grades must be pushed into industry by carrying a method through. Crafts and woodwork enable the objects to become the teacher. As an example, in woodworking, if a student cuts too deep, then (s) he fouled up and can’t disagree with the piece of wood nor blame another. It’s a practical learning of wrong and right.

The will forces whatve been instituted since birth and developed thru the grades now are applied to the thinking realm in puberty. A student must exercise his or her will to see, judge expectancies, look for other places to apply the discoveries, and ultimately, form judgments and draw conclusions. It’s got to be correct and true and expressed artistically, the opposite to whatever. Teenagers need firm limits and real experience, not edutainment nor busyness for its own sake. The stories in high school are epics or heroes journeys in which the protagonist must face something with bravery and overcome. These stories, joined with a phenomenological educational enquiry and the physical challenges of outdoor education, enable the young person to ask and answer the question.

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