Views of history and history teaching in Waldorf education

Frode Barkved


The aim of this article is to investigate some concepts related to views of history connected to Waldorf education, anthroposophy and contemporary history didactic discourse. The focal point of the articles’ theoretical basis is the Waldorf school curriculum, selected lectures from Rudolf Steiner, as well as articles and PhD-works in the Waldorf pedagogical field of investigation. In addition, it includes common research on view of history and history teaching. The article tries to show field of problems connected with basic historical conceptualization in Waldorf curriculum and secondary Waldorf literature, such as evolution of consciousness, culture epoch theory and Eurocentrism.
In concluding part of the article, I argue that the development didactics that characterize the Waldorf pedagogy has a Eurocentric tendency. At the same time I show that Waldorf education aims to instil in the pupils an ability to recognise and identify with a plurality of different cultures and ways of life. This trait of Waldorf education is highly relevant in today’s society, but it requires a contextualization of the concept of history that comes from the Waldorf pedagogical tradition, including an engagement and partaking in the contemporary historical discourse.

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