Teaching as love for the world and love for the child. The critical potential of Waldorf education in the light of Hanna Arendt

Dag Øystein Nome


This article is a theoretical discussion where the critical potential of Waldorf education is articulated in the light of Hanna Arendt’s philosophy of education. Her essay The crisis of education is the basis for the analysis together with Rudolf Steiner´s pedagogical lectures and contemporary descriptions of Waldorf school practices at an elementary school level. I find that Waldorf education represents an embodiment of Arendt´s ideas of schools and teaching, while Arendt adds new arguments for the critical potential of Waldorf education. Despite some ontological differences, Arendt and Waldorf education share the paradoxical idea of teaching as a conservative, teacher-centered practice on one hand, and as a preparation for emancipation and democratic citizenship on the other.

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