(2016) Science and education, 10, 220-227. Odessa.

Оlena Mezentseva,
postgraduate student, Laboratory of Social Pedagogy,
Institute of Educational Problem of the National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine,
co-chairperson of Ukrainian Association of Waldorf Initiatives,
9, M. Berlynskoho Str., Kyiv, Ukraine



Globalisation, changing demographics, emerging technologies, and other challenges of our time changed the attitude towards education. At the end of the twentieth century, the ideals of a new school were formulated. The changing of pedagogical orientations made a child’s personality centre of the educational system. His/her real needs and opportunities for self-knowledge, self-development, self-education, self-realisation in various spheres of life became important. Child-centred educational ideas started to develop at the turn of XIX – XX centuries when human freedom was countered against monarchy, capitalism, rational and pragmatic political systems that functioned in many countries around the world those times. Many reform education systems were developed then. Waldorf Education created by Rudolf Steiner was one of them. The central idea of Waldorf School was a holistic view of a man based on the principles of anthroposophy. The core idea of Waldorf Approach is based on anthropology (human studies) in the educational process. According to Steiner the knowledge of the child’s nature should be both the starting point and purpose of the educational process. Pedagogical anthropology was seen as an important component of the educational process in the past and this approach is still relevant today as evidenced by the analysis of the literature. R. Steiner’s anthropology consists of the following structural components: the general doctrine of a man as body-soul-spiritual creation; human as a unity of thinking, feeling and willing; the concept of sense organisation of a man; the focus on the age priority in education from the standpoint of physical, mental and spiritual processes that shape a personality. Education which is based on the study of a man is called “the art of education” by the philosopher. The study has led to the following conclusions. Waldorf education originated at the turn of the XIX – XX centuries has not lost its relevance, since it is based on a deep, close and holistic view of a man in his/her physical, mental and spiritual existence. The anthropological concept of Rudolf Steiner offers real tools for harmonisation of human being development processes and educating a child as a self-sufficient, healthy, holistic person who will be able to respond to the challenges of rapid unpredictable changes and will be adjusted to the transformation of values in future. The introduction of child-oriented teaching approaches based on R. Steiner’s spiritual and scientific anthropology could be perspective for Ukrainian educational science and practice in the context of the national educational system reforms.


anthropology, anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner, Waldorf education.




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