Where does Heart-Logik fit in the Waldorf School?


  To answer this question as radically as possible: The Waldorf school was to be the inaugurator of new type of spiritual thinking. Of course, one can argue that Waldorf should remain simply another bourgeois school system, which in order to be accepted, had to tone down the rants of the spiritual radical Rudolf Steiner. This seems to be a betrayal of Steiner's work, since there are enough indications from Steiner himself to point to something larger. (See Outline For  Renewal of Waldorf Education which has all of Steiner's lofty quotes about the school.)

  The Logik of the Heart was an aspect of this mission. Spiritual thinking means that we employ a spiritualistic understanding of human development and that we do everything in our power not to compromise the child's growth toward freedom and spiritual self-awareness. Simply put: aspects of the school have to do with a spiritual view of human development and evolution, aspects have to do with having pedagogical know-how which reach the children at phases in their development, further aspects have to do with teachers having psychological/spiritual/healing abilities, and finally there are aspects having to do with the Logik of the Heart. These elements together make up the Waldorf project. Anthroposophy is the world view, pedagogy and psychology are the skills, spiritual presence is the teacher's inner work, and the Logik of the Heart is the medium in which this all can take place.


  Logik of the Heart Sketch of Waldorf Education: If we start with the who?-level, then we must consider first the mind and heart of the Waldorf teacher. When teachers think differently, then they act and teach differently. The "Waldorf frame of mind" as Steiner called it, not only includes solid information about child development and lesson plans, but a dynamic way of thinking that has NO CONTENT. 

  From the perspective of a new thinking, the Waldorf Movement's highest task is to inaugurate a new kind of thinking - similar to Aristotle gift of his Logic and other works. Waldorf was given the lofty task of bringing "consciousness soul" education into the mainstream. Consciousness soul activity is pure thought-movement, like certain kinds of Eurythmy. After a thorough study of the Logik of the Heart, many of Steiner's complicated utterances start to make sense and new possibilities could open up for Waldorf education. Today we have mainly only the outer trappings of Waldorf not the inner workings. The change of consciousness must come first and this not difficult to do.

  Waldorf Education does not need a revolution, but simply some thoughtful administrators who are willing to gradually bring in the Logik of the Heart into their faculty study. However, a lot of pride would have to be swallowed before this could happen. Just ask Dr. Staley who got really nervous in my teaching evaluation after I mentioned George's name and my association with his work.  Some Waldorf leaders or older Anthroposophists  have the old O'Neil study notes tucked away like gold treasure never having internalized O'Neil's findings, and, too scared to deviate from the traditional path of dogmatic Waldorf. Thus O'Neil's work remained a secret for those who were not old enough to have worked with him first-hand.

  Why is the Logik of the Heart necessary for Waldorf education? Steiner's psychology, curriculum development, and lesson plan format were designed in this way.  Human development and its seven-year cycles can only be rightly understood by the Logik of the Heart. (See The Human Life by George O'Neil). A process oriented thinking can grasp easily other processes such as a child's growth.

  The curricula sequences Steiner designed for the Waldorf school have at least two main considerations: age of the students and The Logik of the Heart. We see this clearly in the Physics Curriculum that has otherwise very distinct recommendations that can only be explained with the Logik of the Heart.  Some curricula span all twelve grades; others span, for example, only seven grades (physics) or four grades (art history). These often have Heart-Logik formats. Also Steiner wanted  to match the age of the pupil to the subject matter while at the same time Steiner tried to bring an inner consistency of the Logik of the Heart to his curriculum choices. This can seem contradictory in the beginning, but after a healthy study of heart-logik it becomes understandable.

   Finally, the three-fold lesson plan of Waldorf is based on a simple: what? how? why? of the Logik of the Heart. Why not a four-fold lesson plan? Five Fold?

   A new way of presenting literature and other types of information is given in the Logik of the Heart. Teachers should be teaching out of a tableau format, getting students to think from the whole to the parts. While this activity is so little done in faculty study and in teachers meetings why would one expect teachers to be doing it in the classroom?

   When teachers live in the Logik of the Heart, Waldorf will transform itself from within. Currently at Waldorf teacher training, students are marched through 10 Steiner books in a year, which is the unhealthiest way to approach them. Or Steiner's basic books are almost ignored in favor of preparing teachers with practical ideas and packets on how to be ready for the classroom.  It is time for a new institution.