By Brien Masters
Is the philosophy by which we choose to educate our children responsible, at least partially, for the attitudes and general tone of our societies?
A recent Unicef report on wealthy countries ranked the United States and the United Kingdom at the bottom of a table that measured quality of life for young people across a wide range of headings, including poverty, health, drugs, friendships and happiness.
Experts observed that the nations that performed best in the survey have created 'child-friendly' societies in which, for example, young people are not pressured to achieve academically until their teens. In contrast, the culture of the USA and UK is geared towards economic success, with education as a means of sifting - through increasing testing - the high-achievers who will produce the goods.
Brien Masters - an educationalist for over 50 years - argues that education has a central role to play 'in bringing into human lives those qualities that can take us forward to a progressive future'. He proposes that Rudolf Steiner's educational approach, as put into practice mainly in the Waldorf schools across the world, is well equipped to enable this.
In "Steiner Education and Social Issues", via a series of short, engaging chapters, and based on his broad personal experience of teaching and teacher-training, Masters tackles a wide range of modern social issues, including everything from drugs and nutrition to boredom, the influence of TV, and multiethnic societies. This is a wise and informative guide for parents, teachers and anybody interested in the future development of our culture.
About the Author
Brien Masters is qualified both as a State and Waldorf teacher, and has taught everything from Music to Maths to Map Reading! He teaches around the world and has acted as a consultant up to government ministerial level. He has written numerous articles and several publications for use in schools, and his Doctoral thesis is a critical appraisal of Waldorf praxis in the light of Rudolf Steiner's original educational ideas. Brien Masters is presently Director of the London Waldorf Teacher Training Seminar, as well as a new seminar in Gran Canaria.
Publisher: Rudolf Steiner Press
Publication date: 29 Feb 2008