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Project: The First Teachers’ Course Today

Background: The First Teachers’ Course of 1919 laid the foundation for Waldorf Education. It comprises 14 days of lectures, discussions and addresses by Rudolf Steiner, translated as The Foundations of Human Experience, Practical Advice to Teachers, and Discussions with Teachers.

The Pedagogical Section has begun a new project – The First Teachers’ Course Today. It can be approached in three ways:

  1. How can we recognise the nature of the human being with the help of the First Teachers’ Course?
  2. How is this foundational work transferred through teachers into the classroom and vice versa?
  3. How can our perceptions be trained and the effect of this practice be reflected onto the First Teachers’ Course?

Within this project, several things have already happened.

In July 2019, the centennial conference of The First Teachers’ Course took place at the Goetheanum with 300 participants from around the world. The aim of the conference was to bring the 100 years of work and experience with the course into the present day and from there to look towards the future. One of the question raised was of what new and deeper understandings can be gained from the overview of these three consecutive daily lecture cycles. In order to be able to experience the whole course, we dedicated 3 x 3 days to the three basic perspectives of soul, spirit and body.

Also in 2019, Rudolf Steiner Verlag published a one-volume study edition of the pedagogical lectures and discussions in the sequence in which they were given between August 21 and September 5, 1919. Based on extensive work in the Rudolf Steiner Archive, it includes material not previously published. This ABC of Waldorf education is more than a historical document: the breadth of the horizon and the depth of the questions posed will make these three courses the foundation of all efforts towards pedagogical innovation for decades to come. An English edition translated by Margot Saar will be published later in 2020 under the title, The First Teachers’ Course.

In 2020, First Teachers’ Course Today project will provide insights into the lively work undertaken in Waldorf Schools. 14 teachers will talk about the First Teachers’ Course in relation to their everyday school life. They give personal responses on key topics including a healthy school rhythm, the relationship between thinking and will, the enlivening of the senses, and questions about living thinking.

These are messages to Waldorf education which need to be heard! Find out more at