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Rudolf Steiner and the Oxford Conference: The Birth of Waldorf Education in Britain

Paull, John (2011) Rudolf Steiner and the Oxford Conference: The Birth of Waldorf Education in Britain. European Journal of Educational Studies, 3 (1), pp. 53-66.

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Two years before the Agriculture Course at Koberwitz, and at the height of his powers, Rudolf Steiner travelled to Oxford to deliver a course on education. The lectures were translated by George Adams Kaufmann who was later to be the first to translate the Agriculture Course. The Oxford Conference in the summer of 1922, 15-29 August, introduced Waldorf education to a British audience and laid the foundations for its international diffusion. Steiner dominated the Conference proceedings although he was only one of the listed 14 speakers for the 'Spiritual Values in Education & Social Life' event. Contemporary documentation is examined to reveal key aspects and the significance of the Conference at which there were 230 attendees. Steiner presented each of the 12 morning lectures at Manchester College, now Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford; he spoke in German. Afternoon and evening events were presented at the nearby Keble College. Conference events included, reportedly, the first Eurythmy demonstrations in Britain. Performances were presented by Eurythmists from Dornach as well as by Oxford school children. The Conference received widespread press coverage. An outcome of the Conference was a five paragraph statement issued by the delegates and stating the intention to create a world-wide association to foster the founding of new schools. A Provisional Committee of at least 11 members was elected and charged with this object. The Oxford Conference served as a catalyst for the establishment of Waldorf schools in Britain and the broader English-speaking world, and is a key historical event in the proliferation of Waldorf education.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Manchester College; Keble College; Waldorf schools; Anthroposophy; Stuttgart; England; Millicent Mackenzie; George Adams Kaufmann.
Subjects: Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication
"Organics" in general > History of organics
Knowledge management
Research affiliation: UK
UK > Univ. Oxford
Deposited By: Paull, Dr John
ID Code:18835
Deposited On:26 Jun 2011 10:58
Last Modified:26 Jun 2011 10:58
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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