Digitized. Uncompromised.

The Special Subject Teachers’ Online Conference
Grades Five through Eight

Welcome! Please Read This First. Don’t be overwhelmed or intimidated by the sheer volume of this conference. (No one ever said that the life of a Waldorf teacher was easy!) You don’t have to listen to every lecture or view every slideshow or instructional video; decide what works best for you. You know what needs your specialty subject dictates, and you are likely to find them met by many of the offerings in this course. As we like to say, this conference is all about Your Dates, Your Space, and Your Pace. Make it your own!
Please click here to listen to two introductory talks by Eugene Schwartz
Click on the links to access lectures or visual content. This page will remain open even while you visit the linked pages, so you can return and multitask. Pause lectures at any time, and return to them as often as you wish. We strongly suggest that, while you are listening to a lecture, you open your word processor and type notes as the lecture plays.

Problems or Questions? Please contact us at:
iwaldorf@icloud.com or call: 610.310.6659

Passwords for Videos:

Use these when you are accessing videos from the various grades.
Grade Five:
Grade Six:
Grade Seven:
Grade Eight:

Watch the Navigation Guide: This is a generic guide that will give you a good picture of the conference environment. Click here to view the Guide.
Please fill out your Evaluation Form. Your opinion is important to us.
Meg Chittenden has recorded wonderful songs appropriate for Grades Five through Eight. They available on CDs, so that you can listen to them after your conference time ends.

For more information, contact Meg at:


Table of Contents
You will find our very extensive Table of Contents nestled, like a Russian Matrushka doll, in the colored “containers” below. Simply click on Grade container and its contents will appear; click on the contents and you will find all of the links to lectures, videos, and other resources. Click again and the container will close.

  • Grade Five
    • The Fifth Grader

      1. The Fifth Grader
      500: Introduction to the Conference

      501a: The Four-Fold Human Being
      How the physical, etheric, and astral bodies interact with the human being, and the role of the Ego in their integration. Child development as the interplay of body, soul, and spirit. [14:48]

      The Nature of the Fifth Grader 1
      The Janus figure in Steiner’s colored glass window; accelerated physical development of today’s fifth grader; the forward and backward look a necessity for the teacher; etheric memories. [13:45]
      To view the “Janus” figure to which the lectures refer, click here.

      The Nature of the Fifth Grader 2
      Heartbeat and breathing; seeds of adult emotional life; the final contraction of the etheric body; the “Grecian” nature of the fifth grader. [18:42]

    • The Main Lesson Block

      2. The Main Lesson
      How to Prepare for Main Lesson blocks in Grade 5
      8 to 1 Law; preparation is more than reading books; central importance of teacher’s relationship to the subject; “Magic File Box,” with eight grades of folders. [31:38]

      Grade 5 Form Drawing: A Teacher’s Guide (34:00)

    • History

      3. History
      Why Teach History? 1
      “Those who forget the lessons of the past . . . “ “Relevance” and the erasure of history [14:42]

      Why Teach History? 2
      Human and Cosmic Memory; the unique configuration of etheric forces in the fifth grader; intimations of past lives and the possibility of bringing old karma to closure. [9:54]

      Why Teach History? 3
      Steiner’s description of “young souls,” and their interaction with “old souls”; for the latter, history is a reminder, for the former an introduction. [17:34]

      What to Teach in History 1
      The Cultural Epochs; the stark contrast between Steiner’s “Occult History” and conventional history; Waldorf approach is somewhere in between. The first and second Post-Atlantean cultural epochs. [16:25]

      What to Teach in History 2
      The third and fourth cultural epochs are the beginning of “history;” before that time humanity did not need to symbolize or embody the divine world; Norse mythology is “younger,” while the fifth grader needs the stronger “memory culture” of the Ancient Cultures. [15:26]

      What to Teach in History 3
      Archetypes in all mythologies; triads in time and hierarchy; the ascent of the human being; myths as initiation pictures; the importance of reverence on the part of the teacher during the Ancient Culture blocks; cultivating “the mood of the myth.” [9:19]

      History 1: Slideshow of Student Work (43:00)

      History 2: Slideshow of Student Work (33:00)

    • Language Arts

      4. Language Arts
      510a: Language Arts 1
      The “golden age of writing”; most of the girls grow confident and capable in writing skills, while boys need help; composition linked to the development of etheric memory forces; the “essential” and the “non-essential”; assign fewer, but better compositions; creating the rough draft in the classroom; corrections as grammar lessons. [25:24]

      Language Arts 2
      Creating anthologies of students’ written work as an antidote to “reports”; importance of communicating your approach to Language Arts to colleagues and to parents; many schools give teachers little leeway in the way in which writing is taught; example of a Grade Five “Writing Test” from the Rudolf Steiner School in NYC; how can children’s love of expressiveness and joy in writing be supported and strengthened? [19:21]

      Language Arts 3
      Recitation, speech in class plays, and everyday discourse; Fifth Grade Grammar; “learning through usage” is key; the Class Teacher as a model of good grammar (and spelling!); teaching poetic recitation in Grade Five; working with the Class Play as a division of Language Arts. [27:58]

      Language Arts 4
      Necessity of frequent review of earlier grades; a “to-do list” of Language Arts topics to review and solidify; should Language Arts be taught by a specialty teacher in the middle and upper grades? Active and passive voices; direct and indirect quotations; how grammar meets the psychological experiences of the Fifth Grade child; helping your students connect to the Word. [31:04]

    • Botany

      5. Botany
      512a: Why Teach Botany 1
      The outer revelation of the etheric world; the fifth grader’s etheric body sympathetically resonates with the plant; the etheric body is the physical body upside down and inside out, and these images can help us teach Botany in a living way. [13:29]

      Why Teach Botany 2
      Importance of linking the plant to the landscape and then to the earth; Geography and Botany; gain familiarity with local plants, their names and “gestures”; children can grasp some concepts and typologies, e.g. forest, tundra, desert or root, leaf, flower, or fungus, algae, grass; complementary links of plants and insects; photosynthesis, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. [15:17]

      Botany Lessons 1
      The counterintuitive approach with which the block begins, starting with the most “evolved” plants rather than working from below up; metamorphosis, an often-neglected principle that characterized the work of Goethe and Steiner; the “helix” of plant growth; contraction and expansion; monocotyledons and dicotyledons; the mountain as a plant writ large. [19:06]

      Botany Lessons 2
      The role of the tree in the Earth’s household; the progression from less-evolved to more-evolved plants seen as parallel to a human life; the interplay of insects and plants; ants, bees, butterflies, and silkworms. [16:46]

      Botany 1: Slideshow of Student Work (26:00)

    • Resources
      For PDFs and Videos click here.

      For songs click here.
  • Grade Six
    • The Nature of the Sixth Grader

      1. The Nature of the Sixth Grader

      6.1: The Fourfold Human Being Part 1 (13:00)
      The physical and etheric bodies. The nature of the etheric body. Anabolism, sleep, memory, and “immunity.” The Guardian Angel. From “Moon Sphere” to the Earth.

      6.2: The Fourfold Human Being Part 2 (14:11)
      The nature of the astral body. Catabolism, wakefulness, and thinking. The challenges of its incorporation. From the “Zodiac” to the Earth.

      6.3: The Fourfold Human Being Part 3 (19:15)
      The role of the ego in human development. How fully does each higher member incorporate in the physical body? Where is the ego in the Sixth Grader?

      6.4: The Sixth Grader, Part 1 (10:36)
      Changes wrought by the astral body. The “Twelve Year Change.” The streaming in of forces from the future. Parental karma and individual karma.

      6.5: The Sixth Grader, Part 2 (19:49)
      Relationship of birth horoscope and freedom. Astronomy. Perfection of the starry world. Sixth grader’s response to inner and outer changes. The “Terrible Twos” and the “Terrible Twelves.” Rejection of parents and parental relationship to their teacher.

      6.6: The Sixth Grader, Part 3 (14:26)
      Age Twelve in the life of Jesus. Steiner’s “Fifth Gospel.” Grade Six and puberty are often overlooked.The product of fourfoldness (Temperaments) and twofoldness (Personality). Fixation on etheric, rather than understanding of astral.

      The Fourfold Human Being
      An animated “Dynamic Diagram” in video form

      The Nine/Ten Year-Old Change
      An animated “Dynamic Diagram” in video form

    • The Sixth Grade Main Lesson
      2. The Main Lesson in Grade Six The Main Lesson, Part 1 (14:18)

      Grade 6 involves about 50% more content than Grade 5: where do we find the time? Shorter “warm-up” times. The pros and cons of running around the school grounds. Bringing will into our speech. The demise of the “three-day rhythm.” Giving students more time for questions and comments. Teacher must remain in control.

      The Main Lesson, Part 2 (17:00)
      Raising hands before speaking; the sine qua non of classroom participation. Teaching students to take notes. The weakening of memory forces at age 12. Deconstructing the lesson. Differentiation and discernment. Note-taking as the bridge between the etheric and astral bodies.

      The Main Lesson, Part 3 (13:30)
      Reports and Projects. Positive and (mostly) negative aspects of individual student projects. “Individual research” mostly factual and dead. Time and energy drawn away from main lesson. Block tests. Parental anxiety and pedagogical assessment.

    • Astronomy

      3. Astronomy

      6.25: Why Do We Teach Astronomy? (11:00)
      Is Astronomy a 6th or 7th Grade subject? The Seven Liberal Arts. The reawakening of medieval memories. The starry world and the script of Destiny.

      6.26: The Content of the Astronomy Block, Part 1 (15:00)
      Books by Hermann v. Baravalle, Norman Davidson, H. A. Rey. Constellations -- or Inspiration? Reports on Greek myths. Extrapolation and Thinking.

      6.27: The Content of the Astronomy Block, Part 2 (15:50)
      Apparent movement of the stars. The Pole Star and its relative positions. The phases of the Moon. The complementary nature of the Moon and Sun. Eclipses. Tears and triumphs.

      Astronomy: Slideshow of Student Work (42:20)

    • Language Arts
      4. Language Arts
      6.28: Watch Your Language! Part 1 (15:10)
      Speech Formation and Grammar. Muscles and skeleton. Relaxation of standards in teacher training. Dearth of examples of good usage. Common errors of teachers. Lie and lay.

      6.29: Watch
      Your Language! Part 2 (15:40)
      Latin and Latin Grammar. Fading away of “case” in English. Pronouns after “than.” Weakening of understanding of “I” as subject and preference for “me” as object. Present Perfect and Past Perfect. Teacher’s usage must become more grammatically complex in the upper grades.

      6.30: Why Do We Teach Language Arts? (15:40)
      Why teach Language Arts as a separate subject? The interplay of the etheric and astral bodies permeates everything done in 6th Grade Language Arts. Will a Language Arts specialist help? Examples of student writing in History and Physics blocks.

      6.31: Narrative and Expository Writing (10:20)
      More samples of student writing in Physics block. “Out there” and “In here.” Etheric supports narrative experience (inward) and Astral stimulates expository presentation (outward). Structure of the Physics demonstration report.

      6.32: Triads of Tenses, Part 1 (16:35)
      Tense at ages 10 and 12. Interplay of physical/etheric and astral/Ego. From simple tenses to “perfect” tenses. Past Perfect and the penetration of the physical world.

      6.33: Triads of Tenses, Part 2 (13:31)
      Present Perfect tense. We “have” our past experience with us in the present. The Hermes/Mercury forces of the higher astral body. In Present Perfect the astral body reflects upon itself. From Saturn evolution to Earth evolution.

      6.34: Triads of Tenses, Part 3 (13:47)
      Future Perfect Tense. We “will” the future, or we “are going” to the future. The astral Mercury forces look to the Ego, and the future takes on great specificity. Like Aeneas carrying Anchises on his shoulders, Future Perfect carries the past and the present into the future.

      6.35: The Subjunctive Mood (24:35)
      Verb tense and verb mood. Moodiness and the 6th grader’s perception of reality: “Through a glass darkly.” Indicative and Imperative moods. Wishes, hopes, dreams. The Subjunctive as a portal into the world of becoming. “Gearing down” verb tenses in “as though,” and “as if” clauses. The power of clauses beginning with “if.” Subjunctive only introduced in Grade 6, and examined with greater depth in Grade 7.
    • History
      • Roman History

        5. Roman History: Aeneas to the Republic

        6.44: Why Do We Teach Roman History? (16:50)
        “Touching the Earth,” more cliché than reality. Greeks embody the health of the etheric body, Romans the disarray of the astral body. Polarities as the key to Roman history Astrality and sclerosis, the hardening of the earth. America and the “ghost of Rome.” Roman culture and history and its influence on American life.

        6.45: Overview of Roman History (17:20)
        From myth to history. The essential and the non-essential. The Aeneid as preface to Rome. Greek and Roman gods. Threefold structure of Roman history: Kings, Republic, Empire. The Roman City. Civitas, civility, citizen, citizenship. Architecture and engineering, the Roman army. Noble Romans. The failure of the Republic and the life of Julius Caesar. The Empire and its Emperors. The life of Jesus. The christianization of Rome, and the romanization of Christianity. The decline and fall of Rome.

        6.46: The Origins of Rome, Part 1 (16:00)
        Aeneid, the Latin Odyssey. The poet Virgil’s importance for medieval culture. Aeneas as the bridge between the old clairvoyance and Roman materialism. Romulus and Remus, sons of Mars. The ravenous wolf forces flow into the life blood of Rome’s founders. Aggression and fratricide set the scene for the nature of Roman life.

        6.47: The Origins of Rome, Part 2 (13:40)
        The “maleness” of early Rome. The Sabine women. Patricians and Plebeians, the prototype of Rome’s political polarities. The Seven Kings. Tarquinus Superbus and the throne of blood. Horatius and his sister. Brutus and his sons.

        6.48: The Roman History Main Lesson (18:50)
        How many History blocks should be teach in Grade 6? The teacher’s ambivalent relationship to Rome. Rhythms of incarnation. The importance of Rome to today’s student. The structure of the main lesson blocks. The structure of the daily main lesson.

        6.49: The Republic, Part 1 (15:45)
        The “Three P’s” of Greece and the “Three C’s” of Rome. Patricians and Plebians. Democracy and Republic. The Senate and the Consul. The American Electoral College. The contrasting paths of Coriolanus and Cincinattus.

        6.50: The Republic, Part 2 (14:00)
        The 6th Grader needs heroic models. On the cusp of myth and history. Camillus, the “third C,” and the first invasion of Rome. Rome’s rebuilding in stone. Earthquake and chasm. Marius Curtius. Self-sacrifice replaces involuntary human sacrifice.

        Roman History 1: Slideshow of Student Work (25:00)

      • Early Medieval History
        6. Early Medieval History
        6.57: Why Do We Teach Medieval History? (19:00)
        Rhythms of incarnation. Some souls on the Earth today are drawn to millennial transitions. The “shock-wave” of Golgotha and the “Dark Ages.” The death of old clairvoyant forces. Estrangement from the spiritual world. The Age of Faith. The Monastery and the Castle, the Monk and the Knight. Understanding Aspergers and ADHD.

        6.58: Overview of Medieval History (11:05)
        Arthurian Legends. The rise of Feudalism. King and Pope. The Life of Mohammed and the rise of Islam. Charlemagne. The First Crusade.

        6.59: Clovis (17:45)
        The youthful forces of the northern tribes. The 15 year-old king and warrior. Clovis and Clothild. The fairy tale as reality. Conversion to Christianity.

        6.60: Mohammed (18:22)
        Animism and Theocracy. Monotheistic impulses of Christianity and Judaism. The vision on the mountain. The simplicity and mobile nature of Islam. The Koran. Goethe’s fascination with Mohammed’s writing and Islam. The explosive growth of Islam. Islam’s theocratic nature.

        6.61: Islam and Europe (9:41)
        The banishment of the Greek philosophers and cosmologists. Christian theology threatened by ancient philosophy. “Protection” of European soul life. The ancient teachings move east, to the Muslim Caliphates. The Court of Haroun al-Raschid contrasted with the Court of Charlemagne.

        6.62: The First Crusade (21:00)
        The “Holy Land.” Materializing Christianity. The Saracens and the Seljukian Turks. Peter the Hermit. Urban II and the Council of Cleremont. The Peasants’ Crusade. Tragedy and victory in Jerusalem. The triumph of the Franks. A good place to pause until Grade 7.

        Medieval History: Slideshow of Student Work (24:30)

    • Instructional Videos
  • Grade Seven
    • The Seventh Grader
      Part 1: The Seventh Grader

      7.1. The fourfold human being. For a Waldorf teacher to work with this concept again and again is like a musician going through the scales. The superficiality of our understanding of this forcefulness. The necessity of looking at life after death and before birth to understand the bodies of the human being. Waldorf schools often fail in their work with adolescents because the deeper aspects of their nature or not studied. [15:00]

      7.2. Life after death. The separation of the four bodies of the human being. Each makes its own journey into different realms of the spiritual world. The physical body unites with the substantiality of the earthly, physical world. The affair body expands into the world of formative forces and cosmic memory. The astral body leaves in the world of the planets, and comes to understand the consequences of uncontrolled feelings. The ego works with spiritual beings on forming the body for our next earthly life. Only with such a physical body can we fulfill our karma. The power of the sense of touch. The essential human task of fulfilling karma is deeply felt by the adolescent. [15:50]

      7.3. The physical body. The spiritual world looks with wonder at human beings were able to live in a body composed of minerals. It is as though the soul and spirit were imprisoned in a stone from their point of view. Yet the physical body is the highest and the lowest aspect of our being. It is the most perfect, and it is most prone to the hardening forces of the physical world. The mystery of the “model body.” Parents must prepare their child to live in the physical world by lending him a body that is not yet his own. The struggles of adolescents, the emotional ups and downs, and the rejection of the adult world are all connected with the child's need to possess her own physical body. [15:15]

      7.4. The etheric body. The etheric body which was the dominant aspect of the child that we talk in the primary and middle grades is now withdrawing from its outer manifestation. With every growth spurt, the adolescent reveals the work of the etheric body through her fatigue. But just as often the etheric pulls back, the astral dominates, and the child becomes wildly active. We rarely utilize the full forces of memory that the etheric  has bequeathed to a child of this age. But they will not be as strong when the astral body becomes dominant. The twilight of the temperaments, and the unfolding of forces of personality. [14:50]

      7.5. The astral body. The astral body brings tremendous disruption into the child's life. It is the "problem child" of the four bodies. However most importantly it is also the body that bears are individual karma. Before we or 12 or 13, our karma is carried in the womb of our parents. But by the time the child is in seventh grade, his or her own karma is beginning to arise. This will lead to many profound changes, and many inner struggles. The etheric body moves at the speed of sound. The astral body moves at the speed of light. When the astral body hits you, you feel it. [17:00]

      7.6. The Ego. There is great potential for confusing the Ego's image in the astral body with the Ego itself. We must understand that two streams of time to which Steiner pointed in order to comprehend the true nature of the astral body and the Ego. [14:40]

      7.7. Working with the Ego. Waldorf schools are too often known for their successes with the astral bodies of their children, e.g. the tearful graduation speeches in which students and parents talk about nothing but class relationships. The growth of Waldorf alumni societies is also based on the astral relationships that students have built up over the years. They want to go back to that rather than forward into the future. Waldorf education will not remain viable in the future unless we are able to touch the ego just as clearly and just as successfully. How do we help children move forward? The importance of laboratory sciences in the upper grades. The necessity of laboratory sciences being taught by the class teacher in the upper grades, not by an expert. [14:40]
    • Curriculum and Preparation
      Part 2: Curriculum and Preparation

      7A. The Seventh Grade Curriculum, Part 1 [15:50]

      7B. The Seventh Grade Curriculum, Part 2 [15:50]

      7C. Preparing for the Year, Part 1 [18:20]

      7D. Preparing for the Year, Part 2 [13:00]

      The Integrated Seventh Grade Curriculum:
      A Dynamic Diagram
    • Language Arts
      • Language Arts 1
        Part 3: Language Arts

        7.13. Introduction to Language Arts. The importance Steiner placed on the language arts blocks in the upper grades. The surprising difficulty Waldorf students have in self-expression. The transformation of emotion to feeling - an important task in grade 7. The difference between the writing skills of the boys and the girls. Devote yourself to helping the boys with their writing skills this year. [16:45]

        7.14. Language Arts 2. Keeping a journal as an encouragement  to write more. The pros and cons of various approaches to getting students more engaged in their writing. The centrality of the teacher as editor of and collaborator in the students’ written work. How many compositions should students be writing in seventh grade? Suggestions on types of assignments and the time span students are given for their writing. [15:50]

        7.15. Language Arts 3. The most important rule: never assign more writing then you can correct in a timely way. Some teachers can process voluminous amounts of written work, others work more slowly. Every class’s corpus of written work will be and should be different. Quality is infinitely more important than quantity. Working with the compositions: having children read portions allowed to the class and discussing them, writing portions of compositions on the board and analyzing them from a grammatical and stylistic point of view. A startling suggestion for a way in which students can read all of one another's work. The importance of good models of writing being presented to the children. The teacher's model is no longer sufficient. [16:00]

        7.16. Language Arts 4. Book reports. An oral approach to the book report may be superior to the usual written book report. The conundrum of the language arts specialist. Can the class teacher be trusted with the teaching of grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and a whole range of other language arts skills? These are extremely important things for the class teacher to convey to the children, and having it done by a specialist takes something away from the quality of what is taught. Working with the boys who cannot or will not write. Saturday groups, in which you work with the boys’ deepest interests and have them write about what they love. [14:15]

        7.17. Language Arts 5. Grammar. Review the lectures below on the mood and the triad of tenses. They are brought over from the sixth-grade conference but they are important concepts to be bringing to the children in grades seven as well. They will also be helpful with the “Wish Wonder and Surprise” essays. Make sure that you are always reviewing grammar, and always going back to basics. Grammar, like math, needs ceaseless practice. This year our new topic will be connectives. Seventh graders are finally attuned to relationships, and connectives are the words to build relationships in our language. We're going to look at them much more deeply then we did in the earlier grades. [14:10]

        7.18 Language Arts 6. Connectives, continued. "Like" and "as" and the confusion between them. To use "like"and "as" properly, we must be aware of the words that are going to follow them. This requires the speaker to apprehend what is streaming from the future of her own sentence. This is a perfect exercise for the seventh grader, who is experiencing the future streaming towards her via the astral body. A 1950s Winston cigarette commercial. Caroline Kennedy's fateful interview. [16:00]
      • Language Arts 2
        Part 4: Language Arts 2

        7.19 Language Arts 7. Conjunctions. Of the three types of conjunctions-coordinating, subordinating, and correlative, we will only work with coordinating conjunctions. The primal nature of coordinating conjunctions. How to form a list. The importance of the rule of parallel structure. Developing an "ear" for what is correct in the use of coordinating conjunctions. Punctuation when using coordinating conjunctions. [14:25]

        7.20 Language Arts 8. Coordinating conjunctions. Two independent clauses are joined. Special attention must be paid to punctuation. Polarities and the seventh grader. The comma as fulcrum for the balance beam of a sentence. The semi-colon and the pregnant pause, the colon, and the period. Punctuation and breathing, the nature of the astral body. Developing “style” through grammatical construction. Conjunctions bring meaning to a sentence. [9:10]

        7.21 Creative Writing 1 [15:40]

        7.22 Creative Writing 2 [10:25]

        7.23 Creative Writing 3 [16:35]

        7.24 Creative Writing 4 [16:10]

        7.25 Triads of Tenses 1.
        Tense at ages 10 and 12. Interplay of physical/etheric and astral/Ego. From simple tenses to “perfect” tenses. Past Perfect and the penetration of the physical world. [16:15]

        7.26 Triads of Tenses 2. Present Perfect tense. We “have” our past experience with us in the present. The Hermes/Mercury forces of the higher astral body. In Present Perfect the astral body reflects upon itself. From Saturn evolution to Earth evolution. [13:30]

        7.27 Triads of Tenses 3. Future Perfect Tense. We “will” the future, or we “are going” to the future. The astral Mercury forces look to the Ego, and the future takes on great specificity. Like Aeneas carrying Anchises on his shoulders, Future Perfect carries the past and the present into the future. [13:50]
    • Renaissance History
      Part 5: Renaissance History 1

      Before listening to these lectures,
      click here to download the Timeline PDF

      About the Art Course Slide Shows: In addition to the slideshows of student work that are interspersed with the Renaissance lectures you will find five slideshows identified as “Art Course Slide Shows.” These slideshows constitute a gallery of high-resolution reproductions of over 150 art works by Renaissance masters. Each slideshow comes in two versions. One version is a film of the slideshow, hosted by Vimeo.com, with extensive commentary by Eugene Schwartz. This is available to you only during your 14-day conference participation period. The other version, however, is an interactive slideshow that is hosted by SlideRocket.com. There is no commentary, and you can stop and pause slides as you choose. You are welcome to use it through the coming school year. You may want to look at it to strengthen your connection to the artworks on display, and you are welcome to show it to your class -- with your own commentary. Feel free to contact Eugene if you are not sure how to work with the interactive slide shows.

      7.36 The Renaissance 1: A Spiritual Perspective. Rudolf Steiner's teachings about the unfolding soul forces of humanity. Like seeds or medicines that are encapsulated, the soul forces have been predetermined to come to life and activity at certain historical periods in humanity’s development. The sentient soul characterizes ancient cultures from India through Persia through Babylonia to the end of Egyptian culture. The intellectual soul or mind soul comes to birth in ancient Greece and lives on through Rome and the Middle Ages. [16:10]

      7:37: The Renaissance 2. The Consciousness Soul. Steiner is very specific about the birth of the consciousness soul in the year 1413. The astral body awakens in the physical body and self-consciousness begins. The birth of the consciousness soul is well-documented and leads to the growth of powerful individualities. We cannot understand the times in which we live without understanding the times in which the consciousness soul was born. The grave importance of the seventh grade curriculum. [18:00]

      7.38: The Renaissance 3. Heredity and Individuality. The role of the Archangel Gabriel at the time of the Renaissance. Gabriel focuses on birth and early childhood, heredity and family life. Gabriel's mission is to serve as a counterbalance to the powerful individualizing forces of the consciousness soul. The discovery of the reproductive system of the human being. [14:35]

      7.39: The Renaissance 4. A Chronological Overview. We look at the Renaissance Timeline PDF. We are going to focus (for the most part) on a period of only 150 years, but it is filled with drama and historical transformation. [12:50]

      7.40: The Renaissance 5. Giotto. The committee. Ciambue, the last great medieval artist in Italy. Giotto's apprenticeship. The frescoes in the St. Francis Basilica in Assisi. [15:20]

      7.41: The Renaissance 6. Giotto, continued. This significance of the story of Francis as a foundation for the Renaissance that was to come. Giotto's daring rendition of the youthful deed of  Francis. Rather than drawing earthly figures out to heaven and flattening them out, Giotto brought spiritual beings to earth and made them three-dimensional. His depiction of the Holy Family in the Arena Chapel. [23:20]

      Art Course Slide Show: Cimabue and Giotto

      Click here for the Slideshow with commentary by Eugene Schwartz [34:40]
    • Human Physiology
      • Physiology Part 1
        Part 6: Physiology 1

        7.62: Physiology 1. Varying approaches to this subject. Is it more of a “Health and Hygiene” course, or does it belong in the “Natural Sciences” stream that began with Zoology? Proceed cautiously with the “Threefold Human Being.” Beware of passively repeating whatever other teachers have done without understanding what Steiner meant by “threefoldness.” States of consciousness in our body. [19:50]

        7.63: Physiology 2. Each of the three major bodily systems carries the imprint of the other two systems. Digestion as an example. The “sensory” and “rhythmic” aspects of digestion. [15:10]

        7.64: Physiology 3. More on the mouth. The threefold structure of our teeth. Orthodontics. The stress caused by cold food. Artificial flavors and aromas that “give the lie” to our digestive system. The severance of the sensory and metabolic systems. The need for ever stronger flavors. [20:10]

        7.65: Physiology 4. The stomach and the intestines. Polarities of acid and base. The spleen as “the heart of the digestive system.” The transformation of fats. The role of bacteria in our digestive system. Eating disorders. [14:15]

        7.66: Physiology 5. The “Rhythmic” (Respiratory/Circulatory) System. Eugene in court, undergoing interrogation by lawyers concerning the nature of the human heart. If “the heart is not a pump,” then just what
        is it? The hydraulic ram and the phenomenon of water that moves upstream. The “new” heart that the adolescent receives. Awakening to our rhythmic system. [23:20]

        7.67: Physiology 6. The embryonic heart and the rushing mountain stream. Ice formation and congealing blood. The hearts of fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals compared to the human heart.[19:20]

        7.68: Physiology 7. What is “cardiac muscle”? The voluntary/involuntary nature of the muscles of the heart. The beats-per-minute of the human being compared to smaller and larger animals. The astralization of the heart through athletic activity. [16:40]
      • Physiology Part 2
        Part 7: Physiology 2

        7.69: Physiology 8. The lungs. The heart embodies the more “introverted” etherically-oriented pole of our rhythmic system. The lungs are the extroverts, always interwoven with the outer world and the astral body. Profusion of surface area creates more “space” that is the astral body’s habitation. Disturbances of breathing on the inbreath and the outbreath. Goethe’s poem in the Slideshow. [17:40]

        7.70: Physiology 9. The ear. A good segue from the lungs to the ear. Or should we begin with the eye? Helen Keller’s words. The auricle, a microcosmic “embryo” that we carry along with us. Its cartilaginous substance never stops growing. The ear and the nose, the ear and the larynx. [17:15]

        7:71: Physiology 10. The auditory canal. Its threefold structure: bone, cartilage, skin. Fat and wax. The tympanum and the role of skin in our sensory organs. The interplay of skin, blood, and muscle. The eardrum “turns pale” and “blushes” in relationship to sounds (so watch your language!). The nasopharynx. Breathing and sensory experience. The Renaissance discovery of the ossicles. [17:20]

        7.72: Physiology 11. From middle to inner ear. The ossicles as the “rhythmic system” of the ear. The open spiral (auricle) and closed spiral (cochlea). The exoskeleton within us. The filtration and concentration of sound; an “alchemical,” potentizing process. Digestion: the final destination of all that streams into us, in whatever shape or form. [17:40]

        7.73: Physiology 12. The eye. A look at a student’s “portrait” of a classmate’s eye. The importance of lashes and lids. Why did Lucifer “open their eyes” at the Fall of Man? Why do we have to keep
        closing our eyes? The eye as a revelatory organ; brain and blood stand revealed. The inner structure of the eye. The “missing” Hyaloid Artery. The eye as a microcosmic womb. [15:35]

        7.74: Physiology 13. A journey into the eye. The rhythmic and metabolic qualities of the eye manifesting in the pupil, the iris, the lens, and the vitreous humor. The eye and its muscles. [16:45]

        7.75: Physiology 14. The retina. Rods and cones and their threefold structure. The metabolizing of light. Visual purple and visual yellow. The fovea/macula. Blood and nerve in the eye. The blind spot and the site of focused vision. Center point and periphery, a key to the Waldorf approach to teaching reading. The eye and ear and the Creation stories of the Old and New Testaments. The organ of balance. Why the class teacher, and not a specialist, should teach this block. [21:40]

        Student Work Slideshow: Physiology [17:00]
    • Working with Parents
      Part 8: Working with Parents

      7.10. Working with Parents. Although many teachers breathe a sigh of relief at the small number of parents showing up at their parent evenings in the upper grades, we should feel just the opposite. Parent work is more important now than ever. Because we no longer have our karmic connection with the parents upon which to coast, we have to work much harder to cultivate good relationships with our parent body. Suggestions about conducting interesting and meaningful parent evenings that will draw parents back in good numbers. [13:50]

      7.11. Working with Parents 2. Many of the worst social experiences that seventh graders have do not take place in school, but during weekends, at home, or in situations with friends. We cannot control these situations, but the after effects will play a large part in classroom relationships. How can we help the parents be better guardians of their children's social life? Here is a proposal. [14:20]

      7.12. Working with Parents 3. Parallel parties; seventh graders and their parents: a solution to the challenge of the seventh grade party. How to get parents to help with the class play. The importance of scheduling events well in advance and holding to that schedule. [12:30]
    • Perspective Drawing
      Part 9: Perspective Drawing:
      Three Instructional Films with Eugene Schwartz

      1. Introduction. Single Point Perspective [50:45]

      2. Two Point Perspective. The Box [35:45]

      3. Buildings. Roof and Steeple. Windows. Interiors. [45:00]

      Perspective Drawing:
      Student Work Slideshow

      Student Work Slideshow: Perspective Drawing [42:40]
  • Grade Eight
    • The Eighth Grader
      1. The Eighth Grader
      8.1. Rudolf Steiner’s intention to have only seven grades. The importance of the grade in which a teacher joins the class. The teacher as repository and guardian of the class’s etheric forces. The essential nature of the physical body and the adolescent's struggle with it. [17:45]

      8.2. The etheric body. Its role in forming the physical body as an instrument of karma. Revolt against the inadequacies of a modern physical body. Anabolic activity and its connection with human heredity. The etheric body and the “Guardian Angel.” [17:05]

      8.3 The astral bodyt as the polar opposite of the etheric body. Catabolism, illness, death. Undoing the forces of heredity and asserting the force of personality. Variety, change, insecurity as foundations of the astral body. Important for the teacher not to be swept away by the astrality of the class. The astral body and the Archangel. [21:20]

      8.4.. The Ego. Where is the Ego? Ego and personality: their essential differences. The astral “individuality” deception,which also is preparation for the ego. The relationship of angels, archangels, and archai to the higher members of the human being. The Ego and the Archon. The power of the momentary appearance of the ego in the classroom. [17:50]
    • Working with Parents
      2. Working with Parents
      8.5. Challenges of parent work in the upper grades. The ever-shrinking parent evening. The difficulty of reaching people by phone, email, or texting. The weakening of the karmic tie with the parents, and the strengthening of the karmic awakening on the part of the children. [23:50]

      8.6. The parent evening. Begin and end on time. Make the content interesting - even compelling - so that parents will want to come. They will no longer are coming because of their karmic connection to you, but they now must
      want to come out of freedom. Bring humor, and surprise the parents by revealing aspects of your own nature that they don't expect. [20:10]

      8.7. Working with fathers. Grades 1 through 5.5: Matriarchal. Grades 6 through 12: Patriarchal. Most of our meeting content and mood is feminine in nature, and that must change in the upper grades. Fathers can help bring the “outer world” to the students. [21:50]

      8.8. The four umbilical cords, an essential key to understanding the grade school years. [19:10]
    • History
      3. History
      Grade 8 Student Work in History: Copernicus and Galileo
      To understand these two titans of the modern scientific worldview, eighth graders must exercise their powers of analysis and critical thinking. And to present what they have learned requires the ability to synthesize a number of subjects in the Waldorf curriculum.

      Grade 8 Student Work in History: The Reformation
      The dramatic change in consciousness that characterizes the Reformation is embodied in individuals such as Martin Luther and King Henry VIII. As students experience biographies of increasingly complex human beings they also delight in reproducing their portraits and learn the ways in which the outer form reflects the inner nature of the subject.

      Grade 8 Student Work in History: The French Revolution
      From the grandeur of the Court of Louis XIV to the horror of the Reign of Terror, the French Revolution has something to hold the interest of everyone in the eighth grade classroom. Unlike the relatively tame political reform that characterized the American colonies’ dispute with the British, the French Revolution marked a true turning point in world culture. It is one of the most perfect of all subjects to teach in this year.

      Grade 8 Student Work in History: American History
      Although relatively tame when compared to the French Revolution, the American Revolution has its share of heroes and villains, near-disasters and triumphs. We will see two interesting student perspectives on the subject.
    • Science
      4. Science
      Grade 8 Student Work in Science: Human Anatomy
      The final step in the natural sciences in the grade school brings the student to the mystery of our life on earth: how do we bring our individual spirit into the density of the mineral world? We will view student responses to the mystery, and point to the challenge of bringing both reverence and lightness to this powerfully engaging subject. [25:10]

      Grade 8 Student Work in Science: Meteorology
      The interplay of the etheric and astral bodies of the Earth becomes an “objective correlative” for the battle of these two bodies within the eighth grader. We see how could observation opens the eyes of the students to the world of being and becoming, while the study of the interplay of water and air echoes their experiences of Fluid Mechanics and Aero Mechanics in Physics. [28:15]

      Grade 8 Student Work in Science: Organic Chemistry
      The study of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins integrates chemistry with the kingdoms of nature students explored in earlier natural science blocks. The careful descriptions and depictions of chemistry demonstrations sharpens their power of observation and unite artistry and science.
    • Geometry in Nature
      5. Geometry
      Grade 8 Student Work in Geometry: Part 1
      Although often overshadowed by Solid Geometry, the subject of "Geometry in Nature," also known as "Sacred Geometry," provides meaningful experiences for eighth graders. Of particular importance are understanding the Vesica Piscis, the "womb" of all regular polygons, the Golden Proportion ("Phi"), and the Fibonacci Series.

      Grade 8 Student Work in Geometry: Part 2
      We continue with other aspects of Geometry that can be of value to eighth graders. Spirals are constructed in a circle and also through the tactile and kinesthetic experience of folding long strips of paper using the Fibonacci series as a basis. The “Divine Proportion” of Phi comes to life as eighth graders experience their own proportions.
    • Resources and PDFs
      6. Resources and PDFs

      Homework as a Sacred Cow by Ron Milito
      The most thoroughly researched essay concerning all that Rudolf Steiner
      really had to say about homework. Important reading!

      Eighth Grade Homework
      Now that you’ve read Ron’s essay, here is some decidedly minimalist math homework that Eugene designed for his eighth graders.

      Eighth Grade Reading List
      Some suggestions (most books should be available at Amazon.com or Rudolf Steiner College Bookstore):
      Look at
      Make Way for Reading by Karen Rivers and Pam Fenner. It is a good reading list.
      The Veritas Press -- www.veritaspress.com -- is an excellent source of good reading for students and teachers alike. They are part of a well-funded homeschooling service that ascribes to an interesting amalgam of Christian and Pagan (aka “Classical”) philosophies.
      Some good books:

      • Laurens van der Post, A Story Like the Wind
      • Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities / A Christmas Carol / Great Expectations
      • Leo Tolstoy, What Do Men Live By? / How Much Land Does a Man Need? / Three Questions / Ivan the Fool, and all of his short “Fairy Tales and Fables.”
      • O. Henry, The Gifts of the Magi and other short stories
      • Henry van Dyke, The Other Wise Man

        Eighth Grade Blackboard Drawings
        For the Industrial Revolution: William Blake’s “Urizen” drawn by Eugene.

        “Scientific Discovery” drawing by another teacher

        The Eighth Grade Curriculum
        A block rotation guide. This was distributed in August to parents and specialist teachers:

        Midsummer’s Night Dream Costume Designs
        Eighth graders designed and sewed their own costumes for their class play. Here are a few examples:

        The Main Lesson Book: A Student’s Perspective
        Please note: The young woman who created this video was NOT one of Eugene’s Schwartz’s students!

        Some Helpful Links:

        A provocative article on Algebra that touches on how mainstream schools teach mathematics altogether.

        The New York Times ran a series of columns about grammar and style. Here is a link to one article; to find the others, just scroll down the right-hand sidebar in the article and there will be more links.

        The Vesica Piscis photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope.

        An excellent article about the Divine Proportion. The endnotes also link to helpful sites.

        A video about the Fibonacci Series

        The blog of an engaging mathematics prodigy from Harvard