1921, a small group of people left England to attend a Course of Lectures
on Education which were to be given by Dr. Rudolf Steiner at Dornach,
Switzerland. They had been brought together by Professor Millicent
Mackenzie, lately professor of Education at Cardiff University. She
had urged Dr. Steiner to extend his teaching upon education and it
was largely due to her efforts that the Course of Lectures was now to
be given. Amongst those who attended the Conference was Miss Cross,
one of the principals of a co-educational school at Kings Langley
Priory, and before the Course was ended she had consulted Dr. Steiner
as to whether he would be willing to use the school as a nucleus for
the introduction of his pedagogy into England. As a member of the
Committee of the New Ideals in Education she also suggested that he
should be asked to lecture at the forthcoming Conference at
Stratford-on-Avon. Invitation to him to do so was given and during
the Easter of 1922 Dr. Steiner lectured several times at the
Conference to an audience of some four hundred people and gave the
inaugural lecture on Shakespeare. On his return to London he visited
the school at Kings Langley and consented to undertake the direction
of the work there.
Mrs. Mackenzie set about organizing a conference to be held at Oxford
under the title of
‘Spiritual Values in Education and Social Life.’
This took place in August, 1922, and here Dr. Steiner met such well-known
men as H. A. L. Fisher, Clutton Brock, Maxwell Garnett, Gilbert Murray,
Edmond Holmes and was the guest of L. P. Jacks at Manchester College.
In August, 1923,
he again visited England and gave a course of lectures at Ilkley under the
chairmanship of Miss Margaret McMillan.
A few years
later these lectures appeared in a first edition entitled
‘The New Art of Education’
which has been out of print for some time. It has now been
carefully revised and brought up to date in the present volume and
the Editor is fortunate in having secured the assistance and unique
experience of Miss Cross in this difficult work.
foreword is now out of date, but the few extracts supplied may be of
interest. The two farewell lectures do not add to the understanding of
the book, and were not intended to form part of it. They have therefore
in English-speaking countries are now working successfully on Dr.
Steiner's principles and among them the old historic Priory at Kings
Langley, Herts, where Dr. Steiner established his plans. This school
is still under the direction of Miss Cross. With its beautiful
grounds and pastures, it has now a fresh interest attached to it
— namely, Dr. Steiner's Agricultural Work — known as the
Bio-Dynamic Method of Agriculture.
For the reader
of the following pages there will be a note of sadness when he reflects
that the Waldorf School at Stuttgart exists no longer. It was here that
Dr. Steiner put into practical shape his work in education. But all
his activities have now been suppressed by the German Government.