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Millennial Child

Transforming Education in the Twenty-First Century

Eugene Schwartz

320 pp.  


Today’s children are an endangered species. As a result of the reductionism spawned by Freud and the homogenization of the stages of human life that followed, many children seem to have lost their childhood and been thrust into the confusing and chaotic world of adults.

Eugene Schwartz presents an incisive analysis of the ways in which the errors of the first third of our century have come back to haunt us at the century’s end. After carefully examining Sigmund Freud’s tragic misunderstanding of childhood and tracing its consequences for today’s parents and educators, the author points to the radically new paradigm of childhood development offered by Rudolf Steiner and embodied in Waldorf education.

Parents, teachers, and child psychologists will find a wealth of insight concerning such diverse subjects as the nature of play, the causes of ADHD, computers as teachers, and the power that love and imagination will have in the education of the Millennial Child.

Reviews & Endorsements:

An Antidote to our Educational Crisis
Reviewer: Paul Margulies

This is a brilliant book that provides an answer to our pressing educational crisis. Anyone who has been teaching for ten years or more recognizes two things: that standardized tests are putting more pressure on kids, teachers, and parents; and that the kids coming into classrooms these days are different than they used to be. There ar more and more books being written today about how to deal with "the spirited child" emphasize the will, more than thinking or feeling.

At the heart of our crisis is our failure to recognize the differences between thinking, feeling and willing. And that our stress on intellectual development, depriving children of their childhood, actually does more harm than good in the long run. He proposes a new curriculum based on doing, rather than passively absorbing intellectual material at an early age. The children play, do handwork, and listen to stories when young, and then move through a cogent and age-appropriate curriculum, as they grow older, nurturing each level of development before passing on to the next.

This is a kind of organic education, based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner, who developed the Waldorf system of education, among many other things. Every page lights up with insight after insight. But these are not merely theoretical. Schwartz backs up his insights with dozens of practical examples taken from his long experience as a Waldorf teacher. This book could be for education what "The Silent Spring" was for the environment.

Saving Our Children
Reviewer: Andrew Flaxman

This book is essential reading for anyone seriously interested in understanding the crisis in education today and what to do about it. However, the book requires an open mind because the educational philosophy presented runs counter to the mindset controlling today's school systems and the proposals dominating the political races. Schwartz sees that the path to educational reform is not to teach to fulfill centralized testing requirements but to recognize that children need something far more comprehensive. Schwartz's thesis is based on the pedagogy of Rudolf Steiner which is relatively unknown or misunderstood in the United States today.

This educational philosophy is based on a very deep understanding of childhood development and the appropriate curriculum and methods for each stage. There has been very little study of his "Waldorf" method on the university or teaching-college level in spite of the rapid growth of Waldorf and Steiner schools in North America.

The book is part anecdotal and part scholarly so as to be able to describe the "education as art" methods suggested. Nothing less is needed to prepare our children for the future in the increasingly technological age.

Related Titles

  • The Foundations of Human Experience : (CW 293)
  • Soul Economy : Body, Soul, and Spirit in Waldorf Education (CW 303)
  • What Is Waldorf Education? : Three Lectures
  • An Introduction to Steiner Education : The Waldorf School
  • Ready to Learn : From Birth to School Readiness
  • The Essence of Waldorf Education
  • What Is a Waldorf Kindergarten? : 2nd Edition
  • Rhythms of Learning : What Waldorf Education Offers Children, Parents, and Teachers
    (Revised 2nd Edition)

    Related Titles by Subject:

    Waldorf & Special Needs Education ; Family: Education & Child Development and Waldorf & Special Needs Education: General