ERIC Number: ED259827
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985
An Interpretation of Rudolf Steiner's Theory of Child Development and School Readiness.
Ogletree, Earl J.
Viewing human development as a process by which the human gains self-control, this essay argues that locomotion and speech are control-oriented motor movements and suggests that cognition is also a form of movement developed as the individual achieves control over his or her thinking processes. Support for this view of cognitive development is adduced from the maturation of children's capacity to draw or copy geometric forms, electroencephalography, Piagetian developmental epistemology, and some research findings on the relationship of physical maturation to mental growth. The concept of the release of growth forces for thinking is subsequently discussed in terms of physiology and acupuncture. Evidence for the existence of an etheric or bioplasmic body is cited, drawing on Russian parapsychology, the Kirlian photographic process, and the phenomenon of phantom limbs. Prefiguration of these findings in the thought of Rudolf Steiner is indicated. In summary, it is suggested that, when a child reaches certain levels of physiological or biological maturity, forces of growth are released for new and subtle functions such as memory and thinking. However, depletion of bioplasmic forces during formative years reduces energy available later for cognitive development, and premature learning undermines physical development. Implications of the theory for human development and education are discussed, with attention being given to environmental retardation, school readiness, and the consequences of premature or forced learning. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A