From Images to Thinking, compiled and edited by David MitchellWaldorf Publications
Calling a youngster’s thinking to rise up from the pictorial imaging of early childhood so that it is sound and rich with creativity and many-faceted nuances is an artistic activity of the highest order. This collection of essays leads parents and teachers through the growing capacities of a child at different stages of development, describing the tools available to help enrich the child’s imagination, call the child to keen observation of nature, the surroundings and the child’s own thinking to develop both logic and constructive problem solving as strong capacities for life. The process starts with story telling and fairy tales, with practice in recalling stories to increase memory, leads through the research in brain development that gives clear indications of which practices are correct and supportive at which times in a child’s growth, describes sensory observation through the pre-teen years, blossoming into carefully developed thinking and scientific capacities in the high school years. Essays by experienced Waldorf Educators from Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the curriculum at the first Waldorf school, and including Eileen Hutchins from the middle of the last century, Christof Wiechert former head of the Pedagogical Section for the international Waldorf movement and other teachers, therapists and neuroscientists. David Mitchell was a Waldorf educator and a mighty advocate for renewal of education and culture for over forty years. He had a keen eye for those ideas and resources that would most support teachers and parents in raising children in a playful, rigorous, experientially based way. This collection is an outstanding example of his expertise, given a specific aspect of topic such as this one: how to lead a child from the pictorial thinking of youth to clear thinking of adulthood, without losing any of the joy, curiosity, keen interest and enthusiasm of early childhood.