In the pre-school, parents may encounter the concept of “dream consciousness” when talking to teachers. Many parents are uncertain as to what this might mean. Dream consciousness?
This means that we encourage parents to respect their small children’s developmental phase. We prefer to let their imaginations flourish first so that they have a firm foundation for their later intellectual development. For the young child, stars shine because they are full of wishes! That the light passes through dust particles from many light years away will only later have additional meaning, relevance and use to the little ones.
Rudolph Steiner recognised that the child learns, in the early years, through imitation. And through play – as well as roleplay. As adults, we need to be worthy of imitation. So, when dealing with situations with our little ones, we should not be using directives, reasoning, logic or facts. What will reach them far more deeply is the telling of a story, modelling the right behaviour, and repetition. As Einstein is supposed to have said, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
We must remember that they do not yet think as we do. The forces are working at growing the physical body and the internal organs. Focus on the intellect comes at a much later stage in the child’s journey. Freedom is the gift we should be giving the child in the first seven years – freedom to unfold into who they are.
Please follow the link to Vince Gowman’s article here in which Steiner’s directives and suggestions are supported by today’s scientific discoveries. Please feel free to engage with me if you have any questions.
Laura Moss, Kindergarten Teacher