Educational imperatives of the evolution of consciousness: the integral visions of Rudolf Steiner and Ken Wilber
Gidley, JM 2007, 'Educational imperatives of the evolution of consciousness: the integral visions of Rudolf Steiner and Ken Wilber', International Journal of Children's Spirituality, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 117-135.
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Rudolf Steiner and Ken Wilber claim that human consciousness is evolving beyond the ‘formal’, abstract, intellectual mode toward a ‘post-formal’, integral mode. Wilber calls this ‘vision-logic’ and Steiner calls it ‘consciousness/spiritual soul’. Both point to the emergence of more complex, dialectical, imaginative, self-reflective and spiritual ways of thinking, living and loving. Very little ‘evolution of consciousness’ literature appears in educational discourses. This article distils hermeneutic fragments of psychological, cultural-historical and philosophical texts and begins to examine education in this light. This evolutionary perspective may illuminate the emergence of contemporary understandings of spirituality as alternatives both to ‘formal’ secular and ‘formal’ religious education. A novel educational perspective is introduced based on a contemporised Australian interpretation of Steiner education seen through the lens of Wilber’s integral framework. This creative, ‘transmodern’ educational vision offers one way forward to consciously facilitate the emergence in children of more life-promoting, integral, spiritually aware forms of consciousness.