Our first learning experiences involve our active limbs: moving, manipulating, pushing, being squished, giving, receiving and on, and on. Here we experience the subconscious forces of our will in full outward expression. When we are first determined to learn some new skill, we often defer to our earliest childhood tendencies, namely to imitate in our gesture and movements the actions of our instructor. We attempt to become a copy of that which we seek to be able to do, to be like and that which we admire. As they say, imitation is a form of flattery. So, in education, this primary level of learning must never be left out.
As children come of age and enter the grade school years, a new focus on learning comes to the fore, while the other hands-on imitative learning remains active. We want to become aware of more than just the body, but also our inward soul, the bearer of our consciousness, our emotions and feeling life. Our soul seeks at this age for one, not only to outwardly emulate, but to inwardly be like, an authority figure (one who is the author of their own actions). The heart is the image most expressive of our soul life, and music and other artistic expressions the outward displays of our heartfelt reality. The heart as the primary sense organ of the soul. Learning is now half conscious, lying between the deep subconscious causes of our actions to that of a highly developed cognitive clarity; we can safely dream the world in childhood blissfulness.
And all of this leads to the least noticed learning mode (though perhaps the most inappropriately emphasized), till it begins to awaken around the twelfth year, namely, our thinking. Now children have been thinking since they were quite young, so we are speaking of the child’s ability to consciously form and present their own independent thoughts. This capacity must be developed very gradually, and initially thought must come in the form of pictures and imaginations. We could say that it is a heart-like thinking that is initially needed in order to fully develop our thinking powers. A process that has several key chronological milestones, the ages of: 3, 7, 12, 21, 35, and 56. We can well appreciate the sovereign land of the clear conceptual clarity that is possible in thinking. Anything that can be regarded as truly a knowing must involve thinking, as it is our thinking that eventually reveals what is not yet fully understood, as in what lies behind our subconscious actions and deeds. And so we find ourselves back to willed activity, being brought even into our thinking, and to be complete, we can speak of a heart-willed thinking that enables us to deeply penetrate and appreciate the world about us.
The development of the hands, heart, and head within education is the acknowledgement of the fully human need to be able to freely act, love, and think in order to make possible a truly satisfying world. It is our innate desire to acknowledge the significance of our body, to properly appreciate the richness of our soul, while penetrating, initially through our fully alive thinking, the spiritual realities underlying it all.
So, within the curriculum as presented within our school, you should always find an initial direct experiential presentation of a given topic, which if possible, will always involve movement in some form, followed by the appeal to the inner life of feeling, through music, art, and pictorially imaginative stories, that lead to the ability for the young adult to draw forth, as in science, the lawful clarity of the spiritual underpinnings of our world.