In December, 1921, a small group of people left England to attend a Course of Lectures on Education which were to be given by Dr. Rudolf Steiner at Dornach, Switzerland. They had been brought together by Professor Millicent Mackenzie, lately professor of Education at Cardiff University. She had urged Dr. Steiner to extend his teaching upon education and it was largely due to her efforts that the Course of Lectures was now to be given. Amongst those who attended the Conference was Miss Cross, one of the principals of a co-educational school at Kings Langley Priory, and before the Course was ended she had consulted Dr. Steiner as to whether he would be willing to use the school as a nucleus for the introduction of his pedagogy into England. As a member of the Committee of the New Ideals in Education she also suggested that he should be asked to lecture at the forthcoming Conference at Stratford-on-Avon. Invitation to him to do so was given and during the Easter of 1922 Dr. Steiner lectured several times at the Conference to an audience of some four hundred people and gave the inaugural lecture on Shakespeare. On his return to London he visited the school at Kings Langley and consented to undertake the direction of the work there.
Meanwhile Mrs. Mackenzie set about organizing a conference to be held at Oxford under the title of ‘Spiritual Values in Education and Social Life.’ This took place in August, 1922, and here Dr. Steiner met such well-known men as H. A. L. Fisher, Clutton Brock, Maxwell Garnett, Gilbert Murray, Edmond Holmes and was the guest of L. P. Jacks at Manchester College.
In August, 1923, he again visited England and gave a course of lectures at Ilkley under the chairmanship of Miss Margaret McMillan.
A few years later these lectures appeared in a first edition entitled ‘The New Art of Education’ which has been out of print for some time. It has now been carefully revised and brought up to date in the present volume and the Editor is fortunate in having secured the assistance and unique experience of Miss Cross in this difficult work.
The original foreword is now out of date, but the few extracts supplied may be of interest. The two farewell lectures do not add to the understanding of the book, and were not intended to form part of it. They have therefore been omitted.
Several schools in English-speaking countries are now working successfully on Dr. Steiner's principles and among them the old historic Priory at Kings Langley, Herts, where Dr. Steiner established his plans. This school is still under the direction of Miss Cross. With its beautiful grounds and pastures, it has now a fresh interest attached to it — namely, Dr. Steiner's Agricultural Work — known as the Bio-Dynamic Method of Agriculture.
For the reader of the following pages there will be a note of sadness when he reflects that the Waldorf School at Stuttgart exists no longer. It was here that Dr. Steiner put into practical shape his work in education. But all his activities have now been suppressed by the German Government.