Observations on Adolescence: The Third Phase of Human Development
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Waldorf Publications

Observations on Adolescence: The Third Phase of Human Development

This book represents a collaboration which gathers together statements Rudolf Steiner said or wrote about adolescence. The material speaks not only about adolescence but also about the seven to fourteen year phase leading up to adolescence. The term adolescent is a relatively new word in the English language. It first appeared in print in England in 1481 when Mark of Erecham wrote of a certain adolescent young man. It identified the time of life between childhood and adulthood. We observe this period of life as a time of excess and exaggeration and also as a time of intense loneliness. Rudolf Steiner referred to the onset of adolescence as a gentle sprinkling of pain that never goes away. During this age boys are often brassy in a group, but when alone they turn inward, exploring their inner fantasies, and often seem to live in a dark cave of emotions they cannot explain. Girls, on the other hand can be noisy, brash, sassy, flirtatious, and moody, and they can exhibit a tremendous emotional vitality. Adolescence storms in with major body changes induced by hormones. It is not surprising that this age, of all developmental periods of life, requires the most empathy from teachers and parents, It is hoped that this book will kindle those feelings of empathy

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