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YOUNG CHILDREN'S DRAWINGS
ISBN-13 .. 9-780-9585089-2-6
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— ... From the Foreword to the book ... —
“It is the aim of this study to draw the attention of parents, carers and educators to these pictures, which can provide insight into the amazing process during which the soul and spirit come to terms with their co-existence in the physical body, as these processes are mirrored in images we can learn to read and follow.”
Dr Christhilde Blume, paediatrician
DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR, Michaela Strauss was left thousands of children's drawings by her father, the late Hanns Strauss (1883-1946), one of the earliest Waldorf teachers. She went through them systematically and noticed that certain drawn shapes were linked to a specific age and stage of development.
Her studies convinced her that these stages were not confined to European children, but could be seen in drawings from all over the world. This finding confirms statements made by Rudolf Steiner in his many lectures on child development.
Michaela Strauss's observations encouraged me to start collecting drawings and paintings in my own paediatric surgery, and these present-day pictures show the same characteristics as did those from the Thirties. I concluded that they express the developmental milestones each of us undergoes in early childhood. Steiner's observations on the development of the human being offer a key to the puzzles with which these drawings confront us. He describes in detail the development of the physical body and its integration with the soul and the gradually incarnating human spirit. (See The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy by Rudolf Steiner).
The process by which the soul and spirit gradually ‘work through' the physical body as they make their way into it, as well as the growth of individual consciousness, are experienced by the small child, and are expressed in the pictures he or she draws. The adult learns to ‘read' from these pictures what the child has to say about his or her inner self on the physical, psychological and spiritual levels.
I owe to Michaela Strauss the impulse to find a new way of studying the development of the child and of following up the difficulties children experience as they find their way into life.