Special Needs ~ Camphill

Shaping the Flame

A Celebration of the Camphill Movement

Bob Clay et al.

Foreword by Sir John Tavener



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Shaping the Flame is both a celebration and a journey, capturing the heart and soul of the Camphill Movement. There aren't words, at least not in my command, that really convey the immediacy of Life or the depth of Beauty recorded here in image, verse and prose -- you'll really need to see it for yourself. I can say that it brought tears to my eyes, joy to my heart and rekindled a sense of hope that I didn't even know had been lying dormant for a while.

Shaping the Flame via waldorfbooks.com

Most of the text is accompanied by lavish artwork and illustration. The book takes the reader on a creative journey through the natural cycle of the year, covering seasonal activities, festivals and a wide variety of superb craft work.

The pictures, like music in song, are equal or even dominant partners with the text. Imagination and skill go hand in hand in the layout of the pages, the pictures, the lettering. It’s a beautiful production. - the Friend

In our opinion, the work of Karl König (founder of the Camphill Movement) and the Camphill Villages throughout the world are the warm heartbeat of the goals of Anthroposophy: Shaping the Flame is like still, crystaline water, reflecting it back into the world.

Breathtakingly beautiful.

10" x 9 1/2", 100pp, 2017.

By the Light of the Lanthorn

Working with People with Special Needs - A Cultural and Social Impulse in a Changing World

Siegfried W. Rudel



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When Council Inspector Paul Clark visited the Peredur Trust in Cornwall more than twenty years ago, he was under pressure to serve a legal notice to comply with various regulations or face closure. He expected to encounter a cult organization with weird and unpalatable practices. In fact, he found something quite different. As he says in his foreword, “I came to inspect—I stopped to evaluate—and I remained to admire!” Paul later became the trust's chief executive.

The Peredur Trust has been caring for disadvantaged and differently abled individuals, effectively and successfully, for more than sixty years. Siegfried Rudel, its president and one of its four founders, tells the story of how the impulse behind the organization—inspired by the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner— first transpired. However, this is not simply a narrative and history of a single organization; rather, this book represents a universal cultural impulse that embraces the needs of our time, and one that reappears today in many residential communities for people with special needs around the world. In a fascinating presentation, and with the aid of many archival photographs, In the Light of the Lanthorn tackles interrelated themes including the arts, the environment, sustainability, agriculture and nutrition—all in the light of working with individuals with special needs

A Portrait of Camphill

From Founding Seed to Worldwide Movement

Edited by Jan Martin Bang

Over 150 full color photographs



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The Camphill Movement is a worldwide network of homes and villages for children and adults with special needs. Inspired by the vision of its founder Karl König and a group of close associates, the growth of the Camphill Movement is the story of an idea about community as a basis for special needs education, therapy, and daily living.

The world in which Camphill was born was one that barely exists today. In 1940, during the ravages of a brutal and devastating war and under tremendous resistance and the most challenging of circumstances, Camphill was like a seed planted in the foreign, granite-strewn soil of northern Scotland. Some seventy years later, the Camphill seed has taken root, grown, flourished, flowered, and propagated into many countries.

This book, bursting with more than 150 photographs, is a joyful celebration of the story of Camphill. The fascinating feature articles cover everything from the history of Camphill to the development of individual communities around the world, as well as the future challenge of sharing Camphill’s message in an even wider world. This portrait is painted through debates that affect the whole Camphill movement and through the personal stories of those who make up its communities.

This is a beautiful book, filled with pictures, memories, and stories, and above all filled with the people who have made Camphill what it is today.

The Child with Special Needs

Letters and Essays on Curative Education

Karl König

Translated by Regina Erich



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In this remarkable collection of Dr. König’s letters and essays, he considers and discusses the fundamentals of special needs education. He shows that there are three core aspects of a successful holistic approach to healing. First is a positive social environment, which in the context of Camphill arises through small family units of caregivers and children. Second, the caregivers’ work is based on insightful understanding of the nature and potential of each disability. And third, medical treatment it imbued with courage to keep the faith that the impossible can be made possible.

I think that the range of topics covered touches on just about every question that arises out of the need for helping those with developmental difficulties, and as such touches the very heart of the human condition.  There are also several black and white photos of König with various children he worked with - to see them is to also see the warmth he had for them, and they for him.  To then be able to, as it were, hear his voice through his writing and see him with the children he served conveys so very much about the nature of therapeutic education and the role love has to play in it.  Very highly recommended.


Foreword by Peter Selg

Introduction: Karl König - Curative Teacher and Physician by Georg von Arnim

To Parents

Letter to the Parents of Camphill at Lake Constance

To the Mother of a Down's Syndrome Child

The Task and Ethics of Curative Education

The Purpose and Value of Curative-Educational Work

The Care and Education of Handicapped Children

Basic Issues of Curative-Educational Diagnosis and Therapy

Curative Education, Modern Civilization and Social Community

The Three Foundations of Curative Education

Modern Curative Education as a Social Issue

Curative Education as a Social Task

The History and Future of Curative Education

Mignon: The History of Curative Education

Adalbert Stifter and Curative Education


The Problem of Euthanasia

Euthanasia as a Challenge to Society Today

The Children of the Curative Education Course

Wilhelm Uhlenhoff



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I believe this is one of the most significant books to be published in the field of therapeutic education and medicine. Those of you who are familiar with Education for Special Needs, know from it that Steiner observed many children and gave movement, speech, and other pedagogical therapies for each of them according to their needs. The Children of the Curative Education Course brings these children and their families to life as full human beings, and follows the progress of the children sometimes all the way to old age.

The Children of the Curative Course

Ita Wegman among the children and co-workers at the Sonnenhof

This makes Steiner's recommendations so much more meaningful and clear in both their intent and their effects.  Getting to meet these children and understand both their developmental/medical situation as well as their family backgrounds adds an element of heart that simply breathes life into what could become just a clinical recitation of remedies and effectiveness.  There are many, many black and white photographs of the children, often photos of each child through the different stages of their lives.  Uhlenhoff's notes offer detailed pictures of the children and of the therapies, both pedagogical and medical.  They also offer a warm commentary on the children's lives and progress, as well as anecdotes, some told by the children themselves as adults.

The richness of The Children of the Curative Education Course is multifaceted and deep.  Some of the stories are heartbreaking, some uplifting, all of them allow us insight into very special lives.  Through this insight, I believe each of us will find new and fresh ways to help others and to help ourselves. This book will plant many seeds of goodness.

Education for Special Needs - 2nd Edition

The Curative Education Course (317)

Rudolf Steiner

The Collected Works of Rudolf Steiner

Translated by Anna Meuss



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"Essentially we do not really have the right to talk about normality or abnormality in a child's inner life, nor indeed in the inner life of human beings altogether.... One does not gain much from such labeling, and the first thing to happen should be that the physician or the teacher rejects such an assessment, and goes further than saying that something is clever or sensible according to the way people are habitually thinking." —Rudolf Steiner

Speaking in 1924, when general attitudes to people with special needs were far from enlightened, Steiner gave this seminal lecture course to a small group of teachers and doctors as a basis for their future work. In the current cultural context, regressive ideas such as social Darwinism and eugenics were not only tolerated but popular (some 15 years after these lectures were delivered, the Nazis initiated their so-called euthanasia program). In contrast, Steiner—who had, as a young man, successfully tutored a boy with special needs—was devoted to the progressive task of special education and, in the words of one of those present, "gave the course with pleasure and satisfaction."

Steiner describes polarities of illness and derives courses of treatment from a comprehensive analysis. He considers many individual cases in detail and gives indications on therapeutic exercises, diet, and medicine. The "I," he states, relates directly to the physical body, and the spirit and soul need to be considered when making diagnoses. Throughout the lectures, Steiner offers valuable advice for the self-development of educators, emphasizing the need for enthusiasm, humor, and courage.

As with Steiner’s lectures on agriculture, this course has had a huge international impact, inspiring the establishment of hundreds of schools and communities for people with special needs, including the Camphill and Steiner special-education movements. Revolutionary in approach, the far-reaching perspectives of these lectures are a living source of inspiration to both professionals and parents, as well as anyone seeking spiritual insight.

This new edition features a fresh translation, introductory material, notes, color plates, and an index.

Education for Special Needs is a translation from German of Heilpädagogischer Kurs (GA 317). 12 lectures, Dornach, June 25–July 7, 1924 (CW 317)

This edition replaces Education for Special Needs.

216 pages, 6" x 9", 2014.

The Lives of Camphill

An Anthology of the Pioneers

Compiled and edited by Johannes M Surkamp



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The Camphill Movement began in 1939 with a small group of young Austrian refugees led by Karl König. The Lives of Camphill is a definitive reference to more than a hundred of those who joined the movement from the 1940s until the early 1970s—individuals who worked in a unique way with children and adults with special needs and helped make Camphill the large and influential network it is today.

The Lives of Camphill gathers 129 short biographies and more than 70 photographs that span those thirty formative years during which the movement spread across the globe. Each story tells of a fascinating individual and together they form a remarkable whole that documents the history of Camphill Villages in the most appropriate way—through the people.

Shining Lights

Celebrating Forty Years of Community in Camphill Village

September 17, 1961 -
September 17, 2001
Copake, New York

Softbound, full color, large format


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Recorded on these pages is a monumental journey, one that required the heart, vision, courage and hard work of hundreds of people. This is a journey that arrives triumphant every single day and begins again with vigor each new morning. I marvel at how well it is recorded in this single volume.

The great souls whose lives and work on behalf of Camphill Village in Copake, New York grace these pages are many, too many to name them all. Gladys Hahn, Janet McGavin, Carlo Pietzner, Dorothea von Jeetz and many whose names you won't recognize are here. More than any one person, though, is the wonder that from a beginning of some land, a vision and dedication Camphill Village has become truly a village where what is most noble and best in the human heart is allowed to live, where hundreds of developmentall disabled people have found love and dignity and been allowed to contribute work of real value, where, as Alton Marshall says, "no basic principle governing human relationships has been compromised."

Amazing! A book to love and cherish - as the Camphill Movement is a deed to love and cherish.

Children with Special Needs

Michael Luxford


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This is the best "first book" on curative education we have seen, and we are genuinely glad to be able to offer it to you. This is a concise and fully illustrated introduction to Rudolf Steiner's ideas on the education of children with special needs. Though not intended as more than a general overview, the details of working with children manifesting a variety of learning barriers and emotional/physical challenges are incredibly instructive, in part because of the many well-chosen photographs (some of which are simply terrific!).