What Should Be Required Above All in Examinations for Teachers

What should be required above all in examinations for teachers

Those who wish to become teachers to-day are examined as to what they know, but what does this prove? As a rule only that the candidate has for the time of the examination, hammered into his head something which — if he is at all suited for that particular subject — he has been able to gather from many books, day after day acquiring what it is not in the least necessary to acquire in that way.

What should be required above all in such examinations is to ascertain whether the candidate has the heart, mind and temperament for gradually establishing a relationship between himself and the children. Examination should not test the candidate’s knowledge, but ascertain his power, and whether he is sufficiently a ‘man.’

To make such demands to-day would, I know, simply mean for the present time one of two things. Either it would be said that anyone who demands such tests is quite crazy, such a man does not live in the world of reality; or if reluctant to give such an answer, they would say: ‘Something of the kind does take place, we all want that.’ People suppose that results come about from this training, because they only understand the subject in so far as they bring their consideration to bear upon it.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 181 – Earthly Death and Cosmic Life: Lecture 7: Confidence in Life and Rejuvenation of the Soul: A Bridge to the Dead – Berlin, 26th March, 1918

Translated by Harry Collison

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