Book Review: Earth Science July 17 2017
By Hans-Ulrich Schmutz, PhD
Reviewed by Ronald Koetzsch
Many Waldorf parents and Waldorf teachers regret that they themselves did not receive a Waldorf education. But parts of the Waldorf curriculum can be studied and experienced at any age. Earth Science, by Hans-Ulrich Schmutz, although meant as a guide for Waldorf high school science teachers, gives any rueful adult the opportunity to work through the rich Waldorf earth science curriculum for grades nine through twelve.
Schmutz studied geology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and later taught geography and technology for eighteen years at a Waldorf school near Zurich. In Earth Science he has distilled his knowledge and experience and provided a step by-step guide for covering the various earth science topics in the high school.
The book contains informative and interesting sections on geology; “the earth in motion”—the circulation of water and wind and plate tectonics; crystallography and the seven crystal system; surveying; astronomy; the economy of energy renewable and nonrenewable sources; paleontology, anthropology, and evolution; and nutrition in the world economy.
Although the subject matter is often technical in nature, the writing is clear and understandable. Schmutz’s treatment of these topics is rigorous and scientific but consistently points to the living relationship between Earth and the human being. It is also imbued with a sense of wonder and gratitude at the marvelous, beautiful, and complex planet on which we human beings live.