Arithmetic and Zoological Considerations

Karl König


This book offers insights into an approach toward teaching Arithmetic based on Dr. Karl König’s extensive work with children in need of special care. To reach these special children, Dr. König was able to boil down to the simplest form of the Waldorf approach to introducing this foundational subject. This careful diagnosis of what the essence of any topic might be so that it can be digested and understood by the young who cannot follow along at a modern pace will prove extremely helpful to all teachers of children learning the important elements of Arithmetic.

The book is more of a notebook from talks and seminars conducted by Dr. König for the instruction of those teachers in Camphill Special Schools, and these lecture and discussion notes are published with the intent that, through Dr. König’s insights, all teachers can better bring children to competence in Arithmetic.

KARL KÖNIG (1902–1966) was born and raised in Vienna, Austria-Hungary. His academic work focused on biology, zoology, and medicine. His studies led him to Goethe’s work on natural science, and his friends led him to the study of Rudolf Steiner. He met and collaborated with Dr. Ita Wegman on issues surrounding the care of disabled children. Later Dr. Wegman invited him to partner with her in Arlesheim. Here, Dr. König deepened his connection to children in need of special care and lectured frequently on this topic and others. He established the first curative home in Germany in the early 1930s. However, with his Jewish heritage, he had to flee first Germany in 1936 and then Vienna in 1938. Dr. König landed in Scotland, where he established a curative home for children in need of special care on the Camphill estate, a former hiding place of the last Knights of “The Order of the Temple.” This became the origin of a community based on curative education. After WWII, this community became the seed for the Camphill Movement, which has become a reality in many countries around the world

Waldorf Publications
ISBN: 978-1-943582-81-5
136 pages
7" x 10"