Holistic Special Education

Camphill Principles and Practice

Edited by Robin Jackson

Out of print

Quick Look

A candid, informative manual for parents and professional children's workers alike, putting the case for holistic, integrated care and education for children with special needs.

234 x 156 mm
Floris Books
Special Needs Education; Steiner-Waldorf Education
16 colour and 12 b/w illustrations
288 pages
Publication date:
23 Mar 2006


Parents and professionals working with special needs children often face difficult decisions about the child's education. This book puts forward the case for holistic special education, as practised by Camphill schools.

Camphill's holistic approach embraces education and therapy in various forms, all aspects of care -- including, for those children receiving residential care, everything from nutrition to bedtime routines -- as well as crafts and medical treatments. It emphasizes the importance of the creative arts alongside core aspects of the curriculum such as literacy and maths. It believes that the relationship between the child and their adult co-worker should be one of mutual teaching and learning. It recognizes parents, not as recipients of a service, but as equal and active partners, and strives to develop the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of a child.

Written by people involved in holistic special education on a daily basis, this book is a candid, informative manual which will be valued by parents and professional children's workers alike.


'A fresh and contemporary description of what Camphill stands for. It is incredibly important to read Robin Jackson's account of the relevance of this kind of community within the whole spectrum of provisions. For all those who love Camphill, this book is an absolute must-have. It could be a learning document, it could be a good read about an amazing phenomenon, but mostly it is an inspiration.'
-- Deborah Ravetz, Camphill Correspondence

'A readable insight into Camphill philosophy and practice and makes the case for residential special schools at a time when many authorities are still pursuing an ideology of mainstream inclusion for all.'
-- Camphill Pages, Summer 2006

'Whatever a reader's views about residential special schools this book is well worth reading. It draws on the creativity of the Steiner tradition and provides an inspiring and detailed account of 'curative education' -- a holistic approach to working with children with special needs. It is written with a moving enthusiasm for its subject and is informed by a deep respect for children as individuals and as part of a community.'
-- Pat Petrie, Professor of Education, University of London

'The opportunities and distinct learning and care that Camphill schools and communities provide are illustrated in this stimulating book which combines professional experience and case-studies with academic and policy references. It makes for compelling reading for special education professionals, social workers and parents.'
-- Professor Pamela Cushing, Kings University College, London, Canada

'Holistic Special Education provides a fascinating and insightful account of the philosophy and practice of Camphill Schools. The discussion of the diverse therapeutic approaches and broader underpinnings of curative education keep the child central throughout. It highlights the important and continuing role of residential special schools. I recommend this book not only to those with an interest in residential child care but to all those involved in the care and education of children.'
-- Andrew Kendrick, Professor of Residential Child Care, Glasgow

'In uncertain times filled with constant change this book offers the reader an insight into other possible worlds in the sphere of residential child care.'
-- Jeremy Millar, The Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care


Robin Jackson was a lecturer at Aberdeen College of Education before becoming Principal Lecturer in Special Education at King Alfred's College, Winchester and Principal of Linn Moor Special School in Aberdeen. He has worked with Camphill for many years, including as a Development and Training Co-ordinator, and is currently a consultant to Camphill Rudolf Steiner Schools in Aberdeen.


Other books available on Camphill:
Discovering Camphill: New Perspectives, Research and Developments edited by Robin Jackson
A Portrait of Camphill: From Founding Seed to Worldwide Movement edited by Jan Martin Bang
The Builders of Camphill: Lives and Destinies of the Founders edited by Friedwart Bock (Out of print)
The Lives of Camphill edited by Johannes Surkamp (Out of print)

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