This is a time for the children to follow the sea-routes of the great European and Asian navigators to the Spice islands and India and the Americas. The curriculum then returns the children to Renaissance Europe and Asia, a time of great change. They meet scientists who developed abstract concepts; new ideas and philosophies: artists and inventors who changed the world, and great individuals who led the people. The children learn a great deal about the physical world, which they are ready to enter and conquer, but through careful observation they can discover the essence and processes which bring it alive. Thus in Physics they concentrate on the lifeless concepts of mechanics, magnetism and electricity, to discover the strength and energy in them. In Chemistry, studied for the first time in Class Seven, the children look at the characteristics of substances and how they relate to one another. Through careful observation new concepts are discovered. Class Seven learners realize that only when abstract concepts are combined with thoughtful observation of the processes, can true principles be derived.
Geography in Class Seven presents the world as a living organism. What has been learnt in history about the voyages of discovery is incorporated with the children’s understanding of ancient civilizations from Class Five and the work on Africa and Europe from Class Six is expanded. The Main Lesson includes the children’s knowledge of plants and animals and of weather and seasons as well as introducing Astronomy.
Biology introduces a study of the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems of the human body. The transforming thirteen year-olds begin to realize how all the physical matter they take in becomes transformed and how everything in the world out there affects them within. In Mathematics they learn about positive and negative numbers, about square roots and the balancing of algebraic equations. Here as in all the work done in Class Seven, the focus is on balance and transformation from childhood to youth; to step out of the focus on one’s inner world and into the outer, physical world; to find the courage to reveal one’s own individuality.