Another quote from the NY Times’ article on what scientists believe but they can’t prove.
Psychologist, University of California, Berkeley; co-author, “The Scientist in the Crib”
I believe, but cannot prove, that babies and young children are actually more conscious, more vividly aware of their external world and internal life, than adults are. I believe this because there is strong evidence for a functional trade-off with development. Young children are much better than adults at learning new things and flexibly changing what they think about the world. On the other hand, they are much worse at using their knowledge to act in a swift, efficient and automatic way. They can learn three languages at once but they can’t tie their shoelaces.
And I believe, but can’t prove, that this is another case of mainstream scientists grasping towards what Waldorf educators have been taught for the last 80 years. Steiner was an expert of sorts on the nature of consciousness. In fact, all of anthroposophy is a study in the levels of consciousness. Steiner referred to levels of consciousness in many lectures, and in detail especially in the first several years of his Anthroposophical work (see among others the lectures of 26 September 1905, 10 June 06, and 1 June 1907).