The Steiner curriculum is not merely a formula and neither is the threefold organisation of a school. Both require understanding to become truly meaningful. Both derive from the perception of the human being.
The three fundamental spheres of social life have been differentiating slowly and instinctively over millenia within the social fabric. But this is not the threefold social order which comes about
A school is primarily an organ of the cultural-spiritual sphere of the threefold social organism (with its ideal of freedom). That means the central task of a school is to help unfold the capacities of each individual child so they may "go forth in freedom" (see the key quote below).
A school belongs most essentially to the cultural-spiritual sphere but nevertheless has important economic and legal-rights functions. Economically all members of the school organism need to work co-operatively to make the institution a viable economic entity (the economic sphere with its ideal of brotherhood). Further, it has aspects of the legal-rights sphere (ideal of equality) meaning it must develop and work with procedures relating to justice and fairness.
This straightforward picture of the relative importance of the three spheres has a bearing on every aspect of school life.
"A child's spiritual individuality is something completely sacred, and those with a genuine experience of human nature know that it will follow, of its own accord, the influences exerted on it by everything round about. . . The individual will know how to develop through his own power, and his talents may then go far beyond what the teacher possesses. Here is true respect for human freedom!"
Rudolf Steiner, The Tension
between East and West,