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Thesis

Holism and art in the Waldorf School: Implications for public education

1 December 1993

Abstract

This study examines the art curriculum of the Waldorf School, a private school movement founded by Rudolf Steiner, a German philosopher and educator, early this century. Steiner believed and incorporated as crucial to his educational philosophy that the unity of mind, body and spirit is paramount to the development of the whole child. To that end, Waldorf education incorporates knowledge, art and a form of movement called eurythmy into a highly structured and holistic curriculum. Art is as much a function in the classroom as science and mathematics and, in fact, permeates every subject. The teacher is fully integrated into this process, as well, as both teacher and participant.

Research questions are: how does the study and application of art in the Waldorf School influence teacher and student perceptions regarding art, and how does that study and application influence student and teacher perceptions regarding themselves as artists?

Methodologies include classroom observations, teacher interviews and informal conversations with students and teachers.


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