The Arts and Steiner Education
Though easily overlooked, we believe that the building of this bridge of sensitive imagination between the world of theory and the reality of practice is of utmost importance in the education of children. Hence in Steiner schools, we are constantly aware of the need for artistic communication through stories, painting, drawing, music, modelling, acting and Eurythmy… during the early childhood years and in Primary School, the children are daily engaged in activities of this kind. During Middle and High School, teenagers – who evolve in our pressured environment of fads, conformity and fashion – also demand artistic forms of contemporary self-expression.
But, if students still expect their teachers to be dynamic and creative during those years, the epimethean art forms of the past are often rejected as part of the rebellion against the old… so, what can we offer them?
Here, at Shearwater we believe that in WAVE we have found a way that allows artistic expression, and its associated values, to be integrated beautifully into our across-the-curriculum approach. In fact, year after year, the Shearwater Wearable Arts Performance Event becomes more and more deeply embedded in the School’s Learning Program; the event acting not only as a catalyst and stimulus to students but serving as a realisable focus for their creative self-expression.
The show is an inspiring event that last year drew a paying audience of some 1600 over four performances. The magic of these evenings is palpable and stimulates the maximum participation and sense of belonging. It brings out the best in all involved: cooperative teamwork, dedication, sacrifice, commitment, veneration, respect (for self and others), a striving for excellence, peer support and love of life.
All these transform themselves into living realities through the creative agencies of this new, incipient art form. And, to let Rudolf Steiner conclude: “A moral foundation is laid when the individual is guided to the source whence he must draw the impulses which supply him/her with forces leading to ethical activity.”