Understanding the Steiner Waldorf Approach: Early Years Education in Practice

By Janni Nicol; Jill Tina Taplin | Go to book overview

8
Domestic and
artistic activities

Introduction

In this chapter we shall consider first of all why domestic work is included so regularly and thoroughly in Steiner early-childhood settings and also why such emphasis is given to artistic and craft work both for the children and the adults caring for them. We shall describe how enthusiasm, dexterity and understanding of the world are developed by such a curriculum and how the development of both adults’ and children’s creativity is seen as such an essential component of Steiner education.


The importance of domestic and artistic activities

Domestic and artistic activities have an important place in the rhythm of the day and of the week, and both the practical and the artistic feature strongly throughout the Steiner Waldorf curriculum up to the school leaving age. Indeed, all the initial teacher-education courses include a substantial component of artistic work for the self-development of the student as well as pedagogical artistic work such as toy- and puppetmaking. Teachers’ conferences and continuing professional development sessions will normally include some art-based sessions, and in most schools and settings there will be an artistic activity as part of the staff meeting. This indicates the importance given to artistic education and development within the Steiner movement for children and for adults. Couple this emphasis with the obvious joy that young children find in creative expression it is hardly surprising that you will find ‘arts and

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