f view disseminated in our society that art is only for entertainment or for the wealthier classes (Magro, 2005; Bergonski & Stoltz, 2014) . This is in line with the opinion of Duarte Júnior, who states that: “art continues to be seen, inside school itself, merely as leisure, a form of amusement in-between the “useful” activities of the other disciplines” (Duarte-Júnior, 2012: p. 81) .

In view of this it is evident that schools as they are at the moment need to reassess their priorities and seek teaching practices aimed at the emancipation of the subject as well as contributing to their development taking place in an integral manner. The analyses of the records in the diaries kept at the school using the Waldorf methodology make it evident that this teaching practice is contrary to the materialistic trend that pervades conventional education, given that it is based on the principle that a subject’s education should occur in a complete manner whereby teaching practices are planned with the development of the child or adolescent in mind (Steiner, 2007, 2013; Veiga & Stoltz, 2014; Andrade Silva, 2015; Stoltz, 2016) . Thus, based on the uniformities found in the diaries, it was seen that the artistic element pervades all Waldorf teaching and is, therefore, an instrument used in the process of the student’s development with regard to the affective, cognitive and volitional aspects.

As explained in the categories “art as a means of teaching” and “art as an instrument for affective development”, all subjects at the Waldorf school are taught imbued with music, dancing, painting and poetry. This occurs because, for Steiner, the founder of Waldorf Education, the psychological mechanism takes place between “observing and thinking, between feeling and thinking, which, by its effect, motivates thought and individuality” (Schleder & Stoltz, 2014: p. 110) . In this context art becomes an important tool that seeks to regain all aspects of the subject, such as emotion, creativity, intellectuality and perception during the educational process (Stoltz & Weger, 2012; Stoltz, 2016) . In this sense, Carlgren & Klingborg (2006) stress that:

When the characteristic expression of an animal is reproduced in clay or wood, when painting or drawing an effort is made to achieve the maximum that the material can give to the work intended, when, between audacity and test of patience, one works to form an image, the involvement of the entire personality is experienced. (Carlgren & Klingborg, 2006: p. 49)

With regard to the category “art as a means of expression” it can be seen that as a rule the students were provided with opportunities to create and express their feelings in relation to the contents studied. Through the element involving images, the students could combine both their feelings and their thoughts with the contents they studied. This is in keeping with the ideas of Duarte-Júnior (2012) . For this author, learning is a dialectic between what we feel and what we think. Therefore, by taking on expression through art, children can vent their feelings and emotions (Carlgren & Klingborg, 2006; Vygotsky, 2001, 2009) . This results in children being able to acquire better self-knowledge and develop autonomous and critical reasoning about that which is presented to them, given that for Steiner “children need pictorial language to nurture their psychological universe which, in the future, will become the basis of transformation into thought and formation of judgements” (Bach & Stoltz, 2014: p. 117) .

6. Conclusion

The main objective of this study was to analyze how art is expressed in everyday schooling using either conventional methods or Waldorf methods in order to identify what implications the artistic and creative element have for student development.

Based on the analysis of the data collected in both contexts it could be seen that in the school using conventional methods little space is reserved for creation and involvement with artistic activities, given that its teaching practices continue to be embedded in mechanicalness and the reproduction of contents. As a result, it was observed that the atmosphere in the classroom becomes tiresome for students and there is little contribution to their development.

On the other hand, the study also found signs that there are teachers who strive to use alternative methods in their teaching practices. Notwithstanding, they encounter difficulties in working with art and creation within traditional everyday schooling. It can therefore be said that education professionals need to be better prepared to work with art in the school environment.

This preparation can begin at the teacher training stage, by providing future teachers with greater knowledge about alternative teaching methods, such as Waldorf Education, given that this study points to this form of education as showing itself to be feasible and having many contributions to offer to traditional education.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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