Waldorf  Education developed and promoted by Rudolph Steiner advocated for the inclusion of the arts and an attention to the periphery of things; beauty in the classroom, according to Steiner, is not considered a luxury.  From a progressive school’s literature, I found the following  “. . . at this juncture I would put forth the question, might not beauty, and the love of the beautiful, perhaps bring peace and harmony?  Could it not carry us forward to new concepts of life’s meaning?  Would it not establish a fresh concept of culture?  Would it not be a dove of peace between the various cultures of humankind?”  (The Unknown Craftsman, Soetsu Yanagi).  These ideas provide another question we must consider, how do we include the love of what is beautiful in our work?

To Wonder at Beauty… By Rudolph Steiner

by The Novalis Ubuntu Institute on Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 3:22am

To Wonder at Beauty…
By Rudolph Steiner

To wonder at beauty,
stand guard over truth
Look up to the noble,
resolve in the good
This leadeth us truly,
to purpose in living
To might in our doing,
to peace in our feeling
To light in our thinking,
and teaches us trust
In the working of God,
in all that there is
In the width of the world,
in the depth of the soul.
These thoughts cause me to reflect that all too often educational environments don’t consider beauty.  I was just in a couple of classrooms this week where beauty could not have been further away.  Instead there was a drive towards spaces that are sparse and perhaps easy to clean.  Can’t we and shouldn’t we be thinking about lovely colors, simple, elegant decorations and the goal of creating a space where we and our students want to spend time?