Steiner Education: freedom, spirituality and creativity

Binetti, Giuseppe (2020) Steiner Education: freedom, spirituality and creativity. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Although various aspects of Steiner Education and of Steiner’s philosophy and its related teaching approach have been explored in the literature, there appears to be few holistic studies into the ways in which this philosophy is practised and understood by teachers. This thesis moves from the available literature and explores Steiner’s philosophical background with the intention of shedding light on the pedagogical theories created by Steiner and how these are implemented in one Steiner school.

The main focus of the research is on how Steiner’s philosophical notions of freedom, spirituality and creativity are enacted and understood in practice. The objective was to elucidate the nature and significance of these elements to learning, as well as understanding the physical context, conditions and arrangements in which they occur and are developed. To do this, an ethnographic study was conducted over a period of 9 months in a Steiner school in the UK. Qualitative data were collected through observations of participants, focus group and vis-a-vis interviews with staff, students, and parents, before being thematically analysed.

The findings display a complex picture: on the one hand, it appears that Steiner’s philosophical background provides a common set of shared perspectives on what education is and this theoretical background appears to inform the practice of the teachers in the school. On the other hand, the three notions of freedom, spirituality and creativity do not emerge as separate domains, but rather as different elements of a unified educational practice represented by a holistic understanding of children’s development.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Steiner, Steiner Waldorf, Steiner Education, Waldorf Education, Creativity, Spirituality, Freedom, Alternative Education, Progressive Education.
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Patrick, Dr. Fiona and Crichton, Dr. Hazel
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Dr Giuseppe Binetti
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81642
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2020 16:30
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 10:43
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81642

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