Piaget and Steiner: Science and art in the process of formation

Tania Stoltz, Ulrich Weger


Abstract. This study discusses the contribution of Piaget and Steiner to the process of formation, using their observations about art in cognitive processes as a framework. It is justified in the discussion of an educational process suitable for human development. The definition of art can be comprehended through approaches that are humanist, sociological or from an interaction between these approaches. According to Steiner, in art and science, cognition implies an active process of production of the subject, which implies ascension from casuality to needs. Both art and science seek the infinite. To Steiner, the purpose of art and of science is to overcome the sensorial through the spiritual. Piaget recognizes the cognitive development as an active construction between the subject and his environment. This construction goes through the real actions, representation and operation. It is only at the formal stage that we can mention a determination of the subject by him/herself and in his/her capacity of subordination of the reality to the realm of infinite possibilities. In this process, Piaget refers to the exchange with peers or cooperation as essential to the advent of operation. Although Piaget did not refer specifically to art, all of the process of intelligence development can be understood as a process of creation of the subject. The study was conducted with 32 non-artist adults aged between 21 and 71 years, who had finished higher education and exercised different professions, and were interviewed about their perceptions regarding art and life; works of art who accompanied their life and which would be their definition of art. As results, the relation between art and life is observed, especially comprehended as form of expression of feelings, as expression of the soul; way to handle difficult situations, besides the notion of the relation between life and art as an opportunity for rethinking and learning, a new possibility of comprehension of the world, improving the ways of being, living, acting and understanding. There is a perception of art as a part of life. Very few participants mentioned specific works of art that have accompanied them in different moments of life and, among these, music and visual arts are especially mentioned. Both the contemplation as well as the creation of artworks are mentioned and perceived as fundamental to life. The definition of art to the participants included mainly the expression of feelings, the notion of art as transformation, transcendence, communication, knowledge and integration. These results point to specificities of the Brazilian context, with the emphasis given to music and visual arts as the main artistic activities cited, as well as to aspects found in participants of a similar study developed in Germany, in what regards art as expression of feelings, art as a context of approximation of the subject towards him/herself, as a form of integration with the universal. It is observed, from the participants, a demand around the relation with the language of art in the process of transformation of the subject across life, not only to work with difficult situations, but also in the unleashing of new possibilities of being and acting, to his/her own health. It concludes with the need to review traditional educational practices, integrating, definitively, the artistic activities to the intellectual work developed through science.

Keywords: science; art; Piaget; Steiner; education.

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