Chalk drawings: Art, pedagogy and a great classroom atmosphere

When one pushes the doors of the classrooms of the Steiner school in Geneva, one discovers on all the boards magnificent drawings made with chalk by the teachers.

These drawings reveal either the subject that is being taught during the period or the holiday that is being celebrated at that time. Waldorf teachers have a culture of drawing pictures. The techniques are taught in training seminars and books support the teachers in this art.

Between the ages of 7 and 14, children connect with the world through their hearts, through wonder and emotion. And what could be more meaningful than an image? Images, whether mental or real, hold a wealth of wisdom and knowledge, far more than long speeches can.

The drawing on the blackboard is the first image that the students discover when they arrive in class, and it will accompany them throughout the three to four weeks that a teaching period may last*. When the two sides of the board are closed, the students have the drawing in front of them. This carefully chosen image sets the mood in the classroom. It sets the tone and allows the children to find their place in time and in the highlights of the year.


* Waldorf pedagogy teaches academic subjects in three to four week periods. The "period class" is held daily from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and immerses students in a single "subject."

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