How Much “Spirit” Should Higher Education Afford?

Marcelo da Veiga


Those who are concerned with higher education often find themselves confronted with the claim of its benefit: In the light of almost common opinion, higher education mainly seems to be the suitable means in a struggle for economic welfare. Seemingly, its function is to provide competitive advantage for the individual as well as for nations. The following article intends to show that such an implicit but nevertheless influential view is based on a distorted concept of education and therefore cannot but fail in mastering present and future challenges of society and global development. The article will propose another, more comprehensive view of education instead, which not only means an adaptation to the necessities of worldwide economic competition but also includes the development of spiritual capacities which can enable us to reflect our present problems and their foundations in a more substantial, holistic way. It will sketch some anthropological premises of Rudolf Steiner’s pedagogy and suggest why this educational approach can provide a person with the ability to find more sustainable and better approaches to cope with present and future challenges.


Contemplative inquiry; educational reform; spiritual development; Waldorf education; Rudolf Steiner

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