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A Critical Review of Waldorf Resources - Page 5

post #81 of 165
[QUOTE=Serena Blaue]Just wondering: is it really the goal of the Mothering Commune to become the host site of what appears to be a zealous campaign of denigration against anthroposophy and the Anthroposophical Society?QUOTE]
I think it is the goal of Mothering.com to provide balanced information,in this case information about Waldorf education for those who might be seeking it for their children.(or those who tried it for their children and are trying to figure out what went wrong) I believe it is very important to get all the information out there, both the good and bad.
post #82 of 165
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serena Blaue
Just wondering: is it really the goal of the Mothering Commune to become the host site of what appears to be a zealous campaign of denigration against anthroposophy and the Anthroposophical Society?

If the subject were the Ethics Society or the Sceptical Society would this be appropriate for Mothering Commune?

And for those who believe anthroposophy is indeed a religion (please note that efforts to prove it is a religion have failed in court) would members be ok with a campaign of denigration against Native American Spirituality, African spirituality, Buddhism, Shintoism, the Southern Baptists, the Catholic Church, Judaism, Wicca, Paganism, Evangelical Christianity and so on?

I wonder....

Serena
The only interest here is to question whether the promotional materials reflect the truth.

Pete
post #83 of 165
Quote:
The only interest here is to question whether the promotional materials reflect the truth.
I'm not an anthroposophist, but I'm pretty logical.

So stripping away all the extra ribbons and frills, the logic to the argument is this:

The anthroposophical society isn't qualified to accurately define what anthroposophy is, so ignore what they say and look instead at the Christian Community church for proof. The Christian community has churches and priests, and to my knowledge actually claims to be a religion.

The Christian community does have anthroposophical roots, but so does biodynamic agriculture. So the same logic used here to 'question the truth' of Waldorf promotional materials would go like this: "anthroposophy isn't a religion or a philosophy. It's an agriculture".

The other curious essence of the argument looks like this: Waldorf promotional materials are untruthful because they ascribe to the same definition of anthroposophy as the Anthroposophical Society, which was founded by anthroposophy's founder himself, Rudolf Steiner, a definition which anthroposophists have accepted for 80 years at least. Waldorf should dispense with the Anthroposophical Society as guide, and adopt the definitions, belief structures, rituals and labels of anthroposophy that critics of anthroposophy prefer.

Anthroposophy is similar in many respects to transcendentalism, which is also a spiritual philosophy, not a religion. When I was in high school, we had to study the American transcendentalists and their philosophy pretty thoroughly, and I studied it even more extensively in college. In none of those classes was transcendentalism ever labeled a religion, although many of the figures in the movement were very religious people.

Linda
post #84 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaCl
The other curious essence of the argument looks like this: Waldorf promotional materials are untruthful because they ascribe to the same definition of anthroposophy as the Anthroposophical Society, which was founded by anthroposophy's founder himself, Rudolf Steiner, a definition which anthroposophists have accepted for 80 years at least. Waldorf should dispense with the Anthroposophical Society as guide, and adopt the definitions, belief structures, rituals and labels of anthroposophy that critics of anthroposophy prefer.
The Waldorf promotional materials I’ve read are inaccurate to the point of untruthful and deceptive, in that they: 1. Do not identify Christianity, or esoteric ‘Cosmic Christianity’, as the foundational element of anthroposophy; 2. Do not identify Steiner as the clairvoyant and elevated spiritual master anthroposophists believe him to be (he’s referred to in promotional materials as a ‘scientist’ or ‘philosopher’); and 3: Do not clearly spell out that this clairvoyant and elevated spiritual master’s cosmic Christian intuitions form the basis of all Waldorf child pedagogy, the entire Waldorf curriculum, the festival life of the school, and the manner and way in which the school is run and administered.

The philosophical ‘Is anthroposophy a religion or not?’ question is really of little consequence in relation to these other very real and practical issues.
post #85 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by baandje
The philosophical ‘Is anthroposophy a religion or not?’ question is really of little consequence in relation to these other very real and practical issues.
Well that's progress.

This has all been discussed before here earlier, but maybe it's gone now.

But there is no deception. There is a very thorough discussion about how Waldorf education tackles issues from Christianity and anthroposophy, including an acknowledgement of the Christian aspects of anthroposophy:

"Is Waldorf Education Christian"

Linda
post #86 of 165
Thread Starter 
One good test for determining whether something is spirituality or religion is the appeareance of "the devil". Whenever there is the existence of "the devil" (or in Anthroposophy's case - two devils - Lucifer and Ahriman) - you can pretty much be sure you're looking at a religion.

Pete
post #87 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete
One good test for determining whether something is spirituality or religion is the appeareance of "the devil". Whenever there is the existence of "the devil" (or in Anthroposophy's case - two devils - Lucifer and Ahriman) - you can pretty much be sure you're looking at a religion.

Pete
I've never heard it defined that way in my life, but it's kind of funny. In the recent failed court case, the one which attempted to define anthroposophy as a religion, this was pretty much the tactic taken by those who filed the suit.

Over and over in the court records, this very obscure quote about lucifer was tossed out, as if that were all it took to decide the issue.

As has been mentioned already, this didn't work in court, probably because that is *not* a test to determine whether something is a religion or not. If it were, then Rube Goldberg fans would be part of a religion, since all the inventions were really those of Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts. And metal music ...... wow. The devil is probably one of the most prominent figures in rock.

Hope you guessed my name, um yeah
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, um mean it, get down
Woo, who



Linda
post #88 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaCl
Well that's progress.
The “Is it a religion?” question comes down to personal opinion. And people tend to hold onto their opinions pretty tight, so what’s the point really of even debating the issue?
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaCl
But there is no deception.
I’ve experienced deception with this issue. Generally though, I’d say the real problem is part unconsciousness and part fear with regards to what honesty on that level – full disclosure, in other words – will bring about. I know of teachers who have expressed concern about losing enrollment if they’re too upfront with all this, for example.
post #89 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by baandje
The “Is it a religion?” question comes down to personal opinion. And people tend to hold onto their opinions pretty tight, so what’s the point really of even debating the issue?
So here we are, back at the beginning again.

If there is no point in "really even debating the issue" then why bring it up?

Bigotry against anthroposophists and the philosophy they work out of -- well, I still wonder if that what this board is for? I'd guess not, but I could be wrong.

Serena
post #90 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serena Blaue
If there is no point in "really even debating the issue" then why bring it up?
I didn’t bring this issue up; and I'm simply taking part in a conversation. And as I posted already:

The Waldorf promotional materials I’ve read are inaccurate to the point of untruthful and deceptive, in that they: 1. Do not identify Christianity, or esoteric ‘Cosmic Christianity’, as the foundational element of anthroposophy; 2. Do not identify Steiner as the clairvoyant and elevated spiritual master anthroposophists believe him to be (he’s referred to in promotional materials as a ‘scientist’ or ‘philosopher’); and 3: Do not clearly spell out that this clairvoyant and elevated spiritual master’s cosmic Christian intuitions form the basis of all Waldorf child pedagogy, the entire Waldorf curriculum, the festival life of the school, and the manner and way in which the school is run and administered.

There are relevant and important issues here that need to be looked at, none of which have to do with “bigotry against anthroposophists and the philosophy they work out of”.
post #91 of 165
Thread Starter 
Maybe it's time to be moving on the the "Waldorf" section of the AWE website. We have:

http://www.americans4waldorf.org/Waldorf.html

"Waldorf or Rudolf Steiner education is based on an anthroposophical view and understanding of the human being, that is, as a being of body, soul and spirit."

That's good! That's honest. Well done!

"The education mirrors the basic stages of a child's development from childhood to adulthood, which in general reflects the development of humanity through history from our origin, far back in past times up to the present."

The "basic stages of a child's development" is an interesting statement. Who decided what the basic stages of a child's development are, that such a phrase should be tossed around so carelessly? The answer is Steiner decided what the basic stages of development are and pretty much nobody else (among reknowned educators) agrees. Not being one to brush right past something like this, I'm wondering what could these basic stages of a child's development be? If they are "basic" - I guess we must all be familiar with them. In case anyone here isn't, here they are:

"The Three-Fold Concept of Man as a whole person, fully developed in willing (doing), feeling and thinking is mainteined throughout the Curriculum." [I'm leaving a bit out here to keep the quote short enough to comply with MDC guidelines]

"In the early years from birth to age seven visual memory dominates. As the child matures from ages seven to fourteen, his feelings emerge in strong combination with story memory.

"Emphasis in the middle years (grades 1-8) of the Waldorf curriculum is appropriately placed on the feeling-filled experience
of knowledge.

"Finally, with adolescence from age 14 to 21 comes the "ah-ha" of ideas, thoughts and concepts through logical insight."

[From "Waldorf Education - A Family Guide" - Article "Creating a Balance of Thinking, Feeling and Willing" by Rene Querido - p53]

So the "basic stages of a child's development" are based on the mystical number 7. - Age 7 = change of teeth, Age 14 = onset of puberty, Age 21 = adulthood.

So, now we are faced with the question - how do these "basic stages of a child's development" relate to the "development of humanity through history from our origin, far back in past times up to the present."?

Let's not spend too much time here - there's more:

"While anthroposophy forms the philosophical and theoretical basis of the teaching methods used in Waldorf schools and is reflected in the attitudes of many Waldorf teachers and in the general structuring and orientation of Waldorf education during the different stages of development, anthroposophy is not taught as such to the students in the overwhelming majority of Waldorf schools world wide. "

Here's our favorite misrepresentation. It's even hedged a little here using "overwhelming majority", just in case. Again, and again we see this claim being made and have to look carefully at what is being claimed in each case. Anthroposophy is not taught as a subject. It is definitely taught in all Waldorf schools and everything that is taught almost without exception is filtered through Anthroposophy.

"If anthroposophy is taught in some form by an individual teacher, this is done against the basic Waldorf tradition and in complete contradiction of the intention of Waldorf education, as expressed by Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education."

And once again, it is the "individual" and not the system that is at fault when something goes wrong. The individual teacher, the individual school, the individual incident, the individual community of parents... The reality is that it is the system that causes these problems. This is, in no way, saying anything against Anthroposophy - as a belief system and religious practice. The objection is to the deception that it is not in the curriculum and is not taught to children - when in fact it is and without many parent's knowledge or approval.

"In the future, Waldorf schools may increasingly be based on school vouchers. This will make a basic Waldorf oriented education freely available to all as one option among others, irrespective of the socioeconomic status of the parents."

Again this is another statement that shows up to diffuse concerns about diversity. Much of this stuff seems almost boilerplate Waldorf website material.

Anyway, the AWE website deserves props for providing many links to other sites. It loses marks for not representing Waldorf in the fair and balanced way that it claims to do. More to come...

Pete
post #92 of 165
Ok, I just read five pages of posts. I am looking into waldorf schools for my dd and thought I might find something useful in this thread but I am at a loss. I just don't get what this thread is really about.

And, by the way, there are many philosophies of education out there (montessori, sudbury, reggio, etc) and they all start with core beliefs and stages of development. Just as there are many ways to treat disease, even among allopathic doctors, so there are many ways to think about the human brain and its development. There is no consensus amongst educators about how to teach children and what those stages of development are just as there is no consensus about a whole heck of a lot of things in life.
post #93 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
Ok, I just read five pages of posts. I am looking into waldorf schools for my dd and thought I might find something useful in this thread but I am at a loss. I just don't get what this thread is really about.
As Pete stated one page one of this thread: “In the mean time, I’ve made assertions that Waldorf isn't being up-front with information about its connection to Anthroposophy. If I am going to support this assertion, examining Waldorf resources and websites is absolutely necessary.”

And: “Anthroposophy itself is not the problem, because many people really like Anthroposophy and want their kids immersed in it. The problems come from not divulging the presence and application of Anthroposophy in the schools and the extent to which it is part of the curriculum and the teacher training, etc.”
post #94 of 165
boongirl,

As Pete states in the opening of this thread, it is a critical review of Waldorf resources (links, magazines, RS Foundation, etc.), but I could see how you would think it was about resources to help you find schools. For that I would look at waldorfworld.com
post #95 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serena Blaue
“the Bigotry against anthroposophists and the philosophy they work out of -- well, I still wonder if that what this board is for? I'd guess not, but I could be wrong.”
Re-reading this comment the morning, I believe you’re misinterpreting the intent of this thread. As Pete stated and as I just quoted: “Anthroposophy itself is not the problem, because many people really like Anthroposophy and want their kids immersed in it. The problems come from not divulging the presence and application of Anthroposophy in the schools and the extent to which it is part of the curriculum and the teacher training, etc.”

Anthroposophy is a deeply occult, esoteric-Christian philosophy. Steiner is considered a esoteric initiate of the highest order, and is understood to be the reincarnation of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, to name but two noteworthy personalities. Steiner’s spiritual indications were derived from the perceptions he gleaned via clairvoyant reading of the spiritual Akashic record. And the entire Waldorf curriculum, including his spiritual directives with regards to guiding the schools administrative processes, is all derived from these clairvoyant “Cosmic Christian, spiritual scientific” (as anthroposophists refer to them) insights of Steiner’s.

None of the above is ever communicated to prospective parents in Waldorf promotional material, or in parent-teacher enrollment interviews, or seldom even after the family has enrolled.

Specifically regarding your stated concern: I can investigate and determine and reveal and state that my car is in fact a grey Honda with a sunroof and CD player. And that’s quite different than ridiculing and criticizing it for not being a 300 horsepower red BMW (not that I’d want one, because I love my Honda :-)
post #96 of 165
Well done and well said, baandje.

:
post #97 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by baandje
As Pete stated one page one of this thread: “In the mean time, I’ve made assertions that Waldorf isn't being up-front with information about its connection to Anthroposophy. If I am going to support this assertion, examining Waldorf resources and websites is absolutely necessary.”

And: “Anthroposophy itself is not the problem, because many people really like Anthroposophy and want their kids immersed in it. The problems come from not divulging the presence and application of Anthroposophy in the schools and the extent to which it is part of the curriculum and the teacher training, etc.”
Well, that all seems to have been said and done. I guess the fact that it keeps going and going got me confused. It reminds me of a thread in TAO a while back asking who believes in evolution. It just kept going and going and going with both sides until finally it was shut down. What I am reading herein is two sides holding firm to their stance: "waldorf is hiding something with regards to anthroposophy"; and "we don't agree - we love waldorf." Like the aforementioned TAO thread, the two sides never did come to an agreement. Seems to me that this aint happening here either.
post #98 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete
One good test for determining whether something is spirituality or religion is the appeareance of "the devil". Whenever there is the existence of "the devil" (or in Anthroposophy's case - two devils - Lucifer and Ahriman) - you can pretty much be sure you're looking at a religion.

Pete
Totally off topic, but does this mean we are country acting on religious principals. Didn't we go to war to deal with one of those axis of evil? Some people seemed to buy that idea that we were fighting the devil.
OKOK I'll stop
post #99 of 165
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
Well, that all seems to have been said and done. I guess the fact that it keeps going and going got me confused. It reminds me of a thread in TAO a while back asking who believes in evolution. It just kept going and going and going with both sides until finally it was shut down. What I am reading herein is two sides holding firm to their stance: "waldorf is hiding something with regards to anthroposophy"; and "we don't agree - we love waldorf." Like the aforementioned TAO thread, the two sides never did come to an agreement. Seems to me that this aint happening here either.
It seems like the thread you are talking about may have involved a lot of opinion. The difference here is that I am producing evidence of how this misdirection is repeatedly applied on Waldorf websites. Not everyone will agree with my evaluation of the evidence, but the material is referenced and people can judge it for themselves. It isn't as if we are rehashing the same old material, we are looking at website after website with fresh eyes and seeing the same old deceptive language that underplays the role of the philosophy that drives Waldorf, Anthroposophy. The more evidence, the better the case.

Pete
post #100 of 165
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yinsum
Totally off topic, but does this mean we are country acting on religious principals. Didn't we go to war to deal with one of those axis of evil? Some people seemed to buy that idea that we were fighting the devil.
OKOK I'll stop
I'll just say, I think separation of church and state is a good idea.

Pete
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