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Life After Waldorf ~ A Support Group - Page 56

post #1101 of 1181
I apologize ahead of time for not being able to quote and/or seeming scattered. I am on my phone and nursing. I am also a Waldorf teacher but am currently a stay home mom. Yes I am very familiar with the struggle of not being Waldorfy enough. I was deemed not Waldorfy enough myself. But things are changing in many schools and more and more people are being attracted to Waldorf as parents and teachers that aren't interested in the crazy dogma.
I think in that respect there is some light.

I have found the northern California schools to be extremely dogmatic and traditional but it also depends on the teacher. So much depends on the teacher!

Everyone always brings up Steiner's comments on race. I have biracial children and am a member of an interracial marriage and to be quite honest, I choose not to pay any mind to his comments on race because they are nonsense. He did not found Waldorf education to be racist and it isn't. He said and did so many other valuable things and no one said we had to believe every word that came out of his mouth bc some just sound nuts. In addition, all of his lectures were transcribed by others which leaves a great deal of room for error.

Someone posted a long time ago that reading is not taught until the baby teeth all fall out. Not exactly true. We teach it in first grade whether you have baby teeth or not. If you have list baby teeth or not can contribute to your child's 1st grade readiness assessment along with lots of other factors.

Children with special needs. Waldorf teachers are not trained in serious special needs. A few schools are equipped to handle this but if your child has major issues, I urge you to keep looking. Waldorf is on the special needs train but pretty far behind in many schools. Some schools recognize their limitations here, others don't. I have seen several students go all the way through 8th grade with a w for r substitution. That is no good at all.

Yes lots of people have had terrible experiences. I had a terrible experience. Will I give up on a beautiful system? No. Does it need work? YES! Lots! But I have also been a public school teacher. It is certainly flawed as well.

Finally, I am so aware that there are teachers and schools that are devoted to every word Steiner said. We are not all like that. What parents need to know about the esoteric part is that teachers use meditation as a teaching tool. We don't all embark on a deep study of esoteric science and what we use is a lens through which to view the children. And I promise that there are sane schools and teachers out there.
Again, sorry for the craziness of the post. I have little time but wanted to weigh in. Good luck!
post #1102 of 1181
Quote:
But things are changing in many schools and more and more people are being attracted to Waldorf as parents and teachers that aren't interested in the crazy dogma.  I think in that respect there is some light.

Do you have any actual evidence that this is true?  It sounds like Waldorf-speak to me.

Quote:
Everyone always brings up Steiner's comments on race. I have biracial children and am a member of an interracial marriage and to be quite honest, I choose not to pay any mind to his comments on race because they are nonsense. He did not found Waldorf education to be racist and it isn't. He said and did so many other valuable things and no one said we had to believe every word that came out of his mouth bc some just sound nuts. In addition, all of his lectures were transcribed by others which leaves a great deal of room for error.

I agree, Steiner's comments on race are nonsense.  But they are TAUGHT in Waldorf teacher training... so Waldorf doesn't think they're nonsense.  If you hadn't chosen to pay no mind to his comments, but instead investigated them, you may understand why accepting bi-racial children into Waldorf it isn't problematic.  Yes, Steiner founded Waldorf to be racist - he just didn't understand that it was racist to teach the things he taught... neither to many Waldorf teachers.  Please... don't try the old "transcriber error" apologia - that has been tried too many times... transcription errors, translation errors, this is ridiculous.  Most of Steiner's racist material HE wrote himself - in his books... Are you suggesting Steiner never said the things that are attributed to him?  Seriously?

Quote:
Someone posted a long time ago that reading is not taught until the baby teeth all fall out. Not exactly true. We teach it in first grade whether you have baby teeth or not. If you have list baby teeth or not can contribute to your child's 1st grade readiness assessment along with lots of other factors.

This is very telling... YES, you teach reading in the first grade... BUT, you can't get into first grade until the "change of teeth".  It sounds like what someone else posted is EXACTLY true.

Quote:
Children with special needs. Waldorf teachers are not trained in serious special needs.

Why don't they say this?  Why do they leave it up to critics of Waldorf to inform the world of this?  And how can anyone know if their child has a learning disorder in such an environment?

Quote:
Yes lots of people have had terrible experiences. I had a terrible experience. Will I give up on a beautiful system? No. Does it need work? YES! Lots! But I have also been a public school teacher. It is certainly flawed as well.

Yes, I hear girls are giving blowjobs in the hallways in public schools... thanks for raising the alarm.

Quote:
Finally, I am so aware that there are teachers and schools that are devoted to every word Steiner said. We are not all like that.

Well, considering you admit that you "pay no mind to his comments" when it suits you, I can well believe this.  Unfortunately, every Waldorf school seems to have at least one "Steiner said" teacher - usually this is the one running things in the faculty meetings.

Quote:
What parents need to know about the esoteric part is that teachers use meditation as a teaching tool.

This is SO malicious!  "What parents need to know" - is EVERYTHING.  What gives you or anybody else the right to decide what parents need to know... and then hide what they teach you - in the name of incarnating other people's children?

 

I encourage more Waldorf teachers to come here and reveal what's important to them and what isn't. 

post #1103 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbsmd View Post

 

I think having a rhythm to your day--hectic or not--that gives you moments to stop and accept the world as it is, and perhaps imagine it a little better than we are able to see it is important. One of the things that Waldorf schools do (and people find this cult-like, but I see the importance of it too) is say verses for transitions.  In regular life, we transition to breakfast by shouting "Hurry up, your eggs are getting cold!!!  Why haven't you brushed your teeth yet???" or some other variation.  At least that is how it seems in my own home.  As a teacher, I am in a rush to get out the door and that always complicates things.  But for a while I was able to sustain coming to breakfast at the same time each morning and having the family say a verse together.  It was a poem of my husband's (my husband is an amateur poet, and felt very proud to hear his verse at the breakfast table--he would probably not have said it otherwise!) and the children were excited to learn it.  It was a very special moment in our day and after a few weeks, it brought out an interesting change in our family dynamic and our family life.  Our schedules changed the following school year and so did breakfasts so out we grew to a different pattern.  But the few months where we were able to all come together in the morning and stop for a moment--all at the same time--was a good exercise.  I still see the effects of it a number of years later.  Incorporating ritual and imagination into any mundane tasks of life enriches them.......  That is a very Waldorf-conscious thing which I noticed.  Write a poem yourself or pick one from one of your favorite poets.  It is an honor to bring back words from the past!

 

Also, there is a good book by a woman named Sharifa Oppenheimer about the rhythm of the home for young children.  Also, any book about Lifeways early childhood might have good suggestions!!  I believe that the best changes are the ones you can make in the home--school is secondary to home life and should augment it......not supplant it!!  

 

Good luck!!

Maggie


Thanks Maggie! I appreciate your taking the time to respond. I like the idea of incorporating poems and verse into our daily rhythm. And thanks for the reminder that school is secondary to home life. Last year when my son started public kindergarten I felt like I was losing him to "the system," but I do know that our home life still will have a huge impact on his development.

 

I would encourage people to avoid feeding the trolls. There is a difference between a discussion among mothers who have been members of the site for years and are coming together to have a rational discussion of their common problem (disappointment with waldorf), and someone signing on to this forum with the specific purpose of railing about a single issue and driving traffic towards their own muckraking site.

post #1104 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteK View Post

 

I don't disagree here, but I blame WALDORF for those ideological differences.  Absolutely, we hear of many, many parents who believed they were getting something completely different when they signed up for Waldorf.  Whose job is it to make it clear what they teach and more importantly, WHY?  Waldorf schools claim to be something they are not, and refuse to acknowledge what they are - and that's where the problems come from.  Over and over in the parent reviews, parents describe being duped.  Often, they claim their school wasn't a "real" Waldorf school - still believing that there exists, somewhere, a school that actually fulfills the claims of Waldorf - producing bright, independent-thinking graduates, 94% or which go on to college.  Can you please point me to the Waldorf school which has a college acceptance rate of 94% - as is advertised on AWSNA's website?  Do the people who run Waldorf understand the meaning of FRAUD?

 

You can't blame only one side for an ideological difference.  What you can do is say that a particular school or teacher fell short of their claims as to what their curriculum contained or how, specifically, the curriculum is taught.  There is a spiritual pedagogy behind the teaching at Waldorf schools...but how many teachers in the public school have a spiritual practice?  Would it be safe to say that 60%, perhaps (that's 25% under the world-wide average) are practicing some kind of religion or spiritual practice in their private life?  How much of that private life are you privy to?  In a public school, you have absolutely NO knowledge of this private life.  The advantage in a Waldorf school is that Anthroposophy or "spiritual science" is something tangible that you can discuss with just about any Waldorf teacher.

 

I think it's pretty safe to assume that most of the private school graduates in the U.S. go on to college--94% doesn't sound irrational simply because, in the U.S. finances are what drive education.  If you have paid for private school throughout your grade school/high school career, there is a very good chance that you will be able to afford a college education and there is a good chance that colleges will accept you based on your ability to pay for funds out-of-pocket rather than using the pool of financial aid.  (My husband is a college professor and this is very open information among departments nationwide.)  Furthermore, most private school students have higher educated parents and are of a like-mind as to the importance of education, putting their children in a more-likely position to value education themselves.  So, I think that, whether Waldorf education is successful or not, it is safe to say that many of the students who graduate from ANY private school in the U.S. are much more likely, simply based on statistics, to go to colleges.  Is that 94% outlandish?  I don't think so.  Is it because Waldorf education is so successful?  I don't think that claim could be substantiated simply because most Waldorf schools are private ones.   

 

The real shame is that for every child who graduates Waldorf, a dozen or more have had their education interrupted by Waldorf's false promises.  

 

Do you have statistics for that?  If you can't substantiate that claim, then it's not appropriate to make.  In both schools I have worked, the dissenters have clearly been the minority.  In my most generous estimation at our school, I might say dissenters average in at only 1/year making our average something like 1:220.  That's a lot different than 12:1.  These schools, however, are also stable ones.  The health of the school in general (for any school or methodology) accounts for some of those differences.  

 

If Waldorf sold itself honestly, they would attract people who actually WANT "esoteric science" instead of fact-based science.

 

I have only worked at two different schools and both of the schools that I work at are clear about the spiritual nature of the school.  There is, however, no conflict between esoteric science and fact-based science in any school that I am aware of.  What I mean by that is that fact-based science (we could call it inductive reasoning) is a very powerful tool which gives us a very unique picture about the world.  It does not, however, give us a picture that something is "true".  Inductive reasoning can disprove many claims, but it has no deductive truth to it.  The classic philosophical argument is to say this: no matter how many instances of white swans one sees, there is never any way to generalize and state that "all swans are white".  Inductive reasoning, by its very nature, leaves questions of a theoretical nature open to debate.  

 

Steiner, in his inquisitive nature, wanted a way by which people could talk about phenomena that are outside the scientific realm.  They could very easily be entirely bogus--I think it's safe to say that God may not exist--but for people who are interested in exploring possible phenomena in this area outside of science...spiritual science is at least some way to feel like you're doing it in an organized fashion.  

 

If you don't believe in anything other than what you see and it makes you queasy to talk about things like "spiritual science", then don't do that.  As a rule, I wouldn't ever force myself to think about things that I feel are a waste of my time.     

 

No, sorry, we're not going to brush off the experiences of hundreds of parents just like that... Waldorf has already done this - that's why this thread is here.  Great way to try to invalidate people's experiences though.  How about invalidating the 55 pages of comments on this thread while we're at it? 

 

Nope.  I'm not asking anyone to brush off an experience.  I'm just relegating all of these arguments as ad hominem arguments.  Again, philosophically speaking, that is the proper perspective to put them in.  As I said, it's good practice to realize that they represent a certain trend and that the trend itself should be addressed...but this has to be done with care.  If you don't agree that these are ad hominem at the outset, there is little way you and I can continue to debate them.  They are individual accounts for which there is no bilateral, dialectical response.  They are clearly one-sided and all are of a similar nature.  Should we take into account their "similar nature-ness"?  YES.  Should we use them beyond that...only very carefully.  

 

EVERY ONE of the complaints relates to Waldorf education - they are ALL about what happened in Waldorf schools.  Sure, there are going to be many factors involved... again, they will relate to Waldorf, whether those factors are lack of accountability, poor governance, crazy teachers, elitism, child abuse and bullying, inattentive to special needs, poor reading/academics, and so forth.  The reasons people cite are Waldorf problems.  I didn't harvest reviews of people who were simply upset at the costs of the education.  The reviews on my blog are valid and damaging to Waldorf  and Waldorf needs to take them seriously.

 

I think so many problems in education are much more than just what they appear to be prima facie.  EVERY school can fall victim to lacking accountability, poor governance, crazy teachers, elitism, child abuse, bullying, inattentiveness, poor academics...if you look at our public Waldorf school vs. our regular public schools, the difference is clearly apparent.  We have less of all of those things.  Is that an argument in support of Waldorf education?  Not necessarily.  Does that mean that we shouldn't take into account the problems mentioned on your website?  Not at all.  But what I'm trying to get at is that, if you want to use any of those arguments, you have to establish that each argument ISN'T simply a bad teacher or or someone grabbing at straws because they're sick and tired of paying for an education that they don't understand.  

 

I believe that there is something to all of these arguments that needs to be addressed.  I'm just serious enough to try to get to the bottom of it and so it is very, very important to me to feel that every base is covered.  If this is just an emotional argument, it won't get any closer to the truth of the matter.  

 

Even if something like bullying is common in other schools, if there's a SPECIAL REASON for allowing it in Waldorf schools, we can't say - "look, bullying is everywhere".

 

Actually, you can say that.  Bullying is everywhere.  In other schools, it takes different (sometimes quieter) forms because more children have access to computers, facebook, texting, and gaming media which give children a chance to bully in a much different way.  But bullying is akin to an epidemic and I have no idea how you will possibly blame the epidemic on Waldorf education...or say that it is somehow at the root of this.  I have no idea where you're going with this argument.  

 

The urban Waldorf school here (which serves a poverty-based voucher program--more than 75% qualify for free/reduced lunch) has had zero fights break out in the 15 years it has been in the city.  That isn't to say that there hasn't been bullying...but for an urban school, this is unheard of.  Most of our urban schools deal with fights breaking out daily.  A similar school with a population of our middle school (90 students) has been dealing with fights at the rate of 2/wk.  Our urban Waldorf school is currently trying to figure out what we do that is so successful and how we can provide this model for the community.   Are there other schools that have less bullying?  Yes, absolutely.  So can you categorically blame Waldorf schools for bullying or say that they are the social solutions?  No.  Neither of these arguments are correct and that is what I mean by using all of the complaints on your website as instances of truth.  They are certainly not this and I don't want to spend my time arguing them individually.  I think they have merit, but the heart of the matter is a debate about spiritual science and its effectiveness as a motivation behind teaching, or something on that order.

 

This is a shameful tactic.  Do they teach you this in Waldorf teacher training?

 

Don't be facetious.  That's unfair.

 

In my day, it wasn't "spoon-feeding semen" - it was "girls giving blow-jobs in the hallway".  Please... remember the thread you're on.  Most of the readers here, I'm certain, have seen these types of Waldorf fear tactics used before. 

 

I'm not trying to use a tactic.  I'm being honest here--this is something that happened in A SCHOOL.  I don't care what kind of school: public, private, Waldorf, non-Waldorf...whatever you have.  I think that it is safe to say that, even with all of the certifications and background checking that public schools have, abhorrent things still happen.  This is so unacceptable I don't even know where to start debating it.  But HOW CAN THIS BE ABSOLUTELY PREVENTED???  This teacher is not proof that Waldorf doesn't have problems.  This teacher is proof that bad teachers are a social phenomenon all over the place and parents EVERYWHERE are looking for a place that they feel is safe for their children.  And, in so many cases, they can't find it.  Why do you think homeschooling is on the rise?  Can you blame Waldorf education for all of this?  I think that's a fallacy.  I could be wrong, and if I am just give me a good argument to start with.  

 

Waldorf should be SCREENING their teachers more carefully... instead, they pass problematic teachers from school to school.  Since Waldorf teachers don't actually have a "revokable" credential, they just move between Waldorf schools.

 

I think this is a problem.  If bad teachers leave one Waldorf school and don't put that school on their resume...who is to know what they have done?  If there isn't a criminal action made against a teacher, what recourse does anyone have?  All Waldorf schools operate independently of one another.  This creates a deep gap between each instance of teaching.  I know that teacher training programs around the country are no longer able to certify people who they see unfit to teach.  In the past, if you had completed a program, you would receive certification.  Now what is currently being done is that, whether or not you finish the program, if you are seen by the college as unfit to teach, you are not certified.  This, even after paying and working through a three-year program, has caused an uproar in the community.  Still, it is a step in the right direction, I believe.  

 

It's sad that Waldorf needs to snuggle up to Catholic schools to find problems on the magnitude of their own.  I agree, however, Waldorf's way of hiding problematic teachers within their system is indeed just like the Catholic church.  Many of the priests in the Catholic church have been prosecuted.  As I said, Waldorf can't even yank their teaching credential.  More importantly, Waldorf EXCUSES this type of behavior... often publicly.  Then they wonder why they have so many critics.

 

I have never seen poor behaviors excused.  I am sure that it happens.  What is being implemented now is a form of outside auditing--a way to prevent this sort-of internal nepotism which happens in small communities.  I think this problem is very real but I also think that it is being addressed within the community by a protocol-of-sorts.  It has been highly-successful in many instances and, again, I think this is another step in the right direction.  

 

I don't think that it "needs to snuggle up to the Catholic church."  I think that, being a private school and having a spiritual ideological background make the two very similar in many ways...also falling victim to several social problems which plague it as a solution to other social problems.  When you open one door, you close another...or vice versa.  

 

Every method of education has failings.  More materialistic ones are easier to deal with because there is a problem which can be only analyzed in one way (materialistically), a clear-cut "best practices" solution, and there are only a given amount of ways to implement this solution in a given amount of time.  Finite-ness has its advantages..  The things that I see failing in the public sector which are addressed in Waldorf education also open Waldorf education up to criticism.  I think it is a fine line to walk and Waldorf

education has taken a bold step--whether it is a true one or not, I think is clearly indeterminate at this point.  

 

I feel that there is a richness that comes with penetrating the possibilities expressed by contemplation of a spiritual existence.  I had a philosophy professor who was certain that there were simply two types of people in the world and that you were born either one way or the other.  Either you had the particular bent to contemplate the things you couldn't see or you just didn't.  In the end, you would one-day figure out which kind you really were.  I don't know if he's right, but I believe that both kinds of people should be able to find what they want in this world.  I am looking for an education for my children which tackles that piece...or at least opens it up for debate.  It is easy to say that God doesn't exist and to walk away.  But I don't think that's a fair way to treat children.  "With God, all things are possible.">>  To me that statement opens up the ceiling of possibility for a child...it is akin to taking them outside.  You would never keep a child indoors for their entire life...why would you truncate the breadth of their thoughts?  I think that THINKING, in and of itself, is the most spiritual activity a human can engage in.  But that thinking needs to be able to penetrate even those things that have no truth tables.  

 

The best way, in my mind, to create truly free-thinking individuals is to open up thinking to every possible realm that we can.  Whether or not you, as an adult, believe in God or spirituality or anything that you can't see is not at all the point.  My husband, for instance, is an atheist, a philosopher of mathematics, a college professor, is a father to six children (three grown), and grandfather to one.  In his years he has come to find what he believes is true...but despite his personal beliefs, he still finds a value in Waldorf education.  But he is a free-thinking individual himself...one who is not afraid to commit to something that opens up debate of any kind.  He and I continue to debate things like human nature vs. spiritual nature, the will, the existence of God, transcendence, absolute truth, and we have lengthy discussions about what kinds of things might happen when we die.  I am more spiritual in nature, but I find a deep value in his authenticity.  Ideological differences, when two people are not so afraid to think freely, shouldn't be a problem.  So how do you see this relating so specifically to Waldorf education?  This is the answer, I believe, that I am seeking for.  

 

 

Maggie 

post #1105 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteK View Post

Maggie, I hope this discussion doesn't become painful... I realize I'm asking you not to invalidate the criticisms of parents while asking you to validate Waldorf's problems.  

 

It's not painful; it's always interesting if it remains civil.  There is a limited validity of one-sided criticisms and the problems with Waldorf education can certainly be indicated by those criticisms.  I think it's better not to use those instances in a specific way, but to seek out what are probable causes for those--a list would be a good place to start.

 

 

Yes, this "larger body of understanding a child" is also what permits racism in Waldorf education.  The child is "continuing to evolve" through the races, among other things, with the white race being the highest evolutionary form.  This represents Steiner's view of human evolution to the letter.  In Waldorf schools, the child is a spirit occupying a human body.  Waldorf teachers are there to help guide the child through the incarnation process, regardless of what body (race) they have incarnated into.  Each child is assessed and evaluated in accordance with their race.  And yes, this would sound very silly, if it wasn't damaging.
 

I pride myself in my ability to think for myself--Steiner would have been proud.  I think we're continually evolving through all kinds of things--Darwin thought so too--and one day everyone on the planet (if we don't destroy ourselves first) will all be beautiful shades of latte.  Then, perhaps, we will be most fully evolved, and skin color will no longer be an issue for people who think we should follow Steiner's words verbatim and not think for ourselves.  

 

Race was a very determining social factor that was discussed at length at the turn of the 19th century--for good reason, too, because certain racial characteristics come with certain predispositions (medical risks are frequently racially-determinate...this is one of the recognized benefits we have gotten from dissecting racial characteristics).  Beyond that, of course, we have come much farther than that.  Our urban Waldorf school which is highly diverse has no racism of the sort, and we certainly do not think of students as having incarnated ineffectively because of a racial outcome--this is pure silliness.  Those who are truly free-thinking have recognized that long ago.  The people who stick to old traditions because they CANNOT think for themselves are the ones who would stick to a bad idea simply because it has been spoken. 

 

Our black-male teacher doesn't find a problem with Steiner's statements either.

post #1106 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by asberck View Post

I apologize ahead of time for not being able to quote and/or seeming scattered. I am on my phone and nursing. I am also a Waldorf teacher but am currently a stay home mom. Yes I am very familiar with the struggle of not being Waldorfy enough. I was deemed not Waldorfy enough myself. But things are changing in many schools and more and more people are being attracted to Waldorf as parents and teachers that aren't interested in the crazy dogma.
I think in that respect there is some light.
I have found the northern California schools to be extremely dogmatic and traditional but it also depends on the teacher. So much depends on the teacher!
Everyone always brings up Steiner's comments on race. I have biracial children and am a member of an interracial marriage and to be quite honest, I choose not to pay any mind to his comments on race because they are nonsense. He did not found Waldorf education to be racist and it isn't. He said and did so many other valuable things and no one said we had to believe every word that came out of his mouth bc some just sound nuts. In addition, all of his lectures were transcribed by others which leaves a great deal of room for error.
Someone posted a long time ago that reading is not taught until the baby teeth all fall out. Not exactly true. We teach it in first grade whether you have baby teeth or not. If you have list baby teeth or not can contribute to your child's 1st grade readiness assessment along with lots of other factors.
Children with special needs. Waldorf teachers are not trained in serious special needs. A few schools are equipped to handle this but if your child has major issues, I urge you to keep looking. Waldorf is on the special needs train but pretty far behind in many schools. Some schools recognize their limitations here, others don't. I have seen several students go all the way through 8th grade with a w for r substitution. That is no good at all.
Yes lots of people have had terrible experiences. I had a terrible experience. Will I give up on a beautiful system? No. Does it need work? YES! Lots! But I have also been a public school teacher. It is certainly flawed as well.
Finally, I am so aware that there are teachers and schools that are devoted to every word Steiner said. We are not all like that. What parents need to know about the esoteric part is that teachers use meditation as a teaching tool. We don't all embark on a deep study of esoteric science and what we use is a lens through which to view the children. And I promise that there are sane schools and teachers out there.
Again, sorry for the craziness of the post. I have little time but wanted to weigh in. Good luck!

Thank you for your perspective...you didn't sound crazy to me!

 

Maggie

post #1107 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katielady View Post


Thanks Maggie! I appreciate your taking the time to respond. I like the idea of incorporating poems and verse into our daily rhythm. And thanks for the reminder that school is secondary to home life. Last year when my son started public kindergarten I felt like I was losing him to "the system," but I do know that our home life still will have a huge impact on his development.

 

You're welcome, and your home life will have the biggest impact on who he is--it is just hard to see HOW it impacts him until so much time has passed.  Only after a length of time is it possible to recognize your own deepest characteristics which have grown into your child just by their deep connection to you as their mother.  Shinichi Suzuki, the founder of the Suzuki method of violin recognized that deep maternal connection and saw how deeply children followed their mothers...you will put more in them than all of their teachers combined.  (I find this the most beautiful and also the most terrifying part of parenting!)

 

I would encourage people to avoid feeding the trolls. There is a difference between a discussion among mothers who have been members of the site for years and are coming together to have a rational discussion of their common problem (disappointment with waldorf), and someone signing on to this forum with the specific purpose of railing about a single issue and driving traffic towards their own muckraking site.

 

Thanks again...I'm holding out hope that there is an honest discussion somewhere in here, but I think it may be a lost cause.  There is something to be said for earnest mothers seeking out the truth, isn't there?

 

Maggie

post #1108 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbsmd View Post

You can't blame only one side for an ideological difference.  What you can do is say that a particular school or teacher fell short of their claims as to what their curriculum contained or how, specifically, the curriculum is taught.  There is a spiritual pedagogy behind the teaching at Waldorf schools...but how many teachers in the public school have a spiritual practice?  Would it be safe to say that 60%, perhaps (that's 25% under the world-wide average) are practicing some kind of religion or spiritual practice in their private life?  How much of that private life are you privy to?  In a public school, you have absolutely NO knowledge of this private life.  The advantage in a Waldorf school is that Anthroposophy or "spiritual science" is something tangible that you can discuss with just about any Waldorf teacher.

 

Here we go AGAIN with the Waldorf speak.  "A particular school"?  Baloney!  That's EXACTLY why I collected the reviews - so that this nonsense wouldn't fly in discussions like this.  It's not one particular school.  The difference between individual public teachers practicing "some kind of religion" and an entire school devoted to one philosophy is lost on you.  Your own Catholic example didn't make it to your second post.

 

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I think it's pretty safe to assume that most of the private school graduates in the U.S. go on to college--94% doesn't sound irrational simply because, in the U.S. finances are what drive education.

That's what Waldorf assumed when the MADE UP the statistic.  There is NO Waldorf school with this kind of acceptance to college... NONE.  Waldorf is lying to prospective parents about this statistic.

 

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  If you have paid for private school throughout your grade school/high school career, there is a very good chance that you will be able to afford a college education and there is a good chance that colleges will accept you based on your ability to pay for funds out-of-pocket rather than using the pool of financial aid.

Seriously, when you have some actual facts, please produce them.  The rest of your argument is nonsense.

 

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Do you have statistics for that?  If you can't substantiate that claim, then it's not appropriate to make.  In both schools I have worked, the dissenters have clearly been the minority.  In my most generous estimation at our school, I might say dissenters average in at only 1/year making our average something like 1:220.  That's a lot different than 12:1.  These schools, however, are also stable ones.  The health of the school in general (for any school or methodology) accounts for some of those differences. 

You bet!  The statistics I have are actually FAR WORSE.  They come from Highland Hall - a 50+ year old school.  The actual statistic is that "25% of students leave Highland Hall each year" - this includes the graduating class.  That's 1:4.

 

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 I have only worked at two different schools and both of the schools that I work at are clear about the spiritual nature of the school.

Really?  Define "clear".  Which schools?  Can we peek at their websites to see if they actually do what you say they do?

 

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Steiner, in his inquisitive nature, wanted a way by which people could talk about phenomena that are outside the scientific realm.  They could very easily be entirely bogus--I think it's safe to say that God may not exist--but for people who are interested in exploring possible phenomena in this area outside of science...spiritual science is at least some way to feel like you're doing it in an organized fashion.

Sure, Steiner had lots of ideas that were "outside of science".  That's where they belong too.  Are we talking to people's children about GOD in Waldorf?  That's what you're saying, so let's be sure. 

 

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If you don't believe in anything other than what you see and it makes you queasy to talk about things like "spiritual science", then don't do that.  As a rule, I wouldn't ever force myself to think about things that I feel are a waste of my time.  

Like racism in Waldorf?  Spiritual science doesn't make me queasy, it makes me angry. 

 

 

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 If you don't agree that these are ad hominem at the outset, there is little way you and I can continue to debate them.  They are individual accounts for which there is no bilateral, dialectical response.  They are clearly one-sided and all are of a similar nature.  Should we take into account their "similar nature-ness"?  YES.  Should we use them beyond that...only very carefully.

Nobody is asking you to debate these comments - I'm sure the people making them already debated with their respective Waldorf schools.  But we're not going to pretend they don't exist - and that they don't REPEAT countless times the problems in Waldorf that perhaps you wouldn't force yourself to think about.  This dismissive behavior is ONE OF THE COMPLAINTS!

 

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I think so many problems in education are much more than just what they appear to be prima facie.  EVERY school can fall victim to lacking accountability, poor governance, crazy teachers, elitism, child abuse, bullying, inattentiveness, poor academics...if you look at our public Waldorf school vs. our regular public schools, the difference is clearly apparent.  We have less of all of those things. 

Hello?  Have YOU looked at the charter schools?  I've collected lots of reviews about them.  I've collected them so we don't have to assume about this anymore.  Charter schools are at LEAST as problematic as private Waldorf schools.  When you make these wild statements like "it is apparent" when it isn't, you lose credibility with me.

 

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But what I'm trying to get at is that, if you want to use any of those arguments, you have to establish that each argument ISN'T simply a bad teacher or or someone grabbing at straws because they're sick and tired of paying for an education that they don't understand.

The mere ABUNDANCE of the complaints make it obvious that it isn't simply a case of a bad teacher here or there... although bad teachers are also abundant in Waldorf.  But the reviews each reveal an organized effort on the parts of MANY teachers and administrators to harm children.  It isn't the parents fault they don't understand when Waldorf doesn't explain why they teach what they do.

 

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Actually, you can say that.  Bullying is everywhere.  In other schools, it takes different (sometimes quieter) forms because more children have access to computers, facebook, texting, and gaming media which give children a chance to bully in a much different way.  But bullying is akin to an epidemic and I have no idea how you will possibly blame the epidemic on Waldorf education...or say that it is somehow at the root of this.  I have no idea where you're going with this argument. 

The underlying REASON for allowing bullying in Waldorf is IMPORTANT - and it has to do with karma.  Steiner told teachers that children were karmically drawn to their Waldorf school, that they are connected to their teacher even more strongly than they are to their parents.  It is the children's karma to attend Waldorf school... and the bullying between children is that karma "working itself out".  That's what MANY Waldorf teachers believe and why bullying persists in Waldorf schools.  MANY of the reviews I've collected suggest the teacher not only supported the bullying, but joined in!  Read Beansavi's story in the beginning of this thread... Waldorf is very good at bullying - exceptional.

 

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 They are certainly not this and I don't want to spend my time arguing them individually.  I think they have merit, but the heart of the matter is a debate about spiritual science and its effectiveness as a motivation behind teaching, or something on that order.

But you expect ME to go through each one and determine if maybe there was a "bad teacher" at the bottom of it?  For the sake of argument, I'm going to stick to what Waldorf teachers are actually TRAINED to do.

 

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I'm not trying to use a tactic.  I'm being honest here--this is something that happened in A SCHOOL.  

I know you don't think you're using a tactic.  Neither did the other Waldorf teacher who used the same one a few posts ago.  It's just something you've learned to do automatically in discussions to throw the heat off of Waldorf.

 

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I don't care what kind of school: public, private, Waldorf, non-Waldorf...whatever you have.  I think that it is safe to say that, even with all of the certifications and background checking that public schools have, abhorrent things still happen. 

What's the point of "background checking" when KNOWN predators are being systematically passed from Waldorf school to Waldorf school?

 

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This is so unacceptable I don't even know where to start debating it.  But HOW CAN THIS BE ABSOLUTELY PREVENTED???

Taking it seriously would be a start!

 

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I think this is a problem.  If bad teachers leave one Waldorf school and don't put that school on their resume...who is to know what they have done?

Oh, stop it!  PLEASE!  Waldorf ABSOLUTELY KNOWS about the bad teachers.  I know this for a fact!  Besides, Waldorf is a system in denial.  They don't recognize the teachers as the problem, they believe the parents are the problem. 

 

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If there isn't a criminal action made against a teacher, what recourse does anyone have?

Don't keep hiring that teacher perhaps?

 

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  All Waldorf schools operate independently of one another.

All have their name licensed by AWSNA.  AWSNA has the legal right to pull the Waldorf name off any school that is run poorly.  AWSNA SUPPORTS bad teachers.  In fact, when teachers have problems at a school, they sometimes work directly at AWSNA during their 'cooling' period - after which they return to teaching.

 

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 I know that teacher training programs around the country are no longer able to certify people who they see unfit to teach.

HOLD ON!  WHAT?  Did you say "no longer"?

 

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I have never seen poor behaviors excused.

This is another Waldorf teacher tactic.  You personally have never witnessed this phenomenon... AMAZING.  Why do you think this works on people?

 

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 What is being implemented now is a form of outside auditing--a way to prevent this sort-of internal nepotism which happens in small communities.  I think this problem is very real but I also think that it is being addressed within the community by a protocol-of-sorts.  It has been highly-successful in many instances and, again, I think this is another step in the right direction. 

Outside auditing?  You mean a visit from Torin Fenser?  LMAO!  No seriously, what are they doing about this?

 

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I feel that there is a richness that comes with penetrating the possibilities expressed by contemplation of a spiritual existence.

I'm sure you do.  Whether a child is exposed to this world view is, for now at least, up to the parents.  When Waldorf schools take that choice away from parents, they open themselves up to huge criticism.  They should explain what they do and why... not dishonestly, but truthfully.  I have yet to hear anyone from the Waldorf side be truthful about why they teach what they teach.  Is it that you all just don't know the reasons you do things?

 

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I am more spiritual in nature, but I find a deep value in his authenticity.  Ideological differences, when two people are not so afraid to think freely, shouldn't be a problem. 

I was actually a spiritual person before Waldorf corrupted that in me.  I couldn't reconcile how people who were supposedly "spiritual" could behave so dishonestly, harmfully, hurtfully... I decided if these people can corrupt spirituality so completely, and still consider themselves "spiritual" - then there must not be anything to it. 

 

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So how do you see this relating so specifically to Waldorf education?

Waldorf education needs to admit to the public that they are in the business of advancing Anthroposophy.  It is their purpose - and their ONLY reason for existing.  Advancing Anthroposophy runs counter to education.  That's why people within the Anthroposophical movement - even if they have no proclivity to become teachers, find their way into Waldorf schools... it's the bigger picture of advancing Anthroposophy that they're attending to.  Waldorf's connection to Anthroposophy is being disguised.  This needs to change.

post #1109 of 1181
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Originally Posted by Katielady View Post
I would encourage people to avoid feeding the trolls. There is a difference between a discussion among mothers who have been members of the site for years and are coming together to have a rational discussion of their common problem (disappointment with waldorf), and someone signing on to this forum with the specific purpose of railing about a single issue and driving traffic towards their own muckraking site.

 

So, Waldorf teachers coming here to put a positive spin on the complaints aren't trolling?  As it happens, I've been a member here in the past and contributed a LOT to these discussions.  Hosting the critical reviews of ordinary parents is muckraking?  Seriously?

 

I'm going to edit this post to add:

 

If you think I haven't put in my time as a Waldorf parent, you are mistaken.  I was married to a Waldorf teacher - both of whose parents were Waldorf teachers.  I had three kids in Waldorf - two who graduated.  I even helped start a Waldorf school.  I've studied Anthroposophy for 18 years - the first 10 as a bliss-ninny parent (that's right - it took 10 years to put together what Waldorf and Anthroposophy is about).  My personal issues as a Waldorf parent are not on the blog with parental reviews that I link to.  My experiences as a Waldorf parent are on THIS blog.  I've had a closer look at Waldorf than most people - and what I found was ugly.


Edited by PeteK - 8/22/12 at 8:41am
post #1110 of 1181
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Originally Posted by herbsmd View Post
There is a limited validity of one-sided criticisms and the problems with Waldorf education can certainly be indicated by those criticisms.  I think it's better not to use those instances in a specific way, but to seek out what are probable causes for those--a list would be a good place to start.

See, we think just the opposite.  I think the positive reviews of Waldorf have limited validity.  Usually, they are placed by Waldorf teachers themselves, or administrators from the school, or Waldorf bliss-ninny's who haven't discovered the problems with Waldorf.  "Waldorf educates the whole child" - 5 stars.  Those types of reviews carry little value for me.

 

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I pride myself in my ability to think for myself--Steiner would have been proud.

Yes, I can see that.

 

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I think we're continually evolving through all kinds of things--Darwin thought so too--and one day everyone on the planet (if we don't destroy ourselves first) will all be beautiful shades of latte.  Then, perhaps, we will be most fully evolved, and skin color will no longer be an issue for people who think we should follow Steiner's words verbatim and not think for ourselves. 

So, until everyone looks the same, we have to pay attention to skin color?  That's what Steiner said too!  Glad you agree.

 

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Race was a very determining social factor that was discussed at length at the turn of the 19th century--for good reason, too, because certain racial characteristics come with certain predispositions (medical risks are frequently racially-determinate...this is one of the recognized benefits we have gotten from dissecting racial characteristics).  
Sure, but not everyone who discussed race in the 19th century had racist views - like Steiner.

 

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Beyond that, of course, we have come much farther than that.  Our urban Waldorf school which is highly diverse has no racism of the sort, and we certainly do not think of students as having incarnated ineffectively because of a racial outcome--this is pure silliness.  Those who are truly free-thinking have recognized that long ago.  The people who stick to old traditions because they CANNOT think for themselves are the ones who would stick to a bad idea simply because it has been spoken. 

We aren't talking about diversity here.  You've missed the point and should read the thread on Steiner's racism.  You write - "Those who are truly free-thinking have recognized that long ago." - OK, so what percentage of Waldorf teachers would you say completely blow off what Steiner taught - and what THEY THEMSELVES paid to be taught in Waldorf teacher training?  Would you say 50% take Waldorf teacher training - pay their money - and then completely ignore what they were taught?

 

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Our black-male teacher doesn't find a problem with Steiner's statements either.

OMG, I can't believe you said that!

post #1111 of 1181

I have an unrelated thought that I hope isn't a derail of the thread. I have only just encountered Waldorf because I have a small baby and we are getting onto daycare lists, etc. My first introduction into its philosophy has left me skeptical. They told me that children aren't developmentally ready to learn a stringed instrument until they are 9 or 10. Since both my husband and I are classical violinists by trade, and both started before the age of 5, we know that's obviously bunk. I guess I worry what else they'll think my son "isn't ready" for. As far as I'm concerned, the human brain is amazing, and I can't possibly see the harm in learning things at whatever age you are.

post #1112 of 1181
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I guess I worry what else they'll think my son "isn't ready" for

 

The most obvious and common answer is - reading.

Less obvious - toy trucks, dinosaurs, electronic anything... dolls with actual faces, plastic anything, a tee shirt that has an image on it... and lots more.
 

I should probably add that Waldorf believes every child develops on the same schedule.  There are never provisions for children who are "bright" - in fact premature intellect is frowned upon.  Waldorf teachers will not answer direct questions before a certain age.  Children who ask "Why is the sky blue?" will get a task to do instead of an answer.  Intellectual children are considered "small-headed" and are considered problematic in Waldorf.  Steiner had little use for the intellect... or critical thinking for that matter. 

post #1113 of 1181
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Originally Posted by PeteK View Post

 

Here we go AGAIN with the Waldorf speak.  "A particular school"?  Baloney!  That's EXACTLY why I collected the reviews - so that this nonsense wouldn't fly in discussions like this.  It's not one particular school.  The difference between individual public teachers practicing "some kind of religion" and an entire school devoted to one philosophy is lost on you.  Your own Catholic example didn't make it to your second post.  

 

If you give particular instances--you sent me to your website!--then you get particular answers!!  If you want to make sweeping generalizations, then I'm ok with that insofar as I think they're arguable.  Implying that all Waldorf schools operate in a singular way (particularly when they are specifically set up to NOT be affiliated with one another) and that they unifyingly organize specifically for the deliberate intent to harm students...  I mean, really...who does this?  Even among dissenters of Waldorf education...who is thinking that these teachers are actually out for malicious intent?  You can say "misguided" or "unclear" or whatever you want...but implying a unified intent to harm a child?  This is absurd.  That's called a "straw man" argument.

 

That's what Waldorf assumed when the MADE UP the statistic.  There is NO Waldorf school with this kind of acceptance to college... NONE.  Waldorf is lying to prospective parents about this statistic.

 

Seriously, when you have some actual facts, please produce them.  The rest of your argument is nonsense.

 

Look anywhere on line for high-school-graduates-that-attend-college-rates...Forbes does college admittance studies every year.  I think the last I heard upper-middle class people had a 10% higher acceptance rate than their low-class peers.  That's a clear statistic and I'm sure it's on the internet.  Going to a private high school matters...and if that high school is elite, it matters even more.  My high school (in the early 90's) boasted a 90% college entrance rate (2 and 4 year colleges combined--12%, 78% respectively) and it was a public high school in an affluent area.  The rates have changed 1% each to today.  Currently--20 years later--92% go to college.  13% to a 2 year college and 79% to a 4 year college.  And so many kids go to college these days--WAY more than SHOULD be going.  I'm still not surprised by that statistic.  The nation-wide statistic for high-school graduates (without filtering for affluence or school interest or anything else) is almost 70% anyway....  http://www.bls.gov/news.release/hsgec.nr0.htm  Not much of a leap to say that predominantly white, alternatively educated, upper-class, privately-schooled (AWSNA doesn't accredit charter schools, as far as I know) kids make it to college, at least in their first year.............most of them  probably do.  And most of them are encouraged by their parents to attend college.  And most of them have college funds to help.  Does this validate the statistic?  No, but it doesn't make it seem too outlandish either.  Does this mean that it's because Waldorf education is so successful?  No, I don't think you can reasonably make that conclusion with my own public alma mater of 400+ graduates each year boasting virtually the same numbers.    

 

You bet!  The statistics I have are actually FAR WORSE.  They come from Highland Hall - a 50+ year old school.  The actual statistic is that "25% of students leave Highland Hall each year" - this includes the graduating class.  That's 1:4.

 

Where is that information from?  Are you implying that they continue their school with 25% new every year?  They can't lose 25% every year and still maintain operations--this may be a statistic of a failing school that lasts over, say, a three or four year period...but no school can maintain these statistics every year as a common practice.  That's, again, ridiculous. 

 

Sure, Steiner had lots of ideas that were "outside of science".  That's where they belong too.  Are we talking to people's children about GOD in Waldorf?  That's what you're saying, so let's be sure. 

 

All ideas outside of science belong outside of science and it is muddling to thinking to try to bring them in where they don't work.  That's the whole business of logic, in a nutshell.    We use the thoughts outside of science to come up with theories.  Take those theories and test them in the world using scientific inquiry.  That's the way the world works.  Whoever thinks we do things differently--I don't know what to say about them.  This is pretty standard and that's not only the way I operate in my daily life, but it's the way I was taught to operate in teacher-training too.  Yes, I talk to students about God--he's all over history.  I didn't put God there!  I don't give them any answers because, frankly, I don't know any.  Their guess is as good as mine.  I like to imagine a world where the Platonic Forms exist.  Does that make me abusive?  Please explain how.  I don't force my students to adopt Platonic Forms, but we talk about those too....  

 

Spiritual science doesn't make me queasy, it makes me angry.

 

Ok...then don't do it.  Who's making you?  Do Muslims make you angry?  Atheists?  People who walk with a limp?  Who's attacking you?  

 

Nobody is asking you to debate these comments - I'm sure the people making them already debated with their respective Waldorf schools.  But we're not going to pretend they don't exist - and that they don't REPEAT countless times the problems in Waldorf that perhaps you wouldn't force yourself to think about.  This dismissive behavior is ONE OF THE COMPLAINTS!

 

Look up the definition of ad hominem.  That's not being dismissive...it's being clear.

 

Hello?  Have YOU looked at the charter schools?  I've collected lots of reviews about them.  I've collected them so we don't have to assume about this anymore.  Charter schools are at LEAST as problematic as private Waldorf schools.  When you make these wild statements like "it is apparent" when it isn't, you lose credibility with me.

 

No, I haven't looked at data about Waldorf Charter schools.  We don't have any in our area.  I think the only ones that I know about are in California and that's about the extent of my knowledge in that area. 

 

But likewise, what data do you collect about public schools?  Have you collected this data?  Have you worked in public schools?  I've worked in public, private, voucher Waldorf and private Waldorf schools and I consider the Waldorf schools to be the best I've seen...though, again, they also have problems.  But all schools have problems...and all schools have branded problems too.  You could lump all of the public school problems together and you'll find trends about excessive testing, bullying, oversights of all kinds and lack of arts/movement courses and no recess.  How about all of the advertising and junk food?  Excessive media exposure?  These things are minimal or even absent (and I find them exploitative and disgusting in an entirely different way) in Waldorf schools.  You cannot fail to admit that each brand of education has its unique pitfalls.  So are you saying that your prime complaint is the spirituality of the education?  That's what I'm getting from all of this...  There is a legitimate concern there if that is what you are saying, but you're not articulating clearly WHY.

 

The mere ABUNDANCE of the complaints make it obvious that it isn't simply a case of a bad teacher here or there... although bad teachers are also abundant in Waldorf.  But the reviews each reveal an organized effort on the parts of MANY teachers and administrators to harm children.  It isn't the parents fault they don't understand when Waldorf doesn't explain why they teach what they 

 

An organized effort to harm children? Define "HARM".  I can't think of anything I do that is organized to intentionally hurt a child.  This thought is disgusting to me, but if you're trying to couch some hairy idea under the broad definition of "HARM", you can make anyone look the fool.   I think an argument could be made that it is abusive to force a child to take standardized tests in kindergarten...far more abusive than anything I'm teaching from human history. 

 

The underlying REASON for allowing bullying in Waldorf is IMPORTANT - and it has to do with karma.  Steiner told teachers that children were karmically drawn to their Waldorf school, that they are connected to their teacher even more strongly than they are to their parents.  It is the children's karma to attend Waldorf school... and the bullying between children is that karma "working itself out". 

 

No.  First of all, Steiner never said the word "bullying".  When children have disputes--you know, honest disputes--I think it's important to work them out and be taught how to manage conflict.  This is a vital life-skill that incorporates things like "talking it out" or knowing what to do when someone says something you don't like (such as tell a teacher or express in appropriate words that you don't like hearing such-and-such).  No one can enter another person's space without consent--no one can touch another person if it bothers them.  

 

When you see a child deliberately taking advantage of another child's weakness--the definition of bullying--that's cruelty and an immoral action that is unjustifiable.  It must be stopped, absolutely, and dealt with as such.  This is not a matter of karma, this is an ethical transgression.  Waldorf education is designed to be a moral education.  If someone sees an ethical transgression and does not address it, clouding it under a mask of "karmic evolution" then they are clearly in the wrong.  And clearly, a policy should be adopted in the school to address this kind of behavior.  Many Waldorf schools have bullying workshops and many of them address this problem directly.  Our school has a bullying policy to address these concerns.  This is not something that any of our staff takes lightly.  Are there grey areas?  To be sure.  Do teachers see everything?  Nope.  But that's part of the unfortunate part of putting your children in ANY school...a lot goes under the radar.  ESPECIALLY the stuff that kids WANT to get under the radar.  

 

That's what MANY Waldorf teachers believe and why bullying persists in Waldorf schools.  MANY of the reviews I've collected suggest the teacher not only supported the bullying, but joined in! 

 

If someone allows such an ethical transgression then that's a terrible teacher.  My friend's father was a camp counselor and used to encourage the boys in the camp to choose a "Sally" that they could all pick on every summer.  This child was usually the weakest and most meek boy...one that everyone already agreed was the "Sally".  This is such an atrocious practice.  I had a science teacher that did the same thing.  These are ALL bad teaching examples.  Not a single one escapes reprehension in my book.  

 

Read Beansavi's story in the beginning of this thread... Waldorf is very good at bullying - exceptional.

But you expect ME to go through each one and determine if maybe there was a "bad teacher" at the bottom of it?  For the sake of argument, I'm going to stick to what Waldorf teachers are actually TRAINED to do.

 

I'm a trained Waldorf teacher.  Are you?  Were you trained to do this sort of thing?  I absolutely was not...furthermore, I was made aware of bullying through my education and was given a packet of information filled with mainstream techniques used to recognize, address, and prevent such things from occurring.    

 

I know you don't think you're using a tactic.  Neither did the other Waldorf teacher who used the same one a few posts ago.  It's just something you've learned to do automatically in discussions to throw the heat off of Waldorf.

 

Throw heat off of Waldorf?  I just think that Waldorf can take the heat...bring it on.  

 

What's the point of "background checking" when KNOWN predators are being systematically passed from Waldorf school to Waldorf school?

 

Because it's immoral to accuse someone of something when they have not formally been charged.  Human beings all deserve the benefit of the doubt whether they're Waldorf teachers or not.  All of the Waldorf schools I know--at least six in the regional area--all do background checks.  If there is a known predator, they would not be able to work at the school.  This isn't even a matter of ethics anymore--this is an insurance liability issue.  It doesn't even get past protocol to decide one way or another.  

 

It is a rights violation to not hire someone because you determine them to be a predator even though they have not been formally charged.  This is a legal issue.  HOWEVER, if parents know of a serious transgression that is committed by a teacher--one that puts more children at risk--and FAIL to take it to authorities, they are guilty THEMSELVES for putting more children at risk!!  I know parents who have made tapes of teachers and caught them in improprieties (it just happened at a public school in our area).  If parents are making accusations, they should be backed up with as much evidence as possible and taken to the school and to the authorities.  This is as much the problem of a school as it is of any responsible and ethical parent.  If someone in our school knew of a child predator in our midst and said absolutely nothing--I would be more furious with the parents than I would be with the school.  Authorities do not take these sorts of allegations lightly.  Why would police not be involved in an issue such as this???  Police don't care if a predator is a Waldorf teacher...don't be ridiculous!!!   

 

Oh, stop it!  PLEASE!  Waldorf ABSOLUTELY KNOWS about the bad teachers.  I know this for a fact!  Besides, Waldorf is a system in denial.  They don't recognize the teachers as the problem, they believe the parents are the problem. 

 

I'm not "Waldorf"...I don't think anyone is "Waldorf".  Who is this "Waldorf" that you keep talking about?  This Waldorf is your straw man, and he's not standing all that well at the moment.  

 

I recognize bad teachers all the time.  I just did up above.  I rarely think parents are the problems, and I NEVER think children are the problem.  

 

 

All have their name licensed by AWSNA.  AWSNA has the legal right to pull the Waldorf name off any school that is run poorly.  AWSNA SUPPORTS bad teachers.  In fact, when teachers have problems at a school, they sometimes work directly at AWSNA during their 'cooling' period - after which they return to teaching.

 

Have you worked with AWSNA?  I have never felt that they supported teachers--the good ones or the not-as-good ones--or schools individually at all.  Contrarily, I feel that they are hyper-vigilant...at times to the deficit of the school or teachers in general.  They are extremely fastidious about their accreditation policies.

 

 

Outside auditing?  You mean a visit from Torin Fenser?  LMAO!  No seriously, what are they doing about this?

 

Outside auditors are typically NON-Waldorf.  This is why they are outside auditors.  Both parties agree to the audit and the auditor.  

 

I'm sure you do.  Whether a child is exposed to this world view is, for now at least, up to the parents.  When Waldorf schools take that choice away from parents, they open themselves up to huge criticism.  They should explain what they do and why... not dishonestly, but truthfully.  I have yet to hear anyone from the Waldorf side be truthful about why they teach what they teach.  Is it that you all just don't know the reasons you do things?

 

I just told you the reasons why I teach what I teach.  I'm a Waldorf teacher.  I'm completely transparent and I am very aware of why I do what I do.  Waldorf schools MUST be transparent and be open and able to discuss things like anthroposophy.  By the time I made it to Waldorf education, I didn't have a question that it had spiritual underpinnings.  With the internet, is it really that difficult to find out about it? 

 

I was actually a spiritual person before Waldorf corrupted that in me.

 

You shouldn't be so open to outside influence.  Waldorf (the Straw Man or the pedagogy) is not "spirituality".  There are all kinds of independent spiritual practices that one can hold that have nothing to do with Waldorf education or Anthroposophy or religion or God....  I think people can be dishonest whether they're spiritual or not.  Dishonest non-spiritual people don't make me want to be anything that I'm not (nor do dishonest spiritual people, for that matter)...why are you so affected by dishonest spiritual people?  Surely you have to recognize that dishonesty isn't limited to spiritual people?  

 

  I couldn't reconcile how people who were supposedly "spiritual" could behave so dishonestly, harmfully, hurtfully...

 

***I decided if these people can corrupt spirituality so completely, and still consider themselves "spiritual" - then there must not be anything to it. 

 

WOAH!  This is BAD LOGIC.  You're set on believing that, if some Waldorf people are corrupt and dishonest, then all of them must be.  And if all of them are, then they are all wrong.  And if all of them are wrong, then spirituality is wrong too.

 

Waldorf people have the power to corrupt spirituality?  You mean they've overturned all of those philosophies out there and managed to corrupt them all with one backhanded swipe?  Assuming that you're incorrect and that Waldorf people haven't really corrupted spirituality (because it probably lives well in the lives of a few Buddhist monks out there), you are willing to take these select Waldorf digressions (let's just say that Anthroposophy is totally wrong--I'll give that to you for the sake of the argument!) and discount all spirituality?   

 

 

That's pretty much the end of this argument, if you have to discount spirituality because of dishonest spiritual people who are also Waldorf people.  You think that a person working with children every day has their head in the clouds?  I think nothing about teaching children about religion or spirituality--I don't teach religion in my class.  I don't even understand religion much more than a phenomenon in this world.  In fact, every day when I walk into class, I just teach regular subjects like every other teacher.  When I run into difficulties, I revisit my spiritual practices like running and meditating and taking a good hard look at the child.  I'll also look at myself.  Then, if I can't figure out what's wrong, I'll look in some books or give a specialist a call.  I'll talk to the parents and other teachers to see if they notice anything.  Whatever it takes, the goal is to get the child to love learning and to do it through experiencing the world.  In the end, who really cares if I'm Jewish or Muslim or a spiritual scientist?    

 

While I'm studying children and myself and the world, you're sitting at the computer studying the negative feedback on Waldorf schools.  Do you see who has their head in the clouds?  You don't really leave room for any discussion.

 

 

 

Waldorf education needs to admit to the public that they are in the business of advancing Anthroposophy. 

 

There is no such thing as advancing anthroposophy.  Anthroposophy is a practice that you can use to, hypothetically, get you closer to the truth--if you want to use something else, then use it.  There is no single vehicle that is the best way to truth--I think that all kinds of people get close to truth and they do it in a lot of different ways.  The important part is to strive toward truth and to think for yourself.  As unclear as Steiner can sometimes be...he is VERY clear about that.  Every time science shapes our understanding, it's doing exactly what it should be doing--getting us closer to the truth.  So does thinking.  The thing that often gets in the way is our human nature.  I try to show my students how important thinking for themselves really is, how science is the path to truth, how pondering and understanding it leads to wisdom, and how not to get caught up in all kinds of humanistic pitfalls along the way.  

post #1114 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteK View Post

See, we think just the opposite.  I think the positive reviews of Waldorf have limited validity.  Usually, they are placed by Waldorf teachers themselves, or administrators from the school, or Waldorf bliss-ninny's who haven't discovered the problems with Waldorf.  "Waldorf educates the whole child" - 5 stars.  Those types of reviews carry little value for me.

 

No...I don't need any reviews.  I'm working in the field every day and I'm seeing what works.  What works with students, parents, colleagues...and it generalizes to the rest of the world as well.

 

Yes, I can see that.

So, until everyone looks the same, we have to pay attention to skin color?  That's what Steiner said too!  Glad you agree.

 

Did he mention latte?  How posh.  But, honestly, I think small-minded people will never disappear.  The only time, sadly, that racism will never be an issue is when it is not there anymore.  I think small-minded people will always exist.  And small-minded people are not the ones who think for themselves. 

 

Sure, but not everyone who discussed race in the 19th century had racist views - like Steiner.
 
Come on...Steiner put together all of Nietzsche's works and came directly from the same seeds of Freud...then came Hitler.  This idea of eugenics was rampant all over Europe.  Of course we're disgusted by it, but anyone would be disgusted by it after the horrifying consequences our culture has endured.  Do you really believe that, if Steiner had existed today that he would have said these things?  I read philosophy all the time and, if you try it sometime, you'll find that you get very used to the idea of contemporary context.  It's shocking the things that Aristotle says about women too, but I still think that he's hit the nail on the head with a lot of other stuff.  Do I discount him because he hadn't lived through the women's liberation?  Nah...I typically give him a break and laugh a little bit because he's so out-of-context today.  Same with Steiner.  If you can't think for yourself and take everything he said into a contemporary context, it's simple to make someone look foolish.  It's much harder to try to extract what is really being said.  It takes historical understanding, interpretation, finesse, and a deeper understanding of certain philosophical principles to extract the overarching things he's trying to get at.  

 

We aren't talking about diversity here.  You've missed the point and should read the thread on Steiner's racism.

 

I'm not going to teach racism and I don't believe in racism and I live in the world TODAY.  One of Steiner's four principles is that you have to live in the world that you're IN.  In other words, don't crawl into a hole and follow Steiner (or ANYONE).  Seek out knowledge and weed it out for yourself.  

 

 You write - "Those who are truly free-thinking have recognized that long ago." - OK, so what percentage of Waldorf teachers would you say completely blow off what Steiner taught - and what THEY THEMSELVES paid to be taught in Waldorf teacher training? 

 

I was taught to seek out knowledge and to think freely and deeply.  That's what Steiner taught.  He taught a whole lot of other things too...maybe these snippets (which were all the current rage of science at the time) can be piled together and make him look ridiculous, but that doesn't discount so many things that he said which were extraordinarily insightful.  No, I was never taught ridiculous dogma and I don't know people who were, nor any who follow such things.  Find me someone who will come out and say such things and who calls themselves a Waldorf teacher...today.    

 

Look...I can't make everyone think for themselves, but it's a waste of time to be intellectually dishonest.  If you're arguing such a thing,   

 

Would you say 50% take Waldorf teacher training - pay their money - and then completely ignore what they were taught?

 

I don't ignore what I was taught.  I don't know people who do.  Nobody teaches racism...get your facts straight.

 

OMG, I can't believe you said that!

 

Don't be so incredulous...they're his words directly.  It's his standard answer to race when it comes up in our school.  Furthermore, men aren't typically Waldorf teachers, so he's in the VAST minority in so many ways.  Don't be fooled.  The truth is told in actions and not words.  Don't sit on a computer and imagine what you think the rest of the world is like...go to some Waldorf schools and look for yourself.  Better yet, go to a racially, ideologically, and socio-economically diverse Waldorf school and see how it operates for yourself.  

 

 

 

 

post #1115 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post

I have an unrelated thought that I hope isn't a derail of the thread. I have only just encountered Waldorf because I have a small baby and we are getting onto daycare lists, etc. My first introduction into its philosophy has left me skeptical. They told me that children aren't developmentally ready to learn a stringed instrument until they are 9 or 10. Since both my husband and I are classical violinists by trade, and both started before the age of 5, we know that's obviously bunk. I guess I worry what else they'll think my son "isn't ready" for. As far as I'm concerned, the human brain is amazing, and I can't possibly see the harm in learning things at whatever age you are.

 

I'm a Waldorf teacher and all three of my children learned Suzuki violin from four years old (my youngest was actually three).  You have a good knowledge of the violin and that should give you a great place to start when it comes to music.  If music is your passion, and your husband's, I think you should bring it to your son as often as possible.  He will begin to pick up the subtleties of the violin simply by watching you.

 

If you get a chance to read Shinichi Suzuki's book "Talent Education from Age Zero" (or something like that) or "Nurtured by Love", you'll find that much of what he says resonates with many things you might read in the Waldorf movement.  I find that the direct sources are usually the best information.  Somewhere Steiner said that all students should have a solo instrument by the time they're 7 years old, and it was customary at the time to have wooden flutes in schools.  The U.S. way is to bring in stringed instruments later than that (most public schools do it in the fourth grade), and so it is typically done this way all across the US.  So most Waldorf schools also introduce wooden flutes in the first grade as well.    

 

My feeling is that, if you have a talent to bring to your child or wish to learn it yourself...it is wonderful to engage your child (in a fun and beautiful way) with such an activity.  There is nothing damaging if it is done out of love.  The Shinichi Suzuki books should be read by every parent, I think!

 

This woman has an interesting point of view: http://blog.bellalunatoys.com/2010/music-lessons.html

 

As I said, my children all started at 4 or earlier.  I am a pianist and I learned violin along with them all.  The only caveat about starting so early is that they progress very slowly at first and you spend a lot of money that you might be able to save if they progress quicker when they begin at 7.  I don't have experience waiting, however.

 

Good luck,

Maggie

post #1116 of 1181
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If you give particular instances--you sent me to your website!--then you get particular answers!!

Nope.  As I said, each Waldorf school had ample opportunity to deal with the particular instances.  They didn't... so THAT is the complaint as well.

Quote:
 If you want to make sweeping generalizations, then I'm ok with that insofar as I think they're arguable.

Aren't you the one making the sweeping generalizations?  Do you need me to provide specific examples of those too?

 

Quote:

 

 Implying that all Waldorf schools operate in a singular way (particularly when they are specifically set up to NOT be affiliated with one another) and that they unifyingly organize specifically for the deliberate intent to harm students...  I mean, really...who does this?

Cults do this.

 

Quote:
 Even among dissenters of Waldorf education...who is thinking that these teachers are actually out for malicious intent?  You can say "misguided" or "unclear" or whatever you want...but implying a unified intent to harm a child?  This is absurd.  That's called a "straw man" argument.

No, that's not what a strawman argument is.  A strawman argument would be arguing against something that doesn't exist.  YOU added the "malicious intent" part in order to make it seem like a strawman argument.  Waldorf teachers actually believe they are doing GOOD when they harm children. 

 

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Look anywhere on line for high-school-graduates-that-attend-college-rates...Forbes does college admittance studies every year.  I think the last I heard upper-middle class people had a 10% higher acceptance rate than their low-class peers.  That's a clear statistic and I'm sure it's on the internet.  Going to a private high school matters...and if that high school is elite, it matters even more.  My high school (in the early 90's) boasted a 90% college entrance rate (2 and 4 year colleges combined--12%, 78% respectively) and it was a public high school in an affluent area.  The rates have changed 1% each to today.  Currently--20 years later--92% go to college.  13% to a 2 year college and 79% to a 4 year college.  And so many kids go to college these days--WAY more than SHOULD be going.  I'm still not surprised by that statistic.  The nation-wide statistic for high-school graduates (without filtering for affluence or school interest or anything else) is almost 70% anyway....  http://www.bls.gov/news.release/hsgec.nr0.htm  Not much of a leap to say that predominantly white, alternatively educated, upper-class, privately-schooled (AWSNA doesn't accredit charter schools, as far as I know) kids make it to college, at least in their first year.............most of them  probably do.  And most of them are encouraged by their parents to attend college.  And most of them have college funds to help.  Does this validate the statistic?  No, but it doesn't make it seem too outlandish either.  Does this mean that it's because Waldorf education is so successful?  No, I don't think you can reasonably make that conclusion with my own public alma mater of 400+ graduates each year boasting virtually the same numbers.

Waldorf Mumbo Jumbo - not ONE valid statistic related to Waldorf schools.  Not one statistic to back up the 94% claim by Waldorf.  I actually KNOW how that number was attained - do you?  Waldorf charters are accredited by AWSNA BTW.

 

Quote:
Where is that information from?  Are you implying that they continue their school with 25% new every year?  They can't lose 25% every year and still maintain operations--this may be a statistic of a failing school that lasts over, say, a three or four year period...but no school can maintain these statistics every year as a common practice.  That's, again, ridiculous.

The number is directly from a Highland Hall board member during an extremely rare "open" board meeting.  It was obviously a concern.  Can a school find 100 new students every year?  I suppose it depends on how willing they are to misrepresent themselves to prospective parents.  Highland Hall is indeed in financial troubles now - but it took 10 years to get the word out.

You could always pick up the phone and confirm it.

 

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Whoever thinks we do things differently--I don't know what to say about them.

Since it's such a HUGE body of people who have examined Waldorf, maybe you should consider making up your mind on this.

 

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Yes, I talk to students about God--he's all over history.  I didn't put God there!  I don't give them any answers because, frankly, I don't know any.  Their guess is as good as mine.

Really?  God is all over history?  What did God EVER do, historically speaking?  And no, the student's guess isn't as good as the teacher's in Waldorf.  My son, for example, had to consider "Intelligent Design" as SCIENCE - in his science classes.  I'll be scanning and posting his marked-up lesson on my blog soon.

 

Quote:
Ok...then don't do it.  Who's making you?  Do Muslims make you angry?  Atheists?  People who walk with a limp?  Who's attacking you?

LMAO!  Nobody's making me shine the spotlight on Waldorf and Anthroposophy... I do this for the good of humanity!

 

Quote:
Look up the definition of ad hominem.  That's not being dismissive...it's being clear.

I don't need to... but I will if you promise to look up the definition of "dismissive".

 

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No, I haven't looked at data about Waldorf Charter schools.  We don't have any in our area.  I think the only ones that I know about are in California and that's about the extent of my knowledge in that area.

Then why make statements about them that are clearly false?

   

 

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But likewise, what data do you collect about public schools?  Have you collected this data?  Have you worked in public schools?  I've worked in public, private, voucher Waldorf and private Waldorf schools and I consider the Waldorf schools to be the best I've seen...though, again, they also have problems.

See, THAT would be considered ad hominem.

 

Quote:

You cannot fail to admit that each brand of education has its unique pitfalls.  So are you saying that your prime complaint is the spirituality of the education?  That's what I'm getting from all of this...  There is a legitimate concern there if that is what you are saying, but you're not articulating clearly WHY.

Nope.  I ABSOLUTELY believe a spiritual education should be made available to people who WANT it.  My complaint is that Waldorf DISGUISES what they teach to children.  That's NOT their right - even though Steiner told them they could do this.  Waldorf's DISHONESTY is my complaint... they should be clear about what they teach and why.  I used to say it a different way "Do what you say, or say what you do"... Either one would be fine with me.  Waldorf says it does one thing and does the opposite.  That's fraud - any way you slice it.

 

Quote:
An organized effort to harm children? Define "HARM".  I can't think of anything I do that is organized to intentionally hurt a child.  This thought is disgusting to me, but if you're trying to couch some hairy idea under the broad definition of "HARM", you can make anyone look the fool.   I think an argument could be made that it is abusive to force a child to take standardized tests in kindergarten...far more abusive than anything I'm teaching from human history.

Harm : 1) Any physical damage to the body caused by violence or accident or fracture etc 2) The occurrence of a change for the worse 3) The act of damaging something or someone

 

Now, just apply these definitions to the reviews and see if you don't see "harm" being done by Waldorf schools - in the same way - all around the world.  Nobody in the reviews ever complained about their child having to take a test.

 

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No.  First of all, Steiner never said the word "bullying".  

Of course, for one thing - he spoke German.  And for another thing, he didn't see it as bullying.

 

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When children have disputes--you know, honest disputes--I think it's important to work them out and be taught how to manage conflict.  This is a vital life-skill that incorporates things like "talking it out" or knowing what to do when someone says something you don't like (such as tell a teacher or express in appropriate words that you don't like hearing such-and-such).  No one can enter another person's space without consent--no one can touch another person if it bothers them. 

That just isn't true and I think you know it.  Hundreds of reviews disagree with you... sorry.

 

 

Quote:

When you see a child deliberately taking advantage of another child's weakness--the definition of bullying--that's cruelty and an immoral action that is unjustifiable.  It must be stopped, absolutely, and dealt with as such.  This is not a matter of karma, this is an ethical transgression.  Waldorf education is designed to be a moral education.

Wait... too funny... I'm holding my sides here... not really, because this is very very sad.  Waldorf education was founded on dishonesty... (re-read Faculty Meetings) don't EVEN try to take moral high ground here.  Immoral people can't provide a moral education... in my view.

 

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Many Waldorf schools have bullying workshops and many of them address this problem directly.  Our school has a bullying policy to address these concerns.  This is not something that any of our staff takes lightly.  Are there grey areas?  To be sure.  Do teachers see everything?  Nope.  But that's part of the unfortunate part of putting your children in ANY school...a lot goes under the radar.  ESPECIALLY the stuff that kids WANT to get under the radar. 

Sure, they'll do something when it starts affecting tuition... not until then.  I'm pretty sure no Waldorf school has implemented radar... the closest thing they have is gossip.  Children can't come to their teachers, and often their parents are so wrapped up in doing the Waldorf thing they sadly don't pay attention to their children's complaints... or listen to the teacher's slant and believe the teacher over their own child.  Yes, parent-assisted bullying occurs too.  Alicia Hamburg, a former Waldorf student, has described this in her blog.

 

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If someone allows such an ethical transgression then that's a terrible teacher.

Yes, one whose credential can't be pulled by AWSNA,

 

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I'm a trained Waldorf teacher.  Are you?  Were you trained to do this sort of thing?  I absolutely was not...furthermore, I was made aware of bullying through my education and was given a packet of information filled with mainstream techniques used to recognize, address, and prevent such things from occurring.

My ex wife was... as were her parents.

 

Quote:
 Authorities do not take these sorts of allegations lightly.  Why would police not be involved in an issue such as this???  Police don't care if a predator is a Waldorf teacher...don't be ridiculous!!! 

That's right.  Do you want to see the numbers of the police reports filed against Highland Hall?

 

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I'm not "Waldorf"...I don't think anyone is "Waldorf".  Who is this "Waldorf" that you keep talking about?  This Waldorf is your straw man, and he's not standing all that well at the moment. 

Waldorf goes by different names in different places.  AWSNA in North America, SWSF in the UK, SFWS in Sweden and so forth.  I call them, collectively, Waldorf. 

 

Quote:
 Have you worked with AWSNA?  I have never felt that they supported teachers--the good ones or the not-as-good ones--or schools individually at all.  Contrarily, I feel that they are hyper-vigilant...at times to the deficit of the school or teachers in general.  They are extremely fastidious about their accreditation policies.

There are AWSNA recommendations for Highland Hall dating back to 1998 that haven't been adopted... like a computer lab for example.

 

Here's AWSNA's Patrice Maynard excusing a Waldorf teacher for binding children to their chairs and taping their mouths shut with duct tape.  This was the second of two incidents by this teacher.  When the administrator at Highland Hall hid molestation of children despite being a mandatory reporter, she was forced to leave Highland Hall... and went to work at... AWSNA for a few years - now she's back at Highland Hall.  Joan Jaeckel, from AWSNA, has picked the administrator who was kicked out of Highland Hall (who she replaced - and was worse than her) as the new administrator for El Rio Charter Waldorf school.  Passing bad teachers around is truly a KNOWN phenomenon in Waldorf.

 

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Outside auditors are typically NON-Waldorf.  This is why they are outside auditors.  Both parties agree to the audit and the auditor.

Since you say this happens, can you direct readers to an instance of this happening to a private Waldorf school?

 

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I just told you the reasons why I teach what I teach.

Ad Hominem ;)

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Waldorf schools MUST be transparent and be open and able to discuss things like anthroposophy.  By the time I made it to Waldorf education, I didn't have a question that it had spiritual underpinnings.  With the internet, is it really that difficult to find out about it?

Waldorf has people who are actually PAID to misinform parents about Waldorf.  They have even been on MDC.  So Waldorf is making an effort to HIDE, not reveal.  Waldorf teachers control all articles about Waldorf and Anthroposophy on Wikipedia.  There is a HUGE effort on Waldorf's part to make it difficult to find out the truth about it.

 

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Surely you have to recognize that dishonesty isn't limited to spiritual people?

Dishonesty in the NAME of spirituality opened my eyes to what's going on here.

 

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WOAH!  This is BAD LOGIC.  You're set on believing that, if some Waldorf people are corrupt and dishonest, then all of them must be.  And if all of them are, then they are all wrong.  And if all of them are wrong, then spirituality is wrong too.

What do you tell parents when they ask about Eurythmy?  Be honest.
 

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Waldorf people have the power to corrupt spirituality?  You mean they've overturned all of those philosophies out there and managed to corrupt them all with one backhanded swipe? 

Well, YES.  It's called Anthroposophy!

 

 

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That's pretty much the end of this STRAWMAN argument, if you have to discount spirituality because of dishonest spiritual people who are also Waldorf people.

Fixed it for ya...

 

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That's pretty much the end of this argument, if you have to discount spirituality because of dishonest spiritual people who are also Waldorf people.  You think that a person working with children every day has their head in the clouds?  I think nothing about teaching children about religion or spirituality--I don't teach religion in my class.  I don't even understand religion much more than a phenomenon in this world.  In fact, every day when I walk into class, I just teach regular subjects like every other teacher.  When I run into difficulties, I revisit my spiritual practices like running and meditating and taking a good hard look at the child.  I'll also look at myself.  Then, if I can't figure out what's wrong, I'll look in some books or give a specialist a call.  I'll talk to the parents and other teachers to see if they notice anything.  Whatever it takes, the goal is to get the child to love learning and to do it through experiencing the world.

Ad Hominem...

 

Quote:
 In the end, who really cares if I'm Jewish or Muslim or a spiritual scientist?  

Um... Parents!

 

Quote:

There is no such thing as advancing anthroposophy.

Yeah, PROMOTING would be a better word.

 

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 Anthroposophy is a practice that you can use to, hypothetically, get you closer to the truth

Assuming the truth may be found in Anthropsophy.  After all, Steiner actually SAID what truths HE found.  The don't sound very truthful to me.

 

 

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There is no single vehicle that is the best way to truth--I think that all kinds of people get close to truth and they do it in a lot of different ways.

Clairvoyance being one of them...

 

Quote:

 The important part is to strive toward truth and to think for yourself.  As unclear as Steiner can sometimes be...he is VERY clear about that.  

Not really.  He said think for yourself - but also told people what to think.  That's what the 6000 lectures were all about - his musings.

 

 

Quote:

Every time science shapes our understanding, it's doing exactly what it should be doing--getting us closer to the truth.  So does thinking.

Really?  How does thinking get one closer to the truth?

 

Quote:
 The thing that often gets in the way is our human nature.  I try to show my students how important thinking for themselves really is, how science is the path to truth, how pondering and understanding it leads to wisdom, and how not to get caught up in all kinds of humanistic pitfalls along the way. 

That's what you say... but there's really no reason to believe this.  What do your students say about you?

post #1117 of 1181
Quote:
But, honestly, I think small-minded people will never disappear.  The only time, sadly, that racism will never be an issue is when it is not there anymore.  I think small-minded people will always exist.  And small-minded people are not the ones who think for themselves.

So SERIOUSLY?  You're convinced that people will not overcome racism until all the racial forms are blended into one?  REALLY?  That's going to be my quote of the day!  So, you agree 100% with Steiner on this issue.  Would it be fair to describe someone who thinks this way as "small-minded"?  This is one of the most incredible statements I've yet encountered... and I think it gives some TRUE perspective into what goes on in "Waldorf-minded" people.

 

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Come on...Steiner put together all of Nietzsche's works and came directly from the same seeds of Freud...then came Hitler.

I don't think you don't mean Freud, I think you mean Goethe.

 

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This idea of eugenics was rampant all over Europe. 

No, not really.  Define "rampant".

 

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Of course we're disgusted by it, but anyone would be disgusted by it after the horrifying consequences our culture has endured.

Steiner pre-dated Hitler's rise to power by a few years.  Are you suggesting Hitler was the consequence of Steiner?  I don't believe that's correct.

 

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Do you really believe that, if Steiner had existed today that he would have said these things?

Yes, ABSOLUTELY.  Not only didn't he think these things are racist (Waldorf teachers don't consider them racist either) - but many, many of Steiner's followers said these things and much worse.

 

Quote:

 It's shocking the things that Aristotle says about women too, but I still think that he's hit the nail on the head with a lot of other stuff.

Is there an Aristotle school somewhere? 

 

Quote:
 Do I discount him because he hadn't lived through the women's liberation?  Nah...I typically give him a break and laugh a little bit because he's so out-of-context today.  Same with Steiner.

But Steiner built a school system around his ridiculous ideas... and they are taught in Waldorf teacher training TODAY!

 

Quote:
  If you can't think for yourself and take everything he said into a contemporary context, it's simple to make someone look foolish.  It's much harder to try to extract what is really being said.  It takes historical understanding, interpretation, finesse, and a deeper understanding of certain philosophical principles to extract the overarching things he's trying to get at. 

You bet!  That's why I've gone to the effort of learning a bit about the times Steiner lived in.  I agree he sometimes got caught up in political stuff and said stupid things.  I have said very little about anti-Semitism regarding Steiner - although others have reported on this extensively.  I think Steiner's anti-Semitism may have been what you describe... but NOT his racism.  His racist beliefs are the cornerstone of Anthroposophy.

 

Quote:

I'm not going to teach racism and I don't believe in racism and I live in the world TODAY.  One of Steiner's four principles is that you have to live in the world that you're IN.  In other words, don't crawl into a hole and follow Steiner (or ANYONE).  Seek out knowledge and weed it out for yourself. 

You don't believe in racism, but you say racism won't disappear until the races blend into one.  Did you seek this knowledge out on your own?  No... Steiner gave it to you.

 

Quote:
  I was taught to seek out knowledge and to think freely and deeply.  That's what Steiner taught.  He taught a whole lot of other things too...maybe these snippets (which were all the current rage of science at the time) can be piled together and make him look ridiculous, but that doesn't discount so many things that he said which were extraordinarily insightful.

So, what did he say that was extraordinarily insightful?  Most of the stuff he said was indeed ridiculous... but we should discount that like we do the bad reviews... let's find the insightful stuff and ignore the rest.  What have you got?  Escador?

 

Quote:
I don't ignore what I was taught.  I don't know people who do.  Nobody teaches racism...get your facts straight.

Steiner's racist material is on EVERY Waldorf teacher training reading list.  If you didn't do your homework, good for you.  I've got my facts straight.  You can claim "racism" isn't taught - and I believe you... (strawman) - but you can't claim Steiner's racist ideas aren't taught... they're on the reading list. ;)

post #1118 of 1181

So, you're still upset that your wife divorced you?  It all makes so much more sense now...  

post #1119 of 1181
Quote:
So, you're still upset that your wife divorced you?  It all makes so much more sense now... 

 

Yes, she was SO FANTASTIC, that almost two decades later, I still haven't gotten over her.  The fact that she and Highland Hall almost killed my daughter has nothing to do with it.

 

I find amazing the things that make sense to you.
 

post #1120 of 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteK View Post

almost two decades later, I still haven't gotten over her. 

 

Good luck!

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