Originally Posted by PeteK
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.