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post #21 of 148
The school which teaches the atlantis Myth is Brighton school in Uk.

Yes , you're right, I got the title of the lecture wrong
it's called Theosopy of the Rosicrucian and is here at the Rudolf Steiner archive
http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/The...Ros_index.html

The Occult Significance of Blood is here
http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/OccBld_index.html

Which other parts were wrong please?

Here's some of Steiner's actual material which deborah recommends.....and this is the least racial really..

"All materialistically thinking souls work on the production of evil race-formations, and what is done of a spiritual nature causes the bringing forth of a good race. Just as mankind has brought forth that which has retrogressed in the animals, plants and minerals, so will a portion split off and represent the evil part of humanity. And in the body which meanwhile will have grown soft the inner badness of the soul will express itself externally. Just as older conditions which have degenerated to the ape species seem grotesque to us today, so do materialistic races remain at the standpoint of evil, and will people the earth as evil races. It will lie entirely with humanity as to whether a soul will remain in the bad race or will ascend by spiritual culture to a good race. "

"The aim of the Sixth epoch of humanity will be to popularise occult truth in the widest circles; that is the mission of that epoch"

"So you see, the Spiritual Movement has a quite definite goal, namely, to mould future humanity in advance"

"So a certain group of people must join together in order to prepare the future. But this union is not to be conceived of geographically. All ideas of locality have then lost their meaning because it is no longer a question of racial relationships. The point will be for people over the whole earth to find each other spiritually, in order to fashion the future in, a positive way."

"Look at the colours to be found in Asia, from the Negroes to the yellow races. Hence you have bodies that are sheaths for every possible level of soul, from the completely passive Negro soul entirely given up the outer world of physical existence, to the other levels of passive souls in every possible part of Asia. Various characteristics of the evolution of the Asiatic and African peoples will now be comprehensible to you: they present various combinations of surrender to the environment and the external manifestation of ego-feeling. So fundamentally we have two groups of people representing combinations: those on European soil, forming the root stock of the white population […] On the other hand there are those peoples in Asia with passive, self-effacing natures in whom just this passivity expresses itself in the highest degree. This makes the people dreamy, and the etheric body penetrates very deeply into the physical body. That is the fundamental difference between the European and the Asiatic peoples." (Steiner, The Being of Man and His Future Evolution, pp. 120-121)

But it was for the sake of bringing down the spiritual impulse that
Christ became flesh in a human body. And the characteristic of the mission
of white humanity in general is to carry down the spirit, to impregnate the
flesh with the spirit. Man has his white skin that the spirit may work in
the skin when it descends to the physical plane. The task of our fifth
culture-epoch, prepared through the preceding four epochs, is to make the
outer physical body a shrine for the spirit. We must acquaint ourselves with
those cultural impluses which show the tendency to bring the spirit into the
flesh, into everyday matters. When we quite recognise this, then we shall
also be clear that where the spirit has still to work as spirit, where in a
certain way it has to stay behind in its development -- because in our time
it should descend into the flesh -- where it stays behind, takes a demonic
character and does not completely permeate the flesh, there the white skin
does not appear. Atavistic forces are present which do not let the spirit
come into complete harmony with the flesh.....

...This makes it
inevitable that the transition from the fifth culture epoch to the sixth
will will bring about a violent struggle of the white and yellow races in
the most varied domains. What precedes these struggles will occupy
world-history up to the decisive events of the great contests between the
white world and the coloured world. Future events are reflected in manifold ways
in the events that precede. We are standing in fact, viewed in the light of
spiritual science, before something colossal that must necessarily come about in
the future."

(Rudolf Steiner, "The Christ-Impulse as Bearer of the Union of the Spiritual and the Bodily" pp. 6-7)
post #22 of 148
Gosh deborah, you've really got me at it now!
Reading steiner himself on the subject!




"We must keep in mind that no matter how highly developed an individuality is, if it descends into an unsuitable body because it cannot find a suitable one, this individuality cannot express his or her soul-spiritual faculties because it lacks the necessary physical instruments." (Steiner, The Universal Human, p. 33)
"A human soul can develop itself in such a way that it incarnates in a particular race within a given incarnation. If it acquires certain capacities in this incarnation, then in a later incarnation it can incarnate in a different race." (Rudolf Steiner, Christus und die menschliche Seele, p. 92)

"We carry within us the consciousness of a unified nature and essence that lies within all people. But what is the relationship of this unified nature and essence to the myriad forms and physiognomies that we encounter in the various races? This question arises for us especially when we consider how different the natural abilities, how different the talents of the individual races are [wie verschieden veranlagt, wie verschieden begabt die einzelnen Menschenrassen sind]. The one race stands at the level of what we call the highest civilization, while the other stands at what appears to be the most primitive, subordinate level of civilization. This may make it seem odd to us that the human being, who after all has a unified nature, can appear in such a different and imperfect form. People often feel that it is an injustice of nature that some are doomed to an existence in a race that stands far below, while others are raised up to an apparently perfect race. [...] And when we examine the issue more closely, we see that human souls proceed through the different races. In this way the variety of races becomes sensible and reasonable. Thus we see that one is not condemned to live only in a primitive race while another stands at the highly developed stages of racial existence. Each of us passes through the different racial stages, and the passage signifies a progressive development for the individual soul. One who appears today as a member of the European race went through different races in earlier times, and will in later times proceed through races other than ours. The races appear to us as steps in a teaching process, and this variety takes on coherence and purpose."

(pp. 132-3, from his lecture on "Basic Concepts of Theosophy: The Races of Mankind")

"Each person proceeds through race after race. Those that are young souls incarnate in the races that have remained behind on earlier racial levels. In this way, the races and souls that live around us take on a physical and spiritual structure. Everything makes sense, everything becomes clear and explicable. We are moving closer and closer to the solution of this puzzle and we can realize that in the future we will have other epochs to go through, we will have other paths to follow than the ones made by race. We must be clear about the difference between soul development and racial development. Our own souls once lived within the Atlantean race, and they then developed themselves upward to a higher race. That gives us an image of the evolution of humankind up until our time. In this way we can comprehend how to justify the principle, the core principle of universal brotherhood without regard to race, color, status, and so forth. I will explain this thought in particular later. Today I simply wanted to show how the same essence appears in different forms, and in fact in a much more correct sense than natural science would have us believe. Our souls march from one level to the next, which is to say from one race to the next, and we come to know the meaning of humanity when we examine these races."

(ibid. pp. 153-4)
"If we want to understand this, we must carefully distinguish between race development and soul development. The two must not be confused. A human soul can develop itself in such a way that it incarnates in a particular race within a given incarnation. If it acquires certain capacities in this incarnation, then in a later incarnation it can incarnate in a different race."

(Steiner, Christus und die menschliche Seele, p. 92)

"That is the reason why there were fewer and fewer descendants in the subordinate races and more and more descendants in the higher races. Thus the lowest strata of the European population gradually died out. This is a very definite process which we must understand. The souls evolve further, the bodies die away. We must therefore carefully distinguish between soul development and race development. The souls then appear in bodies that descend from higher races."

(ibid. p. 93)

"Now there were some beings in that Atlantean period very low on the human ladder and they eventually became the backward races. [While other bodies, in contrast, continued up the ladder:] When they had belonged to highly developed individuals these bodies were pure and good. Exalted spiritual beings then descended into such bodies; and so it frequently happened during the Atlantean epoch that beings who would not otherwise have been able to incarnate on earth made use of such advanced bodies in order to descend among men."
post #23 of 148
Yes, I do recommend reading Steiner. Reading entire books so you get the context.

Thanks Bluetrain, for the name of the school. You didn't answer the question about Greek mythology, however.

My experience:
As a student--no anthroposophy in the curriculum
As a sibling of two students--no anthroposophy in the curriculum
As a parent--no anthroposophy in the curriculum
As a staff person--no anthroposophy in the curriculum
As a grandparent--no anthroposophy in the curriculum

No racism either.

Schools I've been connected to: Highland Hall (Los Angeles area), Toronto Waldorf School (Canada), Chicago Waldorf School, Orchard Valley School (Vermont)

Schools I
post #24 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
Yes, I do recommend reading Steiner. Reading entire books so you get the context.
I'm not sure in what context would the quotes posted above would be ok?..
I admitedly have not read Steiner himself. However, if the quotes posted above do belong to him, I hope the schools admit to the fact that their philosophy was developed by a rasist philosopher...

I'm glad to hear that it is not practiced teaching, one way or the other, I much appreciate when mistakes are admited and renounced in the open, rather than hushed up, and made look like as if they don't exist...

I can imagine it would matter to a good number of parents, whether it is practiced or not. That's what informed choice means - you know about the problem that existed (in the past?) and still choose the school, because it was morally responsible to admit its mistakes. *shurg*

Am I wrong?
post #25 of 148
Well, I'd have to find out which lesson the atlantis myth was taught in for you deborah. I'll get back to you on that.

The things about anthroposophy not being taught that you mention, doesn't seem to me to be wholly relevent, because most people know that anthroposophy isn't TAUGHT as such . It's a belief system at the core of the curriculum, directing reasons for many things, the choices made, the decisions etc. Anthroposophy is not a subject at the school. It INFORMS and permeates the life of the school, in so many ways.

I'm not sure I would call much of Steiner's race beliefs "racism" as we see it today. It's belief about race, which is subtley different . Not overt racism, or race hatred. But racist thought if that makes sense. Thought that some races are superior to others,or a backward race or whatever, though, is racist I suppose. I don't know.

Gosh that's alot of reading you're recommending there!

Personally I think the passages say enough on their own about the basic tenets of Steiner's race belief, but that's my opinion and others obviously can draw their own from reading Steiner.

Here's a bit more.


"People who listen to the great leaders of humankind, and preserve their soul with its eternal essence, reincarnate in an advanced race; in the same way he who ignores the great teacher, who rejects the great leader of humankind, will always reincarnate in the same race, because he was only able to develop the one form. This is the deeper meaning of Ahasver, who must always reappear in the same form because he rejected the hand of the greatest leader, Christ. Thus each person has the opportunity to become caught up in the essence of one incarnation, to push away the leader of humankind, or instead to undergo the transformation into higher races, toward ever higher perfection. Races would never become decadent, never decline, if there weren't souls that are unable to move up and unwilling to move up to a higher racial form. Look at the races that have survived from earlier eras: they only exist because some souls could not climb higher."

(Steiner, Das Hereinwirken geistiger Wesenheiten in den Menschen, p. 174)

"All of you were once Atlanteans, and these Atlantean bodies looked very different, as I have already described. The same soul that was once in an Atlantean body somewhere is now in your body. But not all bodies have been prepared, in the way yours have been, by a small number of colonists who long ago migrated from the West to the East. Those who remained behind, who bound themselves up with their race, they degenerated, while the advanced ones founded new civilizations. The last stragglers on the way to the east, the Mongols, still retain something of the culture of the Atlanteans. In the same way, the bodies of those people who do not develop themselves in a progressive fashion will continue into the next era and will constitute the Chinese of the future. There will once again be decadent peoples. After all, the souls that inhabit Chinese bodies are those that will once again have to incarnate in such races, because they had too strong an attraction to that race. The souls that are today within you will later incarnate in bodies that come from people who work in the way I have indicated, and who beget the bodies of the future, just as the first colonists from Atlantis once did. And those who cling to the ordinary, who do not want to join with the movement toward the future, they will become fused with their race. There are people who want to stick to the familiar, who want nothing to do with progress; they refuse to listen to those who lead the way beyond the race to newer and newer forms of humanity."
post #26 of 148
Oriole, I think perhaps many Steiner waldorf teachers and parents are protected from these central truths of steiners work. Although they are very central- his main themes are reincarnation and saving humanity from evil and materialsism , ready for a time whn spiritual beings willl manifest themselves in the future, and people trained in occult science willl be able to communicate spiritually.
The fact that evolving from a lower race to a higher one, is included in this vision of the future , is irrelevant to some, or not even known.
It is easy to follow the main tenets of belief, and not involve the race isue.

Why, as you say, the main anthroposophical players, don't stand up in public nd denounce this odious material is open to question, and one can only draw one's own conclusions?

Some anthroposohists go round in circles trying to justify and translate the obvious in a different way.
Also, Steiner did contradict himself the whole time, so there will,always be a quote which says the opposite! -like race means nothing, love is all, and then it's all ok.

I think that not mentioning anthroposophy to prospective parents is the biggest crime in my book. The school ours went to made a conscious efort to dirct away from this aspect, and nothing was mentioned about souls, reincarnation, spirit worlds atall. Or in their prospectus.

It wasn't until I read things at the bookshop near the school, and in magazines in the cafe there , that I saw the word anthroposphy.

I much later read a piece by two steiner trained teachers, who said they were told in their training, not to mention anthroposophy to parents, to hide it, and talk about the creative side.

There are websites devoted to deflecting attention from the real anthroposophical beliefs. they never really get to grips with saying anything solid about it.

Deborah is absolutely right when she says to read Steiner himself.
It's the only way to understand his true beliefs.
But wow- what an EFFORT!
post #27 of 148
Well, I think they should be more clear on the spiritual beliefs they were built upon.

As an agnostic, I do not want my daughter to attend a schools whose principals are based on a particular religion or spiritual belief, no matter how appealing those principals might be to me, eg, the nature, wood, fairies, wool, etc.

It would deeply disturb me if I sent her to a Montessori school and she was taught Montessori's religion as truth. But I guess that is more to the point of- I wish they would have non athroposophical Waldorf schools for those of us who don't believe in Steiner's world-view/ philosophy, but do agree with his ideas for education.

Or if she were sent to any secular school and taught any religion as truth, really, that would definitely bother me. Especially if they covered it up, as though they had to get around the parents to reach the child with their truth.

Smacks of Christian evangelicalism to me. I remember while attending a somewhat cultish church in my youth, the pastors quoted to us from the Bible about Christ separating sons from fathers, and implying that if we grew apart from our parents for the sake of Christ, we were taking the spiritually "right" path. I am reminded of this now, with Waldorf: we won't tell the parents because they might disagree, and then we wouldn't be able to convert their children.

Even if they don't TEACH anthroposophy, they still view the children in an anthroposophical manner, and treat them accordingly.

Likewise, I would not want my daughter to be viewed as a soul who needs "saving," as she would be viewed at a Christian school.

Nota bene: I have never experienced Waldorf first hand. These are just my concerns after having read experiences of other parents of Waldorf students.
post #28 of 148
HI deborah
The Atlantis myth was taught as a class 5 aaancient India lesson. There's a report about it here

"Brighton Steiner teaches Atlantis myth
Anthroposophists believe in Atlantis, it isn’t a myth or a legend for them. Anthroposophists believe it to have actually existed. Atlantis is where - according to Rudolf Steiner, inventor of Anthroposophy - us humans first evolved. Animals came later of course, descending from humans, and white Aryans sit atop a spiritually arranged ‘league table’ of races and cultures. All of this and more was proclaimed to be true by Steiner and is taken to be true by his followers.

So it was interesting to see in Brighton Steiner School’s October 2007 newsletter that the Atlantis myth is being taught to little children there. Here is the report from the school’s newsletter:

Lower School News


Class 5 Ancient India Main Lesson

For the first 4 weeks of term Class 5 have been exploring the lands, culture and stories of ancient India. We started in Atlantis, a continent covered with mist, where the people rarely see the sun. Here we heard of Manu, a wise and kind man who, with the help of a fish, saved some of his people before Atlantis sank beneath the waves.

As Manu’s boat arrived in India, all his people saw a rainbow for the first time. India was strange and new to them. It has only 3 seasons and the people told many fanciful tales of great heroes and heroines.

Class 5 have heard some of these tales and also some stories about the many great and colourful gods, whom the people of India still worship today."

Perhaps it should have been Greek, it was after all from Plato's Tinneous myth , used as an allegory, not historical fact!
post #29 of 148
Noli Mum, I couldn't agree more with you about having steiner schools without the religion/spiritual beliefs.
We chose the school for all the things it purported to be, creative, music, craft, languages, time to lrearn etc.
In fact, even without the obscure and weird spiritual stuff, it was so BORING the kids nearly died.
post #30 of 148
Don't know what happend there, it posted before I was ready!

All the relentless copying from the board, the teacher's word as sacrosanct.they weren't allowed to ask questions, or paint anything differet. Or even use colours thta they had chosen themselves.
the relentless chanting and clapping, ok for a bit when you're 5, but not 12!
post #31 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetrain View Post
Don't know what happend there, it posted before I was ready!

All the relentless copying from the board, the teacher's word as sacrosanct.they weren't allowed to ask questions, or paint anything differet. Or even use colours thta they had chosen themselves.
the relentless chanting and clapping, ok for a bit when you're 5, but not 12!
Really? I thought it was supposed to be child-led learning and creativity.

I have been so confused by all the conflicting stories about Waldorf. I'm really disappointed, because I was very enthusiastic about it until I started reading more about Steiner and more of the negative experiences parents and students have had.

It seems so backwards, and convoluted.

Creativity is encouraged, but your painting must look like a lazured wall.

Child-centric learning is important, but if your kindergartener wants to read then we'll have a problem.
post #32 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoliMum View Post

It would deeply disturb me if I sent her to a Montessori school and she was taught Montessori's religion as truth.
I'm in Montessori training right now, so I wanted to address this. Maria Montessori personally was Catholic (although apparently she later in life studied other religions). She did write about including religious teaching as part of the Montessori curriculum, but only as one aspect of it. It did not inform all the other decisions being made in the classroom. There are still some Catholic Montessori schools out there, but most Montessori schools are non-religious. They do not teach any religion as part of the curriculum, subtly or otherwise.

There are a couple of stories that mention God, but in our training we were given both this version and another version which omits any reference to God or a creator of any kind. We were told to decide along with our school administration which version of the story to tell. Most schools prefer us to use the non-religious version and most trainees I've spoken to that were not specifically looking to teach at a Catholic school told me that they prefer to tell that story. Other than that, I can't think of a single instance where religion is mentioned.
post #33 of 148
The original spirit of this thread was really helpful, but I think it's gotten off course.

I haven't weighed in on these types of discussions yet, since my son is enrolled in a Waldorf school for the fall but is not yet attending. So, I don't yet know what I'll wish I'd known, you know?

At this point, I will say that as a prospective parent I think that the school we've chosen has been very transparent about their philosophy and very thoughtful about giving parents information with which to make informed choices. I've attended an open-house, where I observed a kindergarten class playing, a third grade math lesson (great teacher--fun long-division lesson, if you can believe it), a fifth grade history lesson (copying word for word a teacher's dictation--not so cool), and an eighth grade chemistry lesson (they recapped a cheese-making activity they'd done the day before, discussed the chemical process of making cheese and also how the cheese felt, then they wrote poems about the experience--awesome). I've also attended two parent information sessions and a kindergarten puppet show. The school has sent me two books about Waldorf education, they have clear information about their policies and philosophies on their websites, and their parent handbook is also posted on their website.

I feel that I need to add, as far as racial concerns go, when I first began to consider Waldorf education last year, the first thing I did was a google search on subjects like "Waldorf education pros and cons" and "Waldorf philosophy". Many of the horrible racial Steiner quotes pasted above are all over the internet--on basically all of the first pages that I encountered. It doesn't seem hidden in the least.

Of course I found all of that disturbing, but proceeded to learn more about our particular Waldorf school, mostly because I have friends with children enrolled at the school who I know value diversity and who had never mentioned race issues being a problem at our school. Last fall I did school visits at three other private schools and at our one public school, and the Waldorf school notably had the most diverse teaching and administrative staff, and a reasonably diverse student body. I still have lots of concerns and questions about Waldorf education, and I don't know that it'll end up being the right fit in the end, but racism is not my big concern at this point.

I'm not trying to question or devalue any personal experiences that anyone else has had with racism in their own schools. However, I do think that it is an unfortunate reality that racism can be encountered in many places and under many guises. I don't doubt that there are racist teachers at some Waldorf schools somewhere in the world, but I think that one could encounter the same problem at any kind of school--it would only take one bad teacher.
post #34 of 148
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE=NoliMum;11061628]Really? I thought it was supposed to be child-led learning and creativity.

OWF: This is, I think, the greatest misconception about Waldorf. It is decidedly teacher-led. It may be teacher-led in an innovative and creative way, but children are always doing what the teacher asks, in the order they ask it. The only time during the school day (please note that I am talking about the grade school, not pre-K or) that children choose what to do is recess. the nice thing is that there is plenty of recess time. But I think that this is one of the ways in which Waldorf tells parents that it is "alternative" education and lets them fill in the blanks. Most of us assume that alternative means things like emergent curriculum and choice of activity. This was my very purpose for starting this thread. I don't think that being teacher-led is *necessarily* bad, but it certainly isn't what a lot of people are looking for.

Noli: I have been so confused by all the conflicting stories about Waldorf. I'm really disappointed, because I was very enthusiastic about it until I started reading more about Steiner and more of the negative experiences parents and students have had.

OWF: It is still important, though, to go visit your prospective school and give it a serious look. It could be that the extraordinary positives would outweigh the negatives for you. So many people are happy in Waldorf! Just ask lots of questions.
post #35 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoliMum View Post
Really? I thought it was supposed to be child-led learning and creativity.

I have been so confused by all the conflicting stories about Waldorf. I'm really disappointed, because I was very enthusiastic about it until I started reading more about Steiner and more of the negative experiences parents and students have had.

It seems so backwards, and convoluted.

Creativity is encouraged, but your painting must look like a lazured wall.

Child-centric learning is important, but if your kindergartener wants to read then we'll have a problem.
There's a tendency for the picture of Waldorf education to be painted all one color. We lean towards extremes these days.

Waldorf is child-centered, but it's not, especially in the younger years, particularly "child led". The nuance doesn't lend itself well to pin-up posters and catchphrases.

Take some of these questions about creativity and copying. In the earliest years there is copying; not everything is copied, but there is copying. Waldorf students create their own Main Lesson books, which are their text books literally, and the content they're to put in them follows a given form, especially in the beginning. So a typical 2nd grader does not compose much for their books, they record in them what the teacher has composed for them. There are reasons they do this, one of them being this regurgitation helps them absorb the lesson by involving them interactively. But a typical 6th grader composes most of the content, according to an outline and content requirements. Another example, painting "class" after kindergarten will have specific techniques taught, it's not a "do your own thing" any more than it would be in any other typical art class. It's like music that way. But that's not all there is, there are also ample artistic assignments where that's exactly what it is, more of a "do what you want" exercise. (Actually very few painting exercises ever look much at all like a lazured wall.)

I think that's why things sound so confusing. Nothing in Waldorf fits that neatly really in "all this and none of that", and maybe people tend each to just focus their lens a little differently.
post #36 of 148
I think it's important that parents are informed "why" things are as they are, the different myths taught at specific times to fit in with Steiners belief of world "history" and "evolution", and to allow the child to relive their own life history.
Or why every thing has curved soft edges, from the paper, and type faces to the furniture; it is supposed to reflect the spiritual world from which the children have recently emerged, as are the watery wet paintings.
The teacher is seen as having a "sacred task" whose voice and authority stands unquestioned, even to parents.

Most of the reasons for particular things in Steiner waldorf have an anthroposophical reason,; imo this often over rides common sense or human love and instinct, because they are rigidly set in stone.
I also think parents should be aware of these reasons BEFORE they enrol their children.
post #37 of 148
I just feel the need to chime in and say that in many (most) other parts of the world, the schools are called Rudolf Steiner schools...so no misconceptions about whose philosophy the whole thing is based upon. Anthroposophy is an everyday word in these parts (Switzerland)...everyone knows what it is...even if they don't know all the details or whether they find it valid or not. There are doctors EVERYWHERE with anthroposophic medical qualifications (I was even assigned one through my first HMO! before I even knew what it was) and there are even restaurants that serve the "grain of the day" based on Steiner's philosophy. It's just one more set of ideas...nothing so peculiar about any of it.

Also, even public schools here in Switzerland do A LOT of copying and repetition of the teachers. This is in large part a European phenomenon (or at least a Germanic one). Letting children choose each and every thing that they do and learn is very modern and largely very American...individualism is not the order of the day everywhere in the world! So some of these things that are listed as "Waldorf" are actually common here across the board. Just an FYI should such things interest anyone.

And the last thing I want to add is that Steiner lived and spoke and wrote a very long time ago! Some of these racist references were unfortunate but true signs of the time in which he lived...in the US included!!!! It does not mean that today's Waldorf teachers, schools or even anthroposophists believe in this stuff or let it speak to their work now, in a modern, multi-cultural world. He is not around to write and think today, but I think you will find that most currently published Waldorf-related books are much more in keeping with today's values.

I am one of those people who believe wholeheartedly that it is primarily the job of the parents to investigate all aspects of a school (public or private), what motivates the teachers and administrators, and what drives their educational philosophies....the information is always out there! There are so many books, websites...there are so many fans and so many critics...no shortage of perspectives to be found. And not all schools are created equal...again whether Waldorf, public, whatever.

If you aren't ok with pink walls and rounded edges and children who copy their teachers...then Waldorf is not for you. And neither is the Swiss or German public school system either! hehe
post #38 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoliMum View Post
Likewise, I would not want my daughter to be viewed as a soul who needs "saving," as she would be viewed at a Christian school.
Oh please! That's like saying if an agnostic were her teacher, she would be viewed as a person that needs to not make decisions about religion.
post #39 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by calynde View Post
And the last thing I want to add is that Steiner lived and spoke and wrote a very long time ago! Some of these racist references were unfortunate but true signs of the time in which he lived...in the US included!!!!
This is from a required biology textbook used in American high school science classes in about the same time period:

"At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure. These are the Ethiopian or negro type, originating in Africa, the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific' the American Indian' the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan, and the Eskimos' and finally, the highest of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America." and "If the stock of domesticated animals can be improved, it is not unfair to ask if the health and vigor of the future generations of men and women on earth cannot be improved by applying to them the laws of selection. This improvement of the future race has a number of factors in which we as individuals may play a part." "When people marry there are certain things that the individual as well as the race should demand. The most important of these is freedom from germ diseases which might be handed down to the offspring. Tuberculosis, that dread white plague which is still responsible for almost one seventh of all deaths, epilepsy, and feeble-mindedness are handicaps which it is not only unfair but criminal to hand down to posterity. " "Studies have been made on a number of different families in this country, in which mental and moral defects were present in one or both of the original parents. The ***** family is a notorious example. The first mother is known as 'Margaret the mother of criminals'. In seventy five years the progeny of the original generation has cost the state of New York over a million and a quarter dollars, besides giving over to the care of prisons and asylums considerably over a hundred feeble minded, alcoholic, immoral, or criminal persons." In another family, "33 were sexually immoral, 24 confirmed drunkards, 3 epileptics, and 143 feeble minded. The man who started this terrible lineage of immorality and feeble-mindedness later married a normal Quaker girl. From this couple a line of 496 descendants have come with no cases of feeble-mindedness. The evidence and moral speak for themselves." "The cost to society of such families is very severe. Just as certain animals or plants become parasitic on other plans or animals, these families have become parasitic on society. They take from society, but they give nothing in return. They are true parasites. If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading. Humanity will not allow this, but we do have the remedy of separating the sexes in asylums or other places and various ways preventing intermarriage and the possibilities of perpetuating such a low and degenerate race."

There's no mistaking the meaning intended there, and this textbook was actually somewhat toned down compared with texts used in colleges and other books in the scientific and popular press.

But everybody talked in terms of race in those days, and it's easy to leap to the wrong ideas just by cherry-picking quotes. For example this quote, "The mass of ignorant Negroes still breed carelessly and disastrously, so that the increase among Negroes, even more than the increase among whites, is from that portion of the population least intelligent and fit, and least able to rear their children properly." This is a quote taken from one of the foremost respected black civil rights activists of the 20th century and one of the founders of the NAACP.
post #40 of 148
[QUOTE=calynde;11066909]It's just one more set of ideas...nothing so peculiar about any of it.



And the last thing I want to add is that Steiner lived and spoke and wrote a very long time ago! Some of these racist references were unfortunate but true signs of the time in which he lived...in the US included!!!! It does not mean that today's Waldorf teachers, schools or even anthroposophists believe in this stuff or let it speak to their work now, in a modern, multi-cultural world. He is not around to write and think today, but I think you will find that most currently published Waldorf-related books are much more in keeping with today's values.

I am one of those people who believe wholeheartedly that it is primarily the job of the parents to investigate all aspects of a school (public or private), what motivates the teachers and administrators, and what drives their educational philosophies....the information is always out there! There are so many books, websites...there are so many fans and so many critics...no shortage of perspectives to be found. And not all schools are created equal...again whether Waldorf, public, whatever.]

Hi Calynde

Do you think the Steiner philosophy that is practised is the full anthroposophical one in Switzerland? I suppose if it's called "Steiner" it must be. It's a matter of opinion,but I would say MOST of it is highly peculiar!

I also feel that the "he was speaking as a man of his times" is undoubtedly true, but that in this context, the anthroposophists should stand up and openly denounce the race ideas as despicable; which they don't. The books are still published, there is a new set of shiny paperbacks here with titles like From Comets to Cocaine, From Buddha to beetroot or something. Many of them are republished and sold on Amazon, with these ideas in them.
This I object to.
there's nothing to stop an eager teacher from putting these "steiner" beliefs into practise in a "Steiner" school
If they call themselves "Steiner" schools, follow his beliefs, and don't publically jettison the retrogressive and unsavory beliefs, there is much to answer to critics.

As to researching and findng out before hand, I had very limited access to the internet then (4 or so yrs ago). We live in a rural area. We had numerous meetings and interviews, asked many quetions, asked what books to read about Steiner education, read the school's promotional literature thoroughly. Not ONCE was anthroposophy, spirit worlds, reincarnation, clairvoyance,astral or cosmic forces, or even temperaments mentioned.
We trusted the "experts".
They lead us to believe something very different.

This story is heard time and time again. It's not coincidence that the real heart of anthroposophy is kept from parents.
Once enrolled, (or entrapped,) the parents are gradually introduced to the aspects so cleverly disguised at the outset, when they are deemed receptive, if atall.

I would imagine that recently there's much more material avaiable on the net if one delves through the sites which evade and deflect with evasive and meretricious language.
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