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post #81 of 148
I am interested in learning about why there is no intervention with bullying. Does this apply no matter what the situation is?
post #82 of 148
The bullying issue is certainly a difficult one. From our (and other people I have discussed his with) experience, Steiner schools belief is that differences arise between children (and adults actually!) because of "past life experiences" and in order for these to be over come, and the next incarnation to go smoothly, they need to be gone through. It interrupts the karmic path to intervene in these instances.
There is a belief that guardian angels watch the children anyway. And we often heard the statement that the child attracts it, brings it on themselves, ie, it's their own fault.
Generally, it seems the adults turn a blind eye to bullying.
In reality of course, this makes for a dog eat dog, pecking order within the school, which was how it panned out in the school where we were, and many other's I have heard about.
post #83 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetrain View Post
The bullying issue is certainly a difficult one. From our (and other people I have discussed his with) experience, Steiner schools belief is that differences arise between children (and adults actually!) because of "past life experiences" and in order for these to be over come, and the next incarnation to go smoothly, they need to be gone through. It interrupts the karmic path to intervene in these instances.
There is a belief that guardian angels watch the children anyway. And we often heard the statement that the child attracts it, brings it on themselves, ie, it's their own fault.
Generally, it seems the adults turn a blind eye to bullying.
In reality of course, this makes for a dog eat dog, pecking order within the school, which was how it panned out in the school where we were, and many other's I have heard about.
That sounds nice in theory, but otherwise it just doesn't seem to work in serious cases, IMO. A friend of mine has been dealing with some pretty serious issues in her dd's class. I won't go into all the details, but to sum it up there have been three children who have already left the school due to one child's bullying. The incidents range from typical bullying to physically stabbing a child with a fork and threatening to kill other children. Unfortunately for that child, the rest of the world isn't going to turn a blind eye with a Waldorf view. He's destined for prison as an adult at this rate.
post #84 of 148
I spent over 7 years at the very heart of anthroposophy in the U.S. There isn't a hidden racist agenda. But everyone has their fantasies.

On the dictation thing: When I was attending waldorf school (middle of 8th through middle of 10th) we mostly wrote and illustrated our own main lesson notebooks, but occasionally one of the teachers would give dictation. It was an interesting and impressive experience. The teacher would speak for a length of time, entirely without notes, in complete and grammatically correct sentences and without a single "um". I personally experienced it as a very valuable modeling of how to present a series of ideas. I think it was helpful. If everything going into the notebook had been dictated, then that would have been bad, of course, but it wasn't.

I think this is actually similar to teaching actual drawing and painting techniques rather than handing over some tools and letting kids figure out the entire thing for themselves.
post #85 of 148
Crikey! That sounds a terrible situation! How cld the school let it get so bad!

The bulying at the school wher ours were (we took them out by the way) was dire too, and not dealt with. Many physical and emotinal injuries.
The adults sometimes resorted to hysical solutions too, like dragging children around by their necks and two men removing kids from the clas who had refused to go out.

Personally I don't think the karmic theory is nice, I think it's bonkers. And when theories or beliefs rooted in a pseudo religion like anthroposophy, over ride common sense or human kindness and imaginination, it is unforgiveable,
post #86 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetrain View Post
Crikey! That sounds a terrible situation! How cld the school let it get so bad!
Your guess is as good as mine. I have no idea how anyone would let things like this go on. It seems as though there is little I understand about Waldorf relating to this situation. It has become quite apparent that the school adheres to the 'blind eye' philosophy on this situation. It will be interesting to see how that will play out if the problems are brought to the city's PS Board in relation to the tax dollars they are getting as a part of the school voucher program.
post #87 of 148
I personally know (in the U.S.) of a number of waldorf schools which are actively working on bullying problems, using an approach called "Social Inclusion" developed by Kim Payne. No personal experience of the U.K.

My daughter was never bullied at either of her waldorf schools. A bit of a problem with teasing at the HS level in Toronto, but the teasers left and my daughter stayed. My grandchildren aren't having problems at their school.

On the other hand, I was bullied and harassed at several public schools. I even remember being called a dirty Jew at the public school I attended in Wisconsin in the 1950s. Of course that was still a commonly held attitude in those days. It was still okay to exclude Jews and Blacks (then referred to as Negroes) from country clubs, for example.
post #88 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetrain View Post
The bullying issue is certainly a difficult one. From our (and other people I have discussed his with) experience, Steiner schools belief is that differences arise between children (and adults actually!) because of "past life experiences" and in order for these to be over come, and the next incarnation to go smoothly, they need to be gone through. It interrupts the karmic path to intervene in these instances.
Goodness...there's a time when karma just needs to be redirected, no?

Quote:
There is a belief that guardian angels watch the children anyway. And we often heard the statement that the child attracts it, brings it on themselves, ie, it's their own fault.


Matt
post #89 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
I even remember being called a dirty Jew at the public school I attended in Wisconsin in the 1950s. Of course that was still a commonly held attitude in those days. It was still okay to exclude Jews and Blacks (then referred to as Negroes) from country clubs, for example.
FWIW, we don't see that kind of behavior in our area now. This may be partly because we are near a heavily populated Jewish area though, which includes the Jewish Country Club. I am sure that is little consolation now though.
post #90 of 148
The problems I have with the selective quoting of Steiner which is commonly done by critics:

1)disproportionate content: Someone actually reading something by Steiner, all the way through, will discover that the actual material that refers to race is bits and scraps, separated by great quantities of other material. It wasn't one of his main topics. It wasn't even one of his minor topics. It was something he mentioned occasionally.

2)selective quoting: oddly, the critics of Steiner never quote his advanced attitudes towards the equality of women, his harsh criticism of nationalism, his attacks on anti-Semitism, or any of his statements about the concept of race being outdated. What we get is always a very one-sided picture of his attitudes.

3)no allowance for linguistic changes: Steiner is judged for speaking using the terminology of his time and place. This is just plain silly, as my example above about Negroes vs Blacks, shows. And of course when updated and improved translations are provided they are called "sanitized."

4)it is basically a no win set-up: if we don't publish material we are covering up, if we do publish it we are promoting the ideas. If we explain anthroposophy to parents we are indoctrinating them, if we don't explain anthroposophy we are concealing it.

Has anyone quit beating their wife?
post #91 of 148
I understand there are problems with critics, but I don't think you can accuse them of "fantasy"- it's written in black and white, in Steiner's own words.

Naturally, this doesn't meanthat Steiner schols are "racist". The belief system which they are rooted in holds ideas about it, which should be addressed.

Steiner's theory of the eventual goal of humankind, was to become the Universal Human, where man transcends ethnicity and race, and becomes the pure high (aryan) race. Anthroposophists like to cite this as evidence that his belief was the opposite of racist.
On the way to achieving this perfect state however, "lower" "primitive" races are to be jettisoned, as the higher ones continue to evlove.
1)Anthroposophy's central tenet is reincarnation, and man's spiritual journey to higher incarnated planes
3)The spiritual journey involves the jettisoning of "lower" races, in order for the "higher" races to progress spiritually
4)The fact that there are "primitive" races still around at the same time as "perfect" races, is a mistake, brought about by interference from Lucifer and Ahriman. The "primitive" races should have died out.

I really recommend anyone interested in Steiner's theory of skin colour, lower and higher races, "pure" good races and "evil" races etc, and want to see his own words on the subject, read the thread started by LindaC called hair and eye colour in this section,

It's not just isolated passages, it is a continuous strand which runs through the reincarnation, evolution belief.

Yes, steiner wrote screeds and screeds, and the race,evolution belief is a recurring theme he returns to again and again.
It cannot be dismissed, and anyone seriously involved in anthroposophy would do well to confront it.
post #92 of 148
Deborah, I would understand, that Steiner's "concept of race being outdated" which you write, is because in The Universal human, it becomes outdated in the future, as man evolves higher and higher, discgarding the "lower""evil" races as he climbs the spiritual ladder.
Is that not your understanding?
It's the ultimate goal. Because he believed "primitive" races, ie the non white ones, were a mistake in the first place.(made by interference by lucifer and ahriman, the quotes are there on the other thread) that the "true" evolutionary course was to incarnate in white skin.
This is central to anthroposophical spiritual evolution , surely?
post #93 of 148
I wouldn't judge Steiner for using "terminology of his time and place".

I would judge him for talking about spiritual superioty, in relation to skin colour. Simple.
the sanitisation is the removal of these theories from most English translations.
Maybe the first class anthroposophists only still have them.

I don't know, maybe it's all a hangover from pre war Germany, and the occult theories of the time.

The point about explaining anthroposophy to parents is also very clear, explain it BEFORE they are enrolled.
MENTION the salient points inthe PROMOTIONAL literature.
Or stae clearly on websites purporting to promote this education, what it involves, and how it will be used in the classroom.
It's quite a simple reqest, and would prevent huge upset among parents.

Steiner actually says quite often that the purpose and goal of this epoch is to spread the word of anthroposophy , to get as many people as possible involved with occult truth etc.
post #94 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
I personally know (in the U.S.) of a number of waldorf schools which are actively working on bullying problems, using an approach called "Social Inclusion" developed by Kim Payne.


The "Social Inclusion" curriculum is an interesting one, and tends to be the accepted anti-bullying curriculum in waldorf schools because it is based and couched in anthroposophical language. So, theoretically, it can introduce a difference, without being so different that it becomes unacceptable or too mainstream for waldorf educators. I do believe Kim Payne is serious in his intent to help children. However, in order to pay more than lip-service to anti-bullying practices, the organization (waldorf school) has to do the hard work of coming to terms with the fact that bullying is occuring. Then a hard look at what systemic issues allow for this to happen. Then a harder look at the belief systems and practices that contribute to the systemic issues. This is incredibly important because the adults and the organization create the safe environment for the children. And if you aren't buying into the children's experience because you don't value it, or it doesn't fit your world view, or what have you, then you can't make the space safe for the children. It would be impossible to create a trusting environment in such a scenario.

Whew, now we're out of the realm of looking at children's behavior, and into the realm of looking at individual adult behavior and organizational culture. And that means adults taking responsibility for what is created, and for how their belief systems create a context for behaviors to either happen or not happen. So, the bottom line is that one has to acknowledge on a micro and macro level that there is a problem. Then you can acknowlege the bullying behavior for what it is, and the trauma it causes.

So, in that vein, a parent might ask, how the belief in karma and destiny, as anthroposophical concepts, impact a classroom teacher's, and the school as a ''system"'s, ability or knowledge of the social interactions of children?
post #95 of 148
I would like to speak to the bullying thing myself. I wouldn't exactly consider my son a bully because he doesn't actively seek out to harm others but he has sensory issues and possibly some other undiagnosed things going on. Well, let's just say that he has pushed, hit, and yelled at other classmates on a number of occasions, usually due to being overwhelmed by some sensory thing going on. At any rate, the teachers do not tolerate it. I myself have witnessed how they will immediately take him away to be isolated until he can return normally and apologize. If he can't do any of the aforementioned he is immediately sent home. In fact, a few rather dangerous things he has done involving throwing heavy classroom materials around have had him sent home immediately.

On the same token, I appreciate the way the teachers do not entirely exclude or ostracize him. I see a lot of talk on here about bullies from those who have kids who are victims but nobody talks about compassion for the bully? I'm not so sure that singling them out as misfits of society at such a young age exactly helps the situation. In that regard I really appreciate what a lot of waldorf schools try to do in embracing many different types of children.

Having said that there is absolutely no excuse to allow a child to be bullied with no intervention. I know I've heard about a lot of schools doing that but ours has not from what I can tell and have experienced with my son.

Back to the original question. I think parents should know upfront that despite paying an astronomical price for tuition that they will still be continually asked to donate time and more money to help the school. I think it is easy to think that once you have paid so many thousand dollars for tuition, that is it but let me tell you, it is not.
post #96 of 148
Slightly off topic here--

My daughter was born with cranio-facial issues and a few other things, and I am gathering from all the stuff that blue train has posted that she would not have been accepted at a waldorf school?

Also--regarding bullying--I was in public schools, and I was bullied from the first grade thru the 9th grade, by the same group of kids ( with some additional kids after a back injury at school) and I was constantly told, and my parents too, that I needed to grow a thicker skin and stand up for my self.:

K... gotta run. Mostly interested in what about the cranio-facial/birth defect issue... hopefully, not stirring up the pot too much!
post #97 of 148
pnuts4us, it would probably depend a lot on the school. There are highly competitive schools with limited enrollment who don't let in a lot of mainstream kids because they don't have the space. Those schools would probably definitely not accept any sort of special needs child. Then there are waldorf schools who do accept special needs children but have a threshold for what they are willing to accommodate. For instance, my son goes to waldorf and has an IEP but he has a low level of special needs. Also, our school is not that competitive like some other schools I have heard of.

It sounds like your daughter may not even have "special needs" other than a physical defect since you didn't elaborate. I would still call the school and see what they say. If they are highly competitive, they will probably say no but perhaps some less competitive schools might consider her.
post #98 of 148
Karne, excellent post Thanks.
The word "safe" is all important too.


Deborah you said
"I spent over 7 years at the very heart of anthroposophy in the U.S."

Wopuld you call yourself an anthroposophist then?
What would you say are the central tenets of anthroposophical belief?

pnutS4us
Steiner's views on disability are pretty horrendous, ( and of course, that doesn't mean people/staff at the school hold those views)

In UK someone with a disabled child was told
"We don't have children like that here"

A Camphill house parent said to me about the people with learning difficulties she was looking after
"We believe these people are as they are for different reasons than you"

Steiner said
" Such cases are increasing in which children are born with a human form, but are not really human beings...instead, they are filled with beings that do not belong to the human class. Quite a number of people have been born... [who] are not reincarnated, but are human forms filled with a sort of natural demon...."

Pixiewytch
Thanks for that about your son That's open and brave to say that.

It bothers me HUGELY that just you seem to be saying the school might not accept a child with a physical defect?

"It sounds like your daughter may not even have "special needs" other than a physical defect since you didn't elaborate. I would still call the school and see what they say. If they are highly competitive, they will probably say no but perhaps some less competitive schools might consider her. "

Is that what you're saying here, I,m not quite sure.....

If it is I'm....flabberghasted I'm afraid.:
post #99 of 148
My dd has an IEP as well, and she has made great strides in the past few years. Where we lived before, she was classified as LD, and her instructor wanted to have her classified as MR, which I fought against. He wanted her classified that way so she would recieve more goverment help. As I said, she has made great strides, and is for the most part now is at grade level or just below.

Thank you pixiewytch for sharing your son's story
post #100 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by tayndrewsmama View Post
Your guess is as good as mine. I have no idea how anyone would let things like this go on. It seems as though there is little I understand about Waldorf relating to this situation. It has become quite apparent that the school adheres to the 'blind eye' philosophy on this situation. It will be interesting to see how that will play out if the problems are brought to the city's PS Board in relation to the tax dollars they are getting as a part of the school voucher program.
I am curious. Is the school you are refering to Urban Waldorf School? If it is I think you should be refering to this insident, of the child bulling, and stabbing someone with a fork, in it's correct context. In the fact that it's an inner city Waldorf school. The Milwaukee Public School system is not the safest school system. Urban Waldorf school is one of the only, non-private, inner city, charter, Waldorf schools in the country. I think you need to consider the demagraphic of the students going to that school. I'm not saying that it's acceptable that this child did this. I just think you need to take into consideration where this bully lives, and the enviroment a lot of inner city kids grow up in. I applaud the fact that there is an Urban Waldorf school in Milwaukee, and is willing to try this in a community that is not known for it's involvement in it's public school system on a parental level. I personally wonder how that school functions without extensive parental invovelment, as I'm assuming there isn't a lot of it. If it was at Tamarack, a private, voucher, "school choice" school, again it's unfortunate, and again in that case there are kids from all over the city that go to that school. You are always going to have a few bad apples at any school. This is coming from someone who was bullied from 1st to 9th grade, in a public school. I was even bullied right in front of teachers, and they never did anything about it. So, it's not just in Waldorf schools that bulling is happening right in front of teachers, and the teachers aren't doing anything about it. I currently live in Milwaukee, WI., and am planning on becoming a Waldorf teacher. I have read this entire thread, and it has been very interesting. I now want to contact my local Waldorf schools (Tamarack, and Urban Waldorf School), and ask them what their current policies are are some of the issues brought up here, bulling and other wise.
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