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#31 of 50 Old 05-06-2009, 04:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ema-adama View Post
In my experience we started with scientific method in grade 7 in a very basic way - pretty much the way Dimitra described it. I remember being very excited to see a bunson burner in the classroom.
What Demetra described is a phenomenological approach to science, not the scientific method (hypothesis, experiment, results, analysis.) I don't mean this as a criticism. I think it's pretty cool, and I love seeing what the kids do in their lesson books. It is just a fitting thing to explain to a parent specifically asking about science in the Waldorf grade school.

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I am OK with my child not being taught expressly in the the scientific method before they are 11 - 12. I know that they will learn about it, and if my DS is a lover of science, I will meet his needs at home if I am not happy with the school (whether it is waldorf or not)
I am too! But it is something to carefully explain to prospective parents, not something to gloss over. This is something that has been a BIG problem for some families when 5th and 6th grade roll around. Parents should understand how it is done differently in Waldorf so that they can make an informed choice. This will help avoid some of that deep embitterment that some people inside Waldorf don't understand.
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#32 of 50 Old 05-06-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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This is turning into another one of those threads where we disagree about stuff ... BUT...

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Karne, I love Shwartz. I love his spirit of honesty from within the movement. He is such a breath of fresh air.
I have to say that I find him scary. He does have some good ideas but goodness, does he embody some of the things I dislike about Waldorf! The dogmatism! The aphorisms! The not-knowing-what-you-re-talking-about-isms! It makes my blood boil! This is not the way I was taught at all.

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Linda, what is unfortunate in my mind is that Waldorf teachers who are uncomfortable with this unit (and I personally know two who fit the description) are not free to teach something else. It is the perfect example anthroposophy taking priority over the freedom that Waldorf teachers are supposed to have.
Huh? HUH? In what school did this happen? How did it happen? How are they not free? Who forbade them to teach something else instead? I don't get it.

Our anthroposophy tutor repeated to us time and time again: there is no such thing as the curriculum. You are the curriculum. You can teach anything you like, as long as you can know why it is the best thing for your class.
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#33 of 50 Old 05-06-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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Karne, I love Shwartz. I love his spirit of honesty from within the movement. He is such a breath of fresh air. I agree with what you are saying about eurythmy 100%. To say that it is pure anthroposophy is not to say that it has no real world benefits!

I think I recall that his candid approach to talking about anthroposophy and waldorf ed actually got him into some trouble, but I don't recall the specifics. My dd had a teacher who used to say that the waldorf movement would be a lot better off if as a whole it would adopt the honesty of Schwartz and say what it's really about. I think having access to something like the Schwartz tapes/cd's is really important.
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#34 of 50 Old 05-06-2009, 05:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DimitraDaisy;13719384
Huh? HUH? In what school did this happen? How did it happen? How are they not free? Who forbade them to teach something else instead? I don't get it.

Our [I
anthroposophy tutor[/I] repeated to us time and time again: there is no such thing as the curriculum. You are the curriculum. You can teach anything you like, as long as you can know why it is the best thing for your class.
I don't know if European or UK schools are just different from Us schools, but I have to say that here waldorf teachers do not teach anything they like just because they feel it might be best for their class, or at least not in my experience. I'll qualify that because I'm sure someone will come along with an example to contradict, but whatever. Perhaps within the confines of the curriculum material might be added as an adjunct, but I don't believe there is much straying off the reservation, so to speak. The way in which material is covered can also be subjective, but that can be found anywhere.
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#35 of 50 Old 05-06-2009, 06:15 PM
 
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I am too! But it is something to carefully explain to prospective parents, not something to gloss over. This is something that has been a BIG problem for some families when 5th and 6th grade roll around. Parents should understand how it is done differently in Waldorf so that they can make an informed choice. This will help avoid some of that deep embitterment that some people inside Waldorf don't understand.
Like anything else, most of our understanding is based on our own experiences. Makes sense that we all answer questions from our own experiences-as it should be.

I agree families need informed choice. But with me and the experience at this school, there is so much information pushed under the noses of parents they have a real advantage to being informed. For example real Main Lesson books made by the students are put on display during orientations, school visits, open houses, festivals, etc, and many other venues where the school interfaces with inquiring parents. The Man and Animal block is in the lesson books. Some of these orientations are mandatory for entering parents here-I would go so far as to say this school is definitely not a good choice for parents who aren't looking for so much involvement.
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#36 of 50 Old 05-06-2009, 09:11 PM
 
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I have to say that I find him scary. He does have some good ideas but goodness, does he embody some of the things I dislike about Waldorf! The dogmatism! The aphorisms! The not-knowing-what-you-re-talking-about-isms! It makes my blood boil! This is not the way I was taught at all.
Can you tell me what sort of (specific) things he says that turn you off? For me, listening and reading him feels like finally I have found someone to bridge the gap. He doesn't seem dogmatic to me, just really honest, even with the uninitiated. Are there any leaders in the Waldorf movement that you can recommend I read?

Karne, I would love to know if/how he got in trouble! That seems very sad to me.

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Huh? HUH? In what school did this happen? How did it happen? How are they not free? Who forbade them to teach something else instead? I don't get it.
Well, my friend who teaches in a California school (Rudolph Steiner College grad) had a real crisis of conscience about Man and Animal. (what is up with saying "man" anyway?) But it never even occured to him that he could just skip it. He wasn't open with his colleagues about it because he simply didn't view it as an option. To him the question was whether to continue teaching Waldorf or not. It seems like the mentor-mentee relationship is powerful (and really involved) as is the general spiritual basis of the education.

So, if you find that you take exception to Man and Animal or any other block of study, will you simply not teach it and will that be no problem? ETA: if you wanted to teach Man as Primate instead, would that be o.k.? When you select the blocks that you are teaching for you class, what serves as your guide? Do you literally map it out starting from scratch? Do you have a mentor who guides you in what to teach?
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#37 of 50 Old 05-06-2009, 09:24 PM
 
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All I can really add to this discussion is that two of my children (three waldorf grads, grade 1-8) thought they didn't know much about science when they left waldorf school, UNTIL they went to science class at their (nonwaldorf) high school and found that they knew quite a lot. Things that drove other kids crazy, like making lab reports that look decent, illustrating their procedures, and following instructions, were easy for them, they knew how to observe and make measurements, and they found they had had much of the material before in some block or another.

David
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#38 of 50 Old 05-06-2009, 09:52 PM
 
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All I can really add to this discussion is that two of my children (three waldorf grads, grade 1-8) thought they didn't know much about science when they left waldorf school, UNTIL they went to science class at their (nonwaldorf) high school and found that they knew quite a lot.
They're doing okay here too because the 7th and 8th graders take standardized tests on topics, including science. The classes my children were in tested somewhere between the 70th or 80th percentile, and that's against the standardized averages from private schools I believe. Mine went to Waldorf high after 8th grade. I have no complaints about the curriculum or science facilities, and most of the science classes are taught by teachers with post grad degrees in science which is great. There are some teachers I like better than others, though, simply over their style of teaching or the way they deliver the lessons. The more rigorous and focused the teaching style, the better. The teachers focus on either physics, biology or chemistry, and one of these areas is weaker than the others because of the teacher's personal teaching style, in my opinion. So while the material is spot on-I see this in the materials the teacher gives them, and the assignments, but some times the students just aren't "getting it" as well as they could.
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#39 of 50 Old 05-06-2009, 10:34 PM
 
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Can you tell me what sort of (specific) things he says that turn you off? For me, listening and reading him feels like finally I have found someone to bridge the gap. He doesn't seem dogmatic to me, just really honest, even with the uninitiated. Are there any leaders in the Waldorf movement that you can recommend I read?

Karne, I would love to know if/how he got in trouble! That seems very sad to me.
I don't remember the specifics, but I imagine someone out there might. I think it was related at least in part to his frankness. When we were first involved in waldorf he was pretty highly regarded. I know that he was part of a movement of more openness, but I gather that wasn't well received.

He does seem honest in his presentation of the material, but it isn't easy going, at least as i remember it. It's not Beyond the Rainbow Bridge (Am I remembering that title correctly?), for sure, but in many ways I think he should be required reading/listening 101. He does address the religion piece head on, which is important.

ETA: A quick Google tells me that he was apparently fired as dir. of the teacher training program at Sunbridge College.
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#40 of 50 Old 05-07-2009, 02:57 AM
 
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Like anything else, most of our understanding is based on our own experiences. Makes sense that we all answer questions from our own experiences-as it should be.

I agree families need informed choice. But with me and the experience at this school, there is so much information pushed under the noses of parents they have a real advantage to being informed. For example real Main Lesson books made by the students are put on display during orientations, school visits, open houses, festivals, etc, and many other venues where the school interfaces with inquiring parents. The Man and Animal block is in the lesson books. Some of these orientations are mandatory for entering parents here-I would go so far as to say this school is definitely not a good choice for parents who aren't looking for so much involvement.
I understand what you are saying, but I can't imagine closely examining lesson books in the context of public meeting. I think that would be socially inappropriate. I think lesson books would be very useful if copies could be taken home, but I've never seen this possibility nor have I ever seen a complete one on-line. What I really don't understand in your response to me is the "but". To what do you take exception in what I'm saying? I think our posts could be seen as complementary. I see them that way.
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#41 of 50 Old 05-07-2009, 03:29 AM
 
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orangewallflower. I stand corrected on the scientific method. Out of curiosity, can you outline what a lesson instructed in the scientific method would look like. This is obvisouly a big deal and I am not understanding just where the difference lies when introducing science to young children.

ETA: perhaps this discussion is better held in a new thread

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
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#42 of 50 Old 05-07-2009, 03:31 PM
 
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Orangeflower-"but" as in why my answers sound positive instead of embittered over having uninformed choice. That's the comment made to me, and to which I was replying to. I don't even know why the "uninformed" issue was put to me because the whole reason I weighed in on the thread was to share some information about the "Man and Animal" block. If there is some dark scheme to keep it a secret, it's news to me.

:Note-the comment wasn't made to me after all. Sorry! That's why we haven't been understanding each other since.
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#43 of 50 Old 05-07-2009, 03:49 PM
 
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I don't see how secrecy fits into this thread. Have you inferred that from my posts? I really am just trying to figure out the tone here. When you contributed your experience I thought it was constructive, but mine seem to rub you the wrong way.
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#44 of 50 Old 05-07-2009, 04:53 PM
 
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I don't see how secrecy fits into this thread. Have you inferred that from my posts? I really am just trying to figure out the tone here. When you contributed your experience I thought it was constructive, but mine seem to rub you the wrong way.
Relax orangewallflower. All I meant to do was weigh in about the Man and Animal block, that's all. I'm sorry if something I said came off as if was directed against you. I didn't realize that, and being on completely different pages, now both of us have been misreading what the other meant in reply.
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#45 of 50 Old 05-07-2009, 06:36 PM
 
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Relax orangewallflower. All I meant to do was weigh in about the Man and Animal block, that's all. I'm sorry if something I said came off as if was directed against you. I didn't realize that, and being on completely different pages, now both of us have been misreading what the other meant in reply.
To clarify, I don't count myself among the embittered.

I'm glad to hear that I was misreading your tone. I really do think that mutual compassion is possible on these threads even when we disagree. ("Relax," doesn't help to this end, as I've learned in compassionate communication workshops. I will offer an alternative: "You seem upset," or "You seem agitated.")
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#46 of 50 Old 05-07-2009, 08:46 PM
 
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: finally clicked
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#47 of 50 Old 05-08-2009, 02:17 AM
 
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Hi all,
Just want to apologize for deleting a post. I had completely forgotten that is against the rules, and I really did it with good intentions. Also, Linda and I have figured out our misunderstanding. Sorry for sidetracking the thread!

I think every single person who has written here has had something valuble to say, and I also want to repeat that I think the Waldorf approach to science is neat. The lesson book work for these blocks is almost always beautiful and impressive, and I can see how it would be a good foundation for high school and college lab science as David has described.
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#48 of 50 Old 05-09-2009, 12:30 PM
 
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We are a spiritual but nonreligious family. In our (many years of) experience with waldorf and anthroposophy, I found it to be very Christian-based and also presumptive of Christianity as the default religious influence in its followers' lives.
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#49 of 50 Old 05-10-2009, 03:30 AM
 
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Can you expand upon that May May?
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#50 of 50 Old 05-11-2009, 07:44 PM
 
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We are a spiritual but nonreligious family. In our (many years of) experience with waldorf and anthroposophy, I found it to be very Christian-based and also presumptive of Christianity as the default religious influence in its followers' lives.
Which is interesting... as some Christians find it to be too pagan or too anthroposophical and thus not fitting neatly into Christian pardigms. For example, the fact that eurythmy is supposed to have anthroposophically spiritual implications, or the fact that the Old Testament segment is a anthroposophical interpretation of the Old Testament rather than a reading and studying of the text as it's actually in the Bible.
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