Love the Outcome, Disagree with the Philosophy - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 01-25-2012, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I love the gentle guidance and wisdom that Waldorf plays, the whimsical, playful environments, the incorporation of nature that brings endless imagination, meaningful lessons

 

however, I am not comfortable with the philosophy of Anthroposophy

 

What is your perspective on the philosophy? 


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#2 of 16 Old 01-25-2012, 02:47 PM
 
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I just wrote a nice long reply and somehow erased it!!

 

The point of it was that we have been involved in Waldorf schooling for the past 5 years with both of our children. We have one in the grades program and one in nursery-kindy. We love it! I don't particularly love or hate anthroposophy, kind of neutral about it. But I do understand it is the basis of the education and that it will influence the teachers some. That being said, we have never felt like anything was obviously steeped in it and it was never pushed at us. I think a lot of  it are things the teachers do inwardly, that we are not aware of. I could be wrong though.

 

In the end you have decide what works best for your family. Is it a hurdle you can overcome because you like the rest of it enough or will it just never be something you will be ok with?  I think all schools are different. Try visiting if you can and get a feel of it. Talk to the teachers and ask them directly, likely they will be happy to share how it is incorporated at your childs age.

 

Best of luck on your journey!


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#3 of 16 Old 01-26-2012, 12:08 AM
 
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Our perspective is more or less what Wish wrote. The Waldorf school was (and is!) the best fit for our son. It suits how he learns,  he's thriving socially and intellectually, and it is just such a nice change from where he went to school before.

 

Now, that being said, I did *a lot* of research about Waldorf education before we moved him. I did less about Anthroposophy, but did do enough to get the basic tenets. I think much, though not all, of the approach to education is spot on and does really work for my DS (and resonate with me), though I think some of it's a bit out there. I don't feel any need to do more with Anthroposophy itself, which doesn't really appeal to me. I'd say at least 1/2 the parents at DS' school are not "affiliated" or practicing or into Anthroposophy but just think the school is a good fit for their kids. And that's where DH and I are.

 

Part of my relaxed attitude comes from the fact that, in my mind, all schools are reflecting some sort of philosophy and world-view, even fully non-religious ones. Unless you home school (and we don't want to!), you (in the general sense of 'you'!) are giving up some control. Some parents aren't comfortable with that at all, and, therefore, homeschool. Others just try to find the school that fits in best with their own philosophies. For us, that would have basically been a non-religious public school. However, DS wasn't happy in such a schools. Waldorf was the next best thing. We talk about what he learns, what his father and I think about it, was his perspective on it is, and we never feel that he's being indoctrinated or that he's learning anything we're uncomfortable with.

 

Obviously, though, a lot depends on the Waldorf school itself, not to mention the teacher. We're in Europe so our school works more like a charter Waldorf would work in N. America. From what I've read on these boards, it sounds like some of the private Waldorfs could be pretty doctronaire. Anyway, as Wish said, visit the school, talk to people, see what you think.

 

Good luck!

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#4 of 16 Old 01-26-2012, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your responses!

 

I did visit my local waldorf, and I loved it (I wrote about it here: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1337992/my-first-waldorf-experience-im-in-love#post_16776805 )

 

 I am so against sending him to public school and it was a much better alternative. I would absolutely love to unschool, I would have no means of supporting him financially tho, I must work! mecry.gif

 

I was worried about coming off offence to a teacher if i was asking alot about anthroposophy, and giving a " Do you seriously believe in this?' vibe

 

I looked into getting certified as an ECE in the waldorf education, and besides the $13 550 cost for a non-accredited school, I would have a hard time ingesting the foundation studies, which is a requirement 

 

I didnt know if it made sense to send him to a school where I dont believe the core beliefs, but hey, i dont with public school either!

 

I mean, their spirit is just starting to inhabit the body during the early years? Karma im good with, but reincarnation? nope

 

I did take modern dance, so im open, and it was fun being able to move however you wanted, im going to go with that for what eurythmy is, subtracting the spiritual view 

 

the racism is dodgy, cant find the greatest truth out of it

 

its very new age, and im very comfortable with the values taught in something like christianity, just I couldnt even have my son baptised because the words were so strong, I felt so uncomfortable with it

 

hmm, did anyone find they had to really think long and hard about their spiritual orientation upon enrollment of your child in Waldorf?

 


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#5 of 16 Old 01-26-2012, 07:07 AM
 
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giving the fact you are drawn to USing, Waldorf might work for you.

 

It is teacher driven (not child-centered, which is a cornerstone of USing) but it shares a leaning towards late academics.

 

I would totally question the school and teacher on any concerns and how anthroposophy plays out in the classroom.  They will be with your son hours a day, and taking a good chunk of your money.  Question away!  

 

OT:  but Georgian Bay (drool) !  I am so jealous (waving from near Ottawa)

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#6 of 16 Old 01-27-2012, 01:16 PM
 
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While I haven't researched anthroposophyextensively, I haven't done so because I feel that it is removed enough from what actually happens in the classroom that I'm just not that concerned about it. While there is a background philosophy, there isn't a "religion" class that the children attend (unlike catholic schools).  So, even if the teachers have a particular belief, I see no reason why this has to overly influence the children.  This will be true in a public school as well.  You will have christian, atheist, Muslim, new age, etc. teachers and you may or may not agree with those beliefs either.

 

Also, maybe it would help if you didn't feel that you had to take everything in anthroposophy literally.  For example, about the spirit inhabiting the body...I feel that this just sort of reflects that young children are somewhat "other-worldly".  They have a different lens than we do, and we need to remember that when dealing with them.  I think this way about Christianity too.  I try to think of the truth behind the premise (or what is true to me) instead of taking things literally.

 

I haven't enrolled DS yet (he's only 18 mos, but we did go on a school tour last week and will be signing up for mom and tot next fall!!) but I don't feel any need to consider my spiritual orientation.  Not only because I want DS to decide for himself sometime down the road (I like the idea of him being exposed to a variety of ideas) but also because I just don't feel there to be that strong of an influence in the class room.  Maybe it depends on the school.  Also, it helps that I am a bit of a mixed-bag myself in the spiritual department.  I was raised in a more or less Christian household (we sometimes went to church, sometimes not, but when we did it wasn't "a" church, we went to several different denominations from Mormon to united to Pentecostal) but believe in reincarnation and karma, etc.  I don't tend to place strict categories around what type of spiritual beliefs can co-exist, I just believe in what feels right.  From that perspective, I will take what I like from the Anthroposophy perspective (which in many ways doesn't seem that incompatible with christianity) and discard the rest. 

 

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#7 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 08:06 AM
 
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I'm in the same boat. There is so much to like about Waldorf. My child is currently in a kindergarten class at a local waldorf inspired school. The school itself is only in its 2nd year. It's not a very strict waldorf school (i know some kids watch some tv - including mine) - i think in part because they really need the tuition from many students in order to get going. I love that my child spends tons of time outside playing in the yard. His teacher is really wonderful too. This is actually her first year teaching at a waldorf school - prior she was at a montessori school. There are many things I like about waldorf. Especially the imaginitive play.

 

However, I'm really not into the anthroposophy. Not at all. Actually the more I read about it the more I'm uncomfortable with it. I know one of the teachers at my sons school is very much into it as she discusses it with me from time to time. Im curious now to know how much of the teachers agree with anthroposophy. Anthroposophy might not be taught directly to students, but I think it does play a big role in what the teachers do. The teacher at my sons school told me that there is much more to just being a teacher, they're guides. 

 

I've pretty much decided that my son will not go back next year. It breaks my heart to think of that because it's been such a wonderful experience so far. I love the other families, I like the teachers and admin... But I really feel that I can't commit to Waldorf. #1. Because I kind of feel for my family, it's all or nothing. Either we do waldorf all the way (k-12) and follow all the rules (no media etc) or find something else. And thats a HUGE commitment if you consider how costly tuition is.  #2. I don't agree with the anthroposophy. If I can't agree with the anthroposophy then I really can't support my student in that school system for 12 years. 

 

Now if only I could find a school similar to waldorf but without the anthroposophy. 

 

 

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#8 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

giving the fact you are drawn to USing, Waldorf might work for you.

 

It is teacher driven (not child-centered, which is a cornerstone of USing) but it shares a leaning towards late academics.

 

I would totally question the school and teacher on any concerns and how anthroposophy plays out in the classroom.  They will be with your son hours a day, and taking a good chunk of your money.  Question away!  

 

OT:  but Georgian Bay (drool) !  I am so jealous (waving from near Ottawa)


I think it will too, there isnt any montessori or other alternative eds in my area, nor within an hour drive, when i spoke with a mother at the advent event, she said they are very personal with the education and there was only 5 children in the kindergarden class my son would be attending, she said they really grow on the children's interests, maybe there will be one day where i can unschool. you have a good point, i should lay all my cards out on the table since theyll be the caregivers and ill be paying tuititon

 

Hello to Ottawa!wave.gif

 

georgian bay area really is amazing, been here for 3 yrs and i dont think ill ever move back to the GTA, some of the nicest beaches 

 



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Originally Posted by DsMamma View Post

While I haven't researched anthroposophyextensively, I haven't done so because I feel that it is removed enough from what actually happens in the classroom that I'm just not that concerned about it. While there is a background philosophy, there isn't a "religion" class that the children attend (unlike catholic schools).  So, even if the teachers have a particular belief, I see no reason why this has to overly influence the children.  This will be true in a public school as well.  You will have christian, atheist, Muslim, new age, etc. teachers and you may or may not agree with those beliefs either.

 

Also, maybe it would help if you didn't feel that you had to take everything in anthroposophy literally.  For example, about the spirit inhabiting the body...I feel that this just sort of reflects that young children are somewhat "other-worldly".  They have a different lens than we do, and we need to remember that when dealing with them.  I think this way about Christianity too.  I try to think of the truth behind the premise (or what is true to me) instead of taking things literally.

 

I haven't enrolled DS yet (he's only 18 mos, but we did go on a school tour last week and will be signing up for mom and tot next fall!!) but I don't feel any need to consider my spiritual orientation.  Not only because I want DS to decide for himself sometime down the road (I like the idea of him being exposed to a variety of ideas) but also because I just don't feel there to be that strong of an influence in the class room.  Maybe it depends on the school.  Also, it helps that I am a bit of a mixed-bag myself in the spiritual department.  I was raised in a more or less Christian household (we sometimes went to church, sometimes not, but when we did it wasn't "a" church, we went to several different denominations from Mormon to united to Pentecostal) but believe in reincarnation and karma, etc.  I don't tend to place strict categories around what type of spiritual beliefs can co-exist, I just believe in what feels right.  From that perspective, I will take what I like from the Anthroposophy perspective (which in many ways doesn't seem that incompatible with christianity) and discard the rest. 

 


its true, i didnt think it was taught to the children at all. i think because it was such a new viewpoint it really threw me for one, but i lack in the spiritual department too, it can be adapted, just like many adapt the bible to their lives  

 


 

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Originally Posted by 403girl View Post

I'm in the same boat. There is so much to like about Waldorf. My child is currently in a kindergarten class at a local waldorf inspired school. The school itself is only in its 2nd year. It's not a very strict waldorf school (i know some kids watch some tv - including mine) - i think in part because they really need the tuition from many students in order to get going. I love that my child spends tons of time outside playing in the yard. His teacher is really wonderful too. This is actually her first year teaching at a waldorf school - prior she was at a montessori school. There are many things I like about waldorf. Especially the imaginitive play.

 

However, I'm really not into the anthroposophy. Not at all. Actually the more I read about it the more I'm uncomfortable with it. I know one of the teachers at my sons school is very much into it as she discusses it with me from time to time. Im curious now to know how much of the teachers agree with anthroposophy. Anthroposophy might not be taught directly to students, but I think it does play a big role in what the teachers do. The teacher at my sons school told me that there is much more to just being a teacher, they're guides. 

 

I've pretty much decided that my son will not go back next year. It breaks my heart to think of that because it's been such a wonderful experience so far. I love the other families, I like the teachers and admin... But I really feel that I can't commit to Waldorf. #1. Because I kind of feel for my family, it's all or nothing. Either we do waldorf all the way (k-12) and follow all the rules (no media etc) or find something else. And thats a HUGE commitment if you consider how costly tuition is.  #2. I don't agree with the anthroposophy. If I can't agree with the anthroposophy then I really can't support my student in that school system for 12 years. 

 

Now if only I could find a school similar to waldorf but without the anthroposophy. 

 

 


the one near me is a "waldorf inspired" as well, much, much lower tuition than one such as the toronto waldorf (holy that..is..expensive) I had a concern about the submersion too, ive read the horror stories of the cult like behaviour and it freaked me out, but ill still give it a go. and the teacher guides, i mean ive seen some werid articles, its like...uh i dont want my son to be some sort of being..., but it think it totally depends on the school and the families that attend

 

it is all or nothing, if they attend for a few years and then go to public school, theyre not to curriculum standards because of the different curriculum in waldorf, when asking other moms at a baby group about the school, they couldnt tell me much good, they told me how behind the children they knew were, but i do know why now

 

i dont agree with media for children, but i do, he watches wheel of fortune, jeopardy, the golden girls and the price is right with the family lol (he adores his papa, and thats what he likes) and i pick up the $1 VHS's of little bear, franklin, arthur, bearenstein bears, things like that....would i consider giving it up for waldorf, possibly, how likely would it work.....??

 

you should unschool! theres your waldorf without anthroposophy lol

 

 

but thanks so much for the responses, Im happy to hear everyone's thoughts on it! grouphug.gif

 

 

 


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#9 of 16 Old 01-30-2012, 04:20 PM
 
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it is all or nothing, if they attend for a few years and then go to public school, theyre not to curriculum standards because of the different curriculum in waldorf, when asking other moms at a baby group about the school, they couldnt tell me much good, they told me how behind the children they knew were, but i do know why now

 

I've done some reading on this.  It seems that in the very early years (grade 1 or 2) the kids are "behind" as they do reading, etc. a bit later.  However, the articles that I've read suggest that by later elementry (grade 5 or 6) the Waldorf kids are actually ahead if they transfer to public school.  I think that something to keep in mind wrt Waldorf is that it isn't just about content.  It is about teaching a love for learning.  That lasts a lifetime. 

 

i dont agree with media for children, but i do, he watches wheel of fortune, jeopardy, the golden girls and the price is right with the family lol (he adores his papa, and thats what he likes) and i pick up the $1 VHS's of little bear, franklin, arthur, bearenstein bears, things like that....would i consider giving it up for waldorf, possibly, how likely would it work.....?? How likely would giving up media work?  You are the mamma, and your DS is young enough that he won't miss it.  DH and I are currently on a TV free one month trial, and if he can do it (he essentially spent every evening in front of the TV or on Play Station), you can for sure!  That being said, I don't think Waldorf is anti-TV at all ages, just for the very young ones and then, if that doesn't work for you and your family, I don't think it's all or nothing.

 

you should unschool! theres your waldorf without anthroposophy lol

 

 

but thanks so much for the responses, Im happy to hear everyone's thoughts on it! grouphug.gif

 

 

 



 

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#10 of 16 Old 01-31-2012, 07:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by canadianhippie View Post

I looked into getting certified as an ECE in the waldorf education, and besides the $13 550 cost for a non-accredited school, I would have a hard time ingesting the foundation studies, which is a requirement 

 

I see that you're in Canada and I don't really know what's feasible for you but.... have you looked into "Waldorfy" early childhood training that doesn't require foundation studies? Here are a couple of links that might help you find something that works for you!

 

Sophia's Hearth

 

Lifeways North America (has training locations in Canada)


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#11 of 16 Old 02-13-2012, 07:23 PM
 
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We are in a similar position.  We love the idea of Waldorf education and most of the lifestyle stuff resonates with us too.  The anthroposophy stuff made me a little bit uncomfortable.  I admit that I haven't done a lot of research so I don't know a lot but what I did read doesn't mesh with my beliefs. 

 

We are going to start homeschooling next year, using a Waldorf inspired curriculum.

 

I visited our local Waldorf school and I was super impressed.  I didn't see too much that made me squeamish and I know there are many families of different religious backgrounds that attend without a problem!  I agree with the others that it must just depend on the school!  Unfortunately for us, it is super expensive so that option is out for us!

 

On a side note, LOVE Georgian Bay!  We're in Kingston now but used to be in Toronto and Sudbury before that!


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#12 of 16 Old 02-18-2012, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:

 

I see that you're in Canada and I don't really know what's feasible for you but.... have you looked into "Waldorfy" early childhood training that doesn't require foundation studies? Here are a couple of links that might help you find something that works for you!

 

Sophia's Hearth

 

Lifeways North America (has training locations in Canada)


Thank you!

 


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Originally Posted by heyitskalista View Post

 Unfortunately for us, it is super expensive so that option is out for us!

 

On a side note, LOVE Georgian Bay!  We're in Kingston now but used to be in Toronto and Sudbury before that!


 

It is expensive, the one near me is significantly cheaper, and i may not even be able to access it!

 

its beautiful, i love how every city/area in canada is different and unique  treehugger.gif

 

 


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#13 of 16 Old 03-05-2012, 10:37 AM
 
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The Anthroposophical Society in America has stated:

We explicitly reject any racial theory that may be construed to be part of Rudolf Steiner's writings. The Anthroposophical Society in America is an open, public society and it rejects any purported spiritual or scientific theory on the basis of which the alleged superiority of one race is justified at the expense of another race.

The race issue brought up in this thread caught my eye, and I read this from wiki. I also read that Steiner was a sharp critic of nationalism. My conclusion is that since Steiner grew up in a nationalist environment  his ideas might be racist to us, even though he was against nationalism, and probably didn't consider himself a racist.

I also think anthroposophy seems out there to me, but I am considering Waldorf education for my son, because educationally, everything I learn about Waldorf, just simply makes so much sense.

I also learned that

Biodynamic agriculture, the first intentional form of organic farming,[32] began in the 1920s when Rudolf Steiner gave a series of lectures since published as Agriculture

So again, I have a lot to admire Steiner for. 

 

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#14 of 16 Old 03-05-2012, 07:34 PM
 
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Hmm.. I take that back

Appendix II

 

(from Rudolf Steiner 1910/197l: pp. 75-76)

[There is] for example a point or center of cosmic influence situated in the interior of Africa. At this center are active all those terrestrial forces emanating from the soil which can influence man especially during his childhood. Later on their influence diminishes; man is less subject to these forces. Nevertheless their formative influence makes a powerful impression upon him. The locality where people live exercises its most potent influence in early childhood and thereby determines for their whole life those who are completely dependent on these forces, so that the particular locality impresses the characteristics of their early childhood permanently upon them. This is more or less typical of all those who, in respect to their racial character, are determined by the etheric formative forces of the earth in the neighborhood of that local locality. The black or Negro race is substantially determined by these childhood characteristics.

If we now cross over to Asia, we find a point or center where the formative forces of the earth impress permanently on man the particular characteristics of later youth or adolescence and determine his racial character. Such races are the yellow and brown races of our time.

If we continue northward and then turn in a westerly direction towards Europe, a third point or center is reached which permanently impresses upon man the characteristics of his adult life. In this way man is determined by the etheric forces emanating from the earth. When we look more closely into these separate points or centers we find that they follow a line which takes an unusual direction. These centers still exist today. The center in Africa corresponds to those terrestrial forces which imprint on man the characteristics of early childhood; the center in Asia corresponds to those which give man the characteristics of youth, and the corresponding center in Europe imprints upon man the characteristics of maturity. This is a simple universal law. Since all men in their different incarnations pass through the various races the claim that the European is superior to the black and yellow races has no real validity.

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#15 of 16 Old 03-05-2012, 07:36 PM
 
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Is this something Waldorf teachers, even just some, might practice in today's world?

 

 

A teacher: Should the children be broken of left-handedness?

Dr. Steiner: In general, yes. At the younger ages, approximately before the age of nine, you can accustom left-handed children to right-handedness at school. You should not do that only if it would have a damaging effect, which is very seldom the case. Children are not a sum of things, but exponentially complicated. If you attempt to create symmetry between the right and left with the children, and you exercise both hands in balance, that can lead to weak mindedness later in life.

The phenomenon of left-handedness is clearly karmic, and, in connection with karma, it is one of karmic weakness. Allow me to give an example: A person who was overworked in their previous life, so that they did too much, not only physically or intellectually, but, in general, spiritually, within their soul or feeling, will enter the succeeding life with an intense weakness. That person will be incapable of overcoming the karmic weakness located in the lower human being. (The part of the human being that results from the life between death and a new birth is particularly concentrated in the lower human being, whereas the part that comes from the previous Earthly life is concentrated more in the head.) Thus, what would otherwise be strongly developed becomes weak, and the left leg and left hand are particularly relied upon as a crutch. The preference for the left hand results in a situation where, instead of the left, the right side of the brain is used in speech.

If you give into that too much, then that weakness may perhaps remain for a later, that is, a third Earthly life. If you do not give in, then the weakness is brought into balance.

If you make a child do everything equally well with the right and left hand, writing, drawing, work and so forth, then the inner human being will be neutralized. Then the I and the astral body are so far removed that the person becomes quite lethargic later in life. Without any intervention, the etheric body is stronger toward the left than the right, and the astral body is more developed toward the right than the left. That is something you may not ignore; you should pay attention to that. However, we may not attempt a simple mechanical balance. The most naive thing you can do is to have as a goal that the children should work with both hands equally well. A desire for a balanced development of both hands arises from today's complete misunderstanding of the nature of the human being.

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Originally Posted by tittipeitto View Post

Is this something Waldorf teachers, even just some, might practice in today's world?

 


No.

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