Another Waldorf question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-19-2004, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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After attending the parent-child workshop last winter/spring semester, my husband and I decided against sending our son to Waldorf for a variety of reasons. We are rethinking that decision.

One of the sort of disturbing things that came out was about Steiner saying that it is unhealthy for young children to ask why questions. Has anyone else heard this (I was told it came from a transcript of lectures in England) or found that discouraging children from asking questions is practiced in Waldorf?
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#2 of 8 Old 09-19-2004, 02:11 PM
 
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I would strongly disagree with that - do you have a school in your area that you are interested in? if so, go there, bring your concern and talk to them about it...my experience is the exact oposite...the whole point of Waldorf education is for a child to learn to think, to be able to look at a situation and think it through by asking questions because they have learned that that is how you deepen ones understanding of a situation. keep investigating if you feel still interested, it sounds like you received some wacky information :-))
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#3 of 8 Old 09-20-2004, 08:12 AM
 
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Also, this depends on the age. My daughter has a 4 1/2 year old who asks a lot of questions. Her mother tries to be very sensitive to what sort of question it is and tries very hard to find an answer that is appropriate to the age and real interests of the child. For modern people it is hard to think like a 3 or 4 year old and easy to give them answers that are abstract and not really where they are coming from.

An example: When my daughter was perhaps eight, attending a waldorf school in Los Angeles, she had heard various mythologies as part of the curriculum, all with stories about how the world began. One day, stupid me, I asked her which of the stories seemed to her to be the true one of the creation of the world. She looked at me blankly and said: "they are all true." One has to be a very advanced adult to perceive the truth at the core of all mythologies, but most children, if they haven't been hurried towards thinking like adults, can grasp this truth.

But yes, do go and ask more questions at the waldorf school. Many waldorf things can sound crazy until you hear the whole story.

Nana

(Have been a waldorf student, sibling, parent, volunteer and staff member, currently a waldorf grandma)
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#4 of 8 Old 09-20-2004, 12:20 PM
 
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What our Kindergarten teachers told us, is that they are worried that the parents will give too much information and more than the child is really asking for. We were always told to respond to questions with a question (What do you think? Why do you think? How do you think?). From there you can get an idea of how much they are really asking for and answer accordingly. Parents often launch into a very detailed analytical answer to a child's question and it is often overwhelming to a child.

We used this technique with our own children and it worked very well. Sometimes they would ask for more and we would give them more. Other times, what they were asking was different than what we thought it was and we could tell from their answer and then answer accordingly.

A famous example is when a child asks 'Where did I come from?' The parent launches into a detailed explanation about sex. After the explanation, the child then asks again 'No, the hospital or home?'
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#5 of 8 Old 10-12-2004, 05:00 PM
 
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I know I am a little late here, I just found this post. But anyway, my DH and I are both Waldorf teachers and I can tell you that in all my training and experience I have never heard anything about it being unhealthy for children to ask too many questions. I am not doubting that someone told you that..........but it sounds crazy to me.

I have found that although the training is the same for everyone (in basic philosophy) that some teachers .....well, teach differently. In any school teachers are all different people. I also have seen one of our BESt KG teachers at our school answer questions from parents and sound like a fruit cake doing it. She is incredible with children and can't seem to explain herself to adults at all. I found that in several KG teachers.

Waldorf school can be so wonderful in so many ways. I hope you don't let one odd answer ruin the experince for your family.

Oh, and I thought the last 3 responses to your post were great answers!

Good luck.
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#6 of 8 Old 10-12-2004, 05:58 PM
 
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My DD is currently in a Waldorf preschol and at one of our parents night we were discussing the importance of play for young children. The teacher was talking about how at this young age "facts" can sometimes sort of dminish their ability to play freely. She gave the example of a group of children to were all predending to be polar bears eating this and that until one child piped up that polar bears don't eat xyz and suddenly the game was done. Maybe the teacher meant something similar to that but wasn't good at explaining herself. I've only visited the grade school, but never heard anyone Waldorf related discouraging questions and my DD asks a BUNCH of them. :LOL

Mama to three sweet girls (a dramatic, chatty 10yo, a bouncy, dynamo of a 7yo, and a delightful, whimsical 3.5yo)
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#7 of 8 Old 10-12-2004, 06:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KristiMom
I also have seen one of our BESt KG teachers at our school answer questions from parents and sound like a fruit cake doing it. She is incredible with children and can't seem to explain herself to adults at all. I found that in several KG teachers.

We have found this to be true too! The Kindergarten teachers are sometimes as dreamy as the children, especially the really good ones! Kindergarten teachers are very different from the elementary/middle school teachers. They are both wonderful in their own way.
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#8 of 8 Old 10-12-2004, 11:56 PM
 
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Rhonwyn:

I'm glad to hear you've experienced that too!!
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