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#121 of 214 Old 05-27-2004, 07:55 AM
 
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I lean towards waldorf in its imaginative play, natural fibers, and activities for the most art but I think DaryLLL said it REALLY well.
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#122 of 214 Old 05-27-2004, 08:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
For a great rebuttal to the Waldorf Critics site, check out this article:

http://hem.passagen.se/thebee/comments/plans1.html
you will see that Steiner was in a different place in 1890 than he was in 1920 when he started the Waldorf schools after WWI. Also, the quotes often listed are out of context and do not contain the entire essay. Steiner believed in man moving beyond race and ethnicity to form a whole humanity together. Also, I believe that Holland has resolved the issue with anti-semetism (spelling?) and Waldorf and ruled in Waldorf's favor. The article above talks about the man who brought the whole issue up in Holland and how he has lost credibility.
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#123 of 214 Old 05-27-2004, 10:46 AM
 
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I'm of Jewish descent, although the last religious Jews in my family were my great-grandparents. I've been an anthroposophist for many years and read lots of books and articles by Steiner. Nope, sorry, neither a racist nor an anti-semite. I don't have time to analyze the whole thing, explain where these accusations come from, point out exactly where and why they are wrong: I'm moving in less than two weeks and I have two sets of visitors coming and my graduation at McGill within those two weeks. I just hope I survive!

So here are some tidbits and one example.

On another list, one of the people who like to accuse Steiner of being a racist said, well what about the time Steiner said that blacks don't belong in Europe? Another participant pointed out, rather sadly, that Steiner was referring to black soldiers from Senegal being forced to fight on the French side in WW I. Steiner was actually saying that it was a bit unfair for people from another continent, with no interest in the outcome, being dragged into a war where they would mostly die for no reason at all. But this humanist remark was being misrepresented as racist. Low behavior? Yup.

In the 1920's Steiner was attacked by anti-semites. They accused him of being a Jew.

A quote from the Dutch report that Rhonwyn mentioned:
"In total the Commission examined and evaluated 245 quotations from the 89,000 page collected works of Rudolf Steiner, 145 of which were reported in the interim report. This is more than twenty times as many as the approximately one dozen statements that had been quoted in this discussion in the media about Anthroposophy. The great difference in the number of quotations is, by itself already, evidence of the fact that the debate about the question whether Anthroposophy embodies racism and racial discrimination has been conducted on the basis of grossly incomplete information. This incompleteness has led to a distorted picture – in the negative sense – of both Steiner’s ideas and the reputation of the anthroposophical movement in Holland today.

The conclusion of the Commission is that sixteen statements, if they were in public by a person on his or her own authority, could be a violation of the prohibition of racial discrimination under the Criminal Code of the Netherlands. The relevant article in the Criminal Code closely resembles article 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. These sixteen statements are four more than the twelve that had been identified as discriminatory in the interim report. As is described in Steiner’s autobiography, one of these had been experienced as offensive by a Jewish connection of Steiner even in his own time.

The Commission finds again that any suggestion that racism is an inherent part of Anthroposophy, or that conceptually Steiner helped prepare the way for the holocaust, has proven to be categorically wrong. As a matter of fact, the investigation of the Commission shows that, beginning in the year 1900, he clearly spoke and wrote against the dangers of anti-Semitism, including in the periodical of a then existing German association against anti-Semitism existing at that time."

http://www.info3.de/ycms/artikel_190.shtml
Here is the url for anyone who wants to read a summary of the report

A quote from the Nazis on the incompatibility of Anthroposophy and Nazism:

"To briefly summarize my judgement," wrote Jakob Wilhelm Hauer, Professor of Religion at the University of Tuebingen and member of the Secret Service of the S.S.,

"every undertaking and activity of anthroposophy necessarily arises out of the Anthroposophical world view. The anthroposophical world view is in the most important points directly opposed to National Socialism. Therefore, schools which are built out of the anthroposophical world view and led by anthroposophists mean danger to true German education."(3)

another example:

Baeumler's hope was to find means to adopt aspects of Waldorf pedagogy into National Socialist education. He concluded, however, that the principles underlying anthroposophy contradict the aims of the National Socialistic State.
"The fateful distinction", he wrote, "occurs through the fact that Steiner replaces the theory of heredity with a different, positive theory. Steiner does not simply overlook the biological reality, but rather consciously converts it to its opposite. Anthroposophy is one of the most consequent antibiological systems." In that race and Volk are discounted in ahroposophy as the essential determining factor of individual capacity, Bauemler realizes that the objectives in Waldorf education, according to Steiner's principles, "can only be humanistic, and not based on race or ethnic group."(4)

http://hem.passagen.se/thebee/waldorf/links1.htm
the url if you want to read the entire article

Nana
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#124 of 214 Old 05-29-2004, 12:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deborah
I'm moving in less than two weeks and I have two sets of visitors coming and my graduation at McGill within those two weeks. I just hope I survive!
Good luck with the move and visitors! Congratulations on your McGill graduation Deborah! Thanks for thoughtful responses.

Waldorf isn't for everyone but it really bums me out when it gets blackened with what I believe are false accusations. I believe that there is good and bad in all forms of education and that you can find stuff you don't agree with in any of them. You have to find what is right for your child and your family. You have to evaluate the particular school and it's community.
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#125 of 214 Old 05-29-2004, 03:16 PM
 
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Thanks Rhonwyn. I'll survive the move and all that. The exciting challenge is finding a job in my new field.

I'm really fine with people not wanting waldorf schools, but I agree with you about the false accusations and distortions. I'm not crazy about montessori schools or public schools or free schools. I don't feel any need at all to go scrounging around trying to find the dirt on their founders or whatever. People can go for whatever sort of education they like for their children and it is fine with me!

The usual justification for the attacks on waldorf are people claiming that the real truth about the occult background of waldorf education is concealed, etc. What about doing a little bit of research before you put your children into a school? Steiner's books are in print. Hundreds of titles. A significant number have titles that indicate occult content. He is listed in many encyclopedias. Again, he is described as an occult researcher and titles of his main books are included in the article. Nowadays you can go searching on the Internet and find lots of stuff, some of it weird and incorrect, but still there is no shortage of information.

Waldorf schools are not supposed to be teaching parents about anthroposophy, but any parent who wants to find out about anthroposophy is certainly welcome to do so and none of the material is hard to find. My heavens, it is available in public libraries! You can buy books by Steiner in Borders. His books are in second-hand bookstores. You can buy them on Amazon.

Sorry for the rant...

Back to packing.

Deborah
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#126 of 214 Old 05-29-2004, 04:12 PM
 
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Ita!
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#127 of 214 Old 05-29-2004, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay my turn again

Yes, information is available and parents should research their educational options. I don't have much sympathy for folks who didn't put in their due diligence but then cry about their choices afterwards.

BUT, I do have an issue with Waldorf schools that conceal their anthroposophical foundations. Granted, children in a Waldorf school do not have little Steiner "bibles" that they open up and study, so no one can accuse Waldorf schools of concretely teaching anthroposophy in the curriculum. But replicating art that represents spiritual symbols of souls and reincarnation, etc? C'mon -- that's like a school having children make little crucifixes out of clay but not mentioning Jesus, and then claiming that they "really aren't teaching anything directly" about Christianity.

It seems to me that Waldorf schools are following the letter of the law, but not the spirit. If anthroposophy is so open and humanistic, why aren't the schools more open about their foundation in it?
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#128 of 214 Old 05-30-2004, 01:45 PM
 
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Okay Alohamom. Not my experience of waldorf education. Please say, what school and what symbols.

Thanks,
Deborah
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#129 of 214 Old 05-30-2004, 05:17 PM
 
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DB, Is there anything Steiner wrote that you disagree with?
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#130 of 214 Old 05-30-2004, 06:58 PM
 
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Thank you OP for this thread. I did not know a lot about Waldorf until I saw this thread. Reading this thread led me into a little research on my own. I now know that Waldorf is not for me and my ds. Thanks for getting me off my butt and making me find out more about Steiner and Waldorf.

Susan
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#131 of 214 Old 05-30-2004, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not sure what you mean by "Not my experience of waldorf education."

Do you mean that in your experience, you haven't personally seen artwork that represented anthroposophic spiritual concepts?

Or do you mean that the Waldorf schools in your experience have been completely open and forthright about anthroposophy?

The school I visited was in Wauconda, IL. Here is its website:

http://www.watersedgeschool.com

There is NO mention of anthroposophy anywhere that I could find on this website. When I attended the harvest festival / open house, there was no mention of anthroposophy anywhere in the school's literature. There was not even an oblique reference to "if you are interested in learning more about the philosophy of Waldorf, check out Steiner's books" kind of thing.
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#132 of 214 Old 05-30-2004, 10:26 PM
 
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Im sending my dd to a Waldorf Charter School in 2 years. Ive been doing nothing but reading books about their cirriculum and their philosophies. A good friend of mine is a teacher at a school in California. She said Anthroposophy isnt taught in the school, or even mentioned to the children. The teachers read Steiners philosophy while they are being trained as a Waldorf teacher.

If you have concerns bc you are thinking of sending your dc to a Waldorf school or one just inspired by Waldorf, I would recommend talking to teachers, visiting a school, and asking the questions you are asking here, instead of assuming its a "cult" bc of things youve read on a website that is based on spreading the idea that Waldorf is weird. I went and talked with the director of the school, met the kindergarten teacher and they answered all my questions.
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#133 of 214 Old 05-30-2004, 10:35 PM
 
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"But replicating art that represents spiritual symbols of souls and reincarnation, etc? C'mon -- that's like a school having children make little crucifixes out of clay but not mentioning Jesus, and then claiming that they "really aren't teaching anything directly" about Christianity.

It seems to me that Waldorf schools are following the letter of the law, but not the spirit. If anthroposophy is so open and humanistic, why aren't the schools more open about their foundation in it?"

- by AlohaDeb


They make replicas and artwork of all different spiritual and religious backgrounds. When they studied the creation story, for example, they did clay/"earth" figures of Adam. When they studied Judaism, they replicated the Star of David. It only makes sense that the idea of reincarnation would also be incorporated into the artwork :

What is so wild to me is that I instinctively *felt* all the things Waldorf taught growing up. I never even knew anything like it existed until I read some New Age mag. and it discussed Waldorf!

And no, sorry, Deb, but being in awe of creation and beauty is not anthroposophy. It is a state of wonder and respect for this world that everyone should hold. If that's how anthroposophy is, um, "taught" in schools......... then........... yeah, I guess it's anthroposophy, then.
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#134 of 214 Old 05-30-2004, 11:09 PM
 
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but I never found our school to be hiding it. The school through Sound Circle (a Anthroposophical group) offers classes on Anthroposophy ever so often to the parents but hardly anyone ever goes. The children study lots of different religions and philosphies during their years in Waldorf. They make lots of symbols during their time from crosses, to the Star of David, to Thor's Hammer and some Anthroposophical symbols that are used during form drawing.

I think how much Anthroposophy you encounter at a school depends on the school. Our school does mention Rudolph Steiner in the literature they give to parents. Here is what is on our website:

Our goal is to provide Waldorf education for the diverse Seattle community. Waldorf education is based on the understanding of the developing human being as given by Rudolf Steiner. His insights are the foundation for our curriculum and methods. In our school, academics are enlivened and balanced with artistic and social activities. Each lesson engages the students' capacities for doing, feeling and thinking. This learning is inspired both by the teachers' genuine curiosity and dedication to life. The teachers recognize and embrace each child's unfolding awareness.
To support our mission, together we attempt to create a healthy social environment which is a living model for the children. We seek a responsible, creative financial base within and beyond the school community.
At the Seattle Waldorf School, we have graduated twelve classes of 8th graders. Those students have traveled on to a variety of places; some to Waldorf High Schools, many to public high schools, some to private high schools and some to "Running Start" programs in local community colleges. These students exhibit a remarkable sense of self-confidence, initiative, and ability to learn. They are able to adapt to different environments with relative ease. Many students have attributed this to the social experiences and strong self-esteem they gained through their Waldorf education.

"Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings, who are able of themselves to impart purpose and meaning to their lives."
-Rudolf Steiner

"The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility; these are the three forces which are the very nerve of education."
-Rudolf Steiner


Waldorf schools, which began in the esoteric mind of the Austrian philosopher, Rudolf Steiner, have forged a unique blend of progressive and traditional teaching methods that seem to achieve impressive results - intellectual, social, even moral.

Todd Oppenheimer, "Schooling the Imagination," Atlantic Monthly Sept.1999


The Seattle Waldorf School welcomes students of all races, religions and national origins and does not discriminate in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, tuition assistance programs, staff hiring or other school programs.




Anthroposophy is not mentioned specifically because it is not a school for Anthroposophy but it would easy to take Rudolf Steiner, philospher and find it anything you wanted to know.
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#135 of 214 Old 05-30-2004, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Perhaps the Waldorf school experiences you have had were not the same as mine (and many others, as evidenced by this thread). The diverse curriculum Candiland mentions was not evident at all in the school I visited.

"And no, sorry, Deb, but being in awe of creation and beauty is not anthroposophy. It is a state of wonder and respect for this world that everyone should hold. " by Candiland

I am glad that you have found ideals that you feel should be dictated to all who are less enlightened. I do not presume to have done so. Furthermore, are you really denying that Waldorf has its roots in anthroposophy?

Perhaps, as many have suggested, some Waldorf schools are quite open about their philosophical foundations in anthroposophy. However, MANY ARE NOT. And so, I began this thread to inform others about the anthroposophical roots of Waldorf, of which I had been naively unaware when beginning my search for educational options for my child. (And NO, my personal research did not consist only of the PLANS website.) I figured if I had been surprised, others might well be too.

I am actually very glad how this thread has been going. I tip my hat to Rhonwyn and Deborah for their thorough posts, as well as their pro-Waldorf links so that others reading here might get a balanced view of the pros and cons of Waldorf.
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#136 of 214 Old 05-31-2004, 10:24 AM
 
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Thanks for the hat tip AlohaDeb! I agree that waldorf is not for everyone and that schools can differ a lot. I know that people have had bad experiences at waldorf schools. My experiences as a student, a sibling and a parent were almost all really great, especially in contrast with my time in public schools as a student. My experiences as a business manager at a waldorf school were fairly painful, (also great fun much of the time, as I really enjoyed the parents, the children and my colleagues) but I don't think the problems arose from anthroposophy being either hidden or displayed. Any non-profit organization struggling with the changes and challenges the school was struggling with in those three years would have been a hard place to work.

The school you mentioned, waters edge, is quite new and may not be typical (but what in the world can be typical amongst 800+ schools in 40+ countries?) in some ways. I am still curious about the spiritual symbols incorporated into the artwork. I gather they weren't appropriate to the general content of the coursework in some way?

Deborah

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlohaDeb
Perhaps, as many have suggested, some Waldorf schools are quite open about their philosophical foundations in anthroposophy. However, MANY ARE NOT. And so, I began this thread to inform others about the anthroposophical roots of Waldorf, of which I had been naively unaware when beginning my search for educational options for my child. (And NO, my personal research did not consist only of the PLANS website.) I figured if I had been surprised, others might well be too.

I am actually very glad how this thread has been going. I tip my hat to Rhonwyn and Deborah for their thorough posts, as well as their pro-Waldorf links so that others reading here might get a balanced view of the pros and cons of Waldorf.
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#137 of 214 Old 05-31-2004, 12:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deborah
The school you mentioned, waters edge, is quite new and may not be typical (but what in the world can be typical amongst 800+ schools in 40+ countries?) in some ways. I am still curious about the spiritual symbols incorporated into the artwork. I gather they weren't appropriate to the general content of the coursework in some way?

Deborah
The school is for 3.5 to 6 years of age. I don't remember any form drawing until 1st grade. In our Kindergarten, the teachers would have children draw houses to see where they were at developmentally. It was one of the criteria for 1st grade readiness. They only asked like maybe twice a year otherwise the kids drew whatever they wanted, brown and black crayons included!

House drawings help indicate where a child is developmentally. More complete houses (i.e. windows, curtains, chimney's, smoke, people in the windows) help the teachers determine if the child is ready for 1st grade. Another picture they look for is spontaneous drawing of mountains. Children often begin to draw pointy mountains when they start losing their teeth.
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#138 of 214 Old 05-31-2004, 03:45 PM
 
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As moderator here, I would like to commend everyone who has been participating in this discussion with open mindedness and balance. I've had to keep an eye on it, even though I don't know enough about Waldorf to actively participate, just to make sure no one got too ticked off!! (but of course there has been no need for me to step in

Knowing what I know about some of the other forums (through my contact with the other mods) I must say, our Learning at School forum here has some of the most intelligent AND thoughtful, respectful participants of any of the Mothering forums, and I am so glad to learn from everyone here! I have also learned a ton about Waldorf through the threads that come up from time to time debating the pros and cons of this approach. I think it is a gift to visitors and learners to be able to make these threads part of their research, because members here really do their homework about this option.

Kudos!

 
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#139 of 214 Old 05-31-2004, 10:02 PM
 
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AlohaDeb, my post wasn't meant to be snarky. I posted right before I went to bed and wasn't careful with how I worded my thoughts.

I didn't mean to insinuate that "all enlightened ppl hold creation and beauty in reverence", assuming you did not, or whatever. I thought that this idea was the base from which we ALL try to live our lives..... Trying to remain present, in that child-like state of wonder of the world that surrounds us. If that doesn't hold true for you, forgive me for the assumption.

From what I've gathered, this is the main focus of anthroposophy...... and I automatically assumed that this was the focus that we all want ourselves and our children to live by. Apologies if that isn't so.
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#140 of 214 Old 07-08-2004, 01:12 AM
 
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i would like to mention a waldorf experiece i had... my friends daughter goes to a waldorf school and yes, i know that they are all different and i would love to here from pro waldof mamas as to if this is universal among schools, but she had a letter sent home about the fact that she had Hello Kitty shoes on. she had gotten them in a bag of hand-me-downs. this isn't a kid that watches tv and she just liked them... i understand the no media thing and thats fine, we don't do tv with our kids either. my concern with waldorf as well as montissori and sudbury model schools is that they are completly limeted to middle/upper class people. financial aid sometimes helps but the difference between 4 abd 10 thousand dollars per year isn't that helpful if you are lower class. my friend struggles fiancially and the shoes were free! so even if you can swing the $$$ to go there you then have to face up against the same crap i see in PS like your kid not having the "right" clothes. i know i put my kids in all kinds of hand-me-downs and i also avoid plastering cartoon media images all over them. i get that, i just think that things like this aren't gonna help with the diversity issues.

i teach at a free school located in the inner city of albany. before i found this place i considered lots of other alternitives. i know a lot of people that are involved in waldorf communites, and i like most of them very much. my biggest reasons for choosing this type of model are these: the diversity thing. my kids are 1/2 afghani and i wanted them to experience true diversity. i grew up where diversity meant an adopted chinese girl, and two mullato families who where being raised by single white mom's cause the black dadies took off, just to add to any sterotypes people might already have. lots of families we have at our school can't afford more than 20$ a month. some don't pay at all. others pay a couple hundred a month. it is all income based. my othe problem is that in my experience, in a lot of alternative models of school it is okay for the kids to explore and talk about their feelings as long as they are within a certin range of comfortability, but when they are something other than happy, sad, scared, nervous, etc... than they aren't okay. what about anger or hate? what about helping that "bully" as a community instead of sheltering our own children from him/her. not only can we help that child, but i find my children learn alot of compassion along the journey. i'm not trying to knock waldorf, i see a lot of people very happy with it, heck if i could have afforded it when i was looking at schools i might be sending my kids there right now. my question is that what happens to the kids that are too "imperfect" for these elite schools, let's just let them go to public schools, why not, they aren't our kids. well i have to say i feel pretty differently. my almost three yr old son has a good pal who lives in the neighborhood. his mom and dad who are off and on crack addicts left him with his nana when he was 3 weeks old. she has a bad back and he is a very active little 31/2 year old who has to stay inside with her a lot of the time. some days when he comes to school, he can be really angry, other days he's non stop smiley. they did't send him to our school because they were reasearching alternative schools on the internet (like i did) or because they heard we were a cheaper alternative than waldof (which some people do) they just ran into people around the neighborhood and someone who saw there need mentioned to her she should come check it out. kids like this deserve alternatives to the reg. PS tv watching life, too. not just kids who can afford to buy shoes that are PC.

sorry for the rant. it's late and i am soo excited to find somewhere to discuss this stuff that i think about all the time.
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#141 of 214 Old 07-08-2004, 01:37 AM
 
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Know that your friends experience may not be what is happening in other waldorf schools. Guess thats why the responses here are so varied.

Being a person of color (Im 1/2 mexican descent) and living in a very small, mostly white town/community......I can expect to find lack of diversity in most of the schools where I live, public and private. Thankfully, the Waldorf school in town is a public-charter school.....so all can attend.
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#142 of 214 Old 07-08-2004, 10:22 AM
 
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In Jan a little boy (age 3.5) joined my dd's mixed kinder, this little boy needed a lot of help. He had been in daycare from 3 months of age (not a Waldorf one). He hit, he bit, he spit, he used foul language (in context), he would curl up his fist before taking a good slug at any of the other children even the 6 yr olds! Do you know that the teachers put so much time and work into this little guy that by June he was a different child. Even my dd would say "x__ has changed so much, I love playing with him now, he doesn't spit at me and he doesn't hit anymore". He still has his moments, but the improvement in this child is amazing! He was dealth with by the entire group of children, the remedial teacher, and the 2 kinder teachers, not cast off as "a promblem". My own dd is looking forward to seeing him again in Sept and helping him everyday, she will be 6 yrs old.

Our Waldorf school is by no means perfect (far from it) but I think we have an absolutely wonderful staff of teachers who really really care about any kid that comes to our school.

There are some parents who really struggle financially to send their kids to our school but it means the world to them that their children have a Waldorf education.

About the Hello Kitty sneakers, my opinion is that the parent should have used better judgement, kept the sneakers for any other time but school time. I've seen children show up with flashing sneaks at our school and get turned right back around and sent home if they don't have other shoes in their cubby. My dd has clothes that are not exactly "Waldorf", they never leave home, if I know its not appropriate, she knows it too, no matter what it cost or if it was a gift from granny or a hand-me-down. Some people send thier kids to these schools specifically because of the policies, so when parent violates (for whatever reason) it needs to be addressed immediately. Just my opinion.
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#143 of 214 Old 07-08-2004, 10:33 AM
 
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I agree with your point about imprefect chidlren...but I would extend that to include almost ALL private schools, not just waldorf. For truly difficult children, many schools with limited resources will try to send them elsewhere. But some choose to really put themselves out for a child. I think it depends a lot on the administrator and the teacher.

As for the shoes...my school was very clear in the handbook from the beginning. If it's truly a matter of money I would have covered over the characters with duct tape or tried to trade them for others. Or looked for handmedowns through the school bulletin board. walmart, target and payless sell character free shoes too, so I don't think you need to spend big money to get "pc shoes". In fact some urban public elementrary schools are getting just as strict and adopting uniforms or dress codes for some of the same reasons. Sure she's outraged...but probably, it was the mom that forgot the rule.
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#144 of 214 Old 07-08-2004, 11:07 AM
 
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In regards to imperfect children: Our school tries to work with children that are imperfect but sometimes the resources are just not there and the children would have more help in a public school. Several kids with dyslexia and other learning difficulties have left for 1 - 2 years to attend special schools for their difficulties. They often come back to our school to finish out middle school. If the problem is behavorial, the teacher works with the child and the family. Ultimately though, if the child is disrupting the whole class and especially if the family is not working to improve the situation, the child will be asked to leave. You may see private schools as wealthy and elite but the budgets are usually very tight so there isn't a lot of resources to help truly difficult children. The majority of the budget goes to salaries, health care, maintenance on buildings and tuition assistance in form of reduced rates or sibling discounts.

In regards to dresscode: We have more problems with dresscode than anything else. Hello Kitty is a great example. Some teachers consider her media and others don't so you get mixed messages. When in doubt, it is better to ask ahead of time. Our biggest problem with the dress code is with the middle schoolers who are pushing the boundaries. I haven't seen any must have clothing items. Many of the families (even the wealthy ones) shop at 2nd hand stores because they believe in reduce, reuse, recycle.
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#145 of 214 Old 07-08-2004, 11:23 AM
 
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Years ago,I went for a pre-school "interview" at a(very pricey) Waldorf school with my oldest son,who was then 4.I was working at the time and took off early for this appt.The person that I was supposed to be meeting with (at a specific time) wasnt even there and they suggested we walk around while we waited.We waited about 45 minutes and then an older kid jumped out of a tree and landed right on my son!He was bruised and scared & crying but thankfully wasnt badly hurt. I was amazed that they were letting these kids climb big trees unsupervised and there was all kinds of other bedlam going on.This man came & told me he would try the person who I was supposed to be meeting with at home and I said:You know what?Lets just forget about it !And I left. My experience with Waldorf was not a positive one - needless to say! Hugs,Catherine
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#146 of 214 Old 07-08-2004, 05:30 PM
 
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i did make the point that it is a lot of private school, not just waldorf that tend to brush off hard kids...just to clarify... anyway, i hope there are more stories out there like cuqui's, but from a post i read on another discussion about waldorf here, someone was praising the fact that a four year old who watched lord of the rings wouldn't be coming back, i can't imagine that she would have been very tolarant towards the little boy i discribed above...i know, for every waldorf school/family, they feel and act different, but lets just say there were plenty of people agreeing that this little boy should go to school elsewhere..plus, i guess we all get to pick our own battles in life, for *me* i just choose to let there be a place for people in mine and my childrens lives even and sometimes especially when they aren't perfect.
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#147 of 214 Old 07-08-2004, 07:49 PM
 
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This is a complicated problem. It is true that private schools often have limited resources for children with learning and behavioral difficulties, so even though they are seen as "rich" it doesn't always work out that way in practice. The waldorf school I worked at had one remedial teacher who was spread very thin.

How far teachers will go to help and work with a child depends on many factors. Are the parents strongly committed to keeping their child in the school? Will they work on the remedial activities on their own time? Can they make changes in the home environment (less or no TV, improved diet, earlier bedtime)? As public school teachers sadly comment, there is a limit to what teachers and schools can do to balance out a difficult home environment.

Many years ago at the WS my daughter attended, there was a mother with a drinking problem who abused one of her children. The school managed to rescue the kid from juvenile hall (that experience was apparently more destructive than the abuse!) find a family to take the child in, arrange for extra tutoring to help overcome some learning difficulties and bring the parents of the rest of the class onboard in being patient with some horrendous behavioral problems. The core of this effort was the class teacher who was determined to help, but was rightly concerned about the potential damage to the rest of the children in her class if she had an out of control child to deal with on a daily basis. I haven't seen this level of commitment from waldorf schools in general nor from other private schools, nor from public schools, nor from child protective services.

Ah well...I should talk. I barely managed to raise my own kid. Of course I was a high school drop out and a 17 year old unwed mother, so the fact that she is an excellent person in spite of me is comforting!
Nana
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#148 of 214 Old 07-08-2004, 10:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
In regards to imperfect children: Our school tries to work with children that are imperfect but sometimes the resources are just not there and the children would have more help in a public school. Several kids with dyslexia and other learning difficulties have left for 1 - 2 years to attend special schools for their difficulties. They often come back to our school to finish out middle school. If the problem is behavorial, the teacher works with the child and the family. Ultimately though, if the child is disrupting the whole class and especially if the family is not working to improve the situation, the child will be asked to leave.
I just want to point out that in dewlady's original post, she used scare quotes around the word imperfect. She wasn't actually saying that children with learning disabilities are imperfect, like seconds at a clothing factory.

I believe the saying goes, "Nobody's perfect."

I can't say that reading your post has me falling all over myself to investigate Waldorf.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#149 of 214 Old 07-08-2004, 11:09 PM
 
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but from a post i read on another discussion about waldorf here, someone was praising the fact that a four year old who watched lord of the rings wouldn't be coming back, i can't imagine that she would have been very tolarant towards the little boy i discribed above...
I actually posted about the 4 yr old watching Lord of the Rings, let me clarify, why I was glad he wasn't returning. This boys parents made no effort to adhere to the school's media policy. The boy watched tv throughout the entire school year. If he had only watched, I would not have had a problem, but I was present when he told anther child "let's play Lord of the Rings, and kill everybody", it was the result in his play from watching violent films that I was horrified by. I do not believe his parents ever intended to use the school for more than a yr until he could go to public kinder. So I guess I should rephrase, I'm glad that the family is not returning to the school.

The 3.5 yr old I posted about earlier today, his parents have obviously made many changes at home and the dad has even taken a couple of mornings off from running a very busy business to go hiking and visit a local farm with the class. Apparently he grew up in a big city and has never gone on a hike or petted live farm animals, this is what he told us on the trips. This family is committed to Waldorf, it works for them.

To sum it up, it comes down to the parents and whether or not they truly have the child's best interest in mind. This can be achieved in any school, public or private, given that you have the parents, teacher & school on board.
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#150 of 214 Old 07-08-2004, 11:47 PM
 
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About the Hello Kitty sneakers, my opinion is that the parent should have used better judgement, kept the sneakers for any other time but school time.
And what, pray tell, should she have worn to school? There have been times when my children have only had one pair of shoes that fit at a given moment (although they usually have two). For someone who is "struggling financially" as this mother is said to be, being sent that letter could be stressful and humiliating. Even "cheap" sneakers seldom run less than $15 a pair, and a pair that fits your child properly might not be available at all at that price. (BTDT, myself.) So it *is* a subtle form of elitism to ban Hello Kitty sneakers or make the child cover them with tape, as someone else suggested. It sounds like the school didn't attempt to talk the the parents in person before firing off a potentially hurtful letter. It seems as though they just assumed that a parent could procure new shoes at a moment's notice. As for "bad judgement", I wouldn't have thought of Hello Kitty as a media figure. I don't believe there is a Hello Kitty cartoon, is there? Isn't it just a brand, like Nike? Are swooshes considered unacceptable?

Stephanie mom to Brianna (6/00) , Alexander (6/02) , and Ethan (9/07) .
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