Dishonest/evasive waldorf teacher... - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 186 Old 07-26-2005, 06:15 PM
 
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Thank you for sharing that, zinemama. Your perspective is invaluable.
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#62 of 186 Old 07-26-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pete
Hello and welcome.

Expectation and idealism are two different things. Lauren was talking about expectation. Who is responsible for our expectation with regard to Waldorf? Is it the parents who are perhaps too trusting of the people in Waldorf schools and the literature they receive at the open house or parent evening, or is it the schools who sometimes develop and promote Waldorf as one thing and perhaps don't disclose everything up front?
Thanks.

I see your point. On the other hand, both expectation and idealism can lead to disappointment. And I suppose I was simply pointing out that each of us is ultimately responsible for our own feelings of disappointment.

The rest of it I’m not so sure of. I don’t see how we can make Waldorf, or anything or anyone else for that matter, responsible for our having too much trust. That would be our choice, right from the start. As for disclosure: well, again it’s up to the individual to ask questions. Then if one intuitively feels the answers aren’t honest or forthcoming, it’s her or his responsibility to listen to that voice and perhaps back away until one is sure of what it is they are dealing with.
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#63 of 186 Old 07-26-2005, 08:25 PM
 
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Hi,

Yes, I agree moving on is an integral part of healing... and thanks for that reminder.

I agree even further in Pete's statement that before you can truly move on, rather than just "saying" you have, you have to get it out, hash it out with friends, shine light in all the dark corners until nothing is left unturned. That's a long process in some circumstances. For me, three years.

Only two days ago did I have the courage (thanks to a safe feeling from this group) to even tell what happened for the first time.

I think one of the aspects of being a recipient of negative Waldorf behavior is that is is so complex, so secretive, etc., that it takes a long time to sort through-especially if you are doing it honestly. Trust me, as someone who was required to write over nine pages of apologies to our doctor and teacher(see post #13), I looked into every aspect of my side of the responsibilities in the situation I went through, and I included them sincerely in my letters. It's just that it didn't add up in the end for me and others who helped us sort the issues out.

After mediatating, praying and seeking counseling, I see that I may have been the "pore" that the sickness came out of (sorry for the gross analogy) via my complaints about a teacher and my son's treatment, but the sickness that was lying beneath the "skin" did not begin (or end) with me.

Again, thanks to everyone and all viewpoints here: it helps me/us maintain authenticity in our discussions rather than just whiney-ness (is that a word?).

We have all been doing a GREAT job.

May May: thanks for your kind words a few posts back.

B.
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#64 of 186 Old 07-26-2005, 10:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alanoe
Thanks.
I see your point. On the other hand, both expectation and idealism can lead to disappointment. And I suppose I was simply pointing out that each of us is ultimately responsible for our own feelings of disappointment.
Are we really? Aren't we entitled to some very basic expectations - whether promoted by the school or not - and when those very basic expectations aren't met, aren't we entitled to be disappointed - even angry? I'm talking about basic expectations like safety and supervision. Isn't it reasonable to expect some things of a school no matter what?
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The rest of it I’m not so sure of. I don’t see how we can make Waldorf, or anything or anyone else for that matter, responsible for our having too much trust. That would be our choice, right from the start.
Yes, I agree with this. But again, when one encounters a school that is willing to go to efforts to deceive the parents, it always comes as a surprize.
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As for disclosure: well, again it’s up to the individual to ask questions. Then if one intuitively feels the answers aren’t honest or forthcoming, it’s her or his responsibility to listen to that voice and perhaps back away until one is sure of what it is they are dealing with.
I don't put this completely on the parents. The answers to questions are smooth and rehearsed. And there are always people around to confirm how wonderful the school is. It happens just like a very sophisticated marketing seminar. Typically, these people have been doing this for years and years. I listen to some of these people and it makes me want to forget everything I've been through - and everything my kids have been through - they are THAT smooth. Any parent would be drawn to Waldorf based on what they see in their first encounters.

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#65 of 186 Old 07-26-2005, 11:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pete
I listen to some of these people and it makes me want to forget everything I've been through - and everything my kids have been through - they are THAT smooth.

Pete



Pete



I can totally relate.


The key is to never forget what you've been through - no matter how potent their magic is.
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#66 of 186 Old 07-26-2005, 11:07 PM
 
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This has been a fascinating discussion to read. We weren't let into our local waldorf school because our children watch more than 2 hours of tv a week. We did go through spiritual abuse at a church we attended from 1995-2000, where our community was all connected to that church alone, and when we left it was very painful because we lost our friends and community in a very hurtful and betraying way. That part, along with people being all talk and no walk sounds very similar to our situation.

My rule of thumb for our family now is not to put all of our eggs in one basket, and although I really love our main homeschool group we are involved in, I try not to ever have all of our community or social activities be surrounding one group again because of our previous experiences. This way if something happens in one of the groups, we will have alternative groups to fall back on. We have attended other homeschool groups, and have had our kids in other activities like dance or gymnasics, with the goal in mind that they will not just have one group of friends, but several.
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#67 of 186 Old 07-26-2005, 11:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beansavi
Hi,
Yes, I agree moving on is an integral part of healing... and thanks for that reminder.
In my case, I moved on time and time again, thinking this time the school has made some changes, that this time things will be different. "Trust us" they kept saying. "OK, NOW trust us" - "OK, but things have changed - NOW trust us." Trying to move on, and trying to trust time after time is Soooo difficult. It is especially difficult to heal when you remain in the same environment. And that's why I say it's important to expose the wounds to the light of day - to get in all the dark corners, as you say it so beautifully below.
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I agree even further in Pete's statement that before you can truly move on, rather than just "saying" you have, you have to get it out, hash it out with friends, shine light in all the dark corners until nothing is left unturned. That's a long process in some circumstances. For me, three years.
For me, more than six.
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Only two days ago did I have the courage (thanks to a safe feeling from this group) to even tell what happened for the first time.
And, look - you gave others the courage to speak up too!
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I think one of the aspects of being a recipient of negative Waldorf behavior is that is is so complex, so secretive, etc., that it takes a long time to sort through-especially if you are doing it honestly. Trust me, as someone who was required to write over nine pages of apologies to our doctor and teacher(see post #13), I looked into every aspect of my side of the responsibilities in the situation I went through, and I included them sincerely in my letters. It's just that it didn't add up in the end for me and others who helped us sort the issues out.
Nobody should have to go through that - ever. It was mean-spirited and... Sorry, I get angry every time I think about it. And that this sort of controlling behavior happens commonly in different schools is pretty clear evidence that something is wrong. These are not the type of people most parents want their children around.
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After mediatating, praying and seeking counseling, I see that I may have been the "pore" that the sickness came out of (sorry for the gross analogy) via my complaints about a teacher and my son's treatment, but the sickness that was lying beneath the "skin" did not begin (or end) with me.
Trust me, the sickness was there long before you and will be there long after you. And, I'll bet if you dig around, you will find other teachers and parents who have been bullied as you have by the same people at this particular school.
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Again, thanks to everyone and all viewpoints here: it helps me/us maintain authenticity in our discussions rather than just whiney-ness (is that a word?).
Yes, it is extremely important to get all sides in this issue.
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We have all been doing a GREAT job.
Yes, we have - thanks everyone.

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#68 of 186 Old 07-27-2005, 07:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bestbirths
This has been a fascinating discussion to read. We weren't let into our local waldorf school because our children watch more than 2 hours of tv a week.
That's interesting. Did you insist they would continue to watch that much? Was some determination made about your kids (or you). Did they try to talk you out of the TV watching? I guess if you weren't a good fit for the community, it's probably a good thing they didn't let you in. By the way - worst abusers of the TV rule (generally speaking) - Waldorf teacher's kids. I've heard this from many sources - including the Waldorf teachers themselves. :LOL
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We did go through spiritual abuse at a church we attended from 1995-2000, where our community was all connected to that church alone, and when we left it was very painful because we lost our friends and community in a very hurtful and betraying way. That part, along with people being all talk and no walk sounds very similar to our situation.
Yes. Involvement in a community is very powerful. And the dynamic of the community can become very important to people. And some people like to create heirarchies in Waldorf communities. People (and I'm guilty too) get very caught up in the community and the community becomes everything - their entire life. There are members of the board of directors at my kid's school that have been there almost 15 years. Some of the teachers have been with the school almost 50 years. Guess who is running the show. It gets really creepy sometimes.
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My rule of thumb for our family now is not to put all of our eggs in one basket, and although I really love our main homeschool group we are involved in, I try not to ever have all of our community or social activities be surrounding one group again because of our previous experiences.
This is wise advice for anyone.
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This way if something happens in one of the groups, we will have alternative groups to fall back on. We have attended other homeschool groups, and have had our kids in other activities like dance or gymnasics, with the goal in mind that they will not just have one group of friends, but several.
I think that works out well for the kids too. Sadly, some older Waldorf kids seem uncomfortable in non-Waldorf activities. Who can blame them when that is pretty much all they have known.

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#69 of 186 Old 07-27-2005, 07:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by May May
Pete

I can totally relate.

The key is to never forget what you've been through - no matter how potent their magic is.
One of these days we should talk about the "tactics" that are used among Waldorf communities to keep parents in line. I'll make a list : (not really, I just wanted to use that cute little smiley).

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#70 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 01:22 AM
 
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:LOL


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#71 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 08:45 AM
 
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Edit: I was grumpy at the time and I apologize, and in particular to Pete.
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#72 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 09:57 AM
 
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alanoe, in response to your last post, I will speak for my self.



I have had eight years of active experience with my local Waldorf school as well as been a homeschool teacher using a Waldorf-inspired curriculum.

I do not know about the PLANS group, as I am only just beginning to explore discussion regarding my own and others' unpleasant experiences with Waldorf schools.

The truth is unfortunate. I feel I am mourning a great loss by coming to terms with and accepting what I've known in my heart for many years. At the same time, I'm finding it to be cathartic and validating to be here, sharing in this constructive dialogue.

While I disagree with Pete on some levels, I share many of his experiences and opinions. I do not know him IRL; we don't live in the same state. But what he's described could be cut and pasted, figuratively, to my own life. So it's very real, in my experience, what he's describing as his personal experience.

As a fellow human to another, I feel very uncomfortable with the way you are addressing his concerns. His experience may be different than yours, but he's no more guilty of committing conspiracy or having ulterior motives than you are. His posts have been focused consistently and poignantly on specific concerns that relate to his own experience. It is obvious, to me, that there are some common denominators to his concerns - all of which support his arguments and, again, are not only his experience, but mine too and others' as well.

One of the things he has brought up more than once, for example, is that things went well for his family with the school until a conflict arose. That is the crux of the issue for my family as well. Indeed, we had a lovely experience at our school right up until our personal conflict arose. Other families in my own Waldorf community tell the same story. All of our conflicts with the school are different in their details only - it is the way they were responded to (or NOT responded to) by the school that is unsatisfactory to us. To add insult to injury, the style of resolution (or lack, thereof) is directly oppositional to the real-life application of the morals and values that are woven into the fibers of the foundation of Anthroposophy.

Even after the conflict arose, in my own situation, the administrator and board seemed to think 'everything was fine' even though I did not. People were speaking negatively about me behind my back, but when I would approach them for discussion they'd act like I was making a big deal out of nothing or give me a very graceful blank stare. It became impossible for me to achieve any sort of closure other than sweeping the issue under the proverbial rug.

It got to the point where I thought there was something wrong with my own perceptions.

So I take offense to your tone with him, as if his experience indicates a flaw within his intentions, or even his person, because that is exactly the vibe I received from the school when I spoke up.

In fact, if anything resembles conspiracy to me, it is this recurring theme of character-assualt and intimidation as a means of proving one's point and discrediting the others'.

With all due respect, in my opinion, that is not a healthy way for civilized adults to disagree, while modeling revernce for all beings.
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#73 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 10:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alanoe
How appropriate is that, really, on this site in particular?


On a side note, I just had to respond to this question, too, because I first learned of Waldorf education in an issue of Mothering magazine back in the early 90s. So it makes sense for me to come here and discuss all I've learned in my own Waldorf experience over the years.

This completes the circle for me.
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#74 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 10:36 AM
 
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Edit: Two grumpy posts in a row... sorry again.
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#75 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 10:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alanoe
Yes, I believe in Waldorf education. No, I don’t believe in anthroposophy – and I agree with others that some problems (and sometimes serious problems) are a direct result of individuals’ fundamentalistic approach to interpreting and implementing Steiner’s sometimes very odd spiritual philosophy. But the emphasis here is ‘individual’: it’s a problem of individuals, in individual schools.
I agree with all of this. But it is becoming apparent to me that there are a lot of these individuals.

So I am questioning the meaning of this - that so many people have had this experience with Waldorf schools.

I'm coming to the conclusion, personally, that following anyone's philosophy blindly is just plain dangerous.
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#76 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 12:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alanoe
I’ll start by stating again that I am not an advocate of anthroposophy – or any particular life, spiritual or religious philosophy.
OK, then I'll start by stating that I am not a PL**S member nor do I have, nor have I ever had ANY affiliation with PL**S. I do not agree with everything PL**S stands for, however, I find discussions on their lists relevant and the experiences of the people genuine.
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I don’t feel it’s incorrect to say you appear to have a great degree of animosity towards both anthroposophy and its founder. Here’s what you wrote in your first response in this thread:

“My experience, too, has been that an entire school can behave dishonestly. I don't agree with the comment a few posts above that it is an individual thing - I think it goes further into the philosophy itself and dishonesty is something that Steiner himself made available to the earliest Waldorf teachers because he understood that the general public would not accept Waldorf methods at face value.”

In my mind, that’s quit a leap, given the original question here. (Maybe not, but that’s my perspective.)
I don't think it's a leap at all - it is a statement (the "entire school" thing) that has been confirmed by many people. If you are questioning my statement about Steiner supporting dishonesty, please tell me and I'll post direct quotes from Steiner. I have tried very hard not to do this for the very reason that some people will assume I am here to paint a negative picture of Steiner. But, again, please let me know if you need the exact quotes from which I draw my conclusions and I'll be glad to make them public here.

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Regardless, I wanted to ask: Do you have anything to do with PL**S? (Deleted per Moderator) I first heard of this group via another Waldorf site. The Waldorf movement appears to consider PL**S a ‘Waldorf hate group’.
This is a slanderous term and frankly, from what I've seen of the Waldorf movement, they are very comfortable putting labels on people they don't like.
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This group as I understand it considers the Waldorf movement a manipulative sect or cult, and Steiner a racist and anti-Semitic among other things, even linking him to the Nazi movement somehow.
You should, perhaps, do a bit more research on this subject before throwing your own impressions around carelessly. PL**S, as the name implies, is an organization that believes Waldorf schools to be religious in nature (I happen to agree) and therefore not appropriate to be "charter" or publicly funded schools. They have filed a lawsuit to block Waldorf schools from gaining public funding.
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And they have some sort of discussion forum where they apparently discuss – and promote – these views and allegations. Are you a member of and do you take part in that discussion forum as well?
"As well" - as beloning to PL**S you mean? You jump to some very strange conclusions. As it turns out, I participate in the WC list - as do many, many people with no affiliation to PL**S, as do many Waldorf supporters, and others. So what - I'm not a mother, but I am participating on the Mothering forum. Do I have some secret affiliation with MotheringDotCommune?
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In other words, are you here to systematically fill people in on all these details? Are these subjects you intend on introducing, one at a time?
Yes, I absolutely intend to systematically educate everyone who wants to learn about Waldorf - to the extent that I can. I may even produce some of Steiner's racist material if people here want me to (since you brought it up) - and let people decide for themselves if this is important to them. I may just do that... So what? Am I on a mission to destroy Waldorf? No, not at all. Waldorf is in decay, from my point of view. There is a cancer in Waldorf and that cancer is represented in some very narrowminded very opinionated people. Waldorf can wait until the cancer overtakes it, or they can make some effort to be treated. I'm here to help Waldorf survive - whether you believe me or not.
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And I ask this after reading yet another puzzling (for me) post in you ‘Waldorf – Good or Bad’ thread:
I just want to note that it would be better to address issues with another thread in THAT thread as people reading this thread might not be familiar with what this is about - but I don't blame you since you seem to be on a mission - this thread seems to have more reads.
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“So the first brick in the foundation for my hypothesis (or the first card perhaps, in my house of cards) is that the children are being desensitized to the various, sometimes strange ideas about creation because they are being prepared to accept even stranger ideas about creation. Something as strange, perhaps, as Steiner’s ideas that humankind underwent evolutions on Saturn, and the Sun and the Moon before arriving on Earth - and that Lucifer and Ahriman influenced humankind's evolutions at various stages and even retarded the evolution of some of us. Could it be that the peculiar focus on creation myths at Waldorf is a precursor to the acceptance of Steiner's wild (IMO) ideas about the creation of human consciousness?”

I taught for many years in a Waldorf school. No, I do not have a lot of positive things to say about anthroposophy, although I do believe there is some wisdom in there. On the other hand, I feel no need to criticize it and/or Steiner, either.
And your point is? Just because you see no need to criticize Waldorf or Steiner doesn't mean I don't. The point of the Waldorf Curriculum thread is that Anthroposophy is being taught covertly in Waldorf schools. It may seem like no big deal to you, but to me it is. I may be the only one on this forum who feels that way. That's fine.
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These things are what they are. And I know we’re all different, yet I can’t help but feel you seem to be on a bit of a mission, or so it seems to me. I’m here to discuss the good in Waldorf along with Waldorf alternatives and what have you. And I’m sorry if this sounds judgmental, but you appear to be here for the purpose of condemning anthroposophy, Steiner and, to a degree at least, Waldorf.
And again, your point is? I can't help your impressions of me, but are you suggesting that everyone here needs to discuss the good in Waldorf? Why? If Waldorf is having problems, and it is, why shouldn't people - especially here have the right to know? And yes, you sound judgmental to me, and you have tried to make this about me personally, and you have tried to associate me with what you have characterized as a Waldorf hate group. So I think your comments may say more about you and YOUR agenda than me and mine. Sorry if I am not saying this diplomatically, but being associated with a hate group isn't exactly something I take lightly.
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And I guess my question – apart from my wondering if you happen to be an active member PL**S and their discussion group – is: How appropriate is that, really, on this site in particular?
Again, I'm not a member of PL**S, active or inactive - and never have been. YOU have jumped to this conclusion because in your mind, apparently, nobody who isn't part of a hate group (as you seem to believe PL**S is) could possibly say critical things about Waldorf. Sorry, but you couldn't be more wrong.

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#77 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 12:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pete
Yes, I absolutely intend to systematically educate everyone who wants to learn about Waldorf - to the extent that I can.
Thank you...
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#78 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 12:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alanoe
I thought I worded that post in a very polite and appropriate manner. Pete is of course free to speak his truth. My questions to him are: Is he a member of PL**S, and is he an active participant in their discussion forum?
:LOL If that's when you are trying to be polite, I'd really hate to see you when you're trying to be hurtful. Maybe I should state, so it will be even more clear - I don't belong to ANY hate groups. How about you?
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I’m aware of at least one Waldorf site where covert PL**S critics have attempted to draw Waldorf people into discussions, under the guise of asking seemingly innocent questions regarding the curriculum and so forth. PL**S is or has launched legal suits against the Waldorf movement, and my guess is they attempt to gather information for their legal case(s) in this manner.
I'm not sure your "guess" is going to hold a lot of water with me but I am sure PL**S will thank you for the free advertising. Many people here probably never heard of PL**S. Now they know where to look for critical information on Waldorf. By the way, I support the validity of their lawsuit - I think Waldorf schools are covertly religious and should not be eligible for public funding.
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Not that I’m accusing Pete of this. He’s very clear as to where he stands. On the other hand, are people here – are the administrators of this site – willing and ready to entertain discussions having to do with ‘Waldorf the cult’ or even ‘Steiner the racist’? Because that’s where I see these conversations perhaps heading, as they have on other Waldorf sites. And the result isn’t pleasant.
We've already heard from others that Waldorf feels "cult-like" - I didn't bring that up. But yes, I feel Waldorf environments ARE cult-like too. I don't see anything wrong with stating this - unless it isn't true. If it is true, yes, it should be verbalized here. I think the administrators here have been very clear about where the line will be drawn on these discussions and frankly, I think YOU have crossed it by trying to associate me with an organization you presented as a hate group.
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Yes, I believe in Waldorf education. No, I don’t believe in anthroposophy – and I agree with others that some problems (and sometimes serious problems) are a direct result of individuals’ fundamentalistic approach to interpreting and implementing Steiner’s sometimes very odd spiritual philosophy. But the emphasis here is ‘individual’: it’s a problem of individuals, in individual schools.
That's your opinion. Mine is different. That's what these discussions are for. You make your case, I'll make mine. People will draw their own conclusions. If you really feel it is an individual problem, then please explain why so many individuals behave in exactly the same manner across the country and the world. People in England have the same experiences as people in Australia, which match the stories of people in the US. A wider variety of individuals couldn't be imagined, yet the experiences are the same.
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And that’s all I’ll say. I’ll remove myself from these ‘hot topic’ discussions and participate in those conversations that I feel are promoting a balanced – and yes, encouraging – view of Waldorf education.
That's your choice, of course, but I would encourage you to make your case if you have one. Otherwise, it just seems like a hit-and-run, you drop by, associate me with a hate group and leave the scene. Isn't that what you are trying to accuse me of doing - dropping in here just to disrespect Waldorf?

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#79 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 04:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pete
Yes, I absolutely intend to systematically educate everyone who wants to learn about Waldorf - to the extent that I can. I may even produce some of Steiner's racist material if people here want me to (since you brought it up) - and let people decide for themselves if this is important to them.
I would love to see some Steiner quotes if you would be so kind as to spend the time to post them here.

Actually, I just went and found some websites with quotes and my jaw dropped. I'd still like to have you post them here for others to read. And I'd love to hear if other Happy-with-Waldorf and pro-anthroposophy posters feel that these are misquotes or misinterpreted or if they think these opinions stated by Steiner are accurate.
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#80 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 05:18 PM
 
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Okay, here I go...a couple of quotes that I found that I will post myself.

I strongly DISAGREE with these quotes and am appalled by them, for the record. Please someone let me know if I am not supposed to post these here, if I'm breaking any MDC rules, 'kay? Thanx.

DISCLAIMER: I have no idea as to whether these are accurately quoted from Steiner work myself. I got them from the PLANS website. If any posters more knowledgeable with Steiner writings can refute or clarify these "quotes", please do so!

"You see, when we really study science and history, we must conclude that if people become increasingly strong, they will also become increasingly stupid. If the blonds and blue-eyed people die out, the human race will become increasingly dense if men do not arrive at a form of intelligence that is independent of blondness. Blond hair actually bestows intelligence. ... It is indeed true that the more the fair individuals die out the more will the instinctive wisdom of humans vanish."
[Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf Schools. Health and Illness: Volume I, p86. (1922) Spring Valley: Anthroposophic Press, 1981]

"It can certainly not be denied, that today Jewry still appears as a closed totality, and as such many times has intervened in the development of the present situation in a way that has been less than positive for Western cultural ideas. But Jewry as such has long since outlived itself, and has no justification any more within modern life of the peoples, and that it nevertheless has preserved itself is a mistake of world history, whose consequences have been inevitable."
[Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf Schools. from his review of "Homunculus" by Hammerling (1888) published in the German Weekly]

from: http://www.waldorfcritics.com/
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#81 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 05:43 PM
 
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Yeah, Riversky,

Those kind of quotes freak me out. I don't own any Steiner books that have those in them so I don't know much about them.

None of that was taught to me in Waldorf teacher training --thank God!

What I do know is that Steiner said humans are evolving away from clairvoyance AND tribal consciousness into individual "I" consciousness. This is, to him, a necessary part of evolution so we can become free individuals who come to God not because we have to but because we want to.

Maybe those horrible quotes are a part of that discussion/lecture he gave?

Steiner, nor anyone, has all the answers, or is perfect. I know those Nazi sounding (to me) quotes go overboard, however.

B.
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#82 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 06:00 PM
 
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I personally am very grateful for parents who have spoke out about their experiences – positive and negative—with Waldorf on MDC. Our family was considering Waldorf for our child a while back, and reading about other families’ experiences spurred us to do more research about Waldorf education in general and the schools we were considering in particular. That research helped us make a decision about whether Waldorf would, indeed, be a good fit for our family (we decided it would not be).

I feel there is much that is not said in most Waldorf PR materials, nor made clear at open houses for prospective parents. That’s why hearing from current and former Waldorf parents is so important.

It really bothers me that a Waldorf parent who comes here to speak about his or her own experience in Waldorf would be given a hard time (and is it just me, or is it only those who have criticism of Waldorf who are on the receiving end of this sort of questioning?).

On another note: I wonder if the Steiner quotes and ensuing discussion should be in a spinoff thread. I think that discussion might wander quite a bit off from the original topic here.
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#83 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 11:08 PM
 
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Pete, to answer your question from a while back, the Waldorf school in our area has a policy that you have to sign a document saying that your child doesn't watch more than 2 hours of TV a week. The way I thought they presented themselves was that they have all of these non violent children who have very little exposure to plastic toys or the commercialism of television, and they can play with their imaginations intact. I pictured a magical place where children froliced and learned in a environment with other children who's families share the same values.

Yes, they did talk to me about cutting back on the TV, and I discussed it with my Dh. Dh watches TV with the kids, and installs home theater for a living. TV is a large part of our lives (the kids are in there watching TV now as I type this, and winding down before bed). Dh and I discussed reducing the TV time, but down to two hours a week was just too radical of an idea for us. The clincher for us was that video game time was included in the TV time, and if you add that.....OMG....we would never fit in. When I told the waldorf teacher that my disabled son played video games at least 8 hours a day she said that was probably the reason he was so sick. I feel that is just the opposite, that because he is sick, he uses the video games to take his mind off of his pain. Then, she said "it is because the video games are like a drug", and I said "exactly". What's wrong with that? (Not using my NVC here : ) We didn't see eye to eye on it, and there was no way I was going to cut down video games for my son, he is obsessed with video games and he wants to go to college to learn how to create games, that's how into games he is....not to mention he is really into Halo 2....but five years ago his main interest still was first person shooter games.

I tell him he can play violent games as long as he is not violent in his personal life.

I didn't want to lie and fill out the form and say that they only watched two hours a week when they really watch more. I didn't want to spoil the group by bringing in our kids who would be talking about what they saw on TV and in movies and video games. :

edited to say that just last week, someone told me that most of the parents just sign the form and fib a bit about the amount of tv they really watch
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#84 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 11:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverSky
Okay, here I go...a couple of quotes that I found that I will post myself.

I strongly DISAGREE with these quotes and am appalled by them, for the record. Please someone let me know if I am not supposed to post these here, if I'm breaking any MDC rules, 'kay? Thanx.

DISCLAIMER: I have no idea as to whether these are accurately quoted from Steiner work myself. I got them from the PL**S website. If any posters more knowledgeable with Steiner writings can refute or clarify these "quotes", please do so!
Riversky,
I want to thank you for posting these here. I'm not sure I want to post this sort of thing unless Lauren the moderator says it's OK. This type of thing is, of course, damaging to Waldorf and I'm sure there are people here already wondering if you are a member of some Waldorf hate group for posting this material.

To answer your question, in the previous post, I can provide lots and lots of this material - but if I do, I agree with Kaydee that it should perhaps be on a different thread - not because it doesn't relate to this topic, but because it is very likely to get the kind of backlash that will get the thread shut down and subsequently shuffled to the back of the deck. So, if you don't mind, and if Lauren doesn't mind, we can take this to a different thread. OK?

Quote:
"You see, when we really study science and history, we must conclude that if people become increasingly strong, they will also become increasingly stupid. If the blonds and blue-eyed people die out, the human race will become increasingly dense if men do not arrive at a form of intelligence that is independent of blondness. Blond hair actually bestows intelligence. ... It is indeed true that the more the fair individuals die out the more will the instinctive wisdom of humans vanish."
[Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf Schools. Health and Illness: Volume I, p86. (1922) Spring Valley: Anthroposophic Press, 1981]
This particular quote, quite famous, has been refuted on WA (you'll have to google it (Edit: Don't bother now - I've been asked to disguise the name), I don't know the exact address) - a very pro-Waldorf/Anthroposophy website. The website, for me, is a bit scary and the explanation of the above quote a bit weird.
Quote:
"It can certainly not be denied, that today Jewry still appears as a closed totality, and as such many times has intervened in the development of the present situation in a way that has been less than positive for Western cultural ideas. But Jewry as such has long since outlived itself, and has no justification any more within modern life of the peoples, and that it nevertheless has preserved itself is a mistake of world history, whose consequences have been inevitable."
[Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf Schools. from his review of "Homunculus" by Hammerling (1888) published in the German Weekly]
This sentiment is reflected in many of Steiner's works. Some of the stuff on the PL**S site is subject to translation from the German versions. For example in "The Fifth Gospel" - a book you can sometimes find at Borders or B&N we find perhaps a difference between translations or versions:

From PL**S
"[Jesus felt]: All the forces of soul which I believed had been bestowed upon me lead only to the realisation that in the evolution of the Jewish people there is no longer the capacity to reach the heights of Divine revelations." (Steiner, 1913, Fifth Gospel p. 67)

From my own copy of the English translation:
"As if to sum up everything he [Jesus] had to say on the subject, Jesus told his mother: 'The revelation of ancient Judaism is no longer suitable for the Earth, for the old Jews have passed away; the ancient revelation must be considered worthless on Earth today.'"
(Steiner, 1913, Fifth Gospel p. 65)

It is commonly known and agreed that English translations of these works often receive editing - whole sections are missing from the often watered-down English versions that are still available in the original German versions (ever wonder why Waldorf schools ALWAYS teach German?).

So, sometimes we see something that appears particularly strange and we hear accusations that there are errors in translation and so forth. Taking a single quote might be a little careless. Having said this, as one reads Steiner, a pattern emerges that makes it clear what he held as his belief on the above subjects.

Pete
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#85 of 186 Old 07-28-2005, 11:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beansavi
Yeah, Riversky,

Those kind of quotes freak me out. I don't own any Steiner books that have those in them so I don't know much about them.

None of that was taught to me in Waldorf teacher training --thank God!"
Hi Beansavi (I keep having to resist the urge to call you Beanie ),

It would be interesting to know what your Waldorf teacher training reading list included. Most of the ones I've seen, and they vary from training center to training center, have been almost exclusively Steiner. Then recently I saw one, and I don't remember where, and there were a lot (it seemed) of books from other authors. Would you be interested in posting the Waldorf teacher reading list you used?
Quote:
What I do know is that Steiner said humans are evolving away from clairvoyance AND tribal consciousness into individual "I" consciousness. This is, to him, a necessary part of evolution so we can become free individuals who come to God not because we have to but because we want to.

Maybe those horrible quotes are a part of that discussion/lecture he gave?
When Steiner created his hierarchies for humans, he put the aryan race at the top. Aryan, btw, meant something different to Steiner than it did to Hitler - but some people use this as a wedge for various purposes. Other "sub-races" came below. It was Steiner's contention, however, that individuals can rise above their race as you described eloquently (I guess that doesn't apply if you're already at the top ). Anthroposophists generally feel that this exonerated him from any charges of racism.
Quote:
Steiner, nor anyone, has all the answers, or is perfect. I know those Nazi sounding (to me) quotes go overboard, however.
They generally make most people uncomfortable. Last I heard (and haven't verified this) the Waldorf school in Harlem doesn't have a single black student.

Pete
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#86 of 186 Old 07-29-2005, 12:11 AM
 
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Hello all. A word from your friendly moderator. Folks have been working hard to keep this discussion within the framework of the rules at MDC and the UA. Because there has been diligent effort to keep within this framework, and members have been responsive to specific requests to edit, the discussion is continuing. I will continue to request edits when appropriate, knowing that people get very passionate about this subject. A reminder to all that it is against the UA to: "Post to invite members to other boards for debate purposes or posting about discussions at other boards. This is to maintain and respect the integrity of our own and other communities."

Also thanks for remembering to be civil with one another even when disagreeing.

Finally, yes, the material about Steiner is way off topic from the thread title and general discussion. Either a new thread could be started, or I could try to split the thread (haven't done this in a while, but think it can be done). If the Steiner thread is titled in a non-discriminatory fashion, it can be hosted. The general rule is to be fair and open to all sides of the discussion.

 
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#87 of 186 Old 07-29-2005, 12:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestbirths
Pete, to answer your question from a while back, the Waldorf school in our area has a policy that you have to sign a document saying that your child doesn't watch more than 2 hours of TV a week.
OK, well at least they're up-front about it.
Quote:
The way I thought they presented themselves was that they have all of these non violent children who have very little exposure to plastic toys or the commercialism of television, and they can play with their imaginations intact. I pictured a magical place where children froliced and learned in a environment with other children who's families share the same values.
Yes, that's the reason - um, oh yeah I forgot, TV is Ahrimanic. If you don't know what that means, in layman's terms it means the demon god of all things materialistic and mechanical is living in your TV. (I'll get called on this one because it's more complicated than that).
Quote:
Yes, they did talk to me about cutting back on the TV, and I discussed it with my Dh. Dh watches TV with the kids, and installs home theater for a living.
:LOL Try living in Southern California - most of the parents at our school are either actors or in some way work in the movie or television industry. 2 hours of TV a week - um... I don't think so.
Quote:
TV is a large part of our lives (the kids are in there watching TV now as I type this, and winding down before bed). Dh and I discussed reducing the TV time, but down to two hours a week was just too radical of an idea for us. The clincher for us was that video game time was included in the TV time, and if you add that.....OMG....we would never fit in.
You are right. It would have been extremely difficult for you to maintain these choices without a lot of pressure.
Quote:
When I told the waldorf teacher that my disabled son played video games at least 8 hours a day she said that was probably the reason he was so sick. I feel that is just the opposite, that because he is sick, he uses the video games to take his mind off of his pain. Then, she said "it is because the video games are like a drug", and I said "exactly". What's wrong with that? (Not using my NVC here : ) We didn't see eye to eye on it, and there was no way I was going to cut down video games for my son, he is obsessed with video games and he wants to go to college to learn how to create games, that's how into games he is....not to mention he is really into Halo 2....but five years ago his main interest still was first person shooter games.

I tell him he can play violent games as long as he is not violent in his personal life.
I've been letting my kids regulate themselves during the summer but it's always more than I would like for them.
Quote:
I didn't want to lie and fill out the form and say that they only watched two hours a week when they really watch more. I didn't want to spoil the group by bringing in our kids who would be talking about what they saw on TV and in movies and video games. :

edited to say that just last week, someone told me that most of the parents just sign the form and fib a bit about the amount of tv they really watch
:LOL Yeah - the kid's mother (Anthroposophist and Waldorf teacher) bought them not one, but two Playstations. At least she can't pin that one on me.

Pete
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#88 of 186 Old 07-29-2005, 02:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Pete
Yeah - the kid's mother (Anthroposophist and Waldorf teacher) bought them not one, but two Playstations. At least she can't pin that one on me.

Pete
Ok . . . . it's late and this is cheesy fluff, but not entirely irrelevant, either . . . .




One of the most ardent Waldorf supporters and a teacher, herself, for many years at my local Waldorf school -

not only allows her own child to spend countless hours playing video games, but even allows other activity too controversial for me to feel ok about posting here!

Also -

She herself would change clothes at the end of her workday. . She would emerge from her day of long, flowing skirts and aprons into a pair of shorts (I kid you not) that revealed her private parts. This was on school property during school hours on a daily basis.


Whaddayu think about them apples?
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#89 of 186 Old 07-29-2005, 05:33 AM
 
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At the request of the administrators, I’ve edited my posts from yesterday. And I’m glad they asked, because I do see now how inappropriate my comments were. Apologies to all, and especially to you, Pete.
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#90 of 186 Old 07-29-2005, 10:05 AM
 
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She herself would change clothes at the end of her workday. . She would emerge from her day of long, flowing skirts and aprons into a pair of shorts (I kid you not) that revealed her private parts. This was on school property during school hours on a daily basis.
Is this kind of behavior acceptable within the waldorf schools?
When a situation like this arises with a teacher doing something you feel innapropriate or damaging for your child, what could a parent do? Did you talk to the teacher? Talk to the head of the school? Would they be instructed that you can buy some undies for a couple bucks at Target? You said this happened day after day. Was the teacher just allowed to continue flashing everyone her privates and no one said anything? Is this why you left the school? I think a teacher who did this in the public school system would be jailed.

:Puke
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