Is Waldorf too "airy fairy" for some kids? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 02:12 PM
 
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What she ultimately realized was that Waldorf really is about people, it's not about dogma nor about 'stuff' (including absence of it!).
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#62 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 02:15 PM
 
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I don't know really. Waldorf ed incorporates this idea of cultural recapitulation (akin to that of an earlier philosophical theorist Herbart, who Steiner did know of), where each individual is thought to contain a 'germ' or seed so to speak of cultural memory. Cultural development is a motif, so to speak, for individual development and early childhood is thought of as the stage of the folk consciousness, thus the fairy tales and so on. This changes as the child gets older. Folk consciousness is left behind in 2nd grade. This is a philosophical view of the human as a cultural being first and foremost, rather than primarily an animal being. In this kind of framework, where early childhood consciousness is a recapitulation of the folk consciousness, folk images (including the fairies, gnomes, and witches) are sort of etched storybook moral archetypes. That's one reason why Waldorf ed is so comfortable with them.
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Originally Posted by Pete
That's why I was asking Linda for a source for her comments, they don't appear to be correct or complete to me.
I'll try to do better, but I don't think it's possible to cover every aspect of this 200 year old educational idea 'completely'.

What Is Waldorf Education, introduction by Stephen Keith Sagarin. "Just as Waldorf education has no definite boundaries, it also has no definite origin. We may describe Waldorf education, for example, as arising from the educational conceptions of Rudolf Steiner. But many (most? all?) of these conceptions--for example, the idea that, culturally, at least, "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" (the development of an individual mirrors in microcosm the development of the species)--may be shown to be older than Steiner and therefore not to originate with him."

The Development of Modern Education, Eby and Arrowood, speaking of Herbart and students of Herbart, called "Herbartarians", "The simple social relationships or situations what are most suitable for children are to be found in the lives and activities of early peoples. They are expressed in the literature of these peoples. Herbart, and more especially his disciples Ziller and Rein, believed that, as the past was simpler than the present, it must, therefore, be closer to the child's experience and must appeal more directly to his interest. [Linda note-'to his interests' refers to the concept that education should be shaped by the psychology of the child rather than by the particular academic subjects or disciplines--it came from Pestalozzi, who influenced Herbart, Froebel, Dewey and other New Education theorists.] The culture of each epoch in human history is based upon that of the former epoch. In the portrayal of the lives of the heroes of each epoch in history, one finds the increasing complexity of human life and relations. The lives of great heroes are presented to the child that he may perceive, understand, and form judgements of life in situations increasing in complexity. It is, accordingly, not in the study of nature or of science that the education of the young finds its chief materials. It is rather in literature and history. If education is to reach its end, which is the production of moral character, it is necessary that the moral world should be revealed to the child. The revelation of moral life can be made only as the child comes to know the lives, choices, conduct, and ideals of men of former ages. The decisions they made, their ideals of life, and their moral conduct furnish the concrete situations--that is, the raw materials--for the evolution of the moral life of the child. By these means the pupil acquires the capacity to understand and to judge what is right and good in conduct. His moral taste is refined; by seeing the good and the bad, his insight is clarified and he forms right ideals."

Ibid, quoting from a Herbartarian pedagogical text, "As a basis for this material we must use child-like classical, religious, literary, and historical matter (Folk Stories and Robinson Crusoe in the first two grades). "

Ibid, quoting Herbart, "Periods which no master has described, whose spirit no poet has breathed, are of small value for education."

Steiner described studying Herbart in his autobiography. I wouldn't make *too* much of their connection--Steiner wasn't a Herbartarian really. But they both subscribed to this general idea of cultural recapitulation.

Linda
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#63 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 02:23 PM
 
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Serena,
There's a difference between imagination and make believe, and speaking of fairies as being real things that people are becoming more "sensitive to" and "building houses" for.

I am all for imaginative play, and believe Santa, tooth fairy, etc. make a child's life magical. But what you are talking about is ADULTS really believing in fairies. I think the dinosaur example is a great one. Why not talk about dinosaurs that really exist? Kids LOVE dinosaurs, and i think its one of the things that single handedly gets children interested in science. I still find them fascinating as an adult.

My biggest issue is something that on the surface appears so open minded, but is in actually very close minded. Too many people talk about being open minded, but then want to rigidly control what their child is exposed to, what they see, what they are taught, how they learn.

I, like Pete and many of you on here, consider myself liberal and fringe in a lot of ways. I am not so arrogant as to believe that my child will be a carbon copy of my beliefs. I will instill values and independent thinking in them. Give them a childhood, but not to the point of "sterilizing" (well put, Pete) everything they experience.

If we are so open minded, why is it such a problem that our children interact with republicans, rednecks, meat eaters, bible beaters, etc.? If we are secure in what our family practices, why do we have to control the outside SO MUCH. To me, it speaks to a lack of confidence in our child's ability to take in information and use their good judgement and what you teach them to make choices. By the same token, to put your child in a school that has a philosophy you don't agree with puts them in a weird spot. THis is the reason I would NEVER put my child in a christian school. We are buddhist, and I think that would put our child in a weird place socially and otherwise.

I met a guy once who lived in a school bus and did labor jobs. He didnt believe in using a car, so he rode a bike. He was very happy with his life. I find those things admirable. But what i DEPLORED about him, is that he had a child who he was going to homeschool and teach "the things that really matter like how to use tools and make things." To me, this is almost child abuse to take away your child's choices for something different than what you have. Without an education (which can be accomplished with home school IF you do it responsibly), his child will have no choice but to also work labor jobs and use tools for a living.

XOXOXO
Beth

mama to Milena Anjali (4/26/06) and Vincent Asher (4/13/09) ~ married to the love of my life since 2002.
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#64 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 02:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Serena Blaue
Waldorf students will get tons of practical education about "real things".
Mixed in with tons of nonsense. The problem is separating the wheat from the chaff when everything is presented as if it is real. When fire-breathing dinosaurs lived among the Atlanteans and the Lemurians, maybe this wasn't such a big deal, but today some of us want our kids educated about reality - not fantasy.
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You may not get away from your engineering desk enough, Pete! There are increasing numbers of people who have unusual perceptions these days.
Some of them may even be real!
You forgot to put quotes around "real". I know, as you have indicated, that critical thinking is discouraged by Waldorf, but please know that my engineering desk doesn't prevent me from being spiritual - but it helps me to recognize when I am seeing smoke and mirrors, fraud and nonsense.
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The word "manipulated" is really inflammatory, Pete, and in my experience creates a false picture of WE.
I don't have a better word that more closely describes what Waldorf is doing to children. Do you? By your own statement, Waldorf is leading children's consciousness by the use of applying different courses of study through various stages of development according to Waldorf principles. That's manipulation by every definition I've found. And I don't agree that it creates a false picture of Waldorf education. It's exactly what Waldorf education does.
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When I was a kid, we had folk tales in school, and studied the Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman cultures through the grades. And this was an ordinary elementary school. I doubt you would argue against the study of other cultures -- even though you might say they contained elements of what we today would call "ignorance" or lack of knowledge of what today we call "reality". Think of your marvelous Greek heritage that gave the world Greek myths!
Well, I had a lot of Greek myths growing up as a child. That didn't mean I expected to see a Minotaur hiding in my closet. Are you suggesting the Greeks believed these things to be true? The great minds, some of which have had no equal to this day, believed that these were anything more than stories? What would make you or anyone believe such a thing? Do you think that at one time people believed that Little Red Riding Hood's grandma popped out of a wolf's stomach alive and well?
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In YOUR opinion, Pete!
That's pretty revealing.
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But perhaps in your house you didn't talk about the Tooth Fairy or about Santa coming down the chimney at Christmas -- fantasy stories that most children grow up with and happily move beyond when they are ready.
I don't see, again, how you could claim to know this. And why have you suddenly made this personal again?
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I think that we can learn from traditional wisdom sources from other cultures. Of course, parents who reject magical folk tales will have a hard time in today's culture where we celebrate fantasy stories in the most varied and imaginative ways -- if you consider what sorts of stories are coming out for kids in movie land: Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings being two of the most obvious examples. Or the animated film "Spirit" or any of the incredible martial arts movies like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".
Again you have misunderstood what I have said. There's nothing wrong with fantasy, or traditions that employ fantasy. What is wrong is to confuse fantasy with reality in the minds of children as part of some Waldorf consciousness-building experiment. Dinosaurs were real things - children shouldn't be denied the opportunity to experience and enjoy them just because they're extinct - or because Waldorf people think fairies and gnomes are more important for manipulating the development of the consciousness of children. Why not let kids be kids?
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Have you prevented your children from seeing any of these movies on the basis that they are about things that don't exist? Are you lobbying Hollywood for creating these non-reality-based films?
I don't see any reason to respond to this.
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Lighten up a little!
It's not about lightening up Serena, it's about not dumbing down. Kids do not need to be protected from those nasty dinosaurs with the long scientific names. They love them. Why not just let them?

Pete
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#65 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 02:34 PM
 
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As an educator, I can speak to the fact that theory drives practice. This is so key IMO. To recognize, that its not like going to church and deciding that you will take this and leave that. Your children are being taught a dogma here, that you either like or don't but it will influence every aspect of the curriculum. The underlying theory of any school is paramount for this reason. It permeates everything.
Beth, are you a Waldorf teacher?
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#66 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 02:44 PM
 
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There aren't competitive type sports in our school until middle school. We do have a competitive soccer team. No football, though. I'm sure there would be many who would object to having a football team, though I doubt the idea would ever be seriously entertained. You have to have a fairly decent sized school--and quite a bit of money--to field and outfit a proper football team. :-)

But my children do play tag or flag football during recess.

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#67 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 02:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pete
Kids do not need to protected from those nasty dinosaurs with the long scientific names. They love them. Why not just let them?
Well so far we've only heard one instance where a parent was asked to play them down at home, and many reports that dinosaurs weren't a problem. We don't know why this was an issue with this one parent. We're just offering possible hypotheses.

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#68 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 03:01 PM
 
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Well so far we've only heard one instance where a parent was asked to play them down at home, and many reports that dinosaurs weren't a problem. We don't know why this was an issue with this one parent. We're just offering possible hypotheses.

Linda
OK, well make that two - because it's been my experience too.

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#69 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 03:17 PM
 
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OK, well make that two - because it's been my experience too.

Pete
Then did you ask why dinosaur play was to be discouraged?

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Originally Posted by LindaCl
I don't know really. Waldorf ed incorporates this idea of cultural recapitulation (akin to that of an earlier philosophical theorist Herbart, who Steiner did know of), where each individual is thought to contain a 'germ' or seed so to speak of cultural memory. Cultural development is a motif, so to speak, for individual development and early childhood is thought of as the stage of the folk consciousness, thus the fairy tales and so on. This changes as the child gets older. Folk consciousness is left behind in 2nd grade. This is a philosophical view of the human as a cultural being first and foremost, rather than primarily an animal being. In this kind of framework, where early childhood consciousness is a recapitulation of the folk consciousness, folk images (including the fairies, gnomes, and witches) are sort of etched storybook moral archetypes. That's one reason why Waldorf ed is so comfortable with them.
What about children who may have different cultural histories, perhaps Asian children, Australian Aboriginals, children of Indian descent or from Africa? Do these children have the same 'germ's or 'seed's of cultural memory within them that stories of fairies, gnomes and witches are part of their folk consciousness?

I would love more information about this. Thank you in advance.
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#71 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 03:22 PM
 
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Then did you ask why dinosaur play was to be discouraged?

Linda
I was married to an Anthroposophist - My family didn't get a salad bar to pick from - it was more like an I.V. I picked my battles carefully back then (and just let my kids play with dinosaurs at home).

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#72 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 06:52 PM
 
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What about children who may have different cultural histories, perhaps Asian children, Australian Aboriginals, children of Indian descent or from Africa? Do these children have the same 'germ's or 'seed's of cultural memory within them that stories of fairies, gnomes and witches are part of their folk consciousness? I would love more information about this. Thank you in advance.
Steiner himself argued that in the modern era peoples were coming into a less "tribal", and more universal, cultural identity. Steiner had always been pretty dismissive of other theorists who saw this strict straight line correlation between two. David Elkind (a child psychologist and Piagetian , I think) noted that in Steiner's educational recapitulation, Steiner did more picking and choosing based on Steiner's perceptions of children and their developing natures. "It just so happens that the sequence of materials best suited to the child's developing needs and interests follows a roughly historical pattern," says Elkind.

There wasn't much demand for multi-cultural recapitulation in Steiner's first Waldorf schools. I think there were baby steps in that direction when Waldorf branched out from Germany into England for the first time, and I think there were more than a few growing pains making that baby step :LOL . But Steiner was pretty clear, I think, that he felt that in the 20th century peoples would be moving toward a more universal world culture, and after that, a highly individual one. I think the modern Waldorf movement is gradually following in that direction as well.

From Waldorf Education: A Family Guide, in an article by Jeffrey Kane: "[T]eachers should bring stories, myths, histories, ideas, insights and religions from each culture, from Africa, from Asia, from South America, from Europe, from all over the world into their teaching. They should do so to the extent that these resources reveal some aspect of our humanity, an aspect of our humanity that teachers believe is ready to be revealed to students at their particular stage of development. Each culture is like a light, not a full spectrum of light, but a limited spectrum of light. And each culture reveals a different aspect of ourselves and of humanity.[]. If Waldorf education is sucessful, the student receives a full spectrum of light, a full, rounded perspective of herself or himself as a human being. And strangely, that's actually quite frightening, to get a picture of yourself 'beyond culture.' "
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#73 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 06:57 PM
 
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I was married to an Anthroposophist - My family didn't get a salad bar to pick from - it was more like an I.V. I picked my battles carefully back then (and just let my kids play with dinosaurs at home).

Pete
I don't think it has to be a "battle". But there's no reason to be reluctant to "ask".

They may have had a perfectly reasonable reason. How would you know what their reason might be if you don't ask?

Linda
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#74 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 07:25 PM
 
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From Waldorf Education: A Family Guide, in an article by Jeffrey Kane: "[T]eachers should bring stories, myths, histories, ideas, insights and religions from each culture, from Africa, from Asia, from South America, from Europe, from all over the world into their teaching. They should do so to the extent that these resources reveal some aspect of our humanity, an aspect of our humanity that teachers believe is ready to be revealed to students at their particular stage of development. Each culture is like a light, not a full spectrum of light, but a limited spectrum of light. And each culture reveals a different aspect of ourselves and of humanity.[]. If Waldorf education is sucessful, the student receives a full spectrum of light, a full, rounded perspective of herself or himself as a human being. And strangely, that's actually quite frightening, to get a picture of yourself 'beyond culture.' "
Thank you Linda... you must have gotten tired of typing. Here's a bit more - following directly after you left off:

"If you can begin to free yourself from the limitation of a one-culture perspective, what might happen to you? Truths might be revealed to you as they were to Moses on Mount Sinai. Moses heard the voice of God, and it was not a particular cultural voice, it was direct dialog between a human being and a high spiritual being.

"Similarly, if we learn to transcend the limitations of culture, we begin to think of ourselves as "I am," not as "I am black," or "I am white," or "I am Jewish," or "I am female." And the "I am" is what Moses heard. If we hear the "I am" we will experience the Ten Commandments not with "thou" beginning each but with "I"; hence, "I shall not kill." Martin Buber asks us to think of the Ten Commandments not as words written on stone by the finger of God a long time ago, but to think of them as spoken words, spoken right now, spoken in the first person. Why shall I not kill? I shall not kill because I recognize myself as a full human being, and I recognize the responsibilities of my own humanity.

"If we've been educated well, and if we take the gifts of each culture, we can then transcend the limitations of each culture. We become members of a new culture, a culture of free human beings. This is what Waldorf education strives toward and prepares you for: to walk as a whole responsible, free human being."

So here we are getting back to cultural diversity - and whether we want our children to appreciate the rich cultural diversity that exists today, or to, as Steiner hoped, "transcend the limitations of each culture" - and become a single culture. Frankly, I vote for appreciation of diversity - and since when does belonging to a culture make one less whole or less responsible or less free?

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I don't think it has to be a "battle". But there's no reason to be reluctant to "ask".

They may have had a perfectly reasonable reason. How would you know what their reason might be if you don't ask?
Why frustrate myself with this kind of thinking. There is NO reason they could possibly give me that would change my mind. Kids like dinosaurs. There's nothing wrong with dinosaurs. It's my choice if my kids play with dinosaurs - not the school's. And frankly, I'm quite happy to have the school ignore dinosaurs if the option is to tell children that they breathed fire and lived in Atlantis. Thanks but no thanks.

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#76 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 07:42 PM
 
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So here we are getting back to cultural diversity - and whether we want our children to appreciate the rich cultural diversity that exists today, or to, as Steiner hoped, "transcend the limitations of each culture" - and become a single culture. Frankly, I vote for appreciation of diversity - and since when does belonging to a culture make one less whole or less responsible or less free?
Well, there are different opinions I suppose.

I happen to think it's unhealthy that we each keep in our little cultural boxes, Germans drawing only from German culture, Tutsis in theirs, Hutus in theirs, Sunis in theirs, Shiites in theirs, Kurds in theirs, and so on and so forth. Forever. And ever.

I like the idea that find commonalities and broaden ourselves to the wisdom and insights of other cultures.

Linda
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Why frustrate myself with this kind of thinking. There is NO reason they could possibly give me that would change my mind.
I see.

Well, I always figure it's better to just ask the teacher. They're not the enemy.

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(and just let my kids play with dinosaurs at home).
Which seems just fine to me but as someone said earlier, how horrible that you're teaching your kids to be deceitful by setting up a home/school dichotomy; ie. dinosaurs and occasional movies at home...shhhh at school. Dunno, I'm just hoping our local Waldorf is much less "pure" than some of the views represented here.

Purity, though, does have some incredibly negative connotations. Is that a MCD word applied to Waldorf or is that one of their own? Honestly, just curious. I'm still leaning over the fence Waldorf.
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how horrible that you're teaching your kids to be deceitful by setting up a home/school dichotomy; ie. dinosaurs and occasional movies at home...shhhh at school.
It seems pretty silly that a school should make such rules, especially about an animal that actually existed.

I'm confused as to why you are giving a thumbs up to Waldorf for saying that dinosaurs are not a good topic for your children. Would you be willing to enlighten me?
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I think she is saying that the deceit is negative, not the dinosaurs. :

 
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I think she is saying that the deceit is negative, not the dinosaurs. :
Yeah, you're probably right.


...never mind...
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Well, there are different opinions I suppose.

I happen to think it's unhealthy that we each keep in our little cultural boxes, Germans drawing only from German culture, Tutsis in theirs, Hutus in theirs, Sunis in theirs, Shiites in theirs, Kurds in theirs, and so on and so forth. Forever. And ever.

I like the idea that find commonalities and broaden ourselves to the wisdom and insights of other cultures.

Linda
I'm not saying we shouldn't be accepting of other cultures, and respectful of other cultures and live peacefully with other cultures - but assimilation of all cultures into one - :yawning: What a boring world that would be.

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Ah, I was trying to be discreet but I'm too tired. No, I think dinosaurs are just fine. (In fact, right now my kids are "playing" with their Folkmanis T-Rex & Pterodactyl.) I would never censor my child from an interest he has. Well, a reasonable one but that's a huge can of worms. I do believe a school has a right to ask children not to play certain games at school; ie. the baby game previously mentioned, guns, etc. But, to ask me to limit his exposure at home crosses the line, in my opinion. And, yes, I agree too much TV is inappropriate. But, if I choose to let my kids watch a movie as a special treat, again, that is my choice as a parent.

I had asked, earlier,if some Waldorf schools would have an issue w/this. The answer was yes, in fact, 4 year olds should not be allowed to watch movies AT ALL. And, to allow it at home and not be allowed to talk about it at school was deceitful and damaging; ie. no exposure at all at any time anywhere.

I guess I had no idea some (not all!!) teachers were so controlling of their students' exposure. I'd never ask my kids to give up their dinosaurs nor would I ever ask them to pretend that they don't love them.



So, my question is how much control does a Waldorf teacher exert over a child's home environment? If my child played dinosaurs or watched a movie at home and casually mentioned at school, would he be rebuked and the parents criticized?
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Originally Posted by BusyMommy
Which seems just fine to me but as someone said earlier, how horrible that you're teaching your kids to be deceitful by setting up a home/school dichotomy; ie. dinosaurs and occasional movies at home...shhhh at school. Dunno, I'm just hoping our local Waldorf is much less "pure" than some of the views represented here.
I think it was ME who said that. {Edit: I see you were referring to Waldorf Teacher's comment, not mine}. My kids had lots of toys at school that they didn't have at home and vice-versa. Availability of toys doesn't set up a dichotomy that they can't reconcile. If they went to a friend's house, there were certainly toys they hadn't seen before. It's not a difficult question when it comes to toys. Setting up a dichotomy between ideas that are taught in school vs. home is a bit different. Say, a belief in mythical creatures at school vs a disbelief in them at home. As far as toys, however, I didn't feel obligated to change my home for Waldorf - and so my kids got magnifying glasses and microscopes and fire trucks and train sets and telescopes when they wanted them, not when Waldorf said it was OK to have them.
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Purity, though, does have some incredibly negative connotations. Is that a MCD word applied to Waldorf or is that one of their own? Honestly, just curious. I'm still leaning over the fence Waldorf.
I don't know that I've heard the word "purity" used to describe Waldorf ideas as much as I've heard words like dogmatic and strict. There is general understanding that there is some interpretation going on between schools and teachers with regard to the overall philosophy.

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#85 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 10:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LindaCl
But Steiner was pretty clear, I think, that he felt that in the 20th century peoples would be moving toward a more universal world culture, and after that, a highly individual one. I think the modern Waldorf movement is gradually following in that direction as well.
Well, we are in the 21st century now, so does any of this matter? Are we part of the way there yet? All the way? None of the way?

In 500 or 1000 or 1500 years, when this universal world culture will have appeared and dominated...will Waldorf still have multi-cultural stories to tell or will it all be about the faeries and gnomes and witches?

Is there a description of this universal world culture to be found anywhere? I figure there must be, if Waldorf teachers are to have a hand in helping it to come about. There must be a plan. Then again, I'm not interested in reading 30 books and 6000 lectures (haha, or whatever the numbers are).
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#86 of 114 Old 10-10-2005, 11:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BusyMommy
Ah, I was trying to be discreet but I'm too tired. No, I think dinosaurs are just fine. (In fact, right now my kids are "playing" with their Folkmanis T-Rex & Pterodactyl.) I would never censor my child from an interest he has. Well, a reasonable one but that's a huge can of worms. I do believe a school has a right to ask children not to play certain games at school; ie. the baby game previously mentioned, guns, etc. But, to ask me to limit his exposure at home crosses the line, in my opinion. And, yes, I agree too much TV is inappropriate. But, if I choose to let my kids watch a movie as a special treat, again, that is my choice as a parent.

I had asked, earlier,if some Waldorf schools would have an issue w/this. The answer was yes, in fact, 4 year olds should not be allowed to watch movies AT ALL. And, to allow it at home and not be allowed to talk about it at school was deceitful and damaging; ie. no exposure at all at any time anywhere.
I think I'm understanding you better now. No, I would never ask my kids to hide anything from school. That was my decision as a parent and if the school didn't like it, they could talk to me.
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I guess I had no idea some (not all!!) teachers were so controlling of their students' exposure. I'd never ask my kids to give up their dinosaurs nor would I ever ask them to pretend that they don't love them.
We agree!
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So, my question is how much control does a Waldorf teacher exert over a child's home environment? If my child played dinosaurs or watched a movie at home and casually mentioned at school, would he be rebuked and the parents criticized?
The honest answer is - it depends. It is certainly possible. If it was a habit - you could be asked to pull him out of the school (at some schools). Someone mentioned a "no media contract" that parents must sign - so you may draw from this that some schools mean business. That's why I have maintained that it is crucial that parents really understand what they are getting into with Waldorf. They aren't joking around and when you've had a 4th grader expelled in the middle of the semester - it's too late to get the picture. Parents need to find out up front about the teachers, about the policies, about the philosophies. Like the TV commercial says - The best surprize is no surprize.

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#87 of 114 Old 10-11-2005, 02:15 AM
 
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How much influence really depends on the school, I think. At our school, if kids draw or play using media-related characters we simply remind them that we don't do TV/movie stuff at school and please to draw/play something else. However, there is no shame or anything attached to that. And if it's a movie/TV show created due to a book, poem, etc. then they don't need to stop. When that happens, I generally say something about the original form and how much I liked it/didn't, etc. and bring the activity towards the non-electronic-media version. The only thing I don't like about this rule is that it causes kids to tattle-tale on each other, particularly when the kids are playing something related to the original form rather than the movie/TV show.

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
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#88 of 114 Old 10-11-2005, 09:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BethSLP
I just have to say that I'm REALLY glad that there are people like Pete posting an alternate view of Waldorf. The presentation to the public vs. the reality of where the ideas/philosophy actually come from are QUITE different and misleading.

I know so many people who view Waldorf as a more open minded artistic and wholistic education....not realizing that there are pretty strict rules involved.

To my mind, it is doing our children a major disservice to not teach them how to use technology. The internet is so important in our world, to not prepare children (with supervision of course) to use this technology is limiting them IMO.

All this "it influences certain synapses" etc etc. is sketchy research at best. sure you can look at a brain map, but to know what that actually means as far as cognition is NOT CONFIRMED. People look so quickly to brain based stuff, without knowing the actual meaning. My brother was into videogames growing up and it helped him A LOT. He had poor hand eye coordination, and had to go for treatments at the AI Institute. When my dad saw the "therapy" he recognized it was in fact similar to Atari. Problem solved. His spatial abilities are incredible now.

Also, many of my friends learned to read playing Nintendo games like Legend of Zelda. It was motivating and interesting. I think thats great!

Too much of anything is excessive in my opinion. Too much technology is bad...as well as too much living in the dark ages. And yes, I would be LIVID if I sent my kid to a school that was teaching occultism under the table. That is not disclosure or informed consent. Parents are owed more honesty and the schools should be open and honest about the Steiner philosophy. Steiner is not Piaget or Vygotsky...as another parent on here stated. Parents would be wise to question where these ideas came from and on what basis.

XOXO
Beth


Bill Gates didn't have a computer until he was older. He is doing just fine. There is a lot of research backing up the idea that computer use by young children does nothing for them. A computer is a tool like a calculator or a car and it can be learned later in life.

The reinforcement of snyapses is backed up by research on how children learn languages and why if you speak an Asian language and don't learn English until later, it is so hard to say or hear different sounds in English. I am sure the same is true going from English to an Asian language.

You see occultism while others like me do not. It is a matter of opinion.
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#89 of 114 Old 10-11-2005, 09:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BethSLP
As an educator, I can speak to the fact that theory drives practice. This is so key IMO. To recognize, that its not like going to church and deciding that you will take this and leave that. Your children are being taught a dogma here, that you either like or don't but it will influence every aspect of the curriculum. The underlying theory of any school is paramount for this reason. It permeates everything.

XOXO
Beth

The underlying theory of public schools is partly why I rejected them.
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#90 of 114 Old 10-11-2005, 10:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
Bill Gates didn't have a computer until he was older. He is doing just fine.
:LOL You mean an ENIAC? No, he didn't have a four ton personal computer. Bill Gates didn't have a computer because there were none available when he was young. He was a pioneer in the field of computers. And when the first Personal Computers came out, you bet he was right there in all the geek clubs. He dropped out of college to form Microsoft. Bill Gates supplied the first accepted software for personal computers. That's why, in the early days, it was called MSDOS (Microsoft DOS). Bill Gates, BTW, grew up in an environment where he was challenged by his grandmother to be competitive (with siblings as I recall) in everything he did. The competitiveness he learned as a young child is what brought him to where he is today. He wouldn't sell MSDOS to IBM (which became IBMDOS) unless they allowed him to also sell it (compete with them) as MSDOS. The rest is history.
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There is a lot of research backing up the idea that computer use by young children does nothing for them. A computer is a tool like a calculator or a car and it can be learned later in life.
There are a whole lot of issues here - far too many to be dismissed with that simple of an explanation.
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The reinforcement of snyapses is backed up by research on how children learn languages and why if you speak an Asian language and don't learn English until later, it is so hard to say or hear different sounds in English. I am sure the same is true going from English to an Asian language.
There are lots of synapses in the brain - not just the ones dealing with language.
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You see occultism while others like me do not. It is a matter of opinion.
Of course.

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