Criticisms of Waldorf? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#61 of 74 Old 07-27-2007, 06:13 AM
 
Hannahsmummy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Dear Green Place
Posts: 1,251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv View Post
my criticism of waldorf comes from watching my stepson learn to be mentally lazy and not read at the age of 9. everything else has already been said. if it was my choice, he would go to public school next fall. he has been in waldorf preschool and school since the age of 3 and he has learned very little. huge disappointment. maybe it is just the waldorf he attends. i don't know.
Interesing. I personally don't equate lack of acedemics with mental laziness. The brain is designed for more than just the practical. That's not to say that it's not equally important to learn the "useful" stuff but the mind is excersized by imagination as well.

From my limited experience I'd say that is an unusual situation as one of the things that I really like about Waldorf (sorry wrong thread as this is the critisisms thread!) is that it fosters the desire and love of learning by presenting it in a fun, imaginative and age appropriate manner.

I also think that if anyone feels there is something lacking in the education, that can always be supplimented at home. For example, my daughter turned 4 last month and she already writes and is stating to read. This was all lead by her and due to her asking questions and having them answered.
Personally, I'd rather have to do some extra work at home on teaching (when appropriate) rather than send my daughter to a state/public school for a variety of reasons I won't get into here as it's not the "public school critisisms" thread!
Hannahsmummy is offline  
#62 of 74 Old 07-27-2007, 01:08 PM
 
LindaCl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,151
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv View Post
my criticism of waldorf comes from watching my stepson learn to be mentally lazy and not read at the age of 9. everything else has already been said. if it was my choice, he would go to public school next fall. he has been in waldorf preschool and school since the age of 3 and he has learned very little. huge disappointment. maybe it is just the waldorf he attends. i don't know.
Mentally lazy? What does he like to do with his time? What is he interested in?
LindaCl is offline  
#63 of 74 Old 07-27-2007, 01:54 PM
 
LindaCl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,151
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here are some of my criticisms of Waldorf. I think they're also in some cases things that I "like" about Waldorf, but they come with downsides.

The administrative structure is loose and almost too "consensus" based, and as such either things move very slow at times or those with domineering personalities end up taking the bull by the horns.

There is always some function going on we need to attend. I'm at the school a lot

It's like a small town community. As a result, this is perfect breeding grounds for a lot of parents' gossip.

Sometimes less excellent candidates are given positions at the school, I believe out of compassion to help them financially.

In some cases there is a tribal rivalry between classes, a la the "Gryffindor" vs "Hufflepuff" syndrome.

And last but not least, the parents who "do too much". They "help" too much, as in "take over the project". If there's a class construction project, class cooking project, class sewing project, whatever--there are too many parents that can't just facilitate and assist the children. Instead, they often allow themselves to over-interfere so everything will be "done right".
LindaCl is offline  
#64 of 74 Old 07-27-2007, 02:58 PM
 
Hannahsmummy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Dear Green Place
Posts: 1,251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaCl View Post
Here are some of my criticisms of Waldorf. I think they're also in some cases things that I "like" about Waldorf, but they come with downsides.

The administrative structure is loose and almost too "consensus" based, and as such either things move very slow at times or those with domineering personalities end up taking the bull by the horns.

There is always some function going on we need to attend. I'm at the school a lot

It's like a small town community. As a result, this is perfect breeding grounds for a lot of parents' gossip.

Sometimes less excellent candidates are given positions at the school, I believe out of compassion to help them financially.
Totally agree with all of that.

Other than the first one, I think that most of these are probably common at any private/alternative school though.
Hannahsmummy is offline  
#65 of 74 Old 07-29-2007, 12:07 PM
kpb
 
kpb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: ...in a whole galaxy of ancientness
Posts: 634
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
another gray day, and all I want to do is read!
came across this article, one that Deborah had recommended a while ago for a Study Group piece, and thought it fit in well with the most recent comment about "laziness"

This is not pointed, geared, or directed at anyone, but something I think parents all over the developed world lose sight of daily...as a reminder:

" There is no doubt that the pressures of adult anxiety are shortening childhood, and squeezing it besides. These pressures move down from the level of national policy, which insists upon a moon-shot day after tomorrow, to the nursery level, where parents with an eye on college insist upon their children "learning" something. The child is asked to absorb more knowledge, and absorb it faster, regardless of his appetite. He must appear to be a thinker, long before experience can have ripened any real kind of thinking in him. Can we wonder that the knowledge of such children is joyless, and their thinking is powerless, when the children themselves have had so little part in developing either?"
--from "Education as an Art"-- "Pressure and the Spirit of Play" by John F. Gardener
Funnily, this applies to "adults", too.....!

cheers, everyone!
hope summers are flowing most melodically for you all!

Kyara
kpb is offline  
#66 of 74 Old 07-29-2007, 02:28 PM
 
zansmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Let me just say that, coming from a mentally hyperactive family myself, and being very in my head until 19 yo or so, I am not in a hurry to have my child begin any academic studies. I don't care if he learns to read at 12!

I think the difference here is what our goals are for our children. My goal for ds is not that he become a "productive member of society", or even that he go to college (although if he wants to...) My goal is that he will be a healthy, happy, whole being; whatever he chooses to do in life.
Maybe he'll be a basket weaver. Maybe he'll be a mechanic. Maybe he'll be a historian, or a surfer, or an airplane pilot. I don't really care, as long as he is happy and fulfilled.
So whatever skills he is learning as he grows will help him along on whatever his path is: that's my point. Our family is very literate and book-oriented, so i have no fear that he will be "uneducated". He is already very well along the path to being a good thinker, and that to me is much more important than when he learns to read, or add.
So, "mentally lazy"? I don't think you can find a "mentally lazy" child, unless maybe you look to the tv zombies on the couches of America, where they were put by their parents. And those are the kids in the conventional schools!
okay, i'm starting to rant here...
zansmama is offline  
#67 of 74 Old 07-29-2007, 03:15 PM
 
pixiewytch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,572
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh Zansmama, I couldn't have said that better myself!

I'm in the same viewpoint that I prefer my child have a well rounded education in the study of life in general than any emphasis on a certain type of academics. The world needs all sorts of people, not just those who learn to read at an early age and have fancy college degrees. If everyone is of that sort, who will pick up our garbage, teach children in our schools, or serve our food to us at a restaurant?
pixiewytch is offline  
#68 of 74 Old 07-29-2007, 05:51 PM
 
Deborah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: the Seacoast of Bohemia
Posts: 6,258
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
People who do so called "menial" work, not only get no respect, they are also priced out of housing, usually have their children shoved into truly awful schools, have to live in higher crime areas, etc. I don't like the way things are heading in this world. Although the racism and sexism that were common during my childhood and early adulthood weren't so nifty either.

I became a mother at 17, worked as a house cleaner, as a bar-maid (I was lousy at it), went through secretarial school and worked low-level clerical jobs for a few years. Nope, no respect, even though I did pretty good work. And that has only gotten worse as women have broken out of low-level clerical jobs, because now, to be a winner, you've got to be a high earning professional. Any woman who is "still" doing clerical work is as "no account" as someone who waits tables.

Librarians fall into a no-go zone. We are degreed professionals, but except for a small group, most are severely underpaid. So we sort of get respect, but definitely no prestige.

The whole concept of being the best person you can be, and doing whatever is the best match for that person, is a great ideal, but right now there are two important things:

1)having a lot of stuff
2)having work that impresses people and will pay for the stuff
Deborah is online now  
#69 of 74 Old 07-29-2007, 06:15 PM
 
zansmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deborah View Post

The whole concept of being the best person you can be, and doing whatever is the best match for that person, is a great ideal, but right now there are two important things:

1)having a lot of stuff
2)having work that impresses people and will pay for the stuff
...sarcasm, right?
( hard to tell, what with not seeing your face and all)
zansmama is offline  
#70 of 74 Old 07-29-2007, 09:00 PM
 
Deborah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: the Seacoast of Bohemia
Posts: 6,258
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Yeah, but sad sarcasm. The whole thing is not as bad in Vermont as in other places I've lived though. People around here seem to be better at seeing each other as people, rather than as jobs or as owners of stuff. But the other attitudes do come leaking out.
Deborah is online now  
#71 of 74 Old 07-29-2007, 09:07 PM
 
pixiewytch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,572
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I know Deborah, but gosh, that is exactly the type of mentality we've got to rebel against, you know? I'm just sickened by it these days. Why else are so many parents obsessed by their childrens' education? They want their kids to go to the best schools, the best colleges, and obtain the highest degrees. Don't get me wrong, we ALL want what is best for our kids, but what about happiness? Doesn't that count for anything anymore? And yes, zansmama, please note the sarcasm in my post.
pixiewytch is offline  
#72 of 74 Old 07-30-2007, 03:43 PM
 
*Amy*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Just north of The South
Posts: 2,629
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannahsmummy View Post
Interesing. I also think that if anyone feels there is something lacking in the education, that can always be supplimented at home. ... Personally, I'd rather have to do some extra work at home on teaching (when appropriate) rather than send my daughter to a state/public school.
I totally agree with you 100%, Hannahsummy, which is why we have decided on Waldorf. I know that there is no school system that is "perfect" but for us, Waldorf is the best available. I'd much rather send my child to a school that is, on the whole, congruent with our parenting philosophy and have to supplement here and there rather than have to deprogram my child after going to a different type of school (public or private).

Quote:
Originally Posted by zansmama
My goal for ds is not that he become a "productive member of society", or even that he go to college (although if he wants to...) My goal is that he will be a healthy, happy, whole being; whatever he chooses to do in life.
That is exactly how I feel as well.

I do want to say thanks to everyone for sharing their opinions though. It does give me some things to be on the lookout for as we start school next month.

Ever-evolving mama to my beautiful Brynn, and my little dimple-face Noah .
*Amy* is offline  
#73 of 74 Old 08-01-2007, 08:28 AM
 
Rhonwyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: G less in Seattle
Posts: 2,778
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
At our school (and I am sure many other Waldorf schools), while actual reading may have been delayed until end of 1st grade or beginning of 2nd grade, the groundwork for successful reading was being laid. At the same time, the mathematics were advanced compared to the public schools around us and our children were getting a solid foundation in the basics of math. I think because the learning is approached differently than we are used to, we don't always see that learning is occurring.

On a side note, I have just learned that 2 children that left our school because they were bored and wanted more, are now returning because they found public school to be even more boring and cramping. One has been gone for 6th and 7th and the other has been gone for 6th. In general, I have found that the academics may be delayed until 1st grade but by 8th grade they are advanced in comparison to the public schools (even the gifted one) around here.

My biggest complaints about the school are what has been voiced earlier by LindaCl though things have greatly improved with our new director. The other thing I would like to see changed is the cost. I don't want to be compared to other private schools. I want the education to be available to more people or all socioeconomic backgrounds.
Rhonwyn is offline  
#74 of 74 Old 08-01-2007, 09:57 AM
 
Deborah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: the Seacoast of Bohemia
Posts: 6,258
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Quote:
My biggest complaints about the school are what has been voiced earlier by LindaCl though things have greatly improved with our new director. The other thing I would like to see changed is the cost. I don't want to be compared to other private schools. I want the education to be available to more people or all socioeconomic backgrounds.
Individual schools can't possibly do this, but it might be possible to develop a North American wide movement to provide financial support to families who are interested in waldorf, but can't afford it. Perhaps we can start a brainstorming thread?
Deborah is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off