Here goes - thoughts and feelings on Waldorf and Anthroposophy and Anthroposophists - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#121 of 156 Old 08-16-2008, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
ema-adama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleanniesky View Post
eda adama, I am happy for you that you have found a safe supportive place to give and receive information. I too have found a safe haven here.
I think I am only now begining to realise just how important MDC is for me. It really has become a place to get information difficult to find, as well as support and be supported.

Quote:
The opinions fly like moths to a flame when you have a new baby, especially your first. I have been a recipient of such advice as well as a giver. But, as I know you are aware, much of the advice is not free, you pay a price for not heeding it or having an opinion you choose to share. I admire your ability to debate, it shows a strength of character and a confidence in your mothering skills, new they might be.
I am annoyed that I paid good money for what I had hoped would be intelligent and helpful advice. I was very dissapointed, but also did not stop at trying to get the answers I needed. I am making my peace with the fact that I am taking responsibility for the health of my family... a heavy burden, but I feel comfortable with that

Quote:
My children are now about halfway to adulthood. It happened in an instant. And, I gotta say, I think I knew way more as a new mother than I know now. Parenting is a humbling journey. For in the end, all the reading and research we consult, none of it can tell us how it all is going to turn out. If our decisions will make any difference. We succeed, we fail, our children are happy, our children get hurt. They roll of the bed, with you right there! We trust, we love and we pray.
Just like I could not have had any idea what it meant to be a mum to a small infant, I am sure there are things awaiting me that I just can not imagine. However, I am very happy to be on this journey and keep reminding myself that it is not about how things turn out, but enjoying what I have now. No one can know what is waiting around the corner and no one can predict any kind of outcome. I am scared of what will happen when my son is too big/old for me to protect him, but I know that I will have to trust him and essentially the world, otherwise I will surely go mad
Quote:
I begin to understand the phrase "pearls of wisdom" for to me parenting is like the slow stringing together of a pearl necklace, one beautiful pearl at a time. The pearls are formed as we go, not pre determined and based on facts and studies. Each pearl represents the discovery of something that we never knew existed, because, it had not happened yet, to us. For, in the end, what the books and the websites cannot give us, is OUR experience. Ours is each absolutely positively uniquely our own. NO ONE can take that away.
I really like the pearl necklace analogy. I think we also agree that books and websites cannot give the full experience. That is something that each individual person finds for themselves.

Quote:
So, my unsolicited advice: in the face of all the big decisions and advice, nod and smile, read and write, love and hug, trust, and remember that you and only you are his Mother.
I could not agree more. Very beautifully put.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orangewallflower View Post
Yes, I agree, but the problem is that it seems that one needs to enrol, or have some "in" to get real answers. This was o.k. for us because we enrolled at the early childhood level. If we had enrolled in 1st grade, that would have been extremely difficult. The grade school is committing because of the reading issue. It is possible to switch to another system, but it is daunting. so some people enroll, see the red flags, but hope it will get better. When it is a poor fit, it doesn't get better; it gets worse. The more time, money and emotion invested, the more bitter parents are likely to be.
This certaintly adds to the picture.

Quote:
The vaxing analogy is a useful one. I will disclose that I am pro-vax, so I will throw in another issue that probably all of us can see in the same light when it comes to western medicine: the Friday afternoon C-Section. In the U.S. C-section rates go up measurably the Friday before a three day weekend. So when we look at vaccination (a problem you see with western med.) and the Friday afternoon C-section, who is at fault? Western medicine? Doctors? Parents who consented to the procedures? I would be very surprised if you listened to a parent who had vaxed her kids only to regret it later and you said "Well, you should have asked more questions and done more research."
I think I would like to say that I was not equating vaccination with Waldorf. I was saying that both are controversial topics and with both issues it is very hard to find a balanced view.
I would never say: "I told you so" to the parent of a child who has been vaccine injured.
But I know that there are risks and for myself I am doing my best to find out as much as I can. If I knew there were risks and went ahead anyway, I would feel just awful in ways that I cannot even describe if something happened to my child.
About C-section. Again, it depends, and I think boils down to personal choice. If it is very important to me to not have an unnecessary C-Section, you can bet your bottom dollar I will do a ton of research (and I did) and create a birth experience where this could not happen by mistake (again, something I did). But if you don't really mind either way and are happy to go with what the doctors are telling you, in my opinion you are part of the decision, whether you agree to it or not (here I am talking specifically about C-section and not Waldorf). Another aside, but I have met a few women who only learnt after their first birth that doctors might not have their best interests at heart and were able to create very positive 2nd births.


Quote:
About Buddhism: I will leave that to the religious scholars.

Ah, I was hoping this thread would shed light (and for now you are definitly the most knowledgable about religions on this thread)

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
ema-adama is offline  
#122 of 156 Old 08-16-2008, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
ema-adama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One last thought on the the c-section issue. I do not think it is nearly as controversial as Waldorf or vaccination (I might be wronge on this), but I am sure MDC has much to offer women who are searching for the information needed to make the best decision for their circumstances. Again,

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
ema-adama is offline  
#123 of 156 Old 08-17-2008, 01:03 AM
 
Lil' Whitney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi there--I've found this thread quite helpful. Thanks to all who have participated. I've hesitated adding to it, as I'm not great at putting my thoughts into words. Plus I'm still sorting out my experience with our Waldorf school.

I wanted to comment that I, normally a very emotionally stable person, am having a very hard time recovering from my falling out of love with waldorf. I'm still so angry with the faculty...and maybe it's the way I'm wired, but I end up being disgusted with the system that seems to foster this kind of behavior (holier than thou-ness, defensiveness, rigidity, lying). I still believe that these are not characteristics that were intended for the faculty of waldorf schools, and rather, humans getting in the way, but there still remains alot of anger and disgust towards both my individual school and waldorf as a whole.

Under anger exists either fear or sadness, I believe. In my case, I feel tremendous sadness that this dream I had for helping build a beautiful, healthy school for my child and the community is shattered. My place in the community as well as my identity as an integral part of the school has vanished. All of these changes in my life are a result of lies, covering asses, and no accountability, all of which I don't feel should embody a waldorf college of teachers. My unwillingness to fit in with these behaviors forced me out. By my own choice, but it still hurts. Honestly, I can't recall ever being hurt this bad before. Possibly because I've never worked so hard (labor, donations, and problem solving) for a cause outside myself and my family? In addition to defending the school and faculty on numerous occasions to my husband, creating alot of strife in our family? And now I feel like crap, because maybe I should have listened to his intuition, even as I argued that all my studies should count for more than what he just feels. Ugh.

For me, the analogy of falling in love really resonates. I fully embraced the vision of what our little school could grow into. I worked worked worked like crazy to make our school attractive to new prospective families. Once on the board, the love affair started to wain, followed by two faculty decisions that were crummy (IMO to the families), and then the HUGE personal conflict that made the breakup final. Now is the subsequent time when I don't want to drive past the place of memories or see anyone associated with it. Feels like a broken heart to me.

So, for what it's worth, that is my take on the intensity of emotions connected with waldorf.

Thanks again, everybody for sharing your experiences in such a thoughtful, respectful manner. This thread is part of my recovery!
Lil' Whitney is offline  
#124 of 156 Old 08-17-2008, 04:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
ema-adama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Lil' Whitney. Thank you for posting so honestly and eloquently. You make wonderful sense when writing

It has me thinking, again.

I too have had my difficulties with Waldorf. I do not tolerate waftiness very well and have had to find my way to deal with that. I also have struggled with being in group situations, and through this thread I think I am begining to understand why.

Another story - please bear with me,

My brother went through an intense phase of womanising some years back, something I found hard to witness as I was sure many women were having their hearts broken and he seemed pretty ok with this.
Anyway, I remember him telling me that he could tell the ones who had been educated in Waldorf schools by those who had not by their ability to think independently and to have their own opinions. This was his observation and could be loaded with bias and there are no doubt people who might even find that offensive.

SO, back to me and my difficulties in groups. I do think differently from most of the people around me and I do have very strong and independent opinions. These opinions often put me on the fringe of a group. For someone who longs to belong, this can be very painful. I am making my peace with the fact that I am not likely to find any one group that is going to fit me perfectly as I just do not feel comfortable compromising on what are important issues to me.

In this way this thread has been instrumental to me gaining some insight into the legacy that Waldorf has left me

I totally hear the very deep pain that is being experienced and expressed. I might have been more inclined to pay lip service to acknowledging the pain before this thread. Now this is a much more real and accessible experience for me. And of course I have learnt LOADS on this thread thanks to the people who have felt comfortable sharing and challenging.

I hope the thread still keeps going, although I guess it could also have served it's function. One day I hope to summarise all that has been shared.... one day when my status as mum gives me a bit more free time

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
ema-adama is offline  
#125 of 156 Old 08-17-2008, 09:22 AM
 
lauren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In a state of grace
Posts: 6,784
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Whitney View Post
For me, the analogy of falling in love really resonates. I fully embraced the vision of what our little school could grow into. I worked worked worked like crazy to make our school attractive to new prospective families. Once on the board, the love affair started to wain, followed by two faculty decisions that were crummy (IMO to the families), and then the HUGE personal conflict that made the breakup final. Now is the subsequent time when I don't want to drive past the place of memories or see anyone associated with it. Feels like a broken heart to me.
I have no affiliation with Waldorf in any way, but I wanted to point out, as I have many times before on the Learning at School boards, that I have seen this happen many many times to many many people, especially moms, that plug their heart and soul into a small independent school of any philosophy. My observation is that the grander the philosophy in terms of how it is going to help your child (and rescue your child from, in public schools), the more painful the experience when things go sour. THis seems to be human nature. Perhaps it is the strength of the initial belief that people bring to it, that somehow the particular school is the answer to whatever difficulty or fear of difficulties for their child, that worries me, because humans are very flawed overall (usually) and will often behave badly. Having huge expectations for any school, followed by pouring out time and energy, can be a recipe for pain and disappointment. But as I said, I have seen this with many different educational philosophies, both on the boards and in real life.

 
lauren is offline  
#126 of 156 Old 08-17-2008, 10:02 AM
 
bczmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 522
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
"This was his observation and could be loaded with bias and there are no doubt people who might even find that offensive."

I think any blanket statement about a group of people tends to be loaded with bias and I certainly find it offensive. I think anyone who wasn't Waldorf educated would find the idea that they don't have their own opinions to be offensive. Anyway as an answer -- just look at our own culture. How many of the truly independent and genuinely well respected artists, musicians, writers, teachers, activists, philanthropists, scientists, engineers and so forth were Waldorf educated? And none of these people are capable of independent and original thought?

Orangeflower -- its interesting that our minds were moving along similar paths!

As a clarification -- I don't think most Mormons would like Mormonism to be referred to as its "own religion". I believe they view Mormonism as being just a Christian sect like Methodism or being Epsicopalian (which I would typically not view as their own separate religions). From experiences a Morman friend had with marrying her Catholic husband, I believe that not all other Christian denominations accept the Mormons as Christian (particularly the Catholics). For example, while a Lutheran's baptism is accepted upon marriage/conversion as being an "effective" baptism for the Catholic Church's purposes, my understanding is that a Mormon's baptism is not -- they are deemed unbaptised.

Amongst the three beliefs we're talking about, I believe there is little to no similarity in actual philosophy, but some in methodology. Rudolf Steiner claimed to be a seer, as did Joseph Smith -- staring into his "peepstones" to translate the golden plates of the book of Mormon. Smith had imbibed a belief in the folk magic of early 19th cent. America (dowsing for treasure), while Steiner had a belief in the folk magic (gnomes, etc.) of his German heritage.
bczmama is offline  
#127 of 156 Old 08-17-2008, 10:06 AM
 
DimitraDaisy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post
My observation is that the grander the philosophy in terms of how it is going to help your child (and rescue your child from, in public schools), the more painful the experience when things go sour.
Yes. Absolutely. I have been trying to find words for this -- Waldorf is pretty grand, as philosophies go. And so it creates great expectations. I had great expectations of it too. As I am sure I've said before, I expected people who were supposed to have been on a spiritual path of self-improvement for decades to be more aware of their failings, better able to to respond to life's challenges, more conscious of the forces that drive them, the masters of their own destiny... all those things I want for myself. They were not. Some were trying to be, and some were trying harder than others; a great number of them didn't really think of these things much. In short, it was just the way it is 'outside' Waldorf.

The thing is, to implement such a grand philosophy, you have to start from the basics, the little things -- you have to build strong foundations -- and most schools and teachers don't. The basics are things like self-awareness, self-control, responsibility, open-mindedness, flexibility... Steiner was quite keen on those things. In fact --and this comes from my notes from a lecture, so I don't have a reference-- he seems to have said that for any one step in spiritual development (whatever you consider that to be) one should take three steps in moral development. And if one does nothing but develop morally, then that is fine. Yet most schools try to implement the philosophy from the top down. They have those big ideas but not the ability to live up to them, those big plans but no grounding, and sooner or later it all comes tumbling down.

I wish I could find a better ending to this post, but all I can think of is: *sigh* Still, there are a lot of good things in Waldorf and they are worth thinking about and working with. It's just that Waldorf needs to simultaneously go back to its roots and move forward, and what it is doing mostly is sit still. As I said: *sigh*
DimitraDaisy is offline  
#128 of 156 Old 08-17-2008, 11:00 AM
 
littleanniesky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[I]by d daisy
"The thing is, to implement such a grand philosophy, you have to start from the basics, the little things -- you have to build strong foundations -- and most schools and teachers don't. The basics are things like self-awareness, self-control, responsibility, open-mindedness, flexibility... Steiner was quite keen on those things. In fact --and this comes from my notes from a lecture, so I don't have a reference-- he seems to have said that for any one step in spiritual development (whatever you consider that to be) one should take three steps in moral development. And if one does nothing but develop morally, then that is fine. Yet most schools try to implement the philosophy from the top down. They have those big ideas but not the ability to live up to them, those big plans but no grounding, and sooner or later it all comes tumbling down. "


WOW. WOW, you have peered into my mind and my soul and you have articulated the absolute core issue, the really basic problem, the thing that I have been trying to put my finger on for years!!! That is amazing. Seriously, save this quote. It really makes so much sense to me and I applaude you for your eloquence. My brain aches sometimes I am trying so hard to make sense of my experience in really articulate terms...you did it!!
Thank you
littleanniesky is offline  
#129 of 156 Old 08-17-2008, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
ema-adama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post
I have no affiliation with Waldorf in any way, but I wanted to point out, as I have many times before on the Learning at School boards, that I have seen this happen many many times to many many people, especially moms, that plug their heart and soul into a small independent school of any philosophy. My observation is that the grander the philosophy in terms of how it is going to help your child (and rescue your child from, in public schools), the more painful the experience when things go sour. THis seems to be human nature. Perhaps it is the strength of the initial belief that people bring to it, that somehow the particular school is the answer to whatever difficulty or fear of difficulties for their child, that worries me, because humans are very flawed overall (usually) and will often behave badly. Having huge expectations for any school, followed by pouring out time and energy, can be a recipe for pain and disappointment. But as I said, I have seen this with many different educational philosophies, both on the boards and in real life.
Thank you so much for your perspective. This makes so much sense to me, and I think highlights the essence of the debate for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bczmama View Post
"This was his observation and could be loaded with bias and there are no doubt people who might even find that offensive."

I think any blanket statement about a group of people tends to be loaded with bias and I certainly find it offensive. I think anyone who wasn't Waldorf educated would find the idea that they don't have their own opinions to be offensive. Anyway as an answer -- just look at our own culture. How many of the truly independent and genuinely well respected artists, musicians, writers, teachers, activists, philanthropists, scientists, engineers and so forth were Waldorf educated? And none of these people are capable of independent and original thought?
Oooops I suspected this might be taken the wrong way.... it was making sense to me in my search for my own meaning. Of course it would be impossible for only Waldorf education to offer its pupils the opportunity to think independently and originally. I totally agree that blanket statements have very little place in trying to get broader understanding on any topic. In my story with the understanding I am looking for, this made sense to me. I am sure it could be argued that my parents had FAR more to do with who I am as a person today than my schooling did. But I hold very precious my experiences of multiculturalism and creative thinking - that I personally associate with my schooling as well as my parents.
I have good friends who have no idea what Waldorf is, and they are very humane, sensitive and intelligent people. Waldorf does not have monopoly on that. Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DimitraDaisy View Post
The thing is, to implement such a grand philosophy, you have to start from the basics, the little things -- you have to build strong foundations -- and most schools and teachers don't. The basics are things like self-awareness, self-control, responsibility, open-mindedness, flexibility... Steiner was quite keen on those things. In fact --and this comes from my notes from a lecture, so I don't have a reference-- he seems to have said that for any one step in spiritual development (whatever you consider that to be) one should take three steps in moral development. And if one does nothing but develop morally, then that is fine. Yet most schools try to implement the philosophy from the top down. They have those big ideas but not the ability to live up to them, those big plans but no grounding, and sooner or later it all comes tumbling down.
Thank you for again putting so clearly into words things that I believe to be so very true.

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
ema-adama is offline  
#130 of 156 Old 08-17-2008, 11:27 AM
 
karne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post
I have no affiliation with Waldorf in any way, but I wanted to point out, as I have many times before on the Learning at School boards, that I have seen this happen many many times to many many people, especially moms, that plug their heart and soul into a small independent school of any philosophy. My observation is that the grander the philosophy in terms of how it is going to help your child (and rescue your child from, in public schools), the more painful the experience when things go sour. THis seems to be human nature. Perhaps it is the strength of the initial belief that people bring to it, that somehow the particular school is the answer to whatever difficulty or fear of difficulties for their child, that worries me, because humans are very flawed overall (usually) and will often behave badly. Having huge expectations for any school, followed by pouring out time and energy, can be a recipe for pain and disappointment. But as I said, I have seen this with many different educational philosophies, both on the boards and in real life.


I do find that that is fairly common for those still "in love" with waldorf to label those who have landed on the other side. It's tough to stand in the face of strong emotion, and accept it for what it is-sometimes an authentic piece of the grief and healing process. When people have been truly hurt they need to have full expression of their experience and emotions, without judgement, in order to move forth. It is not a process that can be orchstrated or timed, or even questioned, by anyone else. That's what a safe haven is. The difference is like sitting for a cup of coffee with a friend who might have some knowledge of you concerns, as well as their own opinions, and asking for advice, versus sitting with a skilled, empathetic therapist who can work with and understand all of the pieces of the healing process. It's not a neatly wrapped package, it's not always pretty, and it's often incomprehensible to those who aren't in that specific place in their lives. It takes wisdom and restraint to stand with someone (metaphorically of course, on-line) who is feeling rage, shame and loss, and not try to deny (Gee, I've never seen that before), or blame (You should have read more books). The similarities to those who have suffered abuse in relationships are valid, as are the needs in the recovery process. It's a sophisticated level of understanding a process, but it's not for everyone. However, that's probably OT for the intent of this thread.


The piece, Lauren, I believe that makes the waldorf element so significant is that there really isn't a comparison to other independent schools unless there is a deeply ritualistic and compelling religious/pseudo-religious element to the other schools. I believe that is different from a 'grand philosphy'. I can only speak for myself, but the deeply disturbing experiences my child, and often we as parents, experienced at waldorf were related and directly attributed by the adults in charge to anthroposophy. So, is the problem anthroposophy, anthroposophists, or traditionalists? I guess that's a tough ball of string to untangle. IRL, that's an acedemic conversation for adults to have, but children live the experience, regardless of the thoeretical reasoning behind that experience. BUT, for sure if there wasn't anthroposophy involved this conversation wouldn't be happening.

Hard to put this all together coherently, and I certainly hope not to be dismissed or ridiculed for my feelings and experiences.
karne is offline  
#131 of 156 Old 08-17-2008, 02:00 PM
 
lauren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In a state of grace
Posts: 6,784
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
With apologies I need to temporarily lock this thread until I can communicate with some members and bring the thread into compliance with this rule in the UA:


Do not start a thread to discuss member behavior or statements of members made in other threads or to criticize another discussion on the boards. Do not post to a thread to take direct issue with a member. If you feel a member has posted or behaved inappropriately in a discussion, communicate directly with the member, moderator or administrator privately and refrain from potentially defaming discussion in a thread.

Some of the references to a thread on another part of MDC need to be edited and I need time to contact members directly. Thanks for your patience.

 
lauren is offline  
#132 of 156 Old 08-18-2008, 09:43 AM
 
lauren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In a state of grace
Posts: 6,784
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Continued apologies about the thread. It is almost ready to be reopened. Thanks for your patience!

 
lauren is offline  
#133 of 156 Old 08-18-2008, 10:14 AM
 
lauren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In a state of grace
Posts: 6,784
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Good morning. Most of the needed changes have been made so the thread is being reopened.

As moderator I apologize that I missed the obvious error that the premise of the thread was beginning with a reference to another thread and its members. I had been away on a short vacation and dealing with a lot of volume (plus I am human and make mistakes!) At this time references to other threads on MDC and its members have been removed from this thread, but no other significant content has been removed.

Please refrain from referencing other threads or specific members. Also please use the Report Post feature to help me out if things are not going well in the thread.

Thanks for your understanding.

 
lauren is offline  
#134 of 156 Old 08-18-2008, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
ema-adama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would like to pick up again on what I had been posting about with regards to educational approaches creating people who think creatively and are able to create their own opinions.

And just want to reiterate again that in no way does Waldorf have a monopoly on this.

I was chatting with my father about this thread and mentioned that I had implied that Waldorf produced independent thinkers where other approaches have failed. He was rather horrified and distressed by that. He has been working so hard to stop people from falling into the trap of that way of thinking.... and I think it did not sit easily with him that his daughter would fall into that trap.
So, I am writing this, as I really really do not want anyone on this thread to leave with the impression that Waldorf is superior to any other way of schooling your child. It has its merits (which I do not think can be denied) and has it's very real problems, which this thread has been trying to unravel.
Earlier in this thread someone said that you cannot deny that Waldorf gets some things right. I attribute much of what I appreciate in myself to Waldorf. But I fully realise that this is my own personal experience.

Anyway, I just wanted to share these thoughts and I hope we can all move forward should we still find the need to be discussing any issues.

Everyone has been just fantastic on this thread, even when we do not agree or see eye to eye.

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
ema-adama is offline  
#135 of 156 Old 08-18-2008, 01:46 PM
 
Heart.Revolution's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 487
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow. So much information to take in.

Here is how I stumbled upon the thread. I have been working in progressive education based of th teachings of John Dewey for the past 4 years. My son has been with me in this environment for his whole 2 years of life. We have moved away and I am looking for work. I applied for a teaching position at a Waldorf school where I have moved too. Then I came to MDC to explore the education threads.

Hmm, not sure what else to say at this point...
Heart.Revolution is offline  
#136 of 156 Old 08-19-2008, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
ema-adama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, here goes again, this time me trying to make sense of what this thread has meant to me. I just have to express again my sincere appreciation to the people who have added to this discussion and made it so successful in addressing a variety of questions - some that I knew I had and others that I had not even thought to ask.

I had always known that where Waldorf is, there is a controversy. In South Africa there were religious people calling the schools Satanic and here in Israel the schools have been branded pagan. In each society I saw the schools being branded with what was scariest in that culture with regard to religion. I have no idea what role religion plays in America culture, so I really cannot comment... but I do find it interesting that this comes up in different forms in different cultures. I guess it would be facinating to see what critisism comes out of Europe and specifically Germany when thinking that this is where Waldorf originated, although it might have been Austria - I no longer remember. (this is an idea that being formed as I write - please be patient with me)

Anyway, I think where my initial question came from was a place of trying to understand just how Waldorf came to be such a central part in the trauma experienced by parents and children.
I have mostly good memories and as I have said I have always associated some of the better qualities that I see in myself as somehow being linked to the education that I received.
So, back to my original question. I think I found it confusing to see how something that had been so good for me and so instrumental in my life could be branded as such a destructive, painful and essentially flawed approach to education.

I guess, for me anyway, it does come down to personal stories. The good and the bad. And the beauty of this forum is that each person is left free to draw their own conclusion.

Now I will need to apply all that I have learnt in this thread when it comes time for me to decide where and how to educate my family.

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
ema-adama is offline  
#137 of 156 Old 08-20-2008, 12:12 AM
 
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 ema-adama View Post
In South Africa there were religious people calling the schools Satanic and here in Israel the schools have been branded pagan. In each society I saw the schools being branded with what was scariest in that culture with regard to religion.
You know what's weird? I've heard parents of my children's Waldorf school kind of gossiping like this against other Waldorf schools in the area. With an accusation, "it's a Christian school!", to add to the list. What's funny weird is that there is virtually no correlation between them, even when talking about the same school. For example, one will say "such and such is a Christian school" at the same time an alum parent from the same school might announce with approval, "our old school was pagan, not like the ** Waldorf school!". Personal opinion doesn't bow much to objective rulez.

Quote:
I have no idea what role religion plays in America culture, so I really cannot comment... but I do find it interesting that this comes up in different forms in different cultures.
Yes! And in America depends where you are and your life's experience probably, because "it's a Christian school" is in many circumstances far more disparaging than "it's a pagan school".

Quote:
I have mostly good memories and as I have said I have always associated some of the better qualities that I see in myself as somehow being linked to the education that I received. So, back to my original question. I think I found it confusing to see how something that had been so good for me and so instrumental in my life could be branded as such a destructive, painful and essentially flawed approach to education. I guess, for me anyway, it does come down to personal stories. The good and the bad. And the beauty of this forum is that each person is left free to draw their own conclusion. Now I will need to apply all that I have learnt in this thread when it comes time for me to decide where and how to educate my family.
Thanks for sharing this ema-edama. I think you're right. I think the only true "right way" is always a personal story, at least that makes the most sense to me. And even then, the "right way" isn't a fixed length, one-way route for every child.
LindaCl is offline  
#138 of 156 Old 08-20-2008, 10:20 AM
 
GoBecGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You know of all those i know who have been to or taught at or go to a Waldorf school, those who do best (i.e. have the least struggles with the system either because they aren't affected much or because it doesn't hurt them much) are those whose families have been in Waldorf education for a few generations. I have friends in Germany who will be the 3rd generation off to Waldorf school and they are fine. Because they have been raised in it from birth they truly believe Steiner's philosophies, they don't have to "try" to "come round" to his advices, they don't have to adjust their lives because they have always lived the way prescribed by Waldorf. These are not rigid people by any means, they are live-and-let-live with friends and also not so rigid themselves (the women for instance will ONLY eat organic while pregnant or breastfeeding, but will eat non-organic cake at a party if they aren't PG or BF and feel like having a slice, similarly they would never let a toddler eat sugar, but a 7 year old might be allowed a little). But the boundaries in which they operate are those set by THEM within the general framework of the Waldorf way. Whether one considers Waldorf a religion or a philosophy, for most mainstream or even quite far left-of-mainstream families there will be a BIG transition to the Waldorf way, and this transition is borne out within the school social networks (i.e. as mentioned above people being un-Waldorf, or more Waldorf than others, the endless comparisons, potential bitchiness etc.) as so many parents are 1st-generation Waldorf.

I know several people who were raised in the Waldorf way and have since wandered from it as adults into more mainstream lives, but NONE of them are angry about it, NONE of them doubt that Steiner was Enlightened, NONE of them reject it really, they just choose to ignore it, and of those MANY have gone back when they had children themselves.

I can understand that as someone who has always been living in an anthoposophic way, it would be difficult to really grasp the emotions that come up when someone might try incredibly hard to become part of that way and for whatever reason fails to. Like any religion or philosophy it is easier to BE than to BECOME.
GoBecGo is offline  
#139 of 156 Old 08-20-2008, 10:30 PM
 
littleanniesky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I find this last post interesting, and thought provoking, intelligent...
littleanniesky is offline  
#140 of 156 Old 08-21-2008, 04:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
ema-adama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
You know of all those i know who have been to or taught at or go to a Waldorf school, those who do best (i.e. have the least struggles with the system either because they aren't affected much or because it doesn't hurt them much) are those whose families have been in Waldorf education for a few generations. I have friends in Germany who will be the 3rd generation off to Waldorf school and they are fine. Because they have been raised in it from birth they truly believe Steiner's philosophies, they don't have to "try" to "come round" to his advices, they don't have to adjust their lives because they have always lived the way prescribed by Waldorf.
I agree with you about families that are more familiar with Waldorf are probably going to have an easier time 'adjusting' as there is not such a huge whack of new ideas being thrown at you.... not sure that I would say I was raised to truly believe Steiner philosophy - but I do already know what I feel comfortable with and what I just cannot be comfortable with.

Quote:
These are not rigid people by any means, they are live-and-let-live with friends and also not so rigid themselves (the women for instance will ONLY eat organic while pregnant or breastfeeding, but will eat non-organic cake at a party if they aren't PG or BF and feel like having a slice, similarly they would never let a toddler eat sugar, but a 7 year old might be allowed a little).
Eeek, I certainly aspire to keeping my diet organic and my garden and home as chemical free as is possible - but I do not consider it a splurge to eat a piece of non organic cake , but that is me and I do not consider myself an anthroposophist.

Quote:
But the boundaries in which they operate are those set by THEM within the general framework of the Waldorf way.


Quote:
Whether one considers Waldorf a religion or a philosophy, for most mainstream or even quite far left-of-mainstream families there will be a BIG transition to the Waldorf way, and this transition is borne out within the school social networks (i.e. as mentioned above people being un-Waldorf, or more Waldorf than others, the endless comparisons, potential bitchiness etc.) as so many parents are 1st-generation Waldorf.
I could see tis making sense - kinda like a large group of people trying to find their new norms and all in the same boat together and things getting rather messy as people figure out just what the norms are.... My mum used to have to hide my colouring in books when her Waldorf friends came to visit - and she was an antrhoposophist

Quote:
I know several people who were raised in the Waldorf way and have since wandered from it as adults into more mainstream lives, but NONE of them are angry about it, NONE of them doubt that Steiner was Enlightened, NONE of them reject it really, they just choose to ignore it, and of those MANY have gone back when they had children themselves.
As an 'outsider perspective', this makes sense to me.

Quote:
I can understand that as someone who has always been living in an anthoposophic way, it would be difficult to really grasp the emotions that come up when someone might try incredibly hard to become part of that way and for whatever reason fails to. Like any religion or philosophy it is easier to BE than to BECOME.
I think this is why this thread has been so important to me - to help me understand where these strong emotions are coming from.
I would have to agree on the underlined part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by littleanniesky View Post
I find this last post interesting, and thought provoking, intelligent...and a teensy bit insulting. Just my own stuff coming up...but it just makes me feel a little bit like I have to defend myself and all my first generation Waldorf families, who have given it our absolute best shot, including our blood, sweat and tears and money.
I personally do not think that the PP was trying to insinuate anything about your experience. I also think that your experience is probably similar and different to other peoples negative experiences with Waldorf. I would hate for anyone posting on this thread to feel like they have to defend themselves - perhaps question and answer questions, but not defend (here I am saying I do not have a problem with you feeling you need to defend yourself. I am concerned that posts are evoking that kind of response) However, I also think that you do not need to defend any other families - as each family might identify with each other on certain issues and not on others, depending on their personal experiences. For me anyway, the purpose of this forum (in its various summarised and rephrased sentences) is to understand personal stories and what has gone wrong for individual families.
Quote:
I am guessing that these "3rd generation" Waldorf schools have also mastered the art of running a school, something that many many schools in my part of the world still have not mastered.
I think GoBecGo was talking about 3rd generation families who have been educated in Waldorf schools - not the schools themselves. But I could be wrong.
Quote:
These schools I refer to are, and should be, considered 2nd generation at least, they are 25-30 years old, yet they still come upon the same issues: lack of adequate and consistent and professional management of the day to day running of a school, ...simple things, basic things for example: returning phone calls, balancing a budget, retaining teachers and families, communicating effectively with parents about festivals and dress code issues, keeping the curriculum consistent year to year, teacher to teacher.
I never even had the luxury of having made it to the Anthroposophical debate, the "not Waldorf enough" debate, we never seemed to get off the ground, constantly trying to make sense of the ship shod running of our school.
These are definitely issues that I think any parent would be concerned about in any school

Quote:
My question is: is there a "standard" way to manage a school that you guys over there with the functioning seemingly quite content 3rd generation schools have figured out? Why are they so hit or miss? What "piece" is the inconsistent piece that is missing? In our school we had incredible parental support, In fact the parents have for the most part kept the school afloat despite these fatal flaws.
To me it seems the part of the piece that was missing in the school that you were involved in had a lot to do with the management of the school, and I do not want to aggravate here, but also communication style. I think DimitraDaisy had summed this up beautifully with her post on the schools sometimes missing the fundamentals of being honest, good people (or something like that - I no longer remember)
Quote:
...and so, yes I do get angry, not because I don't grasp or "own" the Waldorf way, but especially when I know IT CAN be done, as it is working so beautifully some places. What keeps it this way? Why cannot the success be more universal?
Perhaps because it really does come down to a mix of parent body, teacher body, management, financial resources, broader culture that the school is in and anything else someone can think to add.
Quote:
I know this could be as simple as what makes one Public school better than another..but I feel like there is more to the story???
I am not asking these questions presuming there are actual REAL answers, but more throwing it out there for discussion. To see if anyone has any thoughts...ideas...theorys????
I would be interested to hear your theory on why Waldorf schools experience the problems they do.

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
ema-adama is offline  
#141 of 156 Old 08-22-2008, 04:05 PM
 
GoBecGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
littleanniesky, i see you've edited your post now, but i can see the quotes cut in the next post...

I'm so sorry i insulted you. I was not at ALL talking about how schools are run or anything like that, i was talking purely about parents who are part of (but not involved with running of) Waldorf schools and the changes they were having to make. I just meant that i know 3rd generation Waldorfers who for example would never consider giving a child non-organic food, and 1st generationers who BELIEVE this is the right way to go, but have a longish history (and healthy children!) of NOT only eating organic which means that their shift to all-organic can be more complicated. I have actually seen some parents let a child go hungry where there was no organic options and openly frowned on other parents feeding their hungry kids on the available if not ideal food. One set of parents felt that hunger was an unacceptable hardship in the presence of perfectly good but not ideal food, the others felt hunger was better than the poisons in the non-organic fayre. Both felt what they felt really quite strongly and were baffled and shocked by the others...

Likewise tv. I am NOT an anthroposoph, and am NOT involved with Waldorf, i just happen to know a bunch of people who are, but i do think too much tv is not good and in general i limit DD to 30mins a day or less total screen time. But did i watch most of the Olympics? Yes! Did i let my DD watch if she was around? YES! I know some of my anthroposoph friends would be horrified by that, really, horrified, but i know that a little tv won't kill her because i watched tv as a kid myself. It is much easier to live up to ideals when you haven't lived and survived the alternatives. SOmetimes the differences between the before-waldorf and after-waldorf appearance of a family can be subtle enough that in times of stress pre-Waldorf habits can creep back a little, and in that situation the other families can be VERY critical and unforgiving. I know a woman whose Waldorf main lesson teacher told her very bluntly that her youngest child (who he had never taught) was autistic because she watched movies and knitted while pregnant! A horrendous thing to say to someone even if it is true!

I was not implying the problems with the schools are because of 1st-gen parents, quite the opposite is true IMO - it is the ingrained and somehow so rigid traditions that can cause the most problems.

Overall i just meant that though Waldorf is a path that can theoretically be chosen by anyone, those already on it, though encouraging when others joined, can be pretty rigid about where and how the newcomers are allowed to walk on that path. Thus it is difficult to become a Waldorf family. Not impossible, many do it, many are happier having done it! But it is easier to belong already to ANY organisation, no? I think possibly this IS linked to the hurt that families who don't end up staying on the path feel. SOmetimes it must feel you are peeling your very skin off to change it for a new one in an attempt to become Waldorf "enough", and it must feel incredibly painful after paying your entry fee in blood, sweat, tears and sheer effort, that you're not "good enough" or that the whole thing was not at ALL what you thought it was.

I am so sorry if i hurt your feelings, truly i didn't see your interpretation coming at all. to you, i hope you stay, you have brought such valuable discourse here.

Bec
GoBecGo is offline  
#142 of 156 Old 08-22-2008, 07:36 PM
 
LindaCl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,151
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't know much about German Waldorf schools but the Waldorf schools here where I am are very different. One, they're not purist by any stretch of the imagination. Two, the former Waldorf students, some of them teachers now, with those I know showing to me that they have different levels of interest in anthroposophy, aren't demonstrating this kind of button-downed orthodoxy. One of my children's main lesson teachers is a case in point: the class sold non-organic pastries at the weekly bake sale and ordinary old Brand X junk food pizzas at school.

Those that are the most button-down purist about things look and sound no different than non-Waldorf organic and natural idealists anywhere else, and they tend to be the parents of still very young children at ages where parents still can exercise a high degree of control or influence. And with this pressure to conform and judgmentalism that has been described, all I know is that I raised two children completely outside the Waldorf community and have encountered this everywhere as a parent. The "mommy wars" are just one element of it. When I went to work leaving my oldest home in the care of his father, other mommies in our playgroup sniffed at me like I didn't even deserve to have children if this was how I was going to raise them. Waldorf parents frequently complain here of being pressured the other way, pressure from family members who believe "depriving" any child of the 21st century of its media manipulated, super-saturated day-glo materialistic excesses is full-on child neglect.

People are people, including Waldorf people. But any teacher who tells a parent their child was autistic because their mother watched movies and knitted while pregnant is really just way out there. That doesn't even resemble any Waldorf idea I've ever heard of. Sounds more like old wives tales like the more superstitious older women in my family used to say to me while I was pregnant (none of us are anthroposophists), warnings like "don't go see that ghost horror movie! you'll mark the baby!" (I don't even know what "mark the baby" means, but I was constantly warned about it. Worse, other children would be warned about it when they were throwing a tantrum or being rowdy around me, most of the time it was a "don't make that uhgga face, you'll mark the baby!")
LindaCl is offline  
#143 of 156 Old 08-23-2008, 02:40 AM
 
littleanniesky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This last post made a lightbulb go off for me!

When you really get down to it, many many many of the complaints I have heard and had about our Waldorf school probably really are just our own version of the crud that takes place in varying degrees and shades in some form in any school which aims to set itself above the public or readily available school offerings. You can find rigidity, mismanagement, disorganization, superiority, narrow mindedness, patronizing, NO accountability, coolness, harsh discipline tactics, criticism, short sighted ness...all of it and more..or less in any school. Just as you can find beauty, reverence, wisdom, purity, mysticism, honor, music and artistic expression living in many schools too, not just Waldorf ones.

The only thing you can only find in a Waldorf school, as far as I know , theONE THING- is Anthroposophy. That is the one thing which cannot be found anywhere else.
What does that mean?...still not sure (one epiphany at a time!)

But I know this:
If it were a tree... The roots would be Anthroposophy, the trunk - would be Waldorf schools and the branches would be ALL possible ways a Waldorf school can be run. Some branches are thin and weak and easily broken. Some are stronger, more resilient to the elements. There really is no formula or tried and true rhyme or reason that guarantees success or failure. By design alone, it is the PEOPLE and how they interpret and implement and update the ideas laid out originally by Rudolf Steiner. This determines the health and success of a school. AND, to further complicate and personalize matters, the definition of success itself is subjective. For some, teachers and parents alike, a successful Waldorf school is a pure and simple organic, electronic free, school with 7 kids per class. Others want different things, more professionalism, more control, more input in how these beliefs are interpreted. I know what I wanted but just because it is not what you (this is the general "you") wanted, does that make me wrong or right???Who knows? As we have seen here, Steiners philosophies and predictions have morphed into beliefs which have given license to both build up and tear apart. And even though the curriculum for each grade is essentially pretty consistent, so much so that a second grade student in Seattle is probably learning much the same thing as a child in Germany, the WAY it is implemented is as different as the teachers themselves. And the WAY each teacher handles and reveres and copes with children and the everyday elements of a classroom full of children... is very different. There are sadly NO guarantees. And as we found, often no accountability. Many of you know this already, but some of us have to find out the hard way. Those are hard lessons, but ones that stick.

It is my personal observation, so not up for debate, that the dialogues and obsessions which arise over TV and food and cars and clothing and even the use of electronics, are not what Steiner intended us to be doing with our precious time. He saw divine capacities in people who, in that day and age, were given NO opportunity to discover their abilites. WE have decided that the above listed things interfere with or contribute to success in this realm..but that is just what we think. In another day and time, they banned books. We are not always right in our interpretations, and unfortunately, the realizing of these kinds of mistakes often do not come until long after we are gone.

I vividly remember, when we were making school decisions, when our children were toddlers, that all we wanted was for our precious children to stay as amazing and precious as we knew them to be. We worried that a school could undo the precious child we had created with God. And we stumbled upon Waldorf and it worked... until it didn't. I cannot say that our children would be any different had we made different choices.

I only know that when it began to unravel, we were not going to stay around and continue bailng out a sinking ship. Sadly, what I have seen happen, is that many parents become so convinced that no education is better than a Waldorf education that they stay in the face of extreme and obvious dysfunction. Much like the last poster said that to some no food was better than non-organic food. This belief paralyzes these parents and subsequently, the kids get the very short end of the stick. To these parents all I have to say is, if it means this much, go find a thriving Waldorf school, they do exist, all are not created equal.
littleanniesky is offline  
#144 of 156 Old 08-23-2008, 11:18 AM
 
GoBecGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quickly to explain, the teacher said (and i do know other antrhos who hold this belief) that any activity (knitting, reading, watching movies) which takes one's attention "out" of one'self is bad while pregnant as it disconnects one from the baby and can stilt its emotional connection/growth. I don't know whether it came from some misinterpreted sentence Steiner uttered or is just a traditional thing, but i do know several people (probably 70% of the Anthros i know) who believe it.
GoBecGo is offline  
#145 of 156 Old 08-23-2008, 12:39 PM
 
DimitraDaisy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
Quickly to explain, the teacher said (and i do know other antrhos who hold this belief) that any activity (knitting, reading, watching movies) which takes one's attention "out" of one'self is bad while pregnant as it disconnects one from the baby and can stilt its emotional connection/growth.
:

I've no idea where this comes from, I've never even heard of it. (Thank god for that too!) But I seem to recall that in the (very anthroposophic) book 'Your incarnating child' it suggested making clothes for the baby while pregnant. I expect this included knitting. I also recall the same book suggesting that you focus your thoughts on the baby a few times each day for a few minutes (or something along those lines); but that was the extend of that.

I am not even going to try to explore the implications of the "don't do anything that takes you out of yourself while pregnant" idea. It just defies belief.

As for people telling ANY parent for ANY reason that they are to blame for their child being autistic (unless the parent did something outrageously wrong like drink or do drugs, which I am sure wasn't the case in this case)... that is just plain cruel. Do teachers think they are helping this way? Do they think at all before saying this kind of thing? If that is anthroposophy, then it is plain evil and I want nothing to do with it.
DimitraDaisy is offline  
#146 of 156 Old 08-23-2008, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
ema-adama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleanniesky View Post
This last post made a lightbulb go off for me!

When you really get down to it, many many many of the complaints I have heard and had about our Waldorf school probably really are just our own version of the crud that takes place in varying degrees and shades in some form in any school which aims to set itself above the public or readily available school offerings. You can find rigidity, mismanagement, disorganization, superiority, narrow mindedness, patronizing, NO accountability, coolness, harsh discipline tactics, criticism, short sighted ness...all of it and more..or less in any school. Just as you can find beauty, reverence, wisdom, purity, mysticism, honor, music and artistic expression living in many schools too, not just Waldorf ones.

The only thing you can only find in a Waldorf school, as far as I know , theONE THING- is Anthroposophy. That is the one thing which cannot be found anywhere else.
What does that mean?...still not sure (one epiphany at a time!)
I think we would agree that Waldorf does not have monopoly on either the good or the bad aspects of education - these are elements that are found wherever there are parents, children, teachers, etc.

What I am really struggling to understand, as it would seem are many others, is why anthroposophy is so pivotal to the bad experiences with Waldorf.... no answers here, I am just not able to understand this.

Quote:
But I know this:
If it were a tree... The roots would be Anthroposophy, the trunk - would be Waldorf schools and the branches would be ALL possible ways a Waldorf school can be run. Some branches are thin and weak and easily broken. Some are stronger, more resilient to the elements. There really is no formula or tried and true rhyme or reason that guarantees success or failure.
I am going to have to think about this - whether maybe there is a 'formula'. My mind likes to think that elements for success and failure can be isolated.

Quote:
By design alone, it is the PEOPLE and how they interpret and implement and update the ideas laid out originally by Rudolf Steiner. This determines the health and success of a school.
I think we would agree.

Quote:
AND, to further complicate and personalize matters, the definition of success itself is subjective. For some, teachers and parents alike, a successful Waldorf school is a pure and simple organic, electronic free, school with 7 kids per class. Others want different things, more professionalism, more control, more input in how these beliefs are interpreted. I know what I wanted but just because it is not what you (this is the general "you") wanted, does that make me wrong or right???Who knows?
This I would agree could be very problematic - whose definition of success is applied? And how is it agreed on? Essentially it comes down to parents and teachers and the differences and similarities. Rather a tricky issue (I am imagining here, as I have no personal experience to draw on)


Quote:
As we have seen here, Steiners philosophies and predictions have morphed into beliefs which have given license to both build up and tear apart.
Completely aside, but what predictions did Steiner make?

Quote:
And even though the curriculum for each grade is essentially pretty consistent, so much so that a second grade student in Seattle is probably learning much the same thing as a child in Germany, the WAY it is implemented is as different as the teachers themselves. And the WAY each teacher handles and reveres and copes with children and the everyday elements of a classroom full of children... is very different. There are sadly NO guarantees. And as we found, often no accountability. Many of you know this already, but some of us have to find out the hard way. Those are hard lessons, but ones that stick.
100% agreed!
Quote:

It is my personal observation, so not up for debate, that the dialogues and obsessions which arise over TV and food and cars and clothing and even the use of electronics, are not what Steiner intended us to be doing with our precious time. He saw divine capacities in people who, in that day and age, were given NO opportunity to discover their abilites. WE have decided that the above listed things interfere with or contribute to success in this realm..but that is just what we think. In another day and time, they banned books. We are not always right in our interpretations, and unfortunately, the realizing of these kinds of mistakes often do not come until long after we are gone.
I think I would have to agree with you that what we think is right today is often found to be rather wrong a generation down the road... like Woody Allen said about lettuce being carcinogenic. (When DH tells me this to try and add another perspective to why TV is not that bad - I joke and reply that it would depend which pesticide it was grown with - but this is an aside)
I like the way you understand Steiner to be giving people the opportunity to discover their divine abilities.... and there has been so much pinned onto that with the goal kinda being lost in the process. But I do think that I would probably be a parent that would aspire to keeping my children's diet as organic as possible (certainly not to the point of starvation or deprivation - but as much as is possible), and would have definite boundaries with TV and electronic toys, and junk food and clothing etc. Although I do think there is something to be said with being more concerned with what you say and do, rather than what you eat and wear.... another aside.

Quote:
I vividly remember, when we were making school decisions, when our children were toddlers, that all we wanted was for our precious children to stay as amazing and precious as we knew them to be. We worried that a school could undo the precious child we had created with God. And we stumbled upon Waldorf and it worked... until it didn't. I cannot say that our children would be any different had we made different choices.
Very clearly summarised (for me anyway)

Quote:
I only know that when it began to unravel, we were not going to stay around and continue bailng out a sinking ship. Sadly, what I have seen happen, is that many parents become so convinced that no education is better than a Waldorf education that they stay in the face of extreme and obvious dysfunction. Much like the last poster said that to some no food was better than non-organic food. This belief paralyzes these parents and subsequently, the kids get the very short end of the stick. To these parents all I have to say is, if it means this much, go find a thriving Waldorf school, they do exist, all are not created equal.
I think this is rather wise. I would never expose my children to a dysfunctional experience for a prolonger period of time.... but I do carry the hope that when the time comes, I will be able to find a Waldorf school that is strong on all the fronts that are necessary.... that I will be able to take what I have learnt on this thread when I go "shopping for schools"

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
Quickly to explain, the teacher said (and i do know other antrhos who hold this belief) that any activity (knitting, reading, watching movies) which takes one's attention "out" of one'self is bad while pregnant as it disconnects one from the baby and can stilt its emotional connection/growth. I don't know whether it came from some misinterpreted sentence Steiner uttered or is just a traditional thing, but i do know several people (probably 70% of the Anthros i know) who believe it.
:
I know that my mum was discouraged from working when she was pregnant, which she found highly annoying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DimitraDaisy View Post
:
As for people telling ANY parent for ANY reason that they are to blame for their child being autistic (unless the parent did something outrageously wrong like drink or do drugs, which I am sure wasn't the case in this case)... that is just plain cruel. Do teachers think they are helping this way? Do they think at all before saying this kind of thing? If that is anthroposophy, then it is plain evil and I want nothing to do with it.
OMG, I just cannot believe people say these things!!!
It is so 100% unacceptable to say something like that to a mother. I would be inclined to think that people cook up theories whether they are anthroposophists or not ... emotionally inept people exist everywhere. If I heard something like that being directed towards me or another parent - that teacher would certainly get a piece of my mind

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
ema-adama is offline  
#147 of 156 Old 08-23-2008, 10:41 PM
 
Deborah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: the Seacoast of Bohemia
Posts: 6,294
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)
The pregnancy thing is a hoot. I stayed with my aunt when I was pregnant, many, many years ago. She was a deep-dyed, utterly passionate anthroposophist. I spent a large part of my pregnancy knitting and sewing, under her direct supervision. She was a waldorf handwork teacher

I guess she missed that particular bit of "dogma."

It does sound like the old superstition about "marking" babies. Common in many cultures, unfortunately.
Deborah is online now  
#148 of 156 Old 08-23-2008, 11:43 PM
 
littleanniesky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
thanks
littleanniesky is offline  
#149 of 156 Old 08-24-2008, 04:17 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 Deborah View Post
It does sound like the old superstition about "marking" babies. Common in many cultures, unfortunately.
One really common superstition is the one that says not to test cruel fate by buying, accepting or making any baby clothes for the new baby during the first three months of pregnancy. Brand new moms are warned that it can cause miscarriage or stillbirth.
LindaCl is offline  
#150 of 156 Old 08-24-2008, 07:59 PM
 
bczmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 522
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Actually, "marking" is not just a superstition, but also part of Rudolf Steiner's beliefs. I googled out of interest and google books popped up "From Comets to Cocaine" (previously published as "Health and Illness") by Steiner. On page 160 he states that what a woman does with her mind during the pregnancy will effect the fetus -- "She shapes and forms the child with what she imagines, feels and wills." On page 161 he also states that a pregnant woman who is startled by a man with an unusually crooked nose will have a child that has an unusually crooked nose, the feature appearing in mirror reverse. In fact, he disputes the concept of heredity in its entirety. All "unusual" characteristics (including "red skin tone" per his example) are deviations from some unexplained norm and are not inherited from the traits of the parents but are rather the result of a mother's thoughts and actions during pregnancy.

So apparently telling the mother of an autistic child "its all your fault" would be in line with anthro beliefs per Steiner.

No wonder a lot of special needs kids and their families might find Waldorf a hard row to hoe.
bczmama is offline  
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