Rudolf Steiner - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 14 Old 12-16-2002, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Below is a link to the summary of the report of a Dutch Commission on the question of whether Rudolf Steiner, Waldorf Education or the Anthroposophical Society were or are racist.

http://www.info3.de/English/e-0400report.html

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#2 of 14 Old 12-16-2002, 02:24 PM
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He's dead and gone. Give it a rest.
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#3 of 14 Old 12-16-2002, 04:17 PM
 
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Ooppss.
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#4 of 14 Old 12-16-2002, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, the analysis I posted concludes that Steiner was not a racist!

He couldn't have been reacting against Nazism directly because he died in 1925.

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#5 of 14 Old 12-16-2002, 06:22 PM
 
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Hi:

Thomas Jefferson was, I recall, a major force behind free, public education in this country which at the time was a radical idea. He also owned slaves. I've never heard anyone wonder whether public schools are alright because Jefferson was a slaveowner.
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#6 of 14 Old 12-17-2002, 01:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by cumulus
Hi:

Thomas Jefferson was, I recall, a major force behind free, public education in this country which at the time was a radical idea. He also owned slaves. I've never heard anyone wonder whether public schools are alright because Jefferson was a slaveowner.
Excellent Point!
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#7 of 14 Old 12-19-2002, 01:15 PM
 
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It's a good article. Thick, yet good!

Thanks for the link : D
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#8 of 14 Old 12-19-2002, 01:28 PM
 
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But do any public schools follow the teachings of Thomas Jefferson? Surely that is the point: whether or not a particular Waldorf school and its teachers subscribe to the aspects of Steiner philosophy that are racist. If any public school teacher subscribed to slave-owning, I'm sure people would talk about it.
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#9 of 14 Old 12-19-2002, 02:10 PM
 
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I am curious to your reactions to the article in question.
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#10 of 14 Old 12-21-2002, 07:42 PM
 
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One of the drafts of the Declaration of Independence blamed England for slavery. It was written by Thomas Jefferson. Still he owned slaves. In his State Department was a Black man, Benjamin Bannaker, a free black, who owned property, voted, wrote ephemerides,and helped design Washington District of Columbia. He derided Jefferson for writing "all men are created equal", and owning slaves at the same time.

Public Education as we know it in this country is from Prussia, a despotic state. Thomas Jefferson himself was educated at home as were most people at the time.

“Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. NEVER apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you are right and you know it, speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the Truth is still the Truth.”

~ Gandhi ~
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#11 of 14 Old 01-06-2003, 06:44 PM
 
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It looks like this conversation has been dormant for a few weeks. I just wanted to say that you guys make some good points. I am in training to be a Waldorf teacher at Ruldof Steiner College. I just finished my second year and have two more to go. There are people of every race and nationality at the college and having heard the accusation that Rudolf Steiner was racisist I questioned the head of the school who laughed! She said she has heard that before and it is not true at all. Waldorf schools offer and amazing education for children and I hate that such wierd rumors get out like that.
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#12 of 14 Old 01-07-2003, 11:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by KristiMom
...Waldorf schools offer and amazing education for children and I hate that such wierd rumors get out like that.
Hi KristiMom,

I would read the article in question in the very first message in this thread. After reading the article, you will understand where the "weird rumors" start. The racial aspect in Waldorf was very important to me and I was very concerned about it. I did quite a bit of reading and I was able to set my fears aside. Often Steiner's quotes are taken out of context and out of time. The world is different now and language that was acceptable then is not now. Also, we understand so much more now about people and race. Who knows what Steiner would have said about today if he were here now.
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#13 of 14 Old 01-07-2003, 06:23 PM
 
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Rhnwyn: I am so glad you were able to set your fears aside! They ulimately found Steiner to not be a racist. Also, In Waldorf training much of the Steiner stuff is vey philisophical and way heady. (Just as the philosiphy I took at the University of Kansas was) and much of it could easily be taken out of context. Also, in training they teach the future teachers to never teach children about Steiner. In fact, I have a friend whose daughter went all the way through Waldorf school and graduated. When her mother decided to go to Rudolf Steiner College her daughter said,"Who is Rudolf Steiner?"
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#14 of 14 Old 01-12-2003, 12:43 AM
 
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I taught at two Waldorf schools for three years total, and after leaving the second my daughter attended public Montessori for just over one year (homeschooling now). There were some alarming racists among my colleagues at one school, but I suspect there are racists everywhere. At school they were certainly not finding justification in Steiner's literature; in fact, diversity and racism became a year-long faculty study, which willingness to change you might not find in other workplaces.

Some of Steiner's language could be considered offensive by modern standards; so could Aristotle's. The question seems truly to be whether to judge someone by the standards of their own time or ours, as pointed out by the Thomas Jefferson remark.
The children at the local Montessori schools, both public and private, know all about "Dr Montessori," but I think only the children of Waldorf teachers hear anything about Rudolf Steiner.

We moved to another state when we left Waldorf, in case readers are curious. We had our complaints, but that's the case everywhere too. It's the individual school, teachers and community that makes it a good place for a family, not the pedagogy.
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