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Re: Propaganda with a twist

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  • pete_karaiskos
    Hi Val, I just have a few comments. ... Many Waldorf teachers are dedicated to the children. Many others are dedicated to Anthroposophy and to bringing the
    Message 1 of 508 , Apr 1, 2006
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      Hi Val,

      I just have a few comments.

      --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "isenhart7"
      <isenhart7@...> wrote:
      > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "winters_diana"
      > <diana.winters@> wrote:
      > >
      > > >no responsible teacher hands a paring knife to a three year old
      > > >and walks off to do something else.
      > >
      > > No teacher who *gives a shit* about children does this. This person
      > > has a career in Waldorf because she is a fanatical anthroposophist,
      > > not because she likes or knows how to work with children, and
      > that's
      > > the other thing the story represents. Repeat: represents. It is
      > > *representative*. I tell it because it was a simple daily sort of
      > > occurrence in our kindergartens.
      > Dear Diana,
      > This gave me pause. First of all there's that "S" word that always
      > seems to get my attention. But this was a new thought for me-that
      > someone would go into teaching wee ones for reasons other than
      > teaching wee ones. 'Cause I know first hand what a difficult task it
      > is-this never would have occured to me. But then once you spoke it I
      > was reminded immediately of one kindergarten teacher that I know. Not
      > the majority by any means but one for sure.

      Many Waldorf teachers are dedicated to the children. Many others are
      dedicated to Anthroposophy and to bringing the children (and their
      parents) to some form of Anthroposophy. Some are just not dedicated
      to the children at all - in fact one may wonder if they aren't better
      suited for some other career. Sometimes, the answer is NO, they
      aren't well-suited for ANY career and so they find sanctuary in the
      Waldorf school environment. Some teachers, I suspect, look at Waldorf
      as a Camphill for able-bodied people... they are there for the
      community elements and not necessarily there because of a need to
      teach children anything.

      > So I started thinking about it-like what's going on there-and what I
      > came up with is in the case of the K teacher I know we have a person
      > who wants to be on a spiritual path without relinquishing control, I
      > think. Now, this brings up for me, a lot more questions-for instance
      > does anthroposophy attract more of these individuals with, let's say,
      > a high need for autonomy because of its, comparatively speaking, do-
      > it-yourself methodology. This was definitely an attraction for me, as
      > I have "guru issues" that I am currently taking medicine for.

      LOL! I don't think most Waldorf teachers (at least the ones I've
      encountered) are doing-it-themselves. In fact, I don't think they are
      doing-it at all. Most seem to be too busy with their everyday lives
      (and being a teacher is demanding to be sure) to do any spiritual
      exercises, spiritual soul-searching, spiritual growth. Indeed, I've
      known some teachers for 15 years who have shown little if ANY
      spiritual growth during that time. And, yes, those tend to be the
      ones with controlling personalities (control issues).

      > >
      > > It is not that every Waldorf kindergarten teacher allows the
      > children
      > > to use sharp knives unsupervised - but it is *representative* of
      > the
      > > type of lapse in safety, hygiene and general concern for children's
      > > welfare that is reported in Waldorf world wide. There is no doubt
      > > about this.
      > So there's a question-do WSs have a more laize faire attitude than
      > other independent schools?

      Absolutely! I can only speak to my personal experience, of course,
      but things like mandatory reporting laws (according to California law)
      of child abuse/molestation claims made by children were routinely
      ignored. Parents were put in the position on several occasions of
      confronting the teachers who covered up incidents of this nature about
      their children. Only last year, incidents involving one of my
      children occurred at a camping trip - and the involvment of my child
      was, despite opportunity, hidden from me until I found it out on my
      own. Laize-faire? How about downright dishonesty?

      > The number one reason that parents choose
      > an independent school (according to the NAIS) last I looked was
      > safety. Parents are concerned for their children's welfare-duhhh. So
      > I'm sure that there is a lot of anecdotal evidence for lax policy and
      > procedures at WSs but this is an example of what I was mentioning to
      > Pete-this could be documented.

      Oh, believe me, I have documented lots and lots of this, names, dates,
      letters from the school, letters to the school, police reports,
      witness testimony. I've got boxes of documentation going back more
      than 5 years. The book I'm writing on this topic is already 650 pages.

      > What are best practices for
      > independent schools? What policies and procedures has X WS school
      > formally adopted?

      First, start with safety standards as apply to state schools. There
      are, apparently, different standards for private schools than there
      are for public ones. Why would any school want to be less safe than
      the minimum state regulations?

      > Tom mentioned Dee Coulter a few days ago and I just mentioned I have
      > guru problems and this all ties together neatly here... A couple
      > years ago Dee and a good friend of mine, a local anthroposophical
      > guru, were part of a panel discussion for independent schools in
      > Colorado. Afterward they reported that there were about fifty
      > educators in the room and that they came with the knowledge that in
      > ten years time half of their schools would no longer exist. So they
      > were hungry and eager to hear what this "cutting edge" panel could
      > provide in the way of curriculum guidance.

      I won't comment on this one. Obviously, if I was on the panel, they
      would come away shaking their heads <G>.

      > Patrice Maynard with AWSNA just spoke a few weeks ago at the NAIS
      > conference. She had a room with seventy five chairs-standing room
      > only with the hall filled with people wanting to hear about WEd. Her
      > presentation on storytelling was very well received.

      This is why I feel there needs to be a critical perspective in any
      discussions about Waldorf. People who only get the sugar-coated
      version will come away with that opinion.

      > I went to a grant-writing course a few weeks ago and was approached
      > by two University of Colorado professors and the Chair of the
      > Education Department at the University of Wyoming for information on
      > WEd. I mean it used to be that you mentioned WEd and people either
      > had never heard of it or thought you were a kook-now they say can you
      > tell me where I can get more information?

      Sure, Waldorf is making a big splash. Many people are hearing about
      it now - and probably in no small part to the controversies
      surrounding it. It's like here in Hollywood - any press is good
      press. At least people are realizing that they need to dig deeper
      into Waldorf than what they are told on websites and in parent
      orientation meetings. That's a good thing.

      > Well, what's my point? I think it'd be highly ironic, Diana, as the
      > independent school market gets increasingly competitive if the non-
      > Waldorf schools adapt and thus survive at the "expense" of the
      > Waldorf schools who pioneered the curriculum all these years.

      If they take the good part of Waldorf and get rid of the ugly part
      (Anthroposophy), then this would be a good thing. I still think there
      should be Waldorf/Anthroposophy centers too, but I think there is lots
      of room for a school that brings Waldorf without the dogma of
      Anthroposophy (and the dogmatic teachers that go along with it).

      > Because
      > its not after all the smartest who survive or the most spiritual its
      > the most adaptive. And Waldorf schools apparently have nothing to
      > learn, the way I hear it told here, there, and everwhere at times,
      > about safety, responsibility, accountability, governance, and
      > leadership. Because we have arrived, we are it, the pinnacle, the
      > peak. In all facets of school life? Well where can you go really from
      > there?

      I sense sarcasm here <G>. Waldorf schools have survived for some time
      by deceit. Even dodo birds survived for some period of time. The
      popularity of the internet has sounded the death knell of Waldorf
      deceit (I pray). The exposure of the practice of deceiving parents is
      going to hurt Waldorf - and it already has. More scrutiny on Waldorf
      schools will ensue and some day John Stossle will be reporting on the

    • pete_karaiskos
      ... Keep your mouth open - I ll turn around... Pete
      Message 508 of 508 , Apr 18, 2006
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        --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "Mike T"
        <leosun_75@...> wrote:
        > Pete Always Right,
        > Has that constipation gone to your head again?

        Keep your mouth open - I'll turn around...


        > >From: "pete_karaiskos" <petekaraiskos@...>
        > >Reply-To: anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com
        > >To: anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com
        > >Subject: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner and Abraham
        > >Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 04:28:54 -0000
        > >
        > >--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "Mike T"
        > ><leosun_75@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Gee Pete Always Right,
        > > > Your must be highly evolved to come up with that. More evolved that
        > >Steiner.
        > >
        > >That's not saying much, in my book.
        > >
        > > > That says it all.
        > >
        > >snip
        > _________________________________________________________________
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