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Re: Propaganda with a twist

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  • pete_karaiskos
    Hi Val, ... The fact that you have presented this as an example lets me know that you can t imagine the types of problems I am talking about. You are very
    Message 1 of 508 , Apr 2, 2006
      Hi Val,

      --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "isenhart7"
      <isenhart7@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "pete_karaiskos"
      > <petekaraiskos@> wrote:
      > >
      > > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "isenhart7"
      > > <isenhart7@> wrote:
      >
      > > > Dear Pete,
      > > >
      > > > I've been fortunate to have had very dedicated teachers.
      > > >
      > >
      > > I've discovered that there are two types of happily satisfied
      > Waldorf
      > > parents - those that have truly had great Waldorf experiences, and
      > > those who are willing to overlook horrible experiences with
      > the "well,
      > > all schools have their problems" mindset.
      >
      > Dear Pete,
      >
      > I would say that, yes there are problems everywhere. I wouldn't say
      > that I have "overlooked horrible experiences" though because I think-
      > oh it'd be just as bad someplace else-like this is the way it has to
      > be. Maybe I've worked through the mistakes and the mis-steps and the
      > wrong-doings-worked through them to glean what could be learned for
      > the sake of my own understanding and my own children's edification
      > and growth rather than the benefit of the whole.
      >
      > I'll give you a innocuous example. In fifth grade or so my daughter
      > came home with the word "biggly" on her spelling list. Well, "bigly"
      > wasn't in her dictionary or in the family's big Webster's unabridged.
      > So we looked it up in a older two-volume unabridged that once
      > belonged to her grandparents. And there we found "bigly". Then we
      > talked about how English is a living language as opposed to a dead
      > one and what that means. I had her look up a few other words that
      > like "bigly" had fallen out of use, fe drey. And I told her the story
      > of the word quiz and had her look that up. In what dictionary, what
      > edition, what year did it show up?
      >
      > Then later that week we happened to be up at the University Library
      > because the books she needed for another assignment could only be
      > found there(another contentious point for parents) and I had her look
      > bigly up in the OED. So all in all, I thought a lot was learned and I
      > assumed the whole time that the archaic word was intentional on the
      > teacher's part. But apparently it wasn't. And several parents put
      > their energy into berating the teacher as a result of bigly not being
      > a "real" word as it wasn't found in their dictionaries. This became a
      > big deal and was bigly a part of why this particular teacher's
      > contract wasn't renewed after the eighth grade.
      >

      The fact that you have presented this as an example lets me know that
      you can't imagine the types of problems I am talking about. You are
      very lucky to have a school where the example above might be your
      biggest (bigliest) problem. The kinds of problems we face are quite
      different - as an example, a known pedophile (to a few of the
      teachers) being allowed to play with children on the school grounds
      (other teachers and certainly no parents were informed of this). All
      schools don't have these types of problems, and on the rare occasions
      when they do, the schools act swiftly to protect the children. Not in
      our school.

      >
      > > And so we have spiritually *stuck* people keeping up a pretense of
      > > being spiritual while doing everything in their power to control
      > > others around them, perhaps through deceit, but certainly including
      > > putting pressure on them in various ways (guilt, threat,
      > > ridicule/humiliation) in order to get what they want.
      >
      > Well, I don't know-it seems like they'd be stuck but I wouldn't say
      > they would be carrying on a pretense. I think we differ here. I'm
      > saying that they very much desire to be on a spiritual path but
      > they're unable to take the first step. I'm not thinking they would be
      > themselves conscious or aware of this. So maybe, maybe Pete this
      > deceit, this lying that you see is at its heart denial.

      No, in the cases I'm talking about - it's absolutely deceit.

      > A lie we tell
      > ourselves first and then, yeah control the environment-the external-
      > to match the internal state of conflict. Well, that's what I read,
      > anyway-I see denied conflict, denied conflict, denied conflict in
      > what you are writing about your school-that problems are brought to
      > their attention and they are denied.
      >

      There is certainly some denial of a problem - like when racist ideas
      were brought into physiology classes. I can understand a mistake like
      this. But there have also been many cases of deceit and lying,
      coercing and intimidating children's (eye witnesses) testimony, lying
      directly to parents about their children or about events that were
      later proven to be true, and so forth. There is no way I would ever
      consider excusing that behavior. The problems stem from people who
      believe they are somehow better, or that they know better, than the
      parents of the children. They believe that children belong in Waldorf
      - no matter what - and that whatever means they need to summon (karma
      perhaps) to justify the child staying in Waldorf, they will do this.
      When children are put at risk, no amount of "the teachers are just
      human" or "this happens at any school" will help them. Only
      identifying the risk and removing it will help them.

      >
      > > > Well, if you understood my chart-you know $$$$$!!!
      > >
      > > I'll admit, I gave up on the chart.
      >
      > That is so funny! Okay so you're saying deceptive practices and lying
      > advertising etc. I'm saying lack of discernment and active pursuit of
      > parents with means. I think where we agree, Pete, is that WS's should
      > be there for the people that want them, should recruit the parents
      > that want them, and should work to retain the parents that seek this
      > education for their children.

      Absolutely - we agree on this. Waldorf schools, generally, should
      seek out parents who are interested in Anthroposophy, or parents who
      are know what Waldorf is and are interested in putting their kids
      there - alumni for example. Waldorf schools should screen parents who
      don't understand Anthroposophy or Waldorf and it's basic tenets.
      Those parents tend to leave and often become critical of the process.

      > So on my chart I used heart but we
      > could say desire or want-I think schools would be more effective by
      > marketing to those parents who have this desire-to have this type of
      > education for their children.

      YES!

      > Across the board socio-economically
      > with high heart forces or connection would be represented by the
      > entire top half of my chart. People with high heart and low resources
      > and people with high heart and high resources would be attracted by
      > Waldorf marketing.

      Yes. But again, Waldorf has to be honest. It's not about "here's a
      school with beautiful furniture and where kids create beautiful art" -
      it's about the spritual/religious elements that underly the
      curriculum. Parents who want beautiful things for their children
      don't necessarily want Waldorf. Waldorf needs to stop pretending that
      it's not a religious school. They should try much harder to
      understand that Anthroposophy is NOT OK to many people, and that they
      hide the fact that Anthroposophy is Waldorf is NOT OK to MOST people.

      >
      > The criteria, then the screen, the filter would be connection.

      I would agree with that. People who are connected to the philosophy
      of Anthroposophy would be good parents.

      > Instead what I have seen is a failure to discern that this parental
      > connection, desire, and drive is the thing that has kept schools
      > afloat all these years. This is my opinion anyway.

      Because they get a lot more parents to participate in Waldorf - who
      don't know what they are getting themselves (and their children) into.
      It ultimately hurts Waldorf.

      > But then, yeah,
      > I'm a parent. Now, what I have seen in at least one school is a
      > conscious move to target market to parents with resources. The
      > thinking here is that the school requires increasing resources so
      > that the marketing needs to be attracting a greater number of parents
      > with means.

      Sadly, this is true. And this often equates to people who don't have
      the time to participate fully in the school, or in their children's
      experience of the school. They are sometimes families where both
      parents work, and so they are what Waldorf calls "drop-offs" - they
      drop off their kids and pick them up without ever learning much about
      Waldorf.

      > Now the criteria becomes $$$ and the school will attract
      > parents with high dollars if they are sucessful in their marketing.
      > Those parents, more able to afford the education will cover the
      > entire spectrum of low-high heart forces or connectedness to the
      > school's mission.
      > This is how I see it, Pete. The "right" dividing line is, in this
      > case the horizontal line. The "wrong" division is the vertical.

      That Waldorf is so expensive is problematic. Most Waldorf schools, of
      course, have tuition assistance programs or at the very least, offer
      tuition remission for teachers and staff. Affluent parents must pay
      not only their fair share but enough for the children of teachers
      (Anthroposophists) to go for free.

      > > OK, but here's one that isn't dumb, that our Waldorf school didn't
      > > follow - Teachers and administrators may not distribute or
      > administer
      > > medication to a child for whom it was not intended. While this is a
      > > very good saftey measure, and an excellent law, it only pertains to
      > > public school teachers. Private Waldorf schools are not bound by
      > this
      > > law. In our school, "calming" medication intended for a particular
      > > child was distributed to other children - with the intention of
      > > calming them down. When this was reported to the police, they said
      > > there was nothing they could do because it was a private school. If
      > > safety is truly an issue with parents, they should look at these
      > kinds
      > > of safety issues.
      > >
      >
      > Yeah, I'm just thinking that the whole public/independent school
      > difference is a loaded issue that you don't need to tackle. Most, not
      > all, private schools do have these policies in place. They have done
      > policy review. They have adopted what makes sense. I was thinking
      > that a comparison of a lack of policy on your school's part say to
      > other private schools in your area would be an eye-opener. It has
      > been here and has resulted in a lot of positive policy formation.
      > Very slow though.

      We usually just wait for a crisis before taking any policy action.
      I've been trying to get them to put a security camera at the front
      gate for years - anybody can just drive in but at least we would get a
      license number. In one case, a child walked off campus and nobody
      knew about it for hours. A camera at the gate would have let them
      know what happened at least. I'm sure they will wait until a child is
      abducted before taking any action in this regard. That they can't
      take a simple precaution BEFORE a child is harmed makes me angry.

      > > > > > 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).
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > I was thinking it's the separation that's may be causing the
      > > > disintergration in the first place. It seems to me with all the
      > > > concern about lying that you are pointing to a lack of integrity
      > or
      > > > dis-integration. Maybe I say this more for the enneagram people
      > out
      > > > there. Integration, health, light versus disintegration, illness,
      > > > shadow? No?
      > >
      > > The true nature of a private Waldorf school is an interconnectedness
      > > with Anthroposophy. If Waldorf schools didn't deceive parents about
      > > this connection, then the people who didn't wanted their children
      > > immersed in Anthroposophy during their school years would avoid
      > those
      > > schools.
      >
      >
      > I would say if WS's marketed and screened for a parental connection
      > in the first place there would be far less conflict of the type you
      > have been describing.
      >

      Again, we agree.

      >
      > Of course, for many parents who discover Waldorf, the issue
      > > is not as much the Anthroposophy as it is they lying and deception
      > and
      > > lack of safety standards. Many parents, particularly fathers but
      > many
      > > mothers as well, who enter the Waldorf kindergarten with their
      > child,
      > > express that they get an uncomfortable feeling - that everything
      > isn't
      > > as it appears. Some can't see past the wood and silk, but others
      > > observe the teachers and notice, for example, that children with a
      > > simple question are redirected instead of having their question
      > > answered. Many parents don't want to put their kids in an
      > environment
      > > where their curiosity is squelched. There are, of course, many
      > > parents who know what Anthroposophy is and want this kind of
      > > environment for their children. For them, Waldorf schools should
      > exist.
      > >
      > > > But I think we're talking about two different settings perhaps.
      > You
      > > > may be talking about say-a charter versus an anthroposophically-
      > based
      > > > school.
      > >
      > > Yes, but not necessarily. I think a new, independent, private
      > school
      > > system could emerge that provides the Waldorf feel without the
      > > Anthroposophy. A school with emphasis on art without the "spiritual
      > > significance" attached to what the children paint. A school where
      > it
      > > is as OK to play with dinosaurs and trucks as it is to play with
      > > gnomes and dragons. Such a school would have no trouble attracting
      > > parents.
      >
      > I think you would like Rachael Kessler's work on "Soul in Education".
      > You could check it out on the web. Her organization, Passageways is
      > working with the Poudre school district here in Colorado to bring
      > Soul in Education to Ft. Collins public school children. This is
      > pilot program and huge research project, as I understand it.
      >

      BTW, I looked into two Waldorf schools in CO and they both seemed like
      good schools.

      >
      > > > So here you could have a situation where the curriculum is
      > > > adapted and the methods applied to the extent that they can be
      > where
      > > > common sense and the teachers connection to their work and their
      > > > students is paramount.
      > >
      > > YES!
      > >
      > > >
      > > > I was talking about Waldorf School teachers who may not "give a
      > shit"
      > > > as Diana put it and how that could be. I was thinking of some
      > very
      > > > wounded individuals whose pride, I guess it would be, would
      > hinder
      > > > them from taking the necessary first inner step on a spiritual
      > path
      > > > that they are outwardly very committed to. Again, with
      > anthroposophy
      > > > this would be a real possibility because Steiner GAVE us so much
      > that
      > > > he asked us to confirm with our own work.
      > >
      >
      >
      > > Steiner's path is a difficult one, to be sure. Many teachers, at
      > the
      > > end of the day, just aren't up to it. And, yes, because they are
      > > unwilling to confirm through exercises, the validity of Steiner's
      > > work, their pride stands in the way of their spiritual
      > enlightenment.
      >
      > I'm thinking they are doing "it"-they are extremely dedicated. What
      > is "it" is the question.
      >

      I think the "it" we were talking about was the spiritual work. I'll
      have to look back through the posts though.

      >
      > > So what we have is people who are doing the reading, perhaps, but
      > not
      > > doing the work - and these people are very proud and controlling.
      > The
      > > result is what we witness in Waldorf, teachers who are interested in
      > > nothing other than controlling other parents, teachers and
      > > administrators with "Steiner said" and all the while not really
      > > understanding what Steiner *meant*. Certainly, anyone who chooses
      > > Anthroposophy as a spiritual path must *do the work* - otherwise,
      > it's
      > > meaningless.
      > >
      > > >
      > > > > > 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>.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > No, it's a real question. The striving human being thing...
      > >
      > > OK, so you're suggesting that Waldorf schools are the most adaptive
      > > schools? And that's why they survive? I would suggest to you that
      > > Waldorf schools absolutely *don't* addapt - that they remain stuck
      > in
      > > turn-of-the-century ideas about child development. They seem to
      > > "thrive" because they are a religious endevour and as such, people
      > > feel they have a responsibility to make Waldorf schools everywhere.
      > > I'm not sure, at all, that the numbers of Waldorf schools world-wide
      > > are accurate - I haven't a clue who counts them, but every year
      > there
      > > seems to be a hundred more added to the number without any mention
      > of
      > > who they are. So I'm taking the number of Waldorf schools with a
      > > grain of salt, as well as the idea that they are proliferating.
      >
      > Well, first the number of schools are proliferating-mushrooming if
      > you're looking at a figure that now includes early childhood
      > education.

      Again, I don't know what that means. I was the founder of a Waldorf
      school myself. It lasted 3 or 4 years and then collapsed. Is that
      one counted in the numbers? Is every home-schooling community
      included in the numbers? I don't know. I'd like to see a list of
      every Waldorf school, by name. I don't know if that's available anywhere.

      > Secondly, no I'm not saying WS's are the most adaptive-I'm
      > saying that we ought to be more adaptive if we want to survuve in an
      > increasingly competetive market.

      OK. Agreed.

      > There are changes underfoot in
      > public and private education. I'm just saying you know if you've
      > reached the summit-where can you go-you can fall into decline or you
      > can sit down and teach others that reach you. There may be some
      > schools-some teachers that think they have arrived and are waiting
      > for others to find them. And, again, given currect educational trends
      > this is true in some aspects but certainly not across the board.-Val

      Waldorf may, very well, be strong in some areas. It is certainly weak
      in others. I don't think it has reached any summit that other
      educational systems are trying to reach. It's on it's own mountain
      and others are climbing their own mountains. I don't think anybody
      else wants to be like Waldorf. I think they want to be the best they
      can be - just as Waldorf should. Some aspects of Waldorf education
      are very good. Other educational systems take notice of these. Does
      Waldorf take notice of the things other educational systems are doing
      better than they are? I don't think so.

      >
      > >
      > > Safety, responsibility, accountability, governance, and
      > > leadership are all areas in our school where there are serious
      > > problems. Safety, I've already talked about. Responsibility/
      > > accountability, we've discussed (circling the wagons).
      > >
      > > Governance... the school required a complete reorganization because
      > > the College of Teachers QUIT. There was too much bickering and
      > > controlling among the teachers that they disbanded rather than put
      > up
      > > with each other any longer. Leadership? More problems - the
      > > leadership of the school was inept. The head administrator was a
      > > disaster, leading the school into crisis after crisis. So a
      > > professional Waldorf governance expert was brought in to reorganize
      > > the school. He created several panels, we thought to try to wrest
      > > control away from the controllers. Unfortunately, he put the same
      > > controlling people back in positions of control. And by dispersing
      > a
      > > single position over a panel, what he did was take away
      > > accountability. Now, it's an panel of 5 or 7 or 9 that is
      > accountable
      > > for everything that goes wrong at the school. Nobody loses their
      > job
      > > over anything, no matter how bad.
      > >
      >
      > > > 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
      > > > > phenomenon.
      > > >
      > > > Or one could look at it as they've survived this long by the
      > grace of
      > > > God, or divine intervention, or because of their really good
      > karma!!!
      > >
      > > Oh, I don't think their karma is all that good. Maybe someone else
      > > might think so, but I'm pretty sure their karma has caught up with
      > them.
      > >
      > > > Could be but then I'd say-gee must not be too far along on their
      > > > journey (let alone having arrived) because then you know what
      > they'd
      > > > have going for them, Pete? Instant Karma-just like the song says.
      > >
      > > OK, so instant karma? Crisis after crisis, year after year, 25% of
      > > the student body leaving in disgust every year. That's instant
      > karma.
      > >
      > > >
      > > > Again, IMO, this is never going to happen-the investigative
      > report-
      > > > in this country anyway.
      > > >
      > >
      > > Who knows - maybe if we're lucky, the light will shine on Waldorf,
      > and
      > > huge reforms will take place - and some day Waldorf will be a good
      > thing.
      > >
      > > Pete
      > >
      >
    • pete_karaiskos
      ... Keep your mouth open - I ll turn around... Pete
      Message 508 of 508 , Apr 18, 2006
        --- 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...

        Pete

        > >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
        >
        > _________________________________________________________________
        > realestate.com.au: the biggest address in property
        > http://ninemsn.realestate.com.au
        >
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