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Waldorf Schools, a cult?

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  • Mathew Morrell
    Today I browsed through some of the Web sites that are highly critical of Waldorf schools. I even entered a few chat rooms, and spent some time reading their
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 20, 2006
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      Today I browsed through some of the Web sites that are highly
      critical of Waldorf schools. I even entered a few chat rooms, and
      spent some time reading their anti-Steiner posts. It was
      fascinating, quite frankly. Many of them were convinced that Waldorf
      schools were cults, a concept that both intrigued me and humored me,
      considering the fact that I once belonged to a cult. This a topic of
      special interest in my heart.

      Apparently Rudolph Steiner designed the Waldorf method of education
      to include a short blessing/prayer at the start of each day, and this
      prayer---however harmless it seems to me---draws considerable ire
      from Waldorf critics (in Europe especially). In fact, prayer in
      school is a hot-button topic in more than one anti-Steiner discussion
      forum that I visited. Waldorf critics go so far as to brand Waldorf
      schools as cults because they involve spiritual activity.

      The Birmingham News article reads, "The children's day ends much the
      same way as it begins. They gather in a candlelit room and sit in a
      circle on an Oriental rug. Holding hands they recite (a
      blessing/prayer): `Help us to do the things we should and be to
      others kind and good. Blessings on our day," [my parenthesis]

      To me a "blessing" is not cult-like activity. To me it's beautiful---
      even charming. We don't have to interpret the Bible literally
      and "pray in closets" as Christians must in oppressive Stalinist
      regimes. We can experience spirituality individually and as a
      collective. That is our birthright.

      Mathew Morrell
      www.kcpost.net
    • wayne carrigon
      i too thank you for the post, and agree about the robotic intent of the public rubric. i am contemplating a waldorf education for my son, i believe there s a
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 22, 2006
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        i too thank you for the post, and agree about the
        robotic intent of the public rubric. i am
        contemplating a waldorf education for my son, i
        believe there's a school in chapel hill, but that's 2
        hours away, so i might contact them about home
        schooling using their curriculum, here in north
        carolina...

        --- Kathy Landes <katmoon@...> wrote:

        > As a college student majoring in education, I see
        > that teachers must
        > take on a parental role with their class. In
        > addition to teaching, a
        > teacher must be a role model and teach good morals.
        > I love the idea of a
        > blessing before and after class. What a perfect way
        > to set the intention
        > for the day.
        >
        > Cult like activity to me is when kids, who are
        > educated in public
        > schools, are dumb down to a state of being like a
        > robot. They spend
        > their day doing tons of worksheets. They don't even
        > know how to use a
        > textbook, nevertheless do any critical thinking.
        > History books are
        > written to teach what politicians want children to
        > believe, not always
        > the whole facts. The saddest part is that by the
        > time they get to high
        > school, these kids lose their sense of wonder. Many
        > of them are brain
        > dead and don't care. They medicate themselves with
        > video games.
        >
        > I really like the approach to alternative education
        > such as Waldorf
        > because it aims at teaching the whole person, the
        > body mind and spirit.
        > If this is a cult, I say bring in it on!
        >
        > PS. I am also a tutor for the AVID program.
        >
        > Thank you Mathew for a wonderful and thought
        > provoking post! :-)
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: steiner@yahoogroups.com
        > [mailto:steiner@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        > Of Mathew Morrell
        > Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 9:37 PM
        > To: steiner@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [steiner] Waldorf Schools, a cult?
        >
        > Today I browsed through some of the Web sites that
        > are highly
        > critical of Waldorf schools. I even entered a few
        > chat rooms, and
        > spent some time reading their anti-Steiner posts.
        > It was
        > fascinating, quite frankly. Many of them were
        > convinced that Waldorf
        > schools were cults, a concept that both intrigued me
        > and humored me,
        > considering the fact that I once belonged to a cult.
        > This a topic of
        > special interest in my heart.
        >
        > Apparently Rudolph Steiner designed the Waldorf
        > method of education
        > to include a short blessing/prayer at the start of
        > each day, and this
        > prayer---however harmless it seems to me---draws
        > considerable ire
        > from Waldorf critics (in Europe especially). In
        > fact, prayer in
        > school is a hot-button topic in more than one
        > anti-Steiner discussion
        > forum that I visited. Waldorf critics go so far as
        > to brand Waldorf
        > schools as cults because they involve spiritual
        > activity.
        >
        > The Birmingham News article reads, "The children's
        > day ends much the
        > same way as it begins. They gather in a candlelit
        > room and sit in a
        > circle on an Oriental rug. Holding hands they recite
        > (a
        > blessing/prayer): `Help us to do the things we
        > should and be to
        > others kind and good. Blessings on our day," [my
        > parenthesis]
        >
        > To me a "blessing" is not cult-like activity. To me
        > it's beautiful---
        > even charming. We don't have to interpret the Bible
        > literally
        > and "pray in closets" as Christians must in
        > oppressive Stalinist
        > regimes. We can experience spirituality
        > individually and as a
        > collective. That is our birthright.
        >
        > Mathew Morrell
        > www.kcpost.net
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Post to steiner@egroups.comSearch the archives of
        > the group at:
        > http://www.esotericlinks.com/egroupsearch.html
        >
        > Recommended books by Rudolf Steiner at:
        > http://www.esotericlinks.com/steinerbooks.html
        >
        > ommended books by Rudolf Steiner at:
        > http://www.esotericlinks.com/steinerbooks.html
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > SPONSORED LINKS
        >
        > Rudolf
        >
        <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Rudolf+steiner+college&w1=Rudolf+st
        >
        einer+college&w2=Higher+consciousness&w3=Rudolf+steiner&c=3&s=74&.sig=Xf
        > dvZIv-2DcXuZz7mHdpfA> steiner college
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        >
        <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Higher+consciousness&w1=Rudolf+stei
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        > T-OUj9IV7-BMwrsE5Q> consciousness
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        >
        <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Rudolf+steiner&w1=Rudolf+steiner+co
        >
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      • Kathy Landes
        As a college student majoring in education, I see that teachers must take on a parental role with their class. In addition to teaching, a teacher must be a
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 22, 2006
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          As a college student majoring in education, I see that teachers must take on a parental role with their class. In addition to teaching, a teacher must be a role model and teach good morals. I love the idea of a blessing before and after class. What a perfect way to set the intention for the day.

           

          Cult like activity to me is when kids, who are educated in public schools, are dumb down to a state of being like a robot. They spend their day doing tons of worksheets. They don’t even know how to use a textbook, nevertheless do any critical thinking. History books are written to teach what politicians want children to believe, not always the whole facts. The saddest part is that by the time they get to high school, these kids lose their sense of wonder. Many of them are brain dead and don’t care. They medicate themselves with video games.

           

          I really like the approach to alternative education such as Waldorf because it aims at teaching the whole person, the body mind and spirit. If this is a cult, I say bring in it on!

           

          PS. I am also a tutor for the AVID program.

           

          Thank you Mathew for a wonderful and thought provoking post! J

           

          -----Original Message-----
          From: steiner@yahoogroups.com [mailto:steiner@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mathew Morrell
          Sent:
          Friday, January 20, 2006 9:37 PM
          To: steiner@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [steiner] Waldorf Schools, a cult?

           

          Today I browsed through some of the Web sites that are highly
          critical of Waldorf schools.  I even entered a few chat rooms, and
          spent some time reading their anti-Steiner posts.  It was
          fascinating, quite frankly.  Many of them were convinced that Waldorf
          schools were cults, a concept that both intrigued me and humored me,
          considering the fact that I once belonged to a cult.  This a topic of
          special interest in my heart.

          Apparently Rudolph Steiner designed the Waldorf method of education
          to include a short blessing/prayer at the start of each day, and this
          prayer---however harmless it seems to me---draws considerable ire
          from Waldorf critics (in Europe especially).  In fact, prayer in
          school is a hot-button topic in more than one anti-Steiner discussion
          forum that I visited.  Waldorf critics go so far as to brand Waldorf
          schools as cults because they involve spiritual activity.

          The Birmingham News article reads, "The children's day ends much the
          same way as it begins. They gather in a candlelit room and sit in a
          circle on an Oriental rug. Holding hands they recite (a
          blessing/prayer): `Help us to do the things we should and be to
          others kind and good. Blessings on our day," [my parenthesis]

          To me a "blessing" is not cult-like activity.  To me it's beautiful---
          even charming.  We don't have to interpret the Bible literally
          and "pray in closets" as Christians must in oppressive Stalinist
          regimes.  We can experience spirituality individually and as a
          collective.  That is our birthright.

          Mathew Morrell
          www.kcpost.net






        • Cheeseandsalsa@aol.com
          On homeschooling and curriculums we use Live Education it is more to the true intent of Waldorf then Oak Meadow. And until you truly have This dying and
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 24, 2006
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            AOL Email
            On homeschooling and curriculums we use Live Education it is more to the true intent of Waldorf then Oak Meadow.
             
            "And until you truly have
            This ""dying and becoming,""
            You are but a troubled guest
            Roaming over the dark earth." ~Goethe
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