What's Where


TABLE OF CONTENTS

This website is being rebuilt. It will be a mess for a while,

but it will remain open while the work progresses.



Here is a directory to the pages at Waldorf Watch and its associated sites. At the end of the directory, you will find some general explanatory notes, including "A Question of Quotes".

The essays at Waldorf Watch were written over a period of years. There is some overlap, some repetition, and some minor inconsistency among them. I wrote most of these essays, but other critics of Waldorf schooling are also represented — including Dan Dugan, Pete Karaiskos, Grégoire Perra, Ian Robinson, Margaret Sachs, Debra Snell, Peter Staudenmaier, and Diana Winters. Read as much as you like; skim or skip over whatever you find redundant or dull. I think you'll find that, overall, the essays present a clear explanation of Waldorf schooling and the thinking that lies behind it.

— Roger Rawlings



CONTENTS


Home page, with statement of objectives



1. WALDORF EDUCATION: AN OVERVIEW


HERE'S THE ANSWER

A short, direct answer to the question, "What are Waldorf schools all about?"

THE UPSIDE

Best foot forward

GLORY

The bright side

MANIFESTATIONS

A pictorial overview

SPIRITUAL AGENDA

Waldorf's goals

SCHOOLS AS CHURCHES

Waldorf's reality

WALDORF WORSHIP

Teachers as priests

INTO THE WORLD

Does Waldorf Work?

SNEAKING IT IN

How they teach it

CAUTIONARY TALES

Words of warning

OH HUMANITY

The key to Waldorf

THE WALDORF TEACHER'S CONSCIOUSNESS

The use of "clairvoyance" by Waldorf teachers

INCARNATION

Developing our invisible bodies

SOUL SCHOOL

Steiner, trying to make Waldorf education seem sensible

MY LIFE AMONG THE ANTHROPOSOPHISTS, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Parts 4-6, Charlie

The memoir of a former Waldorf student and teacher

SQUARE ONE, Part 1, Part 2

From the beginning, again

TROLLS?

Any here?

◊◊◊

TEMPLATE

Design of the site



2. WALDORF SCHOOLS TODAY


WALDORF NOW

Bringing the inquiry up to date: What goes on inside Waldorf schools today?

TODAY

Waldorf schools in the 21st Century

TODAY 2

What they're saying

TODAY 3

More

TODAY 4

What they're reading

TODAY 5

What they're saying (cont.)

TODAY 6

Readings (2018...)

TODAY 7

More, and more, and...

TODAY 8

Still more, and still more, and...

WALDORF WATCH NEWS

Stop the presses

WEIRD WALDORF

A brief look at the purposes of Waldorf schooling

NUTSHELL

A brief summary of Rudolf Steiner’s doctrines and teachings

SIX FACTS ABOUT STEINER EDUCATION

A guide for students and parents

ANTHROPOPERY

Steiner's theory of everything

SECRETS

Some of the things you aren’t supposed to know

FAILURE

To survive or not, to teach or not

REPORT CARD

Debating and evaluating Waldorf education



3. CONSIDERATIONS FOR PARENTS


ADVICE FOR PARENTS

For parents considering sending kids to a Waldorf school

CLUES

Detailed pointers on evaluating a Waldorf school

THE WORLD OF WALDORF

Reverence, wonder, and the aftereffects of straining for them

OUR BRUSH WITH RUDOLF STEINER

One family's story [external link]

SLAPS

Classroom discipline and...

THE GOOD (?) PARTS

Some positive elements, but also...

HELP!

A parent's cry

HELP 2

Another

HELP 3

Court case

HELP 4

A father asks for guidance

HELP 5

Looking at a Parent Handbook

HELP 6

Unjustly assailed

WHO GETS HURT

An inquiry into the “success” of Waldorf schooling

HUMOURESQUE

The “temperaments” as conceived and acted upon in Waldorf schools

NON-WALDORF WALDORFS

Can a Waldorf school cleanse itself?

ACADEMIC STANDARDS AT WALDORF

Examining a problem that began with the first Waldorf School

SPOTLIGHT ON ANTHROPOSOPHY

An overview and a parent's personal report [external link]



4. THE WALDORF APPROACH


THE WALDORF CURRICULUM

A look at the standard Waldorf program

METHODS

How they try to do it

CORE PRINCIPLES,

Seven of them

TEACHER TRAINING

How they get that way

THINKING CAP

The irrational modes of “thought” fostered at Waldorf schools

OH MY WORD

English classes and history classes in a typical Waldorf school

THE GODS

The central mythology in many Waldorf schools: Norse myths

THE ANCIENTS

At Waldorf schools, ignorance is often taken as wisdom

MAGICAL ARTS

The Waldorf curriculum: the arts, and festivals

MYSTIC MATH

The Waldorf curriculum: math

STEINER'S “SCIENCE"

The antiscientific nature of Waldorf education

LESSON BOOKS

Class journals as created by students at many Waldorf schools

SPIDERS, DRAGONS AND FOXES

The Anthroposophical take on technology

IS ANTHROPOSOPHY SCIENCE?

No [external link]

OH MY STARS

The Waldorf curriculum: astronomy

THE PLANETS

Steiner on our solar system or "our universe"

FACULTY MEETINGS

A behind-the-scenes look at Waldorf education

FOUNDATIONS

Exploring the fundamentals of Waldorf schooling

UNDERPINNINGS

Further explorations

BASEMENT

Still further explorations

DISCUSSIONS

Talks between Steiner and Waldorf teachers

ADVICE FOR TEACHERS

"Practical" tips Steiner gave to Waldorf faculty



5. A FORMER WALDORF STUDENT


I WENT TO WALDORF

A report on life as a Waldorf student

UNENLIGHTENED

An overview of Waldorf schooling; a far longer version of "I Went to Waldorf", including:

WALDORF'S PURPOSE

"Unenlightened - Part 2"

LIGHT AND DARK

"Unenlightened - Part 3"

WALDORF'S IMPACT

"Unenlightened - Part 4"

"SPIRITUAL SCIENCE"

"Unenlightened - Part 5"

CLAIRVOYANT VISION

"Unenlightened - Part 6"

COMPASSION AND ITS ABSENCE

(including addenda, etc.)

"Unenlightened - Part 7"



6. FORMER WALDORF TEACHERS, ET AL


HE WENT TO WALDORF

A student, teacher, believer — who left

EX-TEACHER 2

Another firsthand account

EX-TEACHER 3

A third firsthand account

EX-TEACHER 4

A long, astrological tale — told briefly

EX-TEACHER 5

Leaving Waldorf, finding something better

EX-TEACHER 6

The real skinny

EX-TEACHER 7

The child vs. the cause

SPIRITUAL CANCER

Contamination and corruption

LOOKING INTO IT

Teachers as priests

HIS EDUCATION

A wayward Anthroposophist

DISTRESS

Reeling away from Christchurch

DORM DAD

His reply

DAY AND NIGHT

Focus on Steiner schools

SHE TOOK THE TRAINING

A big year coming

HE TOOK THE TRAINING

A square peg

BIGGEST BETRAYAL

Parent and teacher

HEALTHY HAVEN?

Founding member

SATANIC CULT?

After 10 years...

WHATS YOUR VIEWS

Run!

WHY SHE QUIT

You will be lied to...

MISTREATING KIDS LOVINGLY

A chat between friends

FAREWELL, WÜRTTEMBERG

And to its Waldorf school

A TEACHER'S SON

Now a critic

DEEP IN THE HEART

She hits the trail



7. IN THEIR OWN WORDS


SAY WHAT?

Selected, revealing Steiner quotations; includes "Anthroposophy at Waldorf"

SAY WHAT TOO

More from Steiner

WHO SAYS?

Other than Rudolf

SAYS WHO?

Who Says continued

STEINER STATIC

Nonsense in the air

STATIC TOO

More

STEINER’S BILE

Perhaps the worst statements Steiner made

WISE WORDS

Additional revealing quotations; includes "Last Words" and "Reading Steiner"

TOP TEN JOKES

Some of Steiner’s silliest statements (on topics such as gnomes)

WALDORF WISDOM

Not



8. THE WORST SIDE


STEINER’S RACISM

The racial teachings deep in Anthroposophy

EMBEDDED RACISM

Problems in the doctrines

UNIVERSAL

A lecture that exculpates?

FORBIDDEN

One of Steiner's suppressed lectures

ALSO FORBIDDEN

Another

ATLANTIS AND THE ARYANS

Two fundamental legends embraced by Steiner

SYMPATHIZERS?

Ties to Nazism? Allegations and denials

EVOLUTION, ANYONE?

Steiner’s strange version, tied to his racial teachings

WHITE GUYS

Anthroposophical racism, recapped



9. WALDORF AND RELIGION


IS ANTHROPOSOPHY A RELIGION?

Examining the central denial made by Steiner’s followers

WAS HE CHRISTIAN?

Comparing Steiner's teachings with Christ's

STEINER'S FIFTH GOSPEL

The hidden story

GNOSIS

Anthroposophy and hidden knowledge

ROSY CROSS

Anthroposophy and Rosicrucianism

GOD

Steiner's strange ideas about the Lord

GODDESS

The Earth Goddess; and the Theory of Everything: Anthropo-Sophia

SERVING THE GODS

What Waldorf faculties aim for

PRAYERS

About those "morning verses"

FAITH

The religion of Anthroposophy in the classroom

BEAT

Turning students into disciples

CHOOSING

Why choose Anthroposophy when there are so many alternatives?



10. CLAIRVOYANCE AND DELUSION


CLAIRVOYANCE

The missing basis of Waldorf thinking

INSIDE SCOOP

Occult initiation in Anthroposophy

WHY?

Oh why? Oh why? Oh why?

FOOLING

Ourselves

EXACTLY

"Exact" clairvoyance

JVH

Delusional or fraudulent?

ESP

Case closed?

DECEPTION

Being fooled

DOPAMINE

Getting happy



11. THE WALDORF WORLDVIEW


EVERYTHING

An examination of Steiner’s central text

PREHISTORY 101

Steiner’s extraordinary, sci-fi-like narrative of human evolution;

the story continues in:

ORIPHIEL

EVIL

SIXTH EPOCH

LUCKY SEVENTH

PAST AND FUTURE

MATTERS OF FORM

STAGES

ALMOST THE END

THE END

LOVE AND THE UNIVERSAL HUMAN

Steiner promoted love, sort of

VIOLENCE

Surprising violence in Steiner's kindly vision

BAD, BADDER, BADDEST

And badder, and baddest

THE GOOD WARS

America, Germany, and Waldorf

KNOWING THE WORLDS

How to, he said (his #2 text)

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Steiner’s occult conspiracy theories

THE WHITE LODGE

Back-room maneuvers



12. DANGEROUS DISCONNECTIONS


STEINER’S BLUNDERS

Errors, fallacies, falsehoods...

STEINER’S QUACKERY

Quack Anthroposophical medicine

WHAT WE ARE

Human nature as conceived by Steiner and acted upon in Waldorf schools

THE CENTER

Macrocosms, microcosms — big and small

NEUTERED NATURE

The Waldorf view of the natural world

BIODYNAMICS

Quack agriculture: astrology and magic

OH MAN

Laying it out clearly

OVERHEAD

Bizarre ideas about the universe: Vulcan, the Zodiac, Mars, etc.

FANTASY FLIGHTS

Waldorf escapism



13. RUDOLF STEINER


WHAT A GUY

Seeing Steiner through his followers’ eyes; with a brief chronology of Steiner's life

STEINER'S SPECIFIC

What he prescribed, and — perhaps — why

THROUGH HIS EYES

Steiner's visions

GURU

Steiner as leader

STEINER AND THE WARLORD

Steiner’s embrace of an architect of destruction

ENEMIES

Steiner and his followers, beleaguered

ALL V. ALL

The coming, epoch-ending war

GALLERY

What he might have done



14. PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER


SUMMING UP

A look back, plus

TRUTH

Mystical thinking, realistic thinking;

continued in

OCCULTISM

POWER WORDS

AKASHA

ALTOGETHER

BEST

POLYTHEISM

BEINGS

LECTURE

KARMA

REINCARNATION

MOST SIGNIFICANT

TEMPERAMENTS

FREEDOM

INDOCTRINATION

COMMON SENSE

WALDORF ASTROLOGY

SPIRIT

MISSION

MATERIALISM U.

OUT IN THE OPEN

OUR EXPERIENCE

Reports and advice from parents whose children attended Waldorf schools

COMING UNDONE

More reports and advice from parents whose children attended Waldorf schools

MOMS

Talking it over

POPS

Had enough?

EXTREMITY

Crossing many lines

THE WALDORF SCANDAL

Describing the near-collapse of the Waldorf school I attended

MY SAD, SAD STORY

Deprogramming myself after Waldorf

YOURS TRULY

Who the heck am I?

HORROR AND HOPE

Doom and deliverance

CONCLUSION

Short and sweet

SO?

Can you trust me?



15. SUPPLEMENTAL PAGES


To see a listing of the supplemental pages,

click on this link:

Contents Cont.


The overall design of Waldorf Watch

is presented at

Template.


For concise, direct answers to questions about Waldorf schools,

see

Waldorf Straight Talk.







An attempt to simulate a characteristic style of Anthroposophical art,

a style often seen in Waldorf schools. Artwork in the schools

is often far superior to this, but aesthetics are largely beside the point.

Anthroposophical art is meant to evoke and embody spiritual powers and beings —

it is not art for art's sake, but art for occultism's sake.

[R.R., 2009.]






ADDITIONAL NOTES


◊ While I take Rudolf Steiner seriously, I often laugh at his doctrines. Much of what he taught is preposterous. But be forewarned: Some of his doctrines are quite hateful and thus not at all laughable. And the harm Steiner's educational doctrines can inflict on innocent young children is serious indeed.

◊ My primary focus is on Waldorf schools. Many people find these schools attractive, at least initially. Waldorfs are often small, cozy, and beautiful. They can seem like safe refuges in a fearful world. However, any schools that abide by Steiner’s teachings are necessarily devoted to occultism, specifically Anthroposophy — although they often disguise this devotion. Understanding what goes on in such schools requires peering beneath the surface. Waldorf Watch aims to enable such peering.

◊ Especially important passages crop up in more than one essay. I don't expect anyone to read every essay here, so to make sure that various pivotal items reach as many readers as possible, I have stated some arguments, and cited some quotations, in two, three, or even four places on the site. If you come upon something you’ve read before, please just skip ahead.

◊ Throughout, I provide links to other sources of information. As time passes, some of these links may become outdated. I will update them if I can, but if you try to use a link that proves to be a dud, searching the Internet by keyword may take you where you want to go.

◊ Here and there, I have included sketches I have made. Many of these are renderings of illustrations found in Anthroposophical books. Some photographs I've taken over the years are also scattered around the site. I apologize for my poor artistic efforts (all of which are identified by my initials, R.R.) — I use my own sketches and photographs only when no other, better works are available for reproduction here.



TYPOS

Please excuse any typos at this site.

I hope they are few and insignificant.

I’ll correct them all when I find them.



A QUESTION OF QUOTES

When quoting Steiner and others, I often omit extraneous and repetitive phrases, which I replace with ellipsis marks. I take care, however, not to alter any author's meaning. The best way to check me is to consult the texts from which I quote. I almost always provide citations.

Here is an example. In my long essay "Unenlightened", I use the following quotation to show that Steiner differentiated between the soul and the spirit: “The soul must not be impelled, through the body, to lusts and passions ... The spirit, however, must not stand as a slave-driver over the soul, dominating it with laws and commandments....” [Rudolf Steiner, KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT (Anthroposophic Press, 1944), p. 96.]

Here is a more complete version of the same passage, in which I include all words I previously omitted, and for context I include the sentences that appear immediately before and after the passage:

“The body must be so ennobled and purified that its organs are impelled to nothing that is not in the service of the soul and spirit. The soul must not be impelled, through the body, to lusts and passions which are antagonistic to pure and noble thought. The spirit, however, must not stand as a slave-driver over the soul, dominating it with laws and commandments; the soul must rather learn to follow these laws and duties out of its own free inclination. The student must not feel duty to be an oppressive power to which he unwillingly submits, but rather something which he performs out of love.”

Remember that my purpose was to establish that Steiner differentiates between the soul and the spirit. Including the additional sentences and phrases does not alter that differentiation; it merely makes the quotation longer while raising extraneous issues. That Steiner speaks of love, for instance, may be to his credit, but it does not change the distinction between spirit and soul. Thus, the clipped form of the quotation is accurate and more to the point.

The issue of context is complex. The passage I’ve quoted comes from within a long paragraph. The only way to absolutely avoid taking such passages out of context would be to reprint entire paragraphs or perhaps entire chapters. But clearly that would be impractical and — in some cases — illegal due to copyright laws. The test you should apply is whether a quotation would mean something fundamentally different if taken within a larger context. In the example I've given, neither the omission of some words nor the absence of the larger context alters the point at issue, which is that Steiner distinguished between spirit and soul.

Another note on this topic: In omitting phrases and sentences, I may seem to be ducking some issues. You can check me on this, as well. I can’t deal with every issue simultaneously, but I do not intentionally ignore any subjects that are important to an understanding of Waldorf education or Anthroposophy. Thus, I deal with Steinerian “love” in the such essays as "Love and the Universal Human", “Underpinnings”, and “Was He Christian?” Similarly, I deal with Steiner’s conception of thought (a subject introduced by the phrase “pure and noble thought”) in various essays including "Thinking", “Thinking Cap”, and “Steiner’s Specific”. For a discussion of Steiner’s doctrines about the human constitution (“the body must be so ennobled and purified that its organs...”), see “Steiner’s Quackery”, “What We’re Made Of”, and "Our Parts". For more on Steiner’s conception of freedom (which boils down to voluntary acceptance of laws and commandments), see "Freedom", “Nutshell”, and “Steiner Static”.

◊◊◊

I should also explain, briefly, that I generally format all quotations, long and short, alike. I place them within quotation marks. This violates a common practice, which is to omit quotation marks from long quotations, indenting these passages instead, and setting the indented material in smaller type. My purpose has been to ensure that all quotations are immediately recognizable as such, and that they are readily legible on computer screens.

— Roger Rawlings





For a detailed examination of one of Steiner's lectures

— helpful in deciding whether I twist Steiner's meaning

by quoting him out of context —

please see "Lecture".