Whats Your Views
Whats your views on Steiner Waldorf Schools?
Hi, I'd like to know your views on Steiner Schools. My friend wants to send her son there and as I'd never heard of these schools before.
Have you or anyone you know been to this school? What are they like? I'd love some feedback on them good or bad.
Thanks in advance.
I have one word of advise for your friend- Tell her to "RUN" !!!!
I know that your friend feels that she has found this beautiful, progressive, child-centered, arts based school that will focus on "the whole child", but honestly, nothing can be further from the truth. There are many things that she is not being told in her parent ed nights and any of the pamphlets and movies that they are showing her. Below is a quick overview of Waldorf Education.
Waldorf schools were founded by Rudolf Steiner, a man from the turn of the last century who believed he had access to a higher consciousness through a clairvoyant knowledge of the spiritual world and set up his own spiritual esoteric movement called Anthroposophy – the knowledge of man.
Anthroposophy blends ideas from astrology, spiritualism, Rosicrucianism, Christian mysticism and other esoteric sources. Its foundational belief is that of karma and reincarnation — the beliefs in spiritual advancement from one physical body to another and that all of your actions, both helpful and harmful, will not only revisit you as you reincarnate but will determine the sort of physical existence you have
Because of its belief in karma and reincarnation, there is a hierarchy of souls. At the bottom are animals such as fish and reptiles. Those animals with good karma will progress to become apes, then black people, then brown people and eventually Aryans – blond haired/blue eyed Germanic-Nordic humans. People with disabilities of any kind are disabled though actions in previous lives.
Additionally, Steiner stated that, humans are composite beings made up of a number of spiritual entities. Our spirits enter into our bodies each lifetime in several stages as we grow. At about seven the “etheric body” incarnates. This coincides with the appearance of adult teeth and gives the body “strength to learn”. At about fourteen the “astral body” incarnates and coincides with the appearance of puberty. It brings about analytic thought. At 21 years, the I, or ego, “the divine selfhood” incarnates and the present day fully formed human has arrived.
What they mean by ‘whole child’ is that their focus is on the incarnation of the spiritual entities. Waldorf schools were designed to assist the spirits as they enter children’s bodies and help them they grow and to prepare their souls for better lives. Although it is true that they do not explicitly teach Anthroposophy, their entire curriculum and everything from the color of the walls of each classroom, to the art materials the child is allowed to use, to the knowledge the child is exposed to, to where the child is seated in the classroom is completely guided by Anthroposophy.
Parents are told to limit access to technology. This is because anthroposophists believe that such things are the embodiment of the evil spirit of Ahriman and can interfere with a child’s spiritual development and physical incarnation.
Steiner believed that early reading interferes with the incarnation of the etheric body by damaging a spiritual protective sheath around the child leading to illness and spiritual degeneration. Only after adult teeth have appeared, did he believe the child spiritually ready to learn to read.
Is a dance invented by Steiner. Anthroposophists believe the movements are a sign language with spiritual significance that help the child communicate with the spirit world.
Paper must have rounded corners and with restricted media and colors, such as washes and waxes. Only certain types of art are allowed at certain ages. For example, wet on wet paintings and block crayon drawings are taught to young children because the work they produce is very much like the spirit world that Steiner believed the children just came from. As a child ages, they are allowed to put lines into their work, to represent the fact that they are growing into this world of hard lines and straight edges.
Children are treated and taught according to one of four temperaments: Melancholic, Sanguine, Phlegmatic or Choleric – Steiner used physical appearance and color to classify and determine how and what a child should be taught and where they should sit in the classroom.
Each Steiner School has an Anthroposophical Doctor who not only embraces forms of naturopathy, but who also claims to consider each child's past and future lives. They believe things like measles aids a child in their “spiritual development and that the eradication of smallpox by vaccination delayed the spirit’s karmic destiny in other lives. (Steiner stated that the death of a child as an acceptable part of helping spirits through their incarnations.)
I student taught, taught, and lived in a Waldorf training center