Archive for the ‘anne tolley’ Category
One wonders if all the authors of this unoriginal document are attached to the waldorf / steiner movement in some way?
The learning of one to one matching of number words eg; one (the word) to one concrete object, say a block of some kind, is not new and common in the teaching of numeracy. There’s nothing “esoteric” or hidden about this knowledge and I am affronted by this rather lame attempt to make numeracy some kind of “spiritual science” by the waldorf / steiner community. Rhythmical teaching strategies have always been a part of “State Teaching” in Aotearoa NZ. We know it helps rote learning of basic facts but does little to teach that the formula (say 3 x 4 = 12)actually means that there are 3 groups of 4 objects and when I join them together, I end up with 12 objects. Repeated addition is very useful. Of course the child rarely comes to their first class knowing this concept and it takes some time to learn. But it is not “esoteric” or “magical” in any way. Contrary to anthroposophical opinion, it is not only for the initiated. See what waldorf answers has to say here.
Something different this time. A statement from the Ministry of Education about Evidence Based (written by Professor Helen Timperley) research for learning in the classroom. A long way from steiner pedagogy indeed.
The Taikura Rudolf Steiner school community has been reassured by the Minister of Education, Anne Tolley, that they can rest easy over National Standards and the future of their school. The Hastings school was one of hundreds throughout the country opposed to the controversial new directive, but in June cried foul when a letter from Ms Tolley urged them to comply or face legal action, and potentially lose government funding.
Protest was rife since the forced compliance, and included a large presence of parents at Prime Minister John Key’s Napier meeting.Last month, after a meeting with concerned Taikura parents, Tukituki MP Craig Foss wrote to Ms Tolley on their behalf, and received a reply on Thursday he said alleviated many of their concerns. Read more here on Hawkes Bay Today.
Well done John Key! Buckling to this type of educational philosophy in Aotearoa NZ is just what our children need. Obviously you are either a steiner proponent or your researching is somewhat cursory. The question needs to be asked. Why don’t steiner schools have to be accountable to the ministry for their delivery of ‘education’ (I use the word advisedly) in Aotearoa NZ?
This article from UK Anthroposophy is sure worth a read. The will be more parts to the post which I will post on to make sure it’s read in Aotearoa NZ.
Waldorf teachers must accept or, at an absolute minimum, make peace with the doctrines of Anthroposophy. Waldorf schools prefer to hire only committed followers of Rudolf Steiner, but sometimes they must hire nonbelievers, if only temporarily. This can cause problems both for the schools and for the new hires. Addressing new and aspiring Waldorf teachers, Waldorf teacher Keith Francis writes, “[Y]ou also have to come to terms with reincarnation, karma, the details of the life between death and rebirth and the work of the hierarchies [i.e., ranks of gods] in the evolution of the world and the human being. This is not all. Perhaps the most difficult thing is that you get the impression that anthroposophists think of Christ as a great spiritual being [i.e., He is just one of many gods]. That indefinite article on its own may be enough to give you the feeling that anthroposophy is not for you. The continual references to the members of the hierarchies as Gods do not help.” — Keith Francis, THE EDUCATION OF A WALDORF TEACHER (iUniverse, 2004), p. 183. [See “Ex-Teacher 9”.] [For information about the Waldorf worldview, see The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia. For the context of the Waldorf worldview — the broad fields of occultism, mysticism, and the paranormal — see The Semi-Steiner Dictionary. For previous notable quotes, see “Quotes”. For previous “news,” see the “News Archive”.]
What is the curriculum at a Waldorf school like? (this from waldorf answers, my thoughts are in red)
The Waldorf curriculum is designed to be responsive to the various phases of a child’s development. (my experience is that they, the Christchurch steiner school, try to fit the children into their 7 year cycles regardless of where they’re actually at) The relationship between student and teacher is, likewise, recognized to be both crucial and changing throughout the course of childhood and early adolescence. (my step-daughter’s teacher is not qualified to teach at Primary Grade 1, he studied bio-dynamic farming and anthroposophy. That does not make him a teacher, he is baby sitting and doesn’t know what to do).
The main subjects, such as history, language arts, science and mathematics are, as mentioned, taught in main lesson blocks of two to three hours per day, with each block lasting from three to five weeks. (2 or 3 hour blocks is not a useful block of time for a Grade one student. It is well known that they do not have the concentration span for that. So far it has failed my 3 step-children).
The total Waldorf curriculum has been likened to an ascending spiral: subjects are revisited several times, but each new exposure affords greater depth and new insights into the subject at hand. (this is a common way to teach in state schools. The difference is that state schools pre-test children so the don’t go over things the children already know which is boring, a common complaint. Then state schools post test to find out what the child has learned).
A typical Lower School curriculum would likely look something like the following:
Primary Grades 1 – 3
Pictorial introduction to the alphabet, writing, reading, spelling, poetry and drama.
Folk and fairy tales, fables, legends, Old Testament stories. (All eurocentric accept a very small nod towards Aotearoa-NZ’s own stories, myths, and legends. No depth unless it’s aryan gods and legends).
Numbers, basic mathematical processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Nature stories, house building and gardening.