Posts Tagged ‘education’
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.
I was browsing through Waldorf Watch when I came across this rather sad article “Who gets hurt?” Having been married to a graduate of the Christchurch steiner system I’d have to say that my ex partner was extremely and irrevocably damaged by their education (I use the word advisedly). As an adult the task of recovering from anthroposophical beliefs has been and still is a life spoiling process. Not confident, unable to maintain relationships, lacking the will they are being told will be developed. Stuck in a paradigm that is separatist and racist. Something needs to be done about this aryan system being allowed to exist in Aotearoa NZ. It is anathema to our way of life. It goes against the concepts of freedom my grandparents and uncles went to war over. It not only hurts the children who go through that system, but it impacts on their non-anthroposophical friends, lovers, and partners. It is indeed a danger to all of those involved in their community as well as those who come into contact with them.
“It took me many long, weary years to rid myself of the occultism that Waldorf slipped into my consciousness. Here is how things stood for me on the day of my graduation from the 12th grade at our Waldorf school. [I will quote now from my classic memoir, “I Went to Waldorf”]:
“During my eleven years at Waldorf, I stood quite close to the fire, and I was drawn to its warmth — yet I pulled back. My nearest approach to full allegiance came during the excitement and nostalgia of graduation day. On that June morning, I considered myself profoundly religious (although I could not list the Ten Commandments nor quote more than a few short Bible verses). I thrilled to the knowledge that the world is more spirit than physics, more ideal than actual. I was vain, moralistic, priggish, innocent, shy, racially bigoted, and (confusingly, for a head-honcho student) utterly lacking in self-confidence. I was judgmental yet uncertain. I had no patience with science and its shallow half-truths. I prized imagination over intellect, sensibility over sense. I was right about everything, always — don’t even ask. (Please, don’t ask.) I had only superficial knowledge of the US economy and the major political issues in the wide world — and I didn’t care. Everything that I saw outside the school seemed to be beneath me. I was directionless. I had no career ambitions, no academic focus, no marketable skills. I had precious few social skills. I longed for a beauteous, buxom Aryan mate. (Few real girls approximated my fantasy. Marilyn, where are you? I never dated much.) I half-yearned for easeful death, or better yet a crusade, or salvation. I dreamed of writing a book titled GOD that would reconcile all the world’s religions. I dreamed of becoming President of the United States. I dreamed of performing — I wasn’t sure what — something — a titanic, stupendous something. But I had no intention of lifting a finger. I was on hold, waiting… In other words, I had been brainwashed, with a thoroughness and intensity I could not fathom. (Call me the Manchurian Schoolboy.) And, I should add, I was — without quite realizing it — deeply unhappy. Thank God, I was deeply unhappy. As the realization of my dejection slowly dawned on me during the following years, I became motivated to try to comprehend my condition and then to repair it. Even so, only gradually was I able to fight my way down from the fog in which (metaphorically speaking: only a metaphor) I levitated and at long last find my footing in reality. It took me more than twenty years to fully deprogram myself.” Read more from Waldorf Watch here.
I actually know people in 21st century Aotearoa NZ who believe this stuff. You’d have to wonder how they got that way with all the peer reviewed science around them. I know that science can indeed discover more and redefine what it knows, but this is just over the top. One may as well believe in gnomes and such, at least it would be somewhat consistent. This stuff is the reason Kiwi parents should be educated in their choices. Otherwise this rubbish will be passed on and on through the generations to come.
“[Science] sees the heart as a pump that pumps blood through the body. Now there is nothing more absurd than believing this….” — Rudolf Steiner, PSYCHOANALYSIS AND SPIRITUAL PSYCHOLOGY (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1990), p. 126. • “[T]he heart is indeed a sense organ for perceiving the blood’s movement, not a pump as physicists [sic] claim; the coursing of blood is brought about by our spirituality and vitality.” — Rudolf Steiner, AT HOME IN THE UNIVERSE (SteinerBooks, 2000), p. 84.
Read more here…..