Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Open Letter to Waldorf Educators



We are Waldorf critics.  Wait, don't turn away.  Don't act like you don't know us.  We were YOU.  

We were parents, or students, or teachers in YOUR system.  Some of us have been all three.  Some of us are new at this, and some of us have been Waldorf critics for decades.  


We are each very different but we all have one thing in common - we or someone we love TRUSTED YOU once.  So, don't pretend you don't know us - you know us and you FAILED US!   Maybe you don't realize  the damage you do lasts a LIFETIME.  This is something you should hear - so you don't get  to turn a deaf ear now.  We are holding you accountable - Not just now - for a LIFETIME.  So you may as well stop pretending we don't exist - stop pretending criticism against you is unjust - and just listen up...


We are Waldorf critics.  Before we became Waldorf critics we stood for Waldorf with you - year after year.  We gave you all our free time - our money - we TRUSTED you with our children.  We changed our lifestyle to fit yours.  Sometimes it meant distancing ourselves from our friends, our own families - sure some of our kids didn't get to know their grandparents - but you convinced us they were a bad influence didn't you?  Sometimes, it wasn't as easy as cutting out a set of grandparents - sometimes one of the parents had to be taken out of the picture too.  Many of our spouses went along with this crazy idea.  The thought that we had entered into a cult started creeping into our heads.


When our children complained, you convinced us it was our children who were the problem.  You demanded that we trust YOU more than what our own children were telling us.  And you did this while you were LYING to us.

The more we noticed problems - the more we realized that if we spoke up, you would punish us - or worse yet - take it out on OUR CHILDREN!  Many of us felt trapped, helpless and smothered under your system.  Superficially, it seemed everyone around us was doing fine - but then we started asking questions.  That was the beginning of the end.  You weren't about to answer our questions honestly - in fact, you seemed insulted that we would even question what you were doing with OUR children.  When we eventually discovered what you were doing, and why - we begged you to stop.  YOU would have nothing of it.  Each of us and our children became your VICTIMS.  So now... 


We are Waldorf critics.  And WE are in the age of the internet.  Your first mistake was to try to use the internet to defame us.  Instead you ended up demonstrating to the world that even your highest-ranking members are LIARS and in fact can't be trusted around children. Your representatives are already requesting the "right to be forgotten" from Google in Europe.  


When one of your schools was recently forced to conduct an internal investigation, pedophiles and rapists and their accomplices came scampering out everywhere.  MORE WALDORF VICTIMS turned up... even famous ones.  Abuses and cover-ups went back decades.  Imagine what would happen if the other 1000 schools were investigated...  Many parents already do.

Now, your plan is that if you can ignore critics long enough, they might get tired of complaining and go away.  Here's the problem with that strategy.  The more you ignore the complaints, the MORE CRITICS you create.  There's no end to the stream of Waldorf critics now.  New critics are starting blogs every day.  And with the system you have in place - you can be sure EVERY DAY, parents right in YOUR SCHOOLS are ticking time-bombs waiting to become the next wave of Waldorf critics?  Why?  Because YOU don't listen to the Waldorf critics OR the complaints of parents in your schools.  When children are harmed YOU don't hold yourselves accountable!  You leave it up to the Waldorf critics to do that for you.  
 

The way Anthroposophists blatantly lie about Anthroposophy and racism in Waldorf, not to mention the nonsense you claim is good for children, is so absurd people are literally laughing at you - not over your beliefs as much as your ridiculous attempts to keep them secret from the public.  

We are Waldorf critics.  We thought we were like you - but we realize now - you have been LYING to us all along - YOU are NOTHING like us! 

We are Waldorf critics.  We won't sit by and listen while you lie to fresh parents every day.  Every day, we make the time and find the strength and courage and resilience to speak our outrage at YOU.  Where do you think that determination comes from?  We still feel the damage YOU did to us... and we are determined you won't do that to others.  Since you won't change - you have to be EXPOSED!


We know that what distinguishes us from you is that when WE see  teachers doing something wrong WE SPEAK UP.  When WE see a child being harmed, we don't make excuses, WE STEP IN.  When WE see Waldorf representatives lying on blogs and in articles, WE SHOW THEY ARE LYING and why.  When we see Waldorf school after Waldorf school ignoring science to the point where they put not just their own children, but the public at risk, WE MAKE THEM FAMOUS for the harm they do. 

WE are Waldorf critics - WE help hundreds of parents avoid Waldorf every day - and WE know that's something WE can be proud of.  

See also: http://zooey.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/waldorf-critics-and-waldorf-proponents-on-daisys-dissertation/

16 comments:

  1. I was a victim. I stand by your words. Thank you very much...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't see any concrete example: what lies have you been told? What nonsense have your children had to bear? What did teachers do wrong? I mean, I understand that there might be flaws, no educational institution is perfect not to mention the human beings who form it... But all this hate? Is it really a problem of the whole anthroposophical paedagogy? I'm a young adult who just fibished university, I attended a Waldorf school from kindergarten to highschool and besides some minor complaints against some individual teachers as persons, I can't really recall any episode where my school ruined anyone's life, destroyed any family or acted like a cult. Maybe I am just lucky, but this keeps me wondering.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I don't see any concrete example: what lies have you been told?" Really? Besides this blog, there's also the Waldorf Awareness blog - filled with documents signed by the school that were flat lies. Do more research before assuming you have the whole story. I know I had to. ;)

      Delete
    2. The fact your limited experience was positive does not cast light on all Schools or experiences. The fact some may experience grievious harm is sufficient. It is not a matter of 'hate', to say that is to discredit very, very, valid experiences.

      Delete
  3. Where can I learn more about the school that had the internal investigation that led to the findings of multiple aggressors?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right here on this blog. http://thewaldorfreview.blogspot.com/2014/07/green-meadow-waldorf-school-sex.html

      Delete
  4. I'd like to see some concrete examples as well. I have read about 20 Waldorf education books, and as a former public school teacher, I wholeheartedly recommend the Waldorf system. From my granddaughter's experience, I see that they are following brain development research, the teachers care about the students, the curriculum has rigor, and my granddaughter is very happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. I'm new to this blog, and am a former public school teacher myself. I'm glad that your granddaughter is happy (for now) at a Waldorf school. Unfortunately, as a grandparent of a former Waldorf student, I am saddened by the educational and emotional damage that was done to my grandson at the hands of a Waldorf school in Oregon. Luckily my husband and I offered math tutoring when we heard our grandson who had been having problems doing simple math for the past year or so, was now breaking down in tears and refusing to even try to do the work coming home (homework is only on the weekends, and is just work that isn't finished during the week). What we discovered was that our 5th grader was only able to do 2nd grade math. The tutor, from a nationally accredited tutoring program says our grandson is very smart, and with only a few sessions has progressed beautifully and no longer cries when presented with math problems. Unfortunately, it's going to take him months of tutoring to reach his grade potential. This prompted a change to a school with a strict anti-bullying program, new teachers interested in education and in a positive way in the welfare of "the whole child", nice new friends, and a startling confession by our grandson about what goes on in the classroom and the treatment allowed by teachers and other students under the guise of "karma". My grandson hasn't read any negative blogs or heard negative discussions about Anthropsity. He just experienced it first hand. Please be vigilant about your child's education. What we see as nurturing and charismatic and wonderful on the surface is exactly what Waldorf schools want us to see. We need to turn over the stones along the path our children (and grandchildren) walk during events like the Lantern Walk and see what lies beneath! I'm sorry to say, it's not very pretty.

      Delete
  5. Well then since your granddaughter gives it the thumbs up, I suppose all the parents, students and teachers here must yield to your grandaughter's authority.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! Someone simply states that they have a granddaughter who is happy, and you reply with such condescension? "Yield to your granddaughter's authority" ....really? Can't you just say that some of the observations you have made refer to individuals and individual schools, while it is completely possible that other schools behave quite differently? That is in fact the case....

    I travel widely and observe many Waldorf schools/teachers as a consultant. Some are guilty of poor discipline, certainly....and a few even describe bullying in the context you describe. As a long-time Waldorf educator, I have always spoken out against this practice. It is a complete misunderstanding. Adults must intervene at all times against inappropriate behavior, whether on the playground or in the classroom....whether perpetrated by students or teachers. There are plenty of Waldorf educators who agree with this viewpoint shared by the critics. I read your complaints to learn about the objections and take steps to correct what is clearly a problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The excuse that it's just a few "individual schools" is precisely why I collected reviews from all around the world. Please pull your head out of the sand and acknowledge that the problem is systemic. The very worst teachers I have profiled are in charge of Waldorf teacher TRAINING. The problem is with Waldorf, not with individual schools. That Waldorf actually publishes videos mocking the complaints of parents is astonishing - and shameful. That you continue to be associated with this system - while anonymously chastising me - speaks volumes. Please tell me what "steps" you have taken to stop the problems I have described? Are they steps that will apply to the Waldorf system? Or individuals?

      And no, I won't let one or two or ten second-hand stories of positive experiences related by anonymous grandparents undermine the reviews I have collected here... not for one second!

      Delete
  7. So where are the concrete examples of all these damaged children? I was at Wynstones from 1965 to 1978 and I hated school after kindergarten but you make it sound so dramatic. Could I suggest you actually cite some examples of consistent problems rather then some wooly writing that sounds more like a eurythmy performance narrative!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, ThinkingHorse, do you realize you just dissed your own sacred Eurythmy? All this emotional sputum does nothing to fix the problems of Waldorf education. I have no problem with a group (unless it's subversive...) going to the trouble to have a recognized school to teach their own children about their philosophies. Just don't advertise it to the rest of the world as something it is not, and try to recruit new Anthroposifists slyly and dishonestly through the education of children.

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow reading all these comments about how terrible Waldorf is has opened my eyes. I am sending my kid to public school immediately. They have things figured out there. No bullying no bad teachers. And not so much time outside. More time a desks is better for kids. Thank goodness it's all so cut and dry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous, more emotional sputum. If you are an intelligent being, you already know nothing in education these days is "cut and dry". No one is saying public education is the end-all. Critics of Waldorf are angry at being told wonderful things about the education their children will receive, gladly and excitedly embrace the aura of safety and compassion for their children that is projected, gladly pay for the education they believe their children will get, and are told nothing about what their children will be taught. For instance, how "the human body is like a plant with it's head in the ground like roots". This is learning Botany? And our "universe only reaches as far as Saturn". Is this science? Many parents turn to Waldorf when their children have been bullied by teachers or students in public school. At orientation for our grandchild's admission to Waldorf we asked specifically about Waldorf's stance on bullying. We were told it wasn't tolerated. We were NOT told that bullying might be experienced within the walls of Waldorf classrooms because of some terrible thing our grandson might have done in a past life, and that the child has to endure this because his Karma needs it. This is an Anthroposity belief. Fine if you're an Anthroposofist and want your child raised and educated this way, but we didn't knowingly pay for that viewpoint, and are angry that our grandchild was subjected to it. Waldorf education would have no critics if you were honest from the time of admission about what you teach, and how you handle everyday issues of child development. So, be more honest in the future and don't wait for people to read about Anthroposity after they see problems arise in their children's education.

      Delete

You may ask, "where are all the 5=Star reviews?" Well, the problem with those reviews is that many tend not to be too honest. I have included 4-star reviews that appear honest. Often, gushing reviews are placed by teachers and administrators - as some comments here indicate. "This school educates the whole child!!!" - 5 stars - by Anonymous... I say baloney! Notice, many of the reviewers have been misled by Waldorf and are still buying the PR, even after having been disappointed. Feel free to comment but understand the intent of this blog. Comments are no longer moderated.