Saturday, June 9, 2012

Steiner Waldorf Problems with Special Needs Children

Steiner Waldorf Problems

I found your site very useful; thanks. The help it has given us with dyslexia
and learning strategies is thoughtful, practical, and for us, invaluable.

I wasn't sure which forum to write in, as one of our children has dyslexia. My
main reason for posting is to comment on Steiner education, which is often seen
as a haven for those with dyslexia, or the not so academic because of it's so
called concentration on creativeness and craft.

Since leaving this ''community'' we've found out so much , the things the
school's PR take great trouble to cover up. Steiner Waldorf education isn't
really about giving children knowledge, arming them with a desire to question
and extend their flare for curiosity. It's about seeing them through their
''incarnation'', helping them with the ''karmic'' lessons they need in this
life, in order for them to reincarnate on a higher spiritual plane in the next.

Yes, it sounds bonkers, it is bonkers.

We thought the Steiner system would be creative, liberal and give scope for our
children's individual talents and characters; it was a disaster, rigid, boring,
copied restricted work, following frankly bizarre and dangerous beliefs. (It is
based on anthroposophy, the teachers often had no qualifications apart from
Steiner training, which is nearly all done with Steiner's work. The
educationalist David Mollet calls it brainwashing and indoctrination)

Consequently our children have taken much time and effort to catch up; dyslexia
isn't recognised except as an ''incarnation problem''. Everything is about
karma. Our youngest was encouraged to change from being left handed, and had to
do things right handed (left handedness is to do with a weakness in a past
life), children are classified by medieval ''temperaments''- melancholic,
phlegmatic etc, which, along with their race and roots, dictates how the teacher
treats them.

One of our children has had esteem problems because bullying was more or less
ignored (it is seen as karma).

After doing some research, we discovered that the same problems we had, happen
in Steiner Waldorf schools all over the world. Some of these people's
experiences can be read in the article section here.

We withdrew our daughter from a Steiner school in class 5 ( year 6 )after her
class teacher labelled her a unwilling to cooperate. Through class 2/3 we
questioned her academic progress,we were told by her teacher and some parents
told us to trust the system and that she was doing well and was a lovely child.
A new teacher arrived in class 4 . She told us our child had multiple issues and
was terribley behaved. We know realise she has mild dyslexia and dyspraxia and
needs some specific teaching. The Steiner school did nothing but condemn our
child as the problem. They have totally betrayed our trust and loyalty.

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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.