Thursday, March 28, 2013
Insane private schools you won't believe actually exist
Waldorf made #1 on the list.
Comments seem to be mostly from Waldorf students and former Waldorf students. I have left off the comments by several Waldorf apologists who are babysitting the comments section.
mogwairadio 03/26/13 11:01 PM
Actually, the "phlegmatic," "sanguine," "choleric," or "melancholic" mode of classification (or very similar versions of it) was the original basis for racial classification. Waldorf, taking us back to the days when Linnaeus thought humans were different species.
.munchies. 03/26/13 09:07 PM
Yeah, I went to one for 3rd - 6th grade, was just hippy pinecone crap like he mentioned, we did lots of arts and crafts, long recesses, they gave us balls and stuff to play with, not as bad as he made it sound, as far as I remember at least. And definitely not as much math/science as when I transferred to a normal school. I just remember it being extremely boring, tbh (what the f**k kind of kid was I to be bored with less math, right). I don't believe I turned out *too* bad from that though. There was none of the stranger stuff it talked about in this when I was there though, no idea
brefots 03/26/13 02:40 AM
I've worked at a Waldorf School. It was a weird experience. But thankfully the curriculum did not include any outright cult indoctrination. They have these little verses they recite as "prayers" in the beginning an end of class. They teach a strange dance-like subject called "eurythmia" and also have the recital of poems in slow-motion, overpronouncing every letter, wether it's a spelling convention or an actual sound of the word. These practices, strange as they are, still fail to indoctrinate anyone into any kind of spiritual outlook.
jwhat 03/26/13 05:10 AM
The spirituality underlies everything about Waldorf methods. Most students and their families aren't aware of this. The problem is that it's not OUTRIGHT indoctrination--it's VEILED indoctrination. At the very least, being honest and open about the spirituality that underlies Waldorf would help some parents decide not to send their children to these schools. But this openness is often missing. It's deceptive.
the_dinks 03/26/13 01:32 AM
I have friends who go to Waldorf schools and they're really not like that.
jwhat 03/26/13 05:03 AM
How much about Anthroposophy has your friend studied? If he/she doesn't know much about Anthroposophy, it'd be harder to know how it's part of the Waldorf methods.
jwhat 03/25/13 09:26 PM
It's not uncommon for people who attended Waldorf to not understand what underlies their education. Try reading a book or two of Steiner's or any of his lectures, especially the ones he gave to teachers on the subject of education. Pretty far out ideas. Waldorf rarely advertises Steiner's teachings, except in vague terms, to prospective parents. It's unfair and deceptive.
It doesn't surprise me that someone commented here that the article sounded like propaganda pulled straight from a Tabloid. That person has probably never studied Anthroposophy to know that, even though the tone of the article is somewhat humorous, the article contents about Waldorf aren't phony. Bullying is still allowed to continue in some Waldorf schools based on notions of a person needing to work out their past-life karma with the perpetrator in this life. Batshit crazy.
ZenWolfDances 03/25/13 11:42 PM
Has Anthroposophy been "officially" modified at all since Steiner's day?
boocat 03/25/13 01:39 PM
We had our child in a Waldorf school for almost a decade. We believed in so much of the pedagogy. We still believe in limiting media and see the positive effects of that daily. We also subscribe to lots of outdoor free play time. Our schools lack in this very basic activity that actually has powerful effects on the ability of our children to learn and to develop fully. Sadly, however, like so many Waldorf schools, the institution was run with secrecy, lies, deception and cruelty. There are NO CHECKS AND BALANCES in most (all?) Waldorf schools! When our family began to question this, we were targeted--our child was targeted. We were made to partake in secretive ritual circles, our child's name was secretly chanted by the faculty without consent of the parents, other parents were approached by the administration to pass rumors about our family, and our child's teacher was asked to lie (this was admitted to us by the teacher when the teacher had a moment of moral clarity). We were thrown out of the community without any chance to speak on our behalf. We were devastated and our child was harmed. Since this happened, we have heard from many other families who have experienced the same treatment! In urban settings, in rural settings, in our country (US) and in other countries. This is a systemic problem in Waldorf schools. When parents investigate this form of education, they are not told the truth. They are not told that the school believes the teachers have karmic relationships with the students. The parents are not told that only the teachers can help to incarnate the children's souls into their bodies. The parents cannot do this and therefor the teachers play a more important role than the parents. They are not told that they believe humans come from Atlantis (first from star dust). This is an Occult group, and the very nature of it is hidden from view. For many, once you are in, it is very difficult to imagine leaving. I say this from experience, and I am a highly educated mom who has done a lot of personal work, and consider myself to be a pretty emotionally healthy person. But even so, it was very hard for me to imagine leaving. They subscribe to the belief of an, "US and THEM," and without knowing it, that became something I believed too. But once I was out, I could see with more clarity the harm such a judgmental and secretive place wages upon its community. There are a million things the parents don't know--and the children don't know it either. The children are being indoctrinated and they have no idea that they are. The verses they memorize, the colors they use, the stories they are told, the festivals they celebrate...Everything is beautifully packaged, and everything looks gentle and kind. But if you dare to scratch the surface, you will find something very different indeed. If Waldorf is proud of their curriculum, then they need to be honest and open about the meaning of it all so parents can make an informed choice about where they want to educate their children. Parents, do your research! Investigate Anthroposophy and see if it feels right to you.
pinkfizzy 03/25/13 10:36 AM
Most of the kids at my Waldorf school didn't believed all that stuff, although the teachers did. I agree that they should be more upfront about their beliefs, and also that there should be some sort of governing agency. It's very difficult to get a Waldorf teacher fired, and when the kids have one teacher for every class that gets unpleasant.
Shm330 3/25/13 06:11 AM
I went to a Steiner school, which are based on the Steiner guy's teachings (as the name might suggest). It's not as bad as the article suggests -it's a fuckload worse. Not only do they teach you entirely random garbage, they also teach you that said random garbage is your only protection against the modern world's energy-field confusing evil ways, We had little mishaps, such as a teacher whose mental health collapsed completely but kept teaching anyway (holy hell that was scary), bullying to such extent that students were beaten up while teachers watched -but telling our parents, or anyone, what was going on, would have caused something indefinable but horrible to happen. It was a complete cult, and while I did transfer to normal school as soon as I could, I only started talking about what went on there years later. The kids who did finish the whole 13 years are some doing okay (in stuff like making really expensive handmade furniture -nobody's in academia or science, of course -you don't have the ability), but will blow a fuse at the mildest suggestion that Steiner isn't the ultimate fountain of wisdom, or that maybe the notion that a child has three souls descending upon him/ her at various ages is a bit silly. It's a s**t school, but also resembles a cult in a lot of ways -you'll get more comments from furious alumni.
VirginBro 03/25/13 09:22 AM
Wouldn't a mental health collapse be sort of a requirement for teaching there?
madisun 03/24/13 08:19 PM
With Steiner, they don’t teach children to learn to read until their adult teeth have come through.
This is because the vital energy which goes into creating them takes so much energy away from the child that they are incapable of learning to read until the teeth are done growing… or something…
No one can tell me why they’ve pick nine years old though. Most kids won’t get their 12 year old molars until they’re 12 (funnily enough). So why not wait til 12?
Or what about the Wisdom teeth? They tormented me more than any other teeth, surely more vital energy went towards them??
…This is why my sister banned me from going to my nephew’s Steiner school’s open day.
spaghetti 03/24/13 08:27 PM
Any school that delays reading should be ashamed to call itself such.
RachelSmith 03/24/13 08:17 PM
I went to a waldorf school for preschool. I don't really remember anything but a schoolmate that went there does. They would not teach you how to read until you lost your first tooth and you wouldn't learn how to read a clock, only a sundial. Honestly though they were not as batty as the article makes out. They were mostly just really nice people that only played with wood and cloth (only partially sarcastic).
For a preschooler/kindergarten kid it was a lot of fun and they would teach you everything you needed to know, they just did it a little differently. We would do stuff like bake bread and make candles. Nothing too serious, just a little unconventional. It was when you got into grade school and higher did you start to lag behind and not learn the stuff other kids in normal schools did. (I was only there for preschool)
There was one instance I clearly remember though. They owned a playground across the street (the school was only twenty steps from my house) and one year they built a metal playground, by themselves, it wasn't pre-fabricated or anything (read: not safety tested). It had these dangerously tall rods sticking from it that you could climb (they must have been thirty feet tall, give or take). Even when I was ten I could tell that was a huge retarded mistake and well, a few days after they put it up my neighbor fell from the very top of it and broke a few ribs.
Basically, imagine if a bunch of really rural hippies decided to run a school. It was like that. Mostly harmless but sometimes you have to just step back and say 'wut'.
jeffamundo 03/24/13 06:00 PM
Did anybody catch the statement that "Waldorf education is the largest-growing alternative education movement in the world today". and tie it in with another article about BS statistics? In this case, that might mean that they doubled from 8 to 16. If I convince 3 dipshits to follow whatever education movement I feel like proposing right now, it will will be "growing" even faster in terms of rate. Let's try it. I propose
Jeffamundoism, where you must take a shot after each lesson. Who is with me?
Amwebb 03/24/13 06:14 PM
I am fuckin' with you!
Kerblaney 03/24/13 06:24 PM
Wow, followers of Jeffamundoism have doubled in number already! Must be something to it.
mcc1789 03/24/13 05:53 PM
Glad to see my alumnus, Waldorf, got a mention :) Believe me, the weirdness only continues, but most is not openly disclosed to parents from the beginning (they are slowly brought in along with their children).
oobooglunk 03/24/13 05:21 PM
I went to a Waldorf school when I was a kid, and I should tell you firsthand: it's not that bad. I feel like there is a lot of hyperbole surrounding the nature of this school, and it was much better than other schools in many different ways (e.g. encouragement of creativity over systematic thinking, no bullies, no grades, etc.). I didn't get any homework until fourth grade, and I still learned just fine. In fact, I was one of the smartest kids in my class. There is one flaw in its system, however: subjects like math and science are taught sparingly, and I personally consider them to be the bare minimum of sufficient. If you want your kid to learn and like school, this place is the right one for you. Just don't expect him to become a scientist or mathematician when he grows up.
Raider_Sam 03/24/13 06:00 PM
Well that takes care of about half of what kids need to learn.
Therion110 3/24/13 06:34 PM
What has science or math ever done to advance society? What we need are more roman history graduates.
oobooglunk 03/24/13 07:19 PM
"What has science or math done to advance our society"? How about create a new way of life that does not involve people living in caves? You're reading this on a computer (or a smartphone...or an iPad...you get my point), sitting in your house which, presumably, has power, water, and good plumbing. You have food, clothes, and appliances that all came from a store (unless you got them as a gift or stole them...again, you get my point). All of those things are provided to people on a daily basis, and nobody had access to them in the olden days when math and science had not been fully realized. As for Roman history, that's a dead empire. Sure, it's interesting, but it's dead. And it died for a reason. I think I have made my point.
Wolfesblut 03/24/13 07:53 PM
@Therion11: If there were only science and math, you would have no music, your clothes would look ridiculous and your games would be boring because nobody knows how to tell a story ;)
Raider_Sam 03/24/13 08:15 PM
I guess they didnt teach you how to read sarcasm at Waldorf.
oobooglunk 03/24/13 08:48 PM
I didn't say that math and science were the only thing that's important. I just said they ARE. That's all. As for the sarcasm bit, I do feel stupid for not understanding that. It's just that I've met a lot of people who actually do think that way.
kateatsmice 03/24/13 01:42 PM
I went to two Waldorf schools, each for a year. The first one I went to didn't put any of the spiritual stuff into practice, and it was alright. Not too crazy. The second one...well I was in 8th grade and they told me the trees were telling me their was no evolution. The article doesn't even get into "eurythmy..."
03/24/13 10:55 AM
I honestly don't get how, after reading the "temperaments" link in the Waldorf schools, someone would let their kids go there. I mean, who looks at something like that and thinks, "Yes, I would like to send my child to a school where their ability to learn will be judged by how they look."
I've seen other things before where looks are somehow supposed to determine personality, or your Zodiac sign is somehow related to looks. Has no one ever met someone with a completely different personality that looks like you? Or was born under the same sign? It really seems like it would be near impossible to /not/ disprove these things.
SpecialSnowflake 03/24/13 10:47 AM
Waldorf schools are truly bizarre and I'm amazed that so many parents I otherwise consider sane adhere to the philosophy. One of the strangest beliefs is that young children are angels or something and for whatever reason angels shouldn't learn to read. When the baby teeth fall out that's your cue that your child is no longer an angel and can learn to read. Young children are actively discouraged from reading. I work in public schools and there have been a few children who have transferred in from Waldorf schools. They are always far behind the other children who have been receiving an "inferior" public education.
Into-Oblivion 03/24/13 08:43 AM
Dude, I think I actually used to go to one of those Waldorf schools! They called it a Rudolph Steiner school (it was the mention of the name that led me to make the conncetion). I remember how I was constantly thinking "what the f**k is this hippie shit" for all the three years I went there. See, the people in my kindergarden said I would be better off in a private school with not so many people, because I had trouble fitting in at regular institutions. we weren't allowed to bring our own pencils. Instead we were made to write down and draw the things we were told with ecological beewax crayons. We also did not have any books, and they found it very necesary to teach us roman letters in first grade (rather than, you know, basic math). The school celebrated things like harvest and Lantern Day, and they had a VERY unorthodox approach to christianity. I was told that Jesus walked over a rainbow bridge to deliver the children to their mothers. And every time it was a kid's birthday, they'd give the birthday boy or girl a crystal or stone of some sort. We were made to stand with crossed arms and sing at the start of every lesson, and all the different classes had their own song. we had "eurythmics" which consisted of a lady with a heavy german accent instructing us to be completely silent and showing us how to move our bodies to symbolize a certain letter. As we advanced, we were made to spell out entire words with only movements of our legs and arms. The room was decorated in such a way as to make you feel like you'd stepped into a New Age healer shop. If someone talked, she'd say "Now it iz only ze arms and ze legs that talk". Needless to say, a bunch of 8 year olds found it utterly impossible to take this seriously. And we really DID have only faceless wooden dolls to play with. The people working there were absolutely s****y at their job, too. A number of our teachers had serious anger management issues, and when I started in third grade at the public school, I had no idea how to do basic calculation, nor how to write on a line with a pencil. I wrote well enough, but the letters were all over the place, because I had simply never seen such a thing as paper with lines before. I was completely fascinated with the idea of schoolbooks. I was also relieved that I wasn't forced to play the violin anymore (because honestly, I sucked at it). Funily enough, today I wish I could play it because it's such beautiful music. But I digress: Guys, please be careful what sort of school you put your kids in, because they could end up being really, really good at eurythmics and terrible at pretty much everything else.
flapper 03/24/13 08:16 AM
I went to a Waldorf school for junior high, and apparently it was Waldorf-lite because there were none of those things. We did however have to draw pretty borders on all of our schoolwork and recite a hippie verse at the start of each day. We got pretty good at fancy chalk drawings and drapery. They definitely advised NO TV for elementary school kids (well, at all, but by junior high they gave up) and "introduced" us to computers in grade 9. Some of my classmates had been there since junior kindergarden (there's like three years of kindergarden, and yes, plently of pinecones and faceless dolls. And capes) and they were actually pretty normal, no one didn't watch TV or use computers and certainly they could read before being 9. Though it was just as important to learn knitting and crochet.
It was definitely a weird school (we always called it a cult, though tongue in cheek) but it wasn't at all like the ones described. It was insane in its own special ways.