MD, PhD, MAE, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

In a previous post, I explained that anthroposophic education was founded by Steiner in 1919 to serve the children of employees of the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart, Germany. Pupils of Waldorf or Steiner schools, as they are also frequently called, are encouraged to develop independent thinking and creativity, social responsibility, respect, and compassion.

Waldorf schools implicitly infuse spiritual and mystic concepts into their curriculum. Like some other alternative healthcare practitioners – for instance, doctors promoting integrative medicine, chiropractors, homeopaths, and naturopaths – doctors of anthroposophic medicine tend to advise against childhood immunizations. For this and other reasons, Waldorf schools have long attracted criticism.

Now it has been reported that the district government of Münster has withdrawn the school permit of a Waldorf school in Rheine, Germany, because of “serious deficiencies in the teaching operation”. For the 71 children, school operation ends with the start of the fall vacations at the beginning of October, as the district government announced on Tuesday. Already since the end of 2020 there had been numerous complaints. The school board had not succeeded in eliminating the deficiencies, a proper operation is currently and prospectively not guaranteed.

The list of problems described by the district government is long: there were repeated violations in the health protection of children. A spokesman for the district government said that there had been massive and repeated violations of Corona’s protective measures. In addition, there was a risk of accidents in the playground. The school board had also been unable to stop the misconduct of individual teachers, the district government criticized. “In addition, there is an insufficient supply of teachers, school organizational deficits and a massively disturbed school peace,” it said.

In the end, the basis of trust required for continued operation of the school was no longer given, so the school permit had to be revoked for the sake of the children. “This is an absolutely exceptional case,” the spokesman said. It is presumably the first case under the jurisdiction of the Münster district government, he added.

 

 

21 Responses to More on the dangers of Waldorf schools

  • “…there was a risk of accidents in the playground…”
    Heaven forbid! – whoops, spiritual is not allowed.

    • thank you for demonstrating your inability to understand even a simple text.

      • The variously-attributed axiom comes to mind “It is better to stay silent and be thought a fool, than to open the mouth and remove all doubt”…..

    • “there were repeated violations in the health protection of children. A spokesman for the district government said that there had been massive and repeated violations of Corona’s protective measures. In addition, there was a risk of accidents in the playground. The school board had also been unable to stop the misconduct of individual teachers, the district government criticized. “In addition, there is an insufficient supply of teachers, school organizational deficits and a massively disturbed school peace,” it said.”

      OK, so what, exactly, is “spiritual” about that lot? It looks like a list of things which would get any school into bother with the local inspectors and regulators.

      Oh, and can you define “spiritual” please, as I never know what is being talked about…

      • @Murmur

        spiritual = pretend that there is a higher power without assigning a name to it

        • Well, indeed, many folk do seem to use such a definition, but I was curious as to how Bob was defining it…

          • The spiritual is the reason to get out of bed in the morning. To love, to laugh, perchance to dream (to “pretend”).

            The opposite is Socialism, the anti-social, where the enemy is the individual who must be sacrificed for the “common good” because no one is special where everyone is equal.

          • you are an endlessly amusing source of pure BS!

          • @Old Bob
            I get out of bed in the morning to make coffee and I enjoy drinking it. That is what I look forward to every night before I go to bed. I guess that makes me a spiritual person too.

            Unless there is a strict definition of “special” everyone is special in their own way and that makes everyone equal. However, some people like to pretend that they are more special than others to justify inequality.

          • Spiritual is a word I avoid. Ok, if someone refers to a late Beethoven string quartet as spiritual then I know what they mean, a combination of the emotional and intellectual that takes you above the everyday. But I don’t imagine it points towards anything supernatural.

            Most of the time it’s just BS. I recall the woman ( there are many like her round here ) who told me in all seriousness that she was a deeply spiritual person – “ I even keep a dream catcher by the side of my bed!”

            And her brain in a trunk marked “not needed on voyage”.

          • Thank you.

            I have just found a perfect example of esprit: The world’s most interesting man (it’s only 45 seconds):
            https://rumble.com/v1iaf0l-the-worlds-most-interesting-man.html

          • OK, so given that until I retired I got out of bed (sometimes morning, sometimes late afternoon, ‘cos shifts) to go to work to earn money to pay the bills and mortgage and since I retired I get up in the morning because the cats come and demand feeding, does that make my old work and my cats “spiritual”? And I’ll avoid any obvious gags about nurses being “angels” or borrowings from Douglas Adams…

            Oh, there must be some class of conflict, as I worked for 30 years in the NHS, which is about as socialist as the UK gets these days, so I was clearly doing a socialist thing in a spiritual manner…

    • Old Bob – If you want to defend Waldorf, but can’t say something sensible it’s best to say nothing. I’m currently making a case to a public school board that their “Waldorf inspired” program is an affront to their own stated principles. They have been told by the Waldorf-trained teachers that there is nothing spiritual about Steiner’s pedagogy; it’s purely secular. I thank you for your honesty, but the more duplicitous Waldorf defenders will not.

  • I live in Stroud, one of the Steiner centres of the UK. Here we are surrounded by Steiner institutions including several schools, a horticultural college, children’s nurseries, cafes, shops and a host of quack therapists. They are actually quite a pernicious influence as their buying power enables them to buy up land and attempt to close footpaths. They have also bought several pubs to close them down and turn in to “community resources” where the community is very much the Steiner community.

    This also brings with it meningitis and measles outbreaks and an aggressive anti Covid lockdown stance. Our local paper is regularly treated to their lies.

    However there is perhaps hope. The local Steiner school has been closed following repeated failures to meet Ofsted standards, to which their response was “abolish Ofsted”.

    • I thought English pubs were a community resource…..

      • Strangely enough they are not automatically considered so. One of the pubs they bought was converted to what they called a training café – it’s theoretically open to anyone but is primarily used for Steiner activities. But the attempted closure of the other was thwarted by having it declared a community asset. I’m not sure exactly how it works but the effect is that the local council gives it protection and it must continue to operate as a pub. Eventually the Steiners gave up and after a couple of years sold it as a pub.

        Oh, and the Steiner school that was closed is on sale for offers around £4m. They have a massive property portfolio.

  • Rudolf Steiner was clearly a highly intelligent and imaginative man. Unfortunately he never thought to ask himself a few simple questions, such as “Is there a chance I may be mistaken?”.

    • He rejected that question:

      “Schon der Einwand: ich kann auch irren, ist störender Unglaube. Er zeigt, dass der Mensch kein Vertrauen hat in die Kraft des Wahren.”
      “Even the objection ‘I can also err’ is disturbing disbelief. It shows that man has no faith in the power of truth.”

      Source: Rudolf Steiner, “Theosophie. Einführung in übersinnliche Weltanschauung und Menschenbestimmung.”, GA009

  • Parents should be wary about sending their children to a school run by teachers who are followers of a man who taught that when bad things happen to someone it’s karmically necessary because of something bad they did in a previous life. Unfortunately, many parents do not know about the dangers posed by anthroposophic beliefs since all too often they have been told that Rudolf Steiner was a philosopher, educator and scientist, with no mention of his being an occultist.

    • Concealment of his true aims was something Steiner was quite explicit about. Teachers are told not to reveal too much to parents and pupils are also instructed in what they can and cannot say to Ofsted inspectors. It’s all presented as giving the children the freedom to learn and discover the world in their own way. So there is little intervention on bullying, supposedly in the interests of freedom but in reality driven by this karmic nonsense.

      You can get an idea of how much real freedom there is by looking at a Waldorf classroom. Few books, reading is not encouraged lest it expose the child to non-Steiner views. And look at the artwork – all the same wishy washy stuff with no black and no sharp lines.

  • Waldorf Astoria? So we have cigarettes, hotels and schools.
    Sounds like a business enterprise with a lean towards the rich and quackery.

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