Friday, September 12, 2014

Anthropoppers, Critics and Waldorf Schools, Oh my!

http://anthropopper.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/the-internet-the-critics-and-steiner-waldorf-schools/

Jeremy Smith writes: 


I used to work for a Steiner school and my younger self tended to get quite upset by the sheer malice and ill will that the online critics manifested towards the education. I would dearly love to offer these critics and their readers a more balanced view, one which is based on my own, mainly positive, experience of Steiner schools. However, despite my wish for interaction and dialogue, I’ve reluctantly concluded that there is little to be gained by joining discussion with the critics. After several bruising online encounters, it became clear that many of them are really not interested in reasoned discussion. No, what they want is to destroy Steiner Waldorf education. I wish I had read the following advice from Steiner before getting involved:
“Observe the opponents, indeed in our anthroposophical circles it would be most advisable to study our opponents carefully. They renounce attacking the truths, and lay chief stress on personal attacks, personal insinuations, personal insults, personal calumnies. They think that truth cannot be touched, yet it is to be driven out of the world, and they believe that this can be done by personal defamation. The nature of such an opposition shows how well the leading opponents know how to proceed in order to gain the victory, at least for the time being.
But this is something which anthroposophists above all should know; for there are still many anthroposophists who think that something may be reached by direct discussion with the opponent…people do not hate us because we say something that is not true, but because we say the truth. And the more we succeed in proving that we say the truth, the more they will hate us.
Of course this cannot prevent us from stating the truth. But it can prevent us from being so naïve as to think that it is possible to progress by discussion.” 
Smith continues:
Steiner here was clearly referring to opponents who went about their business by way of ad hominem attacks, distortions and lies – the kind of behaviour, in fact, which the internet with its anonymity and distancing effect seems to encourage. Taking his advice, I won’t be getting into any more online exchanges with critics who behave in the ways he described. I might, however, respond to what seem to be genuine questions or genuine concerns, because I am interested in real discussion and dialogue – and also because I think that in the long run the critics are doing Steiner schools a favour by shining their critical spotlight on the education.

The problem that I see with all this is that Mr. Smith has it exactly backwards.  It is Anthroposophists who have sought to personalize critical discussions about Waldorf - not the other way around.  Critics don't want to make it about individuals - they have no incentive to suggest an individual is responsible for the failures of Waldorf.  Critics have gone out of their way to insist this ISN'T about individuals, but rather a systemic problem.  Occasionally, individuals are identified, of course, when they are pedophiles or otherwise harmful to children.  But even when critics identify an individual pedophile, or racist, they are far more concerned about the Waldorf system that permits these individuals to roam and lecture freely.

Indeed, it has been the Anthroposophists who "lay chief stress on personal attacks, personal insinuations, personal insults, personal calumnies" upon critics.  I've been called a "psychopath" among other things.  Other critics have been compared to Nazis, called mentally unstable, accused of forgery and on and on.  NONE of the criticisms of Steiner are ever addressed adequately for the public, let alone the critics.


Smith claims Waldorf should embrace the critical spotlight.  If so, Waldorf critics could easily embrace Steiner's words for themselves.

  
“Observe the opponents, indeed in our critical circles it would be most advisable to study our opponents carefully. They renounce attacking the truths, and lay chief stress on personal attacks, personal insinuations, personal insults, personal calumnies. They think that truth cannot be touched, yet it is to be driven out of the world, and they believe that this can be done by personal defamation. The nature of such an opposition shows how well the leading opponents know how to proceed in order to gain the victory, at least for the time being.
Anthroposophists do not hate us because we say something that is not true, but because we say the truth. And the more we succeed in proving that we say the truth, the more they will hate us.
Of course this cannot prevent us from stating the truth. But it can prevent us from being so naïve as to think that it is possible to progress by discussion.” 
What could be more true for critics? 

Smith concludes: 

I will simply observe that, to the extent we are able to rise successfully to this challenge, the critics will have helped Steiner schools into becoming an accepted and valued part of the educational culture of this country – and this might even come to be reflected in what is said about us on the internet.
Yeah, how's that working out for you so far?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Control-Halt-Delete Comments - full text

Here is the full text of the comments on the Control-Halt-Delete article "Why some educators and scientists believe technology is bad for brains — especially young ones".  I got into an extensive discussion with Steve Hale (Rafael) regarding Waldorf Education.  It covers a lot of topics.  Almost immediately, Harlan Gilbert jumped in to pretend he's a satisfied parent without acknowledging he's a Waldorf teacher.  He's also the main author of the Wikipedia articles on Waldorf education, Steiner and Anthroposophy (et al).  This article sourced Wikipedia for a lot of its information.  I pointed that out to the author.  Enjoy!




Pete K

"But the end results are striking. According to its site, 94 percent of Waldorf graduates attend colleges or universities."

Why is it OK to misrepresent this sort of thing in a "news" article. Getting statistics off their website? Did the reporter look at how many kids actually attend college after Waldorf? Most Waldorf schools stop at the 8th grade. Are they taking credit for their grads going to college?

At Highland Hall Waldorf school, it was reported that 25% of students are withdrawn from the school EACH YEAR. 25% of the parents are dissatisfied enough - EVERY YEAR to abandon their child's education, not to mentions thousands of dollars invested, and simply walk away. Last year they lost closer to 50%. Somebody isn't telling parents everything before they enroll their kids in these schools.

It has been my experience with Waldorf that they are dishonest in representing their schools, their movement and what they actually teach children. There is a reason for this... Waldorf is the missionary arm of Anthroposophy - Rudolf Steiner's quasi-religious philosophy that teaches, among other things, that "the white race is the race of the future". They teach this sort of nonsense in Waldorf as science. People signing up for Waldorf may be getting a whole lot more than they bargained for. Many, many parents find out too late that Waldorf is NOT for them.

Parents, PLEASE research Waldorf more thoroughly than the author of this article before considering this nightmare for your children. Waldorf is not what it appears to be.

Submitted by Pete Karaiskos / former Waldorf parent, Waldorf critic and parent advocate.
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/

Posted by Pete K on 11/23/2011 at 7:05 AM




We've been very, very happy with the education our children (now 6th and 8th grades) are receiving at the Waldorf school near us. We did get much, much more than we bargained for -- in the best sense possible! This is, at least, the school of the future.

Posted by Harlan Gilbert on 11/23/2011 at 10:28 AM



Pete K,
I am aware, of course, of the backlash against Waldorf from yourself and others.
In fact, I was careful to note some of the criticisms against Waldorf in my story, despite the fact that it had little to do with my central theme on technology.
It's true that Waldorf has few high schools, and that I relied on their study to determine how many of their graduates go to college. Since these are private schools, there is no other source for this information. The 94 percent figure has also been used in national publications.
You may have noticed a high attrition rate at a high school near you — I assume you do not live in Colorado, since there are no Colorado Waldorf High Schools — however, we are not basing our information on a single school. Also, no other school that I've heard of, whether public or private, would include attrition in its graduation rate, or college acceptance rate. I see no reason to hold Waldorf to a higher standard.
What's more, while a high attrition rate may look bad, it's not necessarily that telling. We have schools here that serve children of soldiers. The attrition rates are high, but I wouldn't say that's a judgement on their performance. Similarly, I'd note that Waldorf schools are private, and generally quite expensive, so it would seem that there would be many reasons other than the ones you provided for a school to have a high attrition rate.
Your other complaints are more of what I saw on the Web.
It's true that Waldorf uses some of Steiner's philosophy and his focus on a child's spirit in the classroom. To some, who may be rooted in a different religion, or strictly atheist, that could be viewed as offensive.
You also note the race issue, which seems to crop up a lot. Best I could tell, Steiner was a product of his time, and he did hold beliefs that favored whites. However, he was also noted for loudly opposing racism and anti-Semitism, which was rather progressive for the late 1800s and early 1900s. In fact, Waldorf Schools across Europe were shut down by the Germans during World War II.
In short, I found no evidence that the schools taught any racism in the classroom, and it actually appeared that the schools strove to be open to all colors and religions, both in staff and students. It seemed as though the arguments that the school system is racist were based on some of the antiquated beliefs personally held by Steiner a century ago.
By that logic, our Founding Fathers' beliefs shouldn't be shared with school kids, because many of them were slave holders. I think we assume that teachers can show the wisdom of the Constitution while still condemning slavery. Similarly, it would seem that Waldorf teachers can apply Steiner's educational principles without showing any favoritism for whites.
I certainly would not have written anything vaguely positive about a school system that was considered racist. However, I recognize that individual experiences vary. Teaching involves a human element, and teachers and principals can be bad eggs just like anyone else. If you had a bad experience, that's upsetting and I hope you took whatever actions were appropriate.
For our readers, here's what Wikipedia says about Steiner and race (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Steine…
"Race and ethnicity
Steiner's work includes both universalist, humanist elements and historically influenced racial assumptions.[80] Due to the contrast and even contradictions between these elements, "whether a given reader interprets Anthroposophy as racist or not depends upon that reader's concerns."[81] Steiner considered that every people, by dint of a shared language and culture, has a unique essence, which he called its soul or spirit,[76] saw race as a physical manifestation of humanity's spiritual evolution and at times seemed to place races into a complex hierarchy largely derived from contemporary theosophical views, yet he consistently and explicitly subordinated the role of hereditary factors, including race and ethnicity, to individual factors in development.[81] The human individuality, for Steiner, is centered in a person's unique spiritual biography (i.e., the vast sum of an individuality's experiences and development not bound by waking hours or a single lifetime), not the body's accidental qualities.[22] More specifically:
Steiner characterized specific races, nations, and ethnicities in ways that have been termed racist by critics[82] including characterizations of various races and ethnic groups as flowering, others as backward or destined to disappear;[81] and hierarchical views of the spiritual evolution of different races,[83] including—at times, and inconsistently—portraying the white race, European culture, or the Germanic culture as representing the high point of human evolution as of the early 20th century, though describing these as destined to be superseded by future cultures.[81] Nevertheless, his views about German culture were not ethnically based; he saw this culture, in particular Goethe and the German transcendentalists, as the source of spiritual ideals that were of central importance both for the immediate region and for the world.[84]
Throughout his life, Steiner consistently emphasized the core spiritual unity of all the world's peoples and sharply criticized racial prejudice. He articulated beliefs that the individual nature of any person stands higher than any racial, ethnic, national or religious affiliation;[7][47] that race and ethnicity are transient and superficial, not essential aspects of the individual;[81] that each individual incarnates among / as part of many different peoples and races over successive lives, thus bearing within him- or herself a range of races and peoples;[81][85] and that race is rapidly losing any remaining significance for humanity.[81]
Above all, Steiner considered "race, folk, ethnicity and gender" to be general, describable categories into which individuals may choose to fit, but from which free human beings can and will liberate themselves.[22]"

J. Adrian Stanley

Posted by J. Adrian Stanley on 11/23/2011 at 12:01 PM



Great article. Child driven play, interacting with friends, family and others is key to the EQ development of a child, particularly before age 5. Since the beginning of time we have learned from observation, interaction and participation. The human brain and body is geared for "observe" what is happening in your environment; interact with others to see what works and what doesn't work; repeat behavior until you "get it"; learn to participate, particularly to understand that you're thoughts, words and actions taken will create a result.

Having said all that, along with I myself don't even watch TV... I am a Life Managment Skills Educator and the creator of "I Believe in Me!" a two time national award winning DVD program for preschoolers ages 2-5!! How did that ever happen?!!

I know parents and some preschools are going to put kids in front of a computer and TVs... I wanted to create the best DVD program I could to teach preschoolers the high EQ skills of how to be a friend, how to be determined, how to be kind, how to join in with others. I wanted it to represent exactly what they should be doing - child driven play, interacting with family, friends and others, learning the self confidence skills many adutls wished they had. We filmed real kids, for kids watching are real... doing what kdis do best...play, play and be a kid...they're riding bikes, icing cupcakes, building a fot in a bedroom, making snow angels... pretending to be animals... all those things we want kids to be doing. The children in the DVD ask the viewing children to say and do things. Segments are five minutes long...allowing for activities and play to follow and interacting with those adults who are watching it with them.

Some children do not and will not have the wonderful experience and programming from parents and caregivers who know these self-esteem skills and/or can teach them. So, I set out to help adults teach these things, yes in that new technology format.

So, hooray for those who realize that playing, pretending and imagination are critical to a child's development. We have yet to raise a generation of chldren who believe in themselves, to this end we wish to make a contribution...technology in moderation and when you do use it...view the ones that have your child's best interst in mind.

Respectfully,
Sue Lee
Creator of "I Believe in Me!"

www.ibelieveinme.tv

Posted by Sue Lee on 11/23/2011 at 2:12 PM

Pete K
Hi J. Adrian Stanley,

Thanks for your comments. Yes, Waldorf teacher Harlan Gilbert (who posted above my previous post pretending to be a parent - any wonder his kids are doing great?) wrote a wonderful piece in Wikipedia about Steiner (check the edit pages to find him controlling the article). If you like that one, read his article about Waldorf Education. Unfortunately, all the articles Mr. Gilbert has participated in on Wikipedia are, as one would expect, very biased... and that bias rubs off, again as one would expect, on readers. You say, for example, Waldorf schools were shut down by the Nazis. Do you know they were favored schools by many Nazis and were the very last non-state schools to be shut down? In fact, many Waldorf parents petitioned the Nazis claiming their ideas were in alignment. Peter Staudenmaier PhD is an historian who specializes in this particular area. Here's a link to what *really* happened with regard to the closing of Waldorf schools during the Nazi era... in case you're interested. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-crit…

Now, getting back to Harlan Gilbert's Wikipedia piece on Steiner, here's what it boils down to... Steiner believed the "individual" was represented in spiritual form, and that each individual incarnates in multiple lifetimes ever-progressing from the lower races upward until achieving the perfect (for now) form of the white race (although some people or peoples could regress). So, the "individual" is only visiting this incarnation... for karmic reasons. This is what Waldorf teachers are taught - whether they are Anthroposophists or not. Waldorf teacher training reading lists reveal what's on the menu for new Waldorf teachers.

Now, how does this affect what Waldorf teachers do in the classroom? Well, for one thing, they are guidelines set forth by Steiner about what to expect from children of the various races, how to deal with children with disabilities and why those disabilities are basically karma from a previous lifetime, how to deal with demonic (non-human) children, how to deal with large-headed children differently than small-headed children, when children should be broken of lefthandedness, and so forth. This ridiculous stuff is REQUIRED reading for all Waldorf teacher trainees (it's contained in every published Waldorf teacher training reading list I've seen at least and I've seen many). That, to me, means somebody thinks this stuff is still important - even if you don't.

Steiner advised Waldorf teachers that they have a deeper karmic connection with the children than their own parents. Waldorf teachers I've experienced have tended to take liberties with other people's children. Their karma with the child is stronger after all. And, the child may have SOME karma to experience in this lifetime. No matter what harm comes to the child... it's their karma... This plays well with Waldorf teachers who can shake off the harm they've done to children. One who did immeasurable harm to my daughter went into Waldorf teacher TRAINING. There is something seriously wrong with a system that doesn't admonish but rather promotes the worst teachers.

Attrition is something Waldorf doesn't like to talk about. And I'm sorry, I don't agree their attrition rates are normal. There are many good reasons parents leave any school... but Waldorf has the particular distinction of hiding the underlying philosophy behind it. When parents find out what's really driving Waldorf education (Steiner's Anthroposophy), many pull their kids. Others have kids who don't fit. They may spend a couple years (or many more) bored out of their minds. Parents believe they're doing the best for their kids... and believe me... You won't find many Waldorf schools willing to give up tuition by admitting a child doesn't fit... especially if there are siblings that fit better. Then, it's the child's "karma". Kids that don't fit? Smart kids! Steiner had no use for anything "intellectual". If you have a smart kid, it's Waldorf's job to dumb them down. It really isn't about education, it's about indoctrination. Oh, and they don't care if they get kids or their parents... the more people they can draw in, the better.

Speaking of attrition... lest anyone believes all this problematic stuff is isolated to my local Waldorf school... there is lots of attrition of teachers too! Problematic teachers are passed around from one school to the next. Highland Hall recently lost 22% of teachers and staff to attrition. I won't name the names of the schools Highland Hall's teachers migrated to, but they are all across the country. Were these the good teachers who left a problematic school, or the bad teachers who were forced out? Let's face it... they're the NEW teachers at some other Waldorf schools... maybe in Colorado?

Pete Karaiskos - Former Waldorf parent / Waldorf critic / Activist
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/

Posted by Pete K on 11/23/2011 at 6:22 PM




I am back from China, where the Waldorf movement is growing rapidly, there are Waldorf schools in Afrika, in a number of cities. There are Waldorf schools in India, Nepal, Japan, there are Waldorf schools run by Native Indians and so forth. I believe, no, I know, that the picture Mr Karaiskos draws is malinformed. So, parents, I am of his opinion, to please research Waldorf more thoroughly, and be convinced that everyone is trying their best to deliver a great time of transforming childhood into self relying independent adults, following their vocation to the benefit of the entire humankind, not only the white race!

Posted by Gotthard Killian on 11/25/2011 at 4:32 PM

Pete K
Please don't misunderstand what is being said here. Nobody said Waldorf doesn't want to include all races in their schools. Waldorf is part of a missionary movement - so of course they want to include children of all races. They just feel they need to treat children of different races differently - and are instructed to do so in Waldorf teacher training in accordance with Steiner's teaching methods. Do Waldorf teachers believe children of all colors benefit from a Waldorf education? ABSOLUTELY! Why else would Steiner have taught them all about how children of color differ from white children? The intention has always been to include children of all colors. So WHAT?

Posted by Pete K on 11/25/2011 at 5:16 PM




Waldorf is not part of a missionary movement, but an educational system which was very well defined in efforts conducted by Rudolf Steiner in August-September of 1919. In fact, ten years before, in 1909, he predicted in the essay, "The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy", that one day he would elaborate this education system for the betterment of all that pertained to the threefolding of the social organism.

And he did. Now, that doesn't mean that in the aftermath of his life, wherein he was able to give further clarifications and practical instruction to these first fledgling teachers of this new education system, that problems of interpretation, style-of teaching, and other matters that could undermine his originally well-thought intentions might intervene.

In fact, in the course of history it has been shown that all successorships have either failed or fallen far short of the original intent of the leader. In terms of Waldorf education, the expectations have retained the standards of the leader to an extraordinary degree, which is a good sign that the principles of spiritual science hold fast to the goals of the Logos.

Posted by Rafael on 11/25/2011 at 8:33 PM



I meant to add this url to the discussion. It indicates the precision that RS had with regard to the education of the child in the light of the science of the spirit.

http://wn.rsarchive.org/Articles/EduChild/…

Coming ten years before his official effort, in the waning days after WWI, when he was waxing quite blue for the Versailles treaty that literally placed his country under penalty conditions, it shows how much his first thoughts on Waldorf education would meet the present conditions in the summer of 1919.

Some might remember Adelheid Petersen's memoir of her account of looking to find Rudolf Steiner in the autumn of 1919, seeking to resurrect the lecture-work in Munich after the war. She found a very serious and pensive man in Stuttgart, who first wondered what she was after in coming to him. Then, she showed the interest that he was looking for.

Posted by Rafael on 11/25/2011 at 9:35 PM



There is no such thing as a "science" of the spirit and I would carefully avoid any school that offers to teach it or claims to be guided by its "principles."

Posted by Mr. K-- on 11/26/2011 at 5:09 AM



Waldorf Schools, or better, Rudolf Steiner schools have been in existence since 1919, and we have at least 160 schools here in the U.S., as well as a large number of ECE schools based on the Science of the Spirit, which is more commonly known as Anthroposophy. They represent one of the best alternatives to public schools, which strive to kill the nature-wisdom of the child from day one, in favor of mechanism, materialism, and abstraction.

Posted by Rafael on 11/26/2011 at 7:47 PM



There is no such thing as a science of the spirit. There is no scientific experiment that can even prove there is such a thing as a "spirit." Anyone who believes otherwise is deluded.

Posted by Mr. K-- on 11/26/2011 at 9:19 PM



I thought I would do a simple investigation into the recent assertion by Pete K. that Harlan Gilbert had no children in Waldorf school. Here is what I came up with. It does appear he has two children in the program at Green Meadow, which has been in existence since 1950, and is just about as "Anthro-heartland in America" as you can get.

Harlan Gilbert - Math

Undergraduate education in mathematics and natural science at Yale University and Reed College, and in architecture at the Boston Architecture Center. Waldorf teaching certificate, Emerson College, England; Eurythmy training, Eurythmeum Zuccoli, Dornach, Switzerland; MS. Ed, Sunbridge College.

Harlan serves on the school-wide Math Curriculum Committee. Several of his articles, including "Rhythm in Nature," have been published in Lilipoh, in the Waldorf Education Research Institute Bulletin, and in Golden Blade yearbooks. Harlan's book, At the Source: the Incarnation of the Child and the Development of a Modern Pedagogy, was published by AWSNA Press in 2005.

Harlan has been teaching at Green Meadow since 2002 and has two children in the school.

http://www.gmws.org/about_us/index.aspx

Posted by Rafael on 11/29/2011 at 8:33 PM

Pete K
"I thought I would do a simple investigation into the recent assertion by Pete K. that Harlan Gilbert had no children in Waldorf school. "

Hold on... I made no such assertion. Harlan Gilbert does indeed have kids in Waldorf school. My point was that he shows up here on this list posing as a happy parent... and doesn't bother mention that HE'S A WALDORF TEACHER. It's EXACTLY the type of dishonesty I've discovered everywhere in Waldorf. Why not be honest and say, I'm a Waldorf teacher and my kids enjoy Waldorf? Why hide the fact that he's a teacher... (not to mention author of the Wikipedia articles on Waldorf, Steiner and Anthroposophy). Why join a discussion pretending to JUST be a satisfied parent without mentioning the obvious conflict-of-interest in producing such a statement as JUST a parent?

Harlan Gilbert provided a perfect example of the archetypal dishonest Waldorf teacher. Readers should be aware of this tactic. He posted here for the sole purpose of deceiving people in order to promote Waldorf education. Promoting Steiner's ideas about social change is Waldorf's missionary work. IT'S WHAT THEY DO! Honesty and integrity never enter the picture.

Posted by Pete K on 11/30/2011 at 7:22 AM




I fail to see the dishonesty when someone says quite succinctly:

"We've been very, very happy with the education our children (now 6th and 8th grades) are receiving at the Waldorf school near us. We did get much, much more than we bargained for -- in the best sense possible! This is, at least, the school of the future."
Ref. comment dated 11/23/11 - Harlan Gilbert

Was he supposed to get on a soapbox about it, like well, well......? Maybe he is secure in his convictions about both being a parent and a teacher without even a hint of an 'agenda' one way or the other. As well, maybe that is why he's leaving it at this short comment.

Posted by Rafael on 11/30/2011 at 7:58 PM



Your inability to see the dishonesty in someone telling part of the truth, but not the whole truth, speaks more eloquently to the total bankruptcy of so-called "Anthroposophy" as an ethical and moral "science of the spirit," than anything anyone else could say against it.

Posted by Mr. K-- on 11/30/2011 at 11:35 PM

Pete K
I don't know who Mr. K is (it isn't me) - but I agree with what he said. Leaving out the fact that Mr. Gilbert has a conflict of interest (he may be out of a job if his Waldorf school doesn't do well) is dishonest. He's a Waldorf teacher but leaves out that fact in his comment. Omission is dishonest. Not telling the whole story is the problem Waldorf faces. That Mr. Gilbert is so quick to omit the facts AND that he's the caretaker of Waldorf on Wikipedia speaks volumes... especially since Wikipedia was sited by the author of this article as a source of information (even high school teachers don't allow students to use Wikipedia as a source).

Rafael, "The Education of the Child" is a wonderful book - the Waldorf school I helped found was based on it... BUT, the problem was - trained Waldorf teachers are taught something different. If you want to know what Steiner's specific instructions to Waldorf teachers were, then you must read Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner:http://digitalseance.files.wordpress.com/2… Steiner's ideals if 1909 ran into problems when the reality of actually running a school came to focus in 1919. How Steiner dealt with these problems is required reading for Waldorf teacher trainees. And the main problem, according to Steiner, is with thinking materialistic thoughts.

"The brain "thinks" only in a very inferior manner. When people are as blinded
by materialistic thoughts as they became during the nineteenth century and right
into the present ... it is not incorrect to say that the brain thinks. It is
then, in fact, correct. By being firmly enmeshed in materialism, we have people
who not only think poorly about the body, soul, and spirit, but people who think
materially and feel materially. What that means is that materialism causes the
human being to become a thinking automaton, that the human being then becomes
something that thinks, feels, and wills physically." [FACULTY MEETINGS WITH
RUDOLF STEINER, p. 115.]

They also read about Anthroposophy's task:
From the same page:

"The task of Anthroposophy is not simply to replace a false view of the world with a correct one...The task is to raise the spirit-soul into the realm of the spiritual, so that the human being is no longer a thinking and feeling automaton...The human being is...in danger of drifting into the Ahrimanic world, in which case the spirit-soul will evaporate into the cosmos.” (FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER, p. 115.)

Why teach this stuff to Waldorf teachers if their work isn't "missionary"? It's REQUIRED reading for Waldorf teachers. Waldorf schools are Anthroposophical spiritual centers that have a mission to raise the spirit-soul of the human being. Why not admit this at least?

Pete Karaiskos / Waldorf whistleblower

Posted by Pete K on 12/01/2011 at 9:28 AM




So, you're not Mr. K, yet agree with what he says when he says:

"Your inability to see the dishonesty in someone telling part of the truth, but not the whole truth, speaks more eloquently to the total bankruptcy of so-called "Anthroposophy" as an ethical and moral "science of the spirit," than anything anyone else could say against it."

Well, Mr. K, who is apparently not you, has feelings that seem to be in great accord with your own, although he appears to have no affiliation with Waldorf, no kids in it, and simply sees it as nonsense designed to inflict unfavorably upon a materialistic world with a limited existence for mankind. Does that sound about right?

Posted by Rafael on 12/01/2011 at 9:52 PM

Pete K
"So, you're not Mr. K, yet agree with what he says when he says:

Your inability to see the dishonesty in someone telling part of the truth, but not the whole truth, speaks more eloquently to the total bankruptcy of so-called "Anthroposophy" as an ethical and moral "science of the spirit," than anything anyone else could say against it."

Yes, that's what I said. I agree with that statement. I think it's obvious dishonesty and you don't. I think it says a lot about the claims of dishonesty in the Waldorf movement. If Anthroposophists don't believe it's dishonest to omit very important facts when discussing Waldorf education (like for example, that it's Anthroposophy), then it's likely they will continue to attract people who don't want the kind of education they're really offering. And disguising what Waldorf education is - is what Waldorf teachers were instructed to do - by Steiner himself. Here's a guy who tried to put Waldorf in a nutshell... with no mention of Anthroposophy or Steiner. http://ssagarin.blogspot.com/2011/10/eleva…

"Well, Mr. K, who is apparently not you, has feelings that seem to be in great accord with your own, although he appears to have no affiliation with Waldorf, no kids in it, and simply sees it as nonsense designed to inflict unfavorably upon a materialistic world with a limited existence for mankind. Does that sound about right?"

Yes, that sounds about right I guess. I'm not sure why we require a synopsis... anyone can read the comments? I just felt after Mr. K began participating, and I've sometimes posted as Pete K, as well as Pete Karaiskos, that I had better clarify that we are not the same person as Mr. K. Hope that clears up any confusion.

Pete Karaiskos

Posted by Pete K on 12/02/2011 at 12:30 AM




I have no affiliation with Waldorf, and based on what I have read here, I would not place my children there even with a full scholarship.

You write that I see Waldorf "as nonsense designed to inflict unfavorably upon a materialistic world with a limited existence for mankind." This is not a complete or coherent English sentence. Yet, you have the gall to presume that you can teach children to read and write!

Posted by Mr. K-- on 12/02/2011 at 12:50 AM



What gall? I am neither Harlan Gilbert or a Waldorf teacher, so what are you referring to?

Here is what I am referring to:

"There is no such thing as a science of the spirit. There is no scientific experiment that can even prove there is such a thing as a "spirit." Anyone who believes otherwise is deluded."

Your words, Mr. K. No more and no less.

Posted by Rafael on 12/02/2011 at 8:05 PM



I apologize for mistaking you for a teacher. I stand by my statement about scientific experimentation.

Posted by Mr. K-- on 12/02/2011 at 8:42 PM



You can stand by whatever statement about science you like, but why did you mistake me for a teacher? Are you closer to Waldorf than you're saying? Sounds like it.

Posted by Rafael on 12/02/2011 at 9:41 PM

Pete K
Rafael, what difference does it make? Why did you mistake me for Mr. K? People sometimes make mistakes. Who cares. How about some substance?

On my blog here: http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/2011_07_…
I point out instances where Waldorf teachers from Highland Hall are doing exactly what Harlan Gilbert did... post reviews of their school pretending to be just parents. This omission, again, is tantamount to fraud! Just as with Harlan Gilbert, when they do this, I'm there to point it out. Fraudulent practices will be Waldorf's undoing. People who are dishonest by nature are definitely not people parents should trust their kids to. I learned the hard way. I hope, no I KNOW I've helped many parents avoid Highland Hall specifically and Waldorf education in general. But when I see misguided articles like the story that prompted these comments, I know there's much more work to be done.

Posted by Pete K on 12/02/2011 at 10:42 PM




I thought Stanley's article was excellent, factual and truthful, and that is why I felt obliged to contribute to this discussion. The comments extend only because of unfortunate poor feelings about Waldorf education, and the science of the spirit itself.

Thus, in a world where nothing is perfect, it can be expected that nothing is perfect. But, when something has been made perfect in theory and ideology, as clearly demonstrated by Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy, and its application to the education of the child, it can only be adduced that the human factor could intervene in order to create errors of judgment and application in these fields. Assuredly, that has taken place, but just as assuredly, these fields have achieved success far surpassing those unfortunate errors of human nature and its consequences.

Wouldn't you agree?

Posted by Rafael on 12/03/2011 at 9:41 PM

Pete K
"I thought Stanley's article was excellent, factual and truthful, and that is why I felt obliged to contribute to this discussion."

Again, should we consider obvious omissions of the facts "truthful"? Your idea of "truthful" and mine are quite different. Omitting the truth isn't truthful in my view.

"The comments extend only because of unfortunate poor feelings about Waldorf education, and the science of the spirit itself."

Those poor feelings, for many parents, stem from the very untruthfulness I'm talking about. Waldorf has a very dishonest attitude - and it comes directly from Steiner's directives. "Science of the spirit" - is a topic for adults - not something that should be covertly introduced to people's children without their knowledge and against Waldorf's stated purpose.

"Thus, in a world where nothing is perfect, it can be expected that nothing is perfect. But, when something has been made perfect in theory and ideology, as clearly demonstrated by Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy"

Hold on... nobody has ever demonstrated Steiner's theory and ideology is perfect.

"and its application to the education of the child, it can only be adduced that the human factor could intervene in order to create errors of judgment and application in these fields. Assuredly, that has taken place, but just as assuredly, these fields have achieved success far surpassing those unfortunate errors of human nature and its consequences."

No... I don't agree. Steiner DIRECTED Waldorf teachers to lie directly to parents - (have you read Faculty Meetings yet? I provided the link?). When harm is done to children, it's when teachers follow Steiner's instructions rather than common sense - or even the LAW. In my case, it made more sense to teachers to cover up harm that was happening to my child than to follow mandated reporting laws. Steiner directed teachers to keep quiet to outsiders about what goes on in the school. I guess that includes the police. Anyone who doesn't think Waldorf teachers lie can try this simple test... JUST ASK THEM A DIFFICULT QUESTION.

Rafael, I believe you've completely misunderstood what is going on in Waldorf teacher training. They learn MUCH MORE than Steiner's ideals, they learn Steiner's practical methods for dealing with children and parents. Those were not "perfect in theory" - they were horrible! Why wouldn't they be? Steiner was NEVER an teacher and knew nothing about teaching in a classroom of children. But that didn't stop him from trying to come up with some ideas about how teachers should do it. It's just like the fact that Steiner never met a black person, yet he developed all kinds of ridiculous ideas about black people without having any knowledge or experience. Wouldn't it be better for Waldorf teachers to get their instructions from a great teacher instead of a great con-artist?

Posted by Pete K on 12/04/2011 at 9:07 AM




"why did you mistake me for a teacher?"

You wrote with such an air of authority in defense of so-called "anthroposophy" that I assumed you were a representative of the school. It was a simple and honest mistake and it was made precisely because I know nothing about the school except what I read in this blog.

" Are you closer to Waldorf than you're saying?"

That is a curious question. Would I be more likely to mistake you for a teacher if I was closer to Waldorf? Or do you suffer from a touch of paranoia?

"Sounds like it."

Indeed!

Posted by Mr. K-- on 12/04/2011 at 1:42 PM



Well, with all due consideration, I feel that Pete K. definitely is paranoid when he refers to Steiner's "Faculty Meetings With Instructors" in short crib-notes in an otherwise 700 page volume. Please give the context in which the negative words were said, Pete. Thank you.

And relative to the Science of the Spirit, aka, Anthroposophical Spiritual Science, I would humbly advise Mr. K. to attempt an informed judgment before denouncing something he admits to knowing nothing about.

Posted by Rafael on 12/07/2011 at 8:18 PM

Pete K
The context is a faculty meeting. Steiner fielded questions from the very first Waldorf teachers and responded to them. It was quite a different experience for him I'm sure - than simply writing about the idealistic education he envisioned. When teachers came to him with real-life problems, Steiner had ridiculous answers. Anthroposophical doctors couldn't determine any physical difference between a "large-headed" and "small-headed" child for example... yet Steiner claimed such differences existed. Below is an example of Steiner talking with Waldorf teachers about how to spot demonic possession in children... pretending that he has "facts" about this when questioned by a teacher, but then tells the teachers not to tell the world about his nonsense - since there was already considerable opposition to Waldorf schools in his time. From Faculty Meetings:

Dr. Steiner: “That little girl L.. in the first grade must have something very wrong inside. There is not much we can do. Such cases are increasing in which children are born with a human form, but are not really human beings in relation to their highest I [the highest element of one’s spiritual being]; instead, they are filled with beings that do not belong to the human class. Quite a number of people have been born since the [1890s] without an I, that is, they are not reincarnated, but are human forms filled with a sort of natural demon. There are quite a large number of older people going around who are actually not human beings, but only natural; they are human beings only in regard to their form. We cannot, however, create a school for demons.”

A teacher: “How is that possible?”

Dr. Steiner: “Cosmic error is certainly not impossible. The relationships of individuals coming into earthly existence have long been determined. There are also generations in which individuals have no desire to come into earthly existence and be connected with physicality, or immediately leave at the very beginning. In such cases, other beings that are not quite suited step in.... They are also quite different from human beings in regard to everything spiritual. They can, for example, never remember such things as sentences; they have a memory only for words, not for sentences....

“I do not like to talk about such things since we have often been attacked even without them. Imagine what people would say if they heard that we say there are people who are not human beings. Nevertheless, these are facts. Our culture would not be in such a decline if people felt more strongly that a number of people are going around who, because they are completely ruthless, have become something that is not human, but instead are demons in human form.

“Nevertheless, we do not want to shout that to the world. Our opposition is already large enough. Such things are really shocking to people. I caused enough shock when I needed to say that a very famous university professor, after a very short time between death and rebirth, was reincarnated as a black scientist. We do not want to shout such things out into the world.” (Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER, Anthroposophical Press, 1998, pp. 649-650.)

Posted by Pete K on 12/08/2011 at 11:19 AM




The context is faculty meetings that you weren't present at and have no idea of what the full context was, now isn't it?

In fact, 700 pages were given in meetings with the fledgling first teachers of Waldorf, and I doubt by your allegations that Waldorf has to hide anything, since they published them in full.

Taking someone's words and phrases out of context is a well-know ploy used to denounce someone. Nice try, but you lose.

Posted by Rafael on 12/09/2011 at 10:04 PM

Pete K
"The context is faculty meetings that you weren't present at and have no idea of what the full context was, now isn't it?"

After 700 pages? UM... I think we can ALL get the full context of what he was saying. After all, that's exactly why the faculty meetings were documented in the first place - so that future Waldorf teachers could be trained in Steiner's methods. If there's a more "full" context to this work (there isn't), certainly new teachers entering Waldorf teacher training aren't going to be aware of it.

"In fact, 700 pages were given in meetings with the fledgling first teachers of Waldorf, and I doubt by your allegations that Waldorf has to hide anything, since they published them in full."

Waldorf didn't publish them.

HIDE? They're not hiding anything, they're TEACHING this stuff to new teachers. It's on Waldorf teacher reading lists everywhere. I'm just helping people who aren't teachers learn what Waldorf teachers are learning and WHY. The "why" is the important part. The author of this article hadn't heard of this apparently.

"Taking someone's words and phrases out of context is a well-know ploy used to denounce someone."

If the context of the entire 700 page volume isn't enough context to get the gist of what Steiner was saying, there are 40 books and 6000 lectures by Steiner to fill in the context. If there is anything in any of them that conflicts with or changes the context of Faculty Meetings, please feel free to present it. Additionally, there are LOTS of other books on Waldorf teacher reading lists... this just happens to be one that IS available on-line. If you would rather discuss Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment (also required reading for Waldorf teachers) we could do this too. But, Faculty Meetings is the book the most directly applies to Waldorf education and it establishes the methods Waldorf teachers use when they deal with children. We see this confirmed time and time again in Waldorf.

Here's a quote from Knowledge of Higher Worlds - Also REQUIRED reading by Waldorf teachers:
"Critical thinking is especially hazardous. Good children "have a respect that
forbids them, even in the deepest recess of their heart, to harbour any thoughts
of criticism or opposition." [KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT,
p. 10.]

And also in the same book:

"For peoples and races are but steps leading to pure humanity. A race or a nation stands so much the higher, the more perfectly its members express the pure, ideal human type, the further they have worked their way from the physical and perishable to the supersensible and imperishable. The evolution of man through the incarnations in ever higher national and racial forms is thus a process of liberation. Man must finally appear in harmonious perfection." (Steiner, Knowledge of Higher Worlds p. 207)

Steiner's ideas about races and racial perfection are all fed to Waldorf teacher trainees, right along with his "insights" about children (and how they shouldn't think critically). That's part of Waldorf teacher training and Waldorf's missionary role in spreading Steiner's philosophy to unsuspecting students.

"Nice try, but you lose."

When people work dishonestly to feed our children their guru's nonsense, WE ALL LOSE!

Posted by Pete K on 12/10/2011 at 8:29 AM




Nobody loses, except those who did not find value in the system of Waldorf, and its aims. And that could easily be reduced to geographic location, and even a specific school that had the right mix of bad teachers, bad administrators, bad students, and the reactive parents reacting against it. It all makes sense to me that the failure of a child's education should be taken seriously.

As for "Faculty Meetings", wasn't that published by Bob and Nancy; at least they have made it easily available on the internet? And they fully support Waldorf Education.

Posted by Rafael on 12/11/2011 at 8:59 PM

Pete K
"Nobody loses, except those who did not find value in the system of Waldorf, and its aims."

In other words - EVERYBODY loses except those who find value in Anthroposophy. Outside of promoting Anthroposophy, Waldorf has no value to be found. It is a ruse set up to deliver Anthroposophy - EXACTLY as Steiner intended and instructed. Waldorf education is valuable to Anthroposophists.

" And that could easily be reduced to geographic location, and even a specific school that had the right mix of bad teachers, bad administrators, bad students, and the reactive parents reacting against it. "

Yet, the same problems are reported WORLD WIDE. Your argument makes no sense - particularly because Waldorf teachers are not confined to a "specific school" - they are in ALL Waldorf schools. Where do they get their training? AT THE SPECIFIC SCHOOL I AM TALKING ABOUT. Highland Hall is the TRAINING facility for Southern California. Teachers all over the world are trained by the very same "mix of bad teachers".

BTW, what are "bad students"? That sounds like something Steiner would say.

"It all makes sense to me that the failure of a child's education should be taken seriously."

Ya THINK? So, why doesn't Waldorf take criticism of the harm they do seriously - especially when they cannot demonstrate any value at all in their educational system? Do you think the WORST teachers should be training other teachers? Do you think maybe that's why we have so many stories in the news about abuse by Waldorf teachers. The Waldorf teachers at Highland Hall BROKE THE LAW TO COVER UP ABUSES. They lied directly to the parents of children who were abused. "Reactive parents"? The worst offenders have moved to other schools, hoping to evade attention. Hopefully, those abusers who have been hired at other Waldorf schools from Highland Hall won't continue abusing children and parents at their new school. I'll make sure to publicize their locations (and new names when they've changed them). They don't belong around children and I'm doing my best to ensure they are discovered wherever they are.

"As for "Faculty Meetings", wasn't that published by Bob and Nancy; at least they have made it easily available on the internet? And they fully support Waldorf Education."

No, it wasn't first published by Bob and Nancy. Keep trying though...

Posted by Pete K on 12/12/2011 at 8:49 AM




This sounds like a vendetta Pete on a little independent newspaper wherein J. Adrian Stanley wrote an article for reading. Goodbye and good luck, as someone famous used to say ;)

Posted by Rafael on 12/14/2011 at 9:23 PM

Pete K
Vendetta? No... Whistle-blowing... Yes! People shouldn't write articles about stuff they don't know about or haven't researched thoroughly. But you can't blame the author - Waldorf is VERY GOOD at hiding their true intent. They have been doing it for quite some time now and pulling the wool over this article's author's eyes was clearly very easy to do. With the rise of the internet, Waldorf's true nature has been revealed and it's not very pretty... in fact it's quite sinister. People promoting a hidden philosophy to other people's children - covertly... that's quite a problem. I've proven, right here on this thread (see the earliest posts regarding Waldorf teacher Harlan Gilbert pretending to be simply a satisfied parent making a comment) how dishonest Waldorf teachers are with regard to promoting Waldorf. If Waldorf teachers are willing to be so dishonest, without provocation, imagine what happens when a child is harmed! They simply LIE and it's up to people like me to hold them accountable. When Waldorf promotes dishonesty (and they do) they leave themselves open to public scrutiny and, in my case, legal action. This isn't a case of one or two bad teachers, it's an entire movement built on dishonesty. It's my moral obligation to do what I can to expose them. Pete Karaiskos, Waldorf parent/advocate http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/

Posted by Pete K on 12/15/2011 at 9:37 AM




Well, here's what the lady had to say back on November 23, 2011. It seemed pretty good to me.
http://www.csindy.com/colorado/Profile?oid…

I'm sure she's gone on to other investigative writing projects since then. So, the vendetta charge seems accurate to me.

In any event, I liked the report and felt it fair and impartial in terms of the present WWS (Waldorf World Situation). Of course, as she states outright, she knows about those who have problems with the Waldorf education system. And I felt she dealt with that very handily.

Posted by Rafael on 12/17/2011 at 9:30 PM

Pete K
You've linked to her first response to me. Why? It's right here in the comments? She was mistaken in that comment, as I pointed out. She relied on Wikipedia (something high school students aren't allowed to do) for her information. Wikipedia articles about Anthroposophy are intentionally distorted by Waldorf teacher Harlan Gilbert. I've already shown this.

"I'm sure she's gone on to other investigative writing projects since then. So, the vendetta charge seems accurate to me. "

I'm sure she has thought twice about "investigative writing" through the use of Wikipedia... LMAO! The author, if she's halfway intelligent, learned a valuable lesson here... don't write about stuff you haven't researched thoroughly. The fact that her source has a severe conflict of interest is something she should have, BY NOW, returned here to mention. She left it up to her readers to discover that she hadn't done her homework about Waldorf. That's shamefully shoddy "investigative writing" to me.

"In any event, I liked the report and felt it fair and impartial in terms of the present WWS (Waldorf World Situation)."

How could it be "fair and impartial?" It relies on "facts" supplied by WALDORF! As I said initially, their JOB is to pull the wool over people's eyes. The author obviously missed a LOT of what Waldorf is about by simply asking them. Unfortunately, this is often the same mistake parents make when enrolling their children. It's hard to believe educators would outright LIE to people when you don't understand WHY they lie. It takes some serious digging to determine the reasons Waldorf representatives lie to people... but it's there if you look. As I pointed out, Steiner INSTRUCTED them to deceive the outside world. They do a good job of this. But that's changing.

"Of course, as she states outright, she knows about those who have problems with the Waldorf education system. And I felt she dealt with that very handily."

Really? I think she crawled under a rock when she realized how badly she had misrepresented Waldorf this article. I'm happy she'd heard about the problems with Waldorf, of course, but the fact that she didn't investigate them other than to ask Waldorf about them is probably VERY embarrassing. What if parents send their children to Waldorf based on THIS article? That would be silly, I know, but "investigative, fair, impartial" are not words one might use with a straight face to describe what was written here.

Here's a news flash for you... Waldorf won't admit they have problems. They won't admit they're dishonest. They won't admit they're racists. It's up to people like me to point out to people like the author of this article and everyone who reads it that they are not what they appear to be. The more Waldorf is in the news, the more opportunities critics like me have to reveal what they are really about. Get used to it!

Pete Karaiskos / Waldorf critic / Whistle-blower / Advocate
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/

Posted by Pete K on 12/18/2011 at 8:40 AM




Pete, you only prove my assertion that you have a vendetta against Waldorf. And then you go on to make J. Adrian Stanley look like a fool in her reporting, which was as objective as possible, considering that she left your singular "school of hard knocks" out of her article. Using Wikipedia these days is useful as a source, as it has gained in accuracy for the benefit of the internet audience.

Therefore, it seems to me that what she is indicating to you, in knowing about your situation, in no way lessens the importance of Waldorf as an alternative-to-public school system. And that is why she felt the need to report on it. In other words, its more global and positive rationale yields results that cannot be denied, even as there are sad results like yours.

She told you this in the beginning of her very well-considered response to you. Yet, you don't listen. Why is that?

Posted by Rafael on 12/19/2011 at 10:20 PM

Pete K
"Pete, you only prove my assertion that you have a vendetta against Waldorf. And then you go on to make J. Adrian Stanley look like a fool in her reporting, which was as objective as possible, considering that she left your singular "school of hard knocks" out of her article. Using Wikipedia these days is useful as a source, as it has gained in accuracy for the benefit of the internet audience."

So, you want to rehash everything we've been over? OK. BTW, thanks for characterizing the school that abused my children as a "school of hard knocks". I'm sure it gives readers a good impression of how callous one must be to promote Waldorf educators in light of the harm they do to children regularly.

I didn't make J. Adrian Stanley look like a fool... so if she looks like a fool, that is her own doing. She came here praising Waldorf and suggesting - "It must be so - since I read it on Wikipedia". She had help in her fool's errand, of course, from the very author of the Wikipedia articles she used for her info, Waldorf teacher Harlan Gilbert, whose perfectly-timed post drove home my point about the dishonesty in Waldorf. And NO, Wikipedia hasn't gotten better "these days" nor has it "gained accuracy" - that's ridiculous and unsupported nonsense (or perhaps wishful thinking).

"Therefore, it seems to me that what she is indicating to you, in knowing about your situation, in no way lessens the importance of Waldorf as an alternative-to-public school system. And that is why she felt the need to report on it. "

Waldorf is very important TO AVOID as an alternative to public school system. I've given many reasons why, not the least of which is the systematic abuse of children and their parents through their dishonest enrollment practices. Attrition is HUGE in Waldorf and the reason is dishonesty (as demonstrated by - and thanks to Mr. Gilbert) - dishonest representation of the curriculum, dishonest representation of the skills of the teachers and the success of their methods. For every child that graduates Waldorf, a dozen have had their education interrupted - or faced much WORSE. Well-meaning parents believe they've found something wonderful in Waldorf. They sometimes do no more research than J. Adrian Stanley did before putting their kids there. That's what Waldorf is counting on. It means my work is only just beginning. Exposing Waldorf's true nature is important work. I do it so other people's children may not have to suffer.

"In other words, its more global and positive rationale yields results that cannot be denied, even as there are sad results like yours."

Again, ATTRITION wasn't taken into account in the global "results". Nor did she investigate the "94% of Waldorf graduates attend college" claim very well. Globally, Waldorf is under attack for their deceptive practices. Public Waldorf in the UK has run into huge opposition. Same in Australia. This article is a puff-piece for a school system that doesn't deserve one. But if you're going to do that, at least get a few facts correct. Ms. Stanley didn't. She didn't even offer readers a real answer about why Waldorf doesn't use technology in classrooms... all she got was the public face of Waldorf - like so many prospective parents get.

"She told you this in the beginning of her very well-considered response to you. Yet, you don't listen. Why is that?"

I'm glad you asked! Because I have DECADES more experience with Waldorf than she has. Which is why she should be listening to me - not the other way around (and so should her readers). And unlike Waldorf representatives, I DON'T have a reason to be dishonest. Waldorf isn't MY place of employment, and I don't have a stated missionary goal to indoctrinate as many people as possible - Waldorf people DO. I'm not an Anthroposophist. I haven't devoted my life to following a guru's words and teachings, right or wrong as they may be... Waldorf teachers HAVE.

I have very GOOD reasons to be completely honest. I'm suing Waldorf for millions of dollars... for things they did as individuals and for things they conspired to do under the Waldorf system. I'm sure I wouldn't get too far if I've been spreading lies on the internet, would I?

Pete Karaiskos
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/

Posted by Pete K on 12/20/2011 at 10:06 AM




It certainly sounds like you have issues that go far beyond this article. Yet, the author, J. Adrian Stanley, seemed to know about your concerns, even as she wrote and submitted it.

Thus, it appeared to me that her article took the general flavor and milieu of Waldorf education into account, rather than the singular problems of one local school, which is obviously your issue. Yet, you exacerbate your concerns over the whole genera of a system of education that has proven itself to be important, successful, and what people want for their children. I doubt that you could refute the statistics on its success, nor could you give any reasonable explanation of why anyone should doubt Harlan Gilbert, who you vilify as if you know something sinister about him. What gives?

Posted by Rafael on 12/21/2011 at 8:46 PM

Pete K
"It certainly sounds like you have issues that go far beyond this article. Yet, the author, J. Adrian Stanley, seemed to know about your concerns, even as she wrote and submitted it."

So, you believe she knew about my concerns but still she allowed herself to be shown to be a fool - YOUR words not mine. How does that make sense to you? To me, it's obvious she DIDN'T do any serious investigation into the criticisms of Waldorf... (or into the "positive" aspects of Waldorf for that matter).

"Thus, it appeared to me that her article took the general flavor and milieu of Waldorf education into account, rather than the singular problems of one local school, which is obviously your issue."

How many times are you going to try to claim that this is a single problematic school? Are you hoping somebody might read your conclusion and not bother reading the other comments? Deceptive advertising is a problem with ALL of Waldorf education. Problematic teachers are SUPPORTED by AWSNA - the head of Waldorf in the North America.

"Yet, you exacerbate your concerns over the whole genera of a system of education that has proven itself to be important, successful, and what people want for their children. "

You chose your words carefully. They have proven they are what? "Important?" "Successful?" "What people want for their children?" How about GOOD LEARNING INSTITUTIONS? You can't make that claim can you? Neither can they. They haven't proven they're good learning institutions.

"I doubt that you could refute the statistics on its success"

Post some... let's see? Oh wait... there AREN'T ANY!

"nor could you give any reasonable explanation of why anyone should doubt Harlan Gilbert, who you vilify as if you know something sinister about him. What gives?"

Conflict of interest. Do you know what that is? He's a Waldorf teacher who is writing articles in Wikipedia about Waldorf from a supposedly "unbiased" point of view. That is, I'm afraid, quite impossible. References from Anthroposophical authors have been specifically excluded from Wikipedia for this reason (I know first hand) - yet Mr. Gilbert is somehow permitted to not only post but control those articles. It's an obvious conflict of interest on Wikipedia. It is evidence of how poor a source Wikipedia is when it comes to information about Waldorf, Steiner, Antrhoposophy and about 50 other articles related to Anthroposophists and Anthroposophic enterprises.

Mr. Gilbert arrived here, AGAIN, with a conflict of interest pretending to be a satisfied parent of a Waldorf school. Were I not here to point out who he is... his comment would have slipped by as that of a satisfied customer... promoting the education their children received. His behavior is shameful, but certainly not the worst we've seen from Waldorf representatives. There are far more sinister people than Mr. Gilbert working (getting a paycheck) to promote Waldorf.

You seem unable to see what is very obvious here. The problem I'm describing runs through ALL of Waldorf - and by luck was demonstrated right here in the first comments to this article.

BTW, I think we're finally getting somewhere. You're going to post some statistics of the successes of Waldorf students, right? I'm very interested in those. Hopefully, they will have been produced by someone other than Waldorf, but even if they have been, let's see the reports. Feel free to post links to anything that has been peer-reviewed, any studies that have been conducted, and so forth. I'm always happy to discover new evidence supporting the notion that Waldorf is doing a great job - to help balance the evidence that they aren't.

Pete Karaiskos - Waldorf Critic / Parent / Advocate
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/

Posted by Pete K on 12/21/2011 at 10:05 PM




If one looks at the series of comments that you have made since this article was first printed, it seems clear that your experience of Waldorf education is a disaster, to be sure. Yet, nowhere else can it be judged to be what you say it is. You sound like a lone-wolf, or whistleblower, as you say, but one who expounds a rather isolated incident as if it was the global norm for Waldorf in general. Thus, the statisitics of proof in your favor rest on you, not me.

http://www.csindy.com/colorado/Profile/Com…

So, go to work and make your case.

Posted by Rafael on 12/22/2011 at 8:04 PM

Pete K
"If one looks at the series of comments that you have made since this article was first printed, it seems clear that your experience of Waldorf education is a disaster, to be sure."

Oh, not just MY experience. Very large attrition rates are part of Waldorf's problem and they occur because of dishonest practices. They even acknowledge this. 25% of students are removed every year. That's a lot of interrupted educations - or worse.

"Yet, nowhere else can it be judged to be what you say it is."

Really? Parents contact me regularly with stories similar to mine. Currently very similar things to what happened to me and my kids are happening at the Brooklyn Waldorf school AND a Waldorf school in the San Francisco Bay area. That's a fact!

"You sound like a lone-wolf, or whistleblower, as you say, but one who expounds a rather isolated incident as if it was the global norm for Waldorf in general."

So you consider over 10 years of abuse involving over a dozen teachers and administrators going all the way to AWSNA an "isolated incident". Is this one of your "hard knocks" jokes again?

There are REAL REASONS behind why this happens in Waldorf. Your "isolated incident" claim is like making a claim that it's an "isolated incident" when measles breaks out in a Waldorf school. NOT TRUE! There are very specific reasons measles break out in Waldorf schools frequently - VERY specific reasons related to Waldorf and Steiner. If you follow Steiner's recommendations, you will have a poorly immunized population where measles (or whooping cough) break out. The REASON is in Steiner's works - just like the REASON for Waldorf's abusive teachers can be found in Steiner's works as well. Steiner instructed teachers to be dishonest with parents. That's what they do!

" Thus, the statisitics of proof in your favor rest on you, not me."

You wrote: "I doubt that you could refute the statistics on its success"

OK... produce the statistics of their success then. Here's what I see... Waldorf has been around for 100 years. They have 1000 schools... each presumably graduating students. Let's say 20 grads per school - that's 20,000 grads per year... every year. So far, Waldorf success stories hover around the CEO of Am Ex and Jennifer Aniston. Who else have these schools of innovative thinkers produced in the past 100 years? Anybody we've heard of? Everybody knows Waldorf can produce actors and actresses... (abused children learn these skills automatically). Where are the famous thinkers? Where are the famous scientists? Where are the famous engineers? Seriously... Jennifer Aniston is the best they could produce? With 94% of grads going on to attend college? I'd LOVE to see some statistics from Waldorf. Got any?

Pete Karaiskos
Waldorf whistleblower
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/

Posted by Pete K on 12/23/2011 at 9:17 AM




Well, in my estimation, Waldorf has proven itself to be a successful alternative to public school in these nearly 100 years since it was first founded in 1919. And that is the BIGGEST statistic you'll find anywhere. Difficulties, poor performance due to administration and teacher/student problems do exist, as they do in all environs wherein human interaction is the challenge, but they tend to get solved without stagnation setting in. Waldorf has moved forward in a big way by solving issues at each level of occurrence. Just ask AWSNA here in America. They do their own periodic review of schools, and watchdog and whistleblow themselves in the process.

In fact, HH has been recertified a number of times since you began to complain some ten or twelve years ago. So, I would strongly suggest moving on in life for your own health and well-being, as it appears that Highland Hall has met all the requisite student and curriculum standards for over a decade now, according to AWSNA.

Posted by Rafael on 12/23/2011 at 10:18 PM

Pete K
"Well, in my estimation, Waldorf has proven itself to be a successful alternative to public school in these nearly 100 years since it was first founded in 1919. And that is the BIGGEST statistic you'll find anywhere."

You may very well be right about that. No statistics about their success - only the proliferation of their schools.

" Difficulties, poor performance due to administration and teacher/student problems do exist, as they do in all environs wherein human interaction is the challenge, but they tend to get solved without stagnation setting in. Waldorf has moved forward in a big way by solving issues at each level of occurrence."

Do you have some evidence of this? Didn't think so.

" Just ask AWSNA here in America. They do their own periodic review of schools, and watchdog and whistleblow themselves in the process."

You're funny! They would be the WORST people to ask, of course, but here's what AWSNA COULD do that they don't. They own the name "Waldorf". They could pull the Waldorf name from problematic Waldorf schools. They don't. In AWSNA's head administrator, Patrice Maynard, we find someone who served as MENTOR to Claire McConnell - daughter of US Senator Mitch McConnell. Under Maynard's mentorship, McConnell tied children to their chairs with duct tape as punishment. Not just once but on two separate occasions.

Here's the story: http://www.wave3.com/Global/story.asp?S=13…

"Claire McConnell, who apologized in a letter June 24, was accused of strapping one child into a chair with a leather belt, tying the hands of others and taping shut the mouths of some elementary school students, the Albany Times Union reported Thursday. "

"McConnell, daughter of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did not immediately return phone messages. "She's a young teacher, a learning teacher," Patrice Maynard, a teacher and mentor to McConnell, told the newspaper. "

Maynard is a director at AWSNA. With AWSNA doing their own whistleblowing, who needs critics, right?

"In fact, HH has been recertified a number of times since you began to complain some ten or twelve years ago."

Oh yes, in fact they had been "recertified" several times while I was there too. They also tried re-structuring, flooding the college with administrators then disbanding the college of teachers, hiring administrative teams, hiring a single head administrator, hiring Waldorf consultants to restructure, then back to administrative teams again - each time promising parents that they had made significant changes. So, why is Highland Hall running at 50% capacity then? As I've been pointing out - the problem isn't ONLY with Highland Hall - it goes MUCH higher up. The problem is with AWSNA itself, the poor standards they endorse and the harm they are willing to write off as perhaps "a young teacher" or other nonsense like that. REMEMBER Patrice Maynard represents AWSNA... ;)

"So, I would strongly suggest moving on in life for your own health and well-being, as it appears that Highland Hall has met all the requisite student and curriculum standards for over a decade now, according to AWSNA."

I'm sure you would suggest that. If AWSNA wasn't more corrupt than Highland Hall, I'd say you may have something there. But as I've demonstrated here, over and over again, the problem is bigger than Highland Hall... The problem is WALDORF. The problem is bad teachers being moved from school to school (McConnell is in the UK now I believe). Highland Hall teachers are everywhere. The problem is dishonesty at the highest levels (AWSNA), even dishonesty on Wikipedia. They obviously have done a good job of fooling people like you into thinking there are statistics for their "successes" when there aren't... or that they've produced lots of intelligent graduates - when they haven't. That's why they pay people to confront criticism on the internet... in order to continue committing the fraud they commit on a daily basis.

And I will move on with my life after I have sued Waldorf and AWSNA on behalf of my kids (Yes, the statute of limitations hasn't run out yet)... but only after I'm sure the world is aware of the games they play.

Pete Karaiskos / Whistleblower / Activist
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/

Posted by Pete K on 12/24/2011 at 10:07 AM




"And I will move on with my life after I have sued Waldorf and AWSNA on behalf of my kids (Yes, the statute of limitations hasn't run out yet)... but only after I'm sure the world is aware of the games they play."

I suspect that the Waldorf education alternative has advanced quite well in the years since you first saw problems at your school. What this means is that on a more global scale, Waldorf works. But, it could be a fraud that needs a lawsuit to make them come clean about their motives. I look forward to hearing about it, and how Waldorf responds to your issues.

Posted by Rafael on 12/25/2011 at 9:57 PM

Pete K
"I suspect that the Waldorf education alternative has advanced quite well in the years since you first saw problems at your school. What this means is that on a more global scale, Waldorf works. But, it could be a fraud that needs a lawsuit to make them come clean about their motives. "

Waldorf has "advanced" by stepping up their public relations program. They have become MORE deceitful, more dishonest, more sinister. As I said before, people contact me EVERY DAY with stories just like mine. Waldorf hasn't addressed the problems they have - how can they? SERIOUSLY! Their problems are directly related to their philosophy. Waldorf is WORSE today than it was a few years ago PRECISELY because they have to deal with people like me making noise on the internet.

They have, for example, hired a disinformation officer (besides Harlan Gilbert) to troll the web looking for complaints. Sune Nordwall is a 50+ year old childless man who is PAID to fraudulently pose as a mother with children on the internet. His job is to refer readers to his own Waldorf disinformation sites and Wikipedia. That's his JOB - he's PAID BY WALDORF to promote disinformation about Waldorf... to act like a satisfied customer with happy, well-rounded, well-educated children who love their school... and to direct people away from complaining parents. That's how Waldorf addresses complaints. Waldorf teacher training now includes classes on DEALING WITH CRITICS.

Not surprisingly, Waldorf has taken the dishonest route in addressing their problems... they have decided to disguise them rather than correct them. When parents ask about something their children are being taught, it is unlikely they will get straight answer. Steiner taught Waldorf teachers that a child's parents are SECONDARY to the child's Waldorf teacher. Waldorf teachers are taught to be dishonest - they have dishonest answers prepared for almost everything (that's why they never sound genuine). AND, when things go terribly wrong, the dishonesty is what Waldorf teachers fall back on. They lie to parents, and they lie in court. I guess it must be easy when you have been brainwashed into thinking you are part of some "bigger plan" for the Earth.

"I look forward to hearing about it, and how Waldorf responds to your issues."

They will FINALLY have to respond in court won't they? I'm looking forward to their response too.

When I prevail in court, I intend to set up a fund to help other parents who were lied to and who wish to sue Waldorf. When Waldorf discovers it's a CRIME that actually costs money when they lie to people, they might reconsider their approach to public relations. I doubt it though... after all, we have the worst miscreants at the very top of the Waldorf hierarchy and they are following the guidelines of their guru - Rudolf Steiner.

Pete Karaiskos
Waldorf whistleblower / activist / critic
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/

Posted by Pete K on 12/26/2011 at 9:04 AM




"I look forward to hearing about it, and how Waldorf responds to your issues." -Rafael

Pete: They will FINALLY have to respond in court won't they? I'm looking forward to their response too. When I prevail in court, I intend to set up a fund to help other parents who were lied to and who wish to sue Waldorf. When Waldorf discovers it's a CRIME that actually costs money when they lie to people, they might reconsider their approach to public relations. I doubt it though... after all, we have the worst miscreants at the very top of the Waldorf hierarchy and they are following the guidelines of their guru - Rudolf Steiner.


Pete, whatever occurs one thing is certain in this debate, and that is that J. Adrian Stanley has moved on to write other interesting articles. Good luck, and thanks for the talk friend.

http://www.csindy.com/colorado/ArticleArch…

Posted by Rafael on 12/30/2011 at 9:34 PM

Pete K
"Pete, whatever occurs one thing is certain in this debate, and that is that J. Adrian Stanley has moved on to write other interesting articles. Good luck, and thanks for the talk friend."

I have no problem with the reporter who was duped by Waldorf and I'm sure she'll make a fine reporter some day. It would be unusual if she WASN'T fed a bunch of lies by the school she attended. This article, along with the comments, will be referenced for quite some time by Waldorf critics, I'm sure. It's a great example of how stories can be skewed - even by well-meaning reporters. Let's hope she researches her future subject matter a little better than she did Waldorf.

Thanks for the opportunity to have this debate. Also, thanks to Harlan Gilbert for punctuating my points for me so eloquently.


Posted by Pete K on 12/31/2011 at 8:09 AM




"I have no problem with the reporter who was duped by Waldorf and I'm sure she'll make a fine reporter some day. It would be unusual if she WASN'T fed a bunch of lies by the school she attended. This article, along with the comments, will be referenced for quite some time by Waldorf critics, I'm sure. It's a great example of how stories can be skewed - even by well-meaning reporters. Let's hope she researches her future subject matter a little better than she did Waldorf."

I found these comments compelling enought to write Stanley in order to ascertain the depth and level of her report. Waiting to hear back. I told her that I thought her article was fair and accurate, and that your concerns might actually be a vendetta. Sorry for that, but I am interested in what she responds with. Some of us see a vendetta on your part, Pete, which seems clearly stated, and even more so when you look up the word in the dictionary. Thanks.

Posted by Rafael on 12/31/2011 at 10:31 PM

Pete K
"I found these comments compelling enought to write Stanley in order to ascertain the depth and level of her report. Waiting to hear back. "

Well, that doesn't make a lot of sense does it? What do you expect in return? Something acknowledging that the reporting was superficial? Maybe talk her into yanking the comments? It's the kind of thing I've come to expect from Anthroposophists.

"Some of us see a vendetta on your part, Pete, which seems clearly stated, and even more so when you look up the word in the dictionary."

So, you've been in contact with other readers? Or do you automatically speak for the masses? When you can't refute what I say, you try to make the discussion about ME personally. I'm describing HUGE problems in Waldorf. Parents should check them out for themselves. If they want to spend time checking me out, I have nothing to hide.

If you were here for no other reason than to promote Waldorf, what would you have said differently? Some of us can see what you are doing here!

Pete Karaiskos / Waldorf whistleblower
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/

Posted by Pete K on 01/01/2012 at 8:19 AM




I just reviewed the article again, and it is quite objective. A neutral stance on technology and its value in schools. Of course, the official waldorf statistics concerning success come from an acknowledged source, which objection can be taken with. Maybe vendetta is a bad choice of word, but you have been on this for several years with little to no resolution other than complaints and accusations. Now, the accusations you've lodged here seem weak, and possibly cannot even be substantiated. For example, Harlan Gilbert feels no need to justify his position, nor have you proven anything against him. Only your word has come forth on this whole thread of talk, and it is almost entirely accusatory.

Therefore, without detailed stats to refute the success numbers given by the official waldorf record keepers, it seems your charges are more personal than global. The great majority of waldorf schools are successful in terms of competent teachers, happy students, and satisfied parents. Otherwise, why would they expend the dollars for the hefty tuition? As for knowledge of the principles of Waldorf being based on the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner, few parents would have a problem with it once explained in terms of the educational cycles, and the reason for that is because we all experience them, and most of us have been educated accordingly, even in the public school system.

Unfortunately, Highland Hall seems to be the exception, or one of the few exceptions to successful education, and that is where your experience is. But I look with interest to hearing about the lawsuit and how waldorf officaldom responds. This will be important for making the needed changes, placing fault, and getting admission of negligence and malfeasance and so forth. Good luck, and I'll stay on the alert to hear about it.

Posted by Rafael on 01/01/2012 at 1:19 PM

Pete K
"Maybe vendetta is a bad choice of word, but you have been on this for several years with little to no resolution other than complaints and accusations."

Instead of V for Vendetta, how about A for Accountability! There's a multi-million dollar lawsuit in the works. What "resolution" did you expect? Perhaps an apology from Highland Hall? My daughter will have psychological problems for the rest of her LIFE! They harmed all my kids and I'm holding them accountable. If my accusations are unfounded, it behooves Highland Hall to take legal action to stop me from making them. I've certainly cost them a bundle over the years. They can't stop me because what I'm accusing them of is TRUE, and it's only the tip of the iceberg. They're hoping the statue of limitations will run out before I file. That's NOT going to happen.

"Now, the accusations you've lodged here seem weak, and possibly cannot even be substantiated. For example, Harlan Gilbert feels no need to justify his position, nor have you proven anything against him. Only your word has come forth on this whole thread of talk, and it is almost entirely accusatory."

It's obvious Mr. Gilbert cannot justify his position - hence the silence. It is an indication of the strength of my point, not the weakness of it. It's clear and documented what he attempted to do - mislead the readers of the article. The smartest thing he could do at this point is remain silent.

"Therefore, without detailed stats to refute the success numbers given by the official waldorf record keepers, it seems your charges are more personal than global. The great majority of waldorf schools are successful in terms of competent teachers, happy students, and satisfied parents."

How can you possibly substantiate this. ANY snapshot of Waldorf schools at any given moment in time is going to find mostly satisfied customers. Is this surprising to you? The dissatisfied ones are GONE! Who are you getting YOUR information from? Parents still at the schools? I hear from a different set of parents altogether... the ones who have been harmed and whose children have been harmed.

"Otherwise, why would they expend the dollars for the hefty tuition?"

They don't. When they discover the fraudulent practices, most leave or weigh the harm they've already done to their kids vs the harm of continuing. Depending on where their kids are in the process, leaving the school immediately isn't always an option.

"As for knowledge of the principles of Waldorf being based on the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner, few parents would have a problem with it once explained in terms of the educational cycles, and the reason for that is because we all experience them, and most of us have been educated accordingly, even in the public school system."

That's absolutely absurd and you know it! If parents wouldn't have a problem once it's explained - WHY NOT EXPLAIN IT BEFORE THEY ENROLL?

"Unfortunately, Highland Hall seems to be the exception, or one of the few exceptions to successful education, and that is where your experience is. "

Yet, they are the TRAINING CENTER for Waldorf teachers. The very worst teachers are teaching new teachers. AWSNA owns the name Waldorf, yet they don't pull it from Highland Hall... in fact, AWSNA keeps reaccrediting Highland Hall. AWSNA members are at Highland Hall all the time. It's a 50+ year old Waldorf school - the oldest on the west coast. To suggest Highland Hall is an anomaly is ludicrous. The only anomaly is ME, a parent who has said "Enough already!" and is holding them accountable for what they do on a DAILY basis!

"But I look with interest to hearing about the lawsuit and how waldorf officaldom responds. This will be important for making the needed changes, placing fault, and getting admission of negligence and malfeasance and so forth. Good luck, and I'll stay on the alert to hear about it."

I'll absolutely keep the world apprised of the results. I think this case will be more important than the PLANS lawsuit. Fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud will be very easy to prove. AWSNA has committed conspiracy to defame, libel and other charges. I am legally well-represented. Keep checking on my blog which is regularly updated:

http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/

Pete Karaiskos
Waldorf parent, activist, whistleblower