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A Parent's List Of Questions And Concerns
By Steve Premo via post to waldorf-critics discussion list
February 8, 1999
On 8 Feb 99, at 9:09, Steve Premo wrote:
Here is a list of questions and concerns that I wrote up to
discuss with my son's first grade teacher. I was satisfied
with her responses, but we took my son out of the class
anyway at the end of first grade because he was bored.
Feel free to use this list as you see fit:
CONCERNS ABOUT WALDORF EDUCATION
I agree with the Waldorf approach to education, but
disagree with much of what I have heard that children are
taught. Specific teachings that are contrary to current scientific
knowledge or belief include:
- Insects are related to plants.
- The elements are earth, water, fire and air.
- The heart not a pump, or circulatory system is described, but the role of the heart is not explained.
- Planets influence growth of plants.
- Plants are like a man upside down.
- Goethean vs Newtonian color theory.
- The body is made up of the nervesense system, the metabolic muscular system, and the rhythmic system.
- There are 12 senses, corresponding to signs of the zodiac.
- There are four kingdoms of nature, mineral, plant, animal, and man.
- Species were specially created, rather than evolving from one another, and spiritual beings were the creators.
- Left-handedness is a condition that should be "corrected".
- The "ancients" had powers and knowledge lost to us, such as alchemy and the ability to see things outside the physical realm.
- Religious mythology is taught as ancient history, or the theosophical framework for ancient history is taught as fact.
- The ancient Egyptians moved the huge, heavy, stone Pyramid blocks with sound power.
- That there is a relationship between the dactylic hexameter of Greek epic/heroic poetry, as in the Odyssey, and the so-called "Platonic Year" (a hypothesis by Plato and others about the precession of the equinoxes over 26,000 years) and the number of breaths/hearbeats in a day.
- Astrology is taught in the higher grades.
Also, I have heard of disturbing events at other schools,
- Parents being asked to leave the schoolwhen they questioned or objected to aspects of Waldorf education or anthroposophy.
- Kids being inadequately supervised on the playground to prevent bullying and accidents, on the theory that angels will watch out for them.
- Dunce caps being used.
Finally, I have heard of child studies being performed to
determine the child’s karma and destiny, without the
involvement or knowledge of the parents. Shouldn’t the
parents be involved, or at least have knowledge of, the results
of studies being done on their children?
Steve Premo -- Santa Cruz, California
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