ThetisMercurio noticed on Twitter that Dr Richard House, a prominent (?) Steiner education proponent, is worried about television. From his letter, ‘Victims of television’:
The incursion of televisual technologies into people’s lives is now being robustly challenged from many sources …
Ah, but waldorf has ‘challenged’ (as in rejected) all of modern technology for 80 years now. Not for any particularly robust reasons, one might add. Of course, if other groups of parents also become hostile to technology, dr House and the Steiner movement will happily ride on that wave too. Much like they did with the anti-vaccine craze.
… and parents are increasingly making principled, informed decisions not to expose their children to what are inhuman, body-less and soul-less technologies, when children’s prime task is learning how to be human in real (not artificial or technologised) human relationships.
Gosh! Inhuman, body-less and soul-less! Can’t the same be said about gnomes too? Or flute-playing? (It’s inhuman, to me.)
The article [which dr House comments on /a] also assumes that technologically and programmatically controlled human learning is preferable to ‘real-world situations’.
‘Real-world situations’ — I guess that’s what waldorf education claims to provide? Curiously, these real-world situations are populated by fairies, gnomes and archangels. Even worse, eurythmists. Positively surreal, I’d say. Had little to do with the real world, as I know it. Of course, I’m only halfway sane.
If we impose televisual technologies on young children whose brains and bodies are still in the throes of rapid development; if the kinds of arguments proposed in this article are taken seriously, then we are headed for a crisis in the human condition, the gravity of which it is impossible to over-estimate.
But then we’ll bring in a waldorf crisis intervention team, consisting of eurythmists and waldorf teachers. They’ll teach the world’s (spiritually lost) population to move in a suspiciously fluid manner, draped in weird dresses while tossing copper rods around. And to paint wet-on-wet water-blobs and do a proper form drawing, all very necessary skills (in contrast to absolutely useless computer skills). Homeopathic remedies will be dispensed to cure television addiction. The apocalypse will be swiftly and efficiently averted by these highly qualified professionals and spiritual aid workers!
As for Richard House’s own ability to over-estimate the gravity of the situation, well, I think he succeeded magnificently. It can’t have been impossible, can it? At least not for him. Higher wisdom is an amazing asset.