The emphasis placed on the individual’s freedom of choice means that it might not be the right environment for unmotivated or lazy pupils …
Hey, waldorf schools are perfect for unmotivated and lazy pupils. You’re not there to learn anything anyway, so it will suit them perfectly. On the other hand, children who are motivated to learn and make academic progress will be very unhappy.
Wishy-washy painting goes splendidly with laziness. It doesn’t require anything. Just pour the splish-splash over the paper. Do nothing. Wait. Eurythmy is dance for the lethargic. Even the daftest, laziest child can flash a piece of silk in the air and wave her arms around.
Wanting to read or write or learn will, however, make you an unwanted element in the waldorf classroom. So much for ‘freedom of choice’!
Unlike most mainstream independent schools, where achieving the highest academic results is a priority, Steiner schools will not push their pupils, but expect them to provide their own motivation – or not.
No! They will be prevented from finding an outlet for their motivation — if they’re motivated towards intellectual pursuits. If children’s drives align with what waldorf provides — a rather bland concoction of uninteresting activities, ranging from flute pling-pling-plonging to moving around slowly in a stupid manner while wearing ugly robes — then, sure, these children will be alright. They may not be motivated, exactly. But they aren’t motivated to do anything else either, and at least most kids find pleasure in driving the eurythmy teacher to the brink of (in)sanity (providing she isn’t already there, which isn’t unlikely at all…).
The motivated child with brains will be left to wither away, bored out of her wits, regarded as a complete misfit by children and teachers alike. That’s waldorf education. In my eyes. I can’t imagine an intellectually motivated child being happy in a waldorf school. That would require one highly unusual and unorthodox waldorf teacher — one who could see the child’s needs and drives and not hate them. I believe a majority of waldorf teachers are utterly incapable of this.
Steiner children retain their childhood and “innocence” for longer …
This lie is only possible to maintain if you have no idea what goes on in waldorf schools. Retain childhood? Rampant bullying and teachers turning a blind eye… now, how’s that supposed to help you ‘retain childhood’? I object to violence being reinterpreted as innocence. The only ones who are pretending innocence in waldorf schools are waldorf teachers and parents. They really desire for their children not to grow up, so they pretend the children don’t engage in cruel activities. They pretend waldorf children aren’t as nasty as other children. They’re plain wrong.
[Steiner] can provide a strong supportive environment for pupils who have experienced social difficulties in other schools.
It’s more likely that Steiner pupils need to flee to other schools because of ‘social difficulties’ in Steiner, isn’t it? Is ignoring bullying a ‘strong supportive environment’ for anyone but the bullies?
And, no, contrary to a claim in the article, there’s no evidence that waldorf schools produce more happy children than other schools. In fact, I bet they produce exactly as many unhappy children as other schools — possibly even more unhappy children. I really dislike the unquestioned assumptions made in this article: that regular schools don’t produce happy children, that regular schools aren’t for motivated children, that regular schools don’t provide freedom or choice. Waldorf proponents pretend that waldorf schools provide something other schools don’t — and, in reality, other schools may be better than waldorf at providing these things. Maybe they believe this, but if they do, it’s only because they aren’t all that interested in what other schools are actually doing; they already ‘know’ their education is based on a true understanding of the human being. And, again, we may ask what they really mean when they talk about ‘freedom’. Certainly not the freedom to be who you are, if who you are is incompatible with anthroposophical dogma deciding what’s proper or improper for a child.
This is one shoddy piece of promotional junk.