waldorf for all

The other day, Sune tweeted a link to an article and quoted it as saying something to the effect that waldorf could help ‘all’. This is indeed a joke — waldorf clearly can’t help all, even if there certainly are those who find it helpful. But could it help all, there would be no discontent, no waldorf critics, nothing like that. A ludicrous notion for any institution, not just waldorf.

So — what’s it supposed to mean that waldorf can help all? Do they think — do you think, Sune — that they help all, only some people are too dumb, too lacking in insight, to acknowledge the help?

Is it not so that they can’t help some people and that they would be more helpful in being upfront about this? Maybe it’s better to turn away some people at the door — for example families whose child seeks more intellectual stimulation than waldorf can afford to give?

Perhaps it’s important to know when waldorf is not the right fit rather than to keep deluding oneself that it can help all.

Which families and which children should waldorf turn away? And if they actually manage to do this ‘weeding out’ — it would, it ought to be said, to a degree happen automatically if they were just honest about what they have on offer — is waldorf a decent option for the rest?

12 thoughts on “waldorf for all

  1. That’s a clueless remark even for Sune. It shows he is out of touch, even with reality in his own movement. The schools do of course turn people away. It happens regularly. They don’t do it for all the reasons critics might like, but Waldorf schools are in many practical ways no different from other schools – there are sometimes practical or other reasons they can’t accommodate someone, or for space limitations they choose the students they think will be the best fit. Sune lacks knowledge of classroom reality, administration etc. Maybe in some ways that makes him better at PR, since he sees everything through rose-colored glasses, OTOH it leads sometimes to dunderhead statements like these.

  2. Oh his glasses are so rose-coloured they’re barely see-through at all.

    I think it was — might have been, don’t remember actually, care to enlighten us Sune? — a quote. Still it was a quote he chose so he must have thought it either good or representative or both. Or he was paraphrasing what someone said in the article. It wasn’t a SuneOriginal© though.

    As waldorf schools in Sweden are publicly funded, they aren’t at liberty to pick and choose as they like. (And in reality they have problems filling the schools with students anyway so it’s an economic question.)

    But I know exactly what kind of children they *need* to turn away — unless they enjoy making children unhapppy. Of course, eurythmy is a sign they delight in making kids miserable.

  3. Here’s the link, btw. I didn’t think I’d be able to find it but he hadn’t tweeted since. The article was from BBC and all. No critical thinking; just adopt the movements PR as truth about what they offer.


  4. To be clear: as ‘Robert’, Sune tweets anything that’s ‘good’ for waldorf. Often against his better knowledge. I guess he figures some people will believe that waldorf can help all — and that’s all that’s needed. He won’t tweet about all those waldorf couldn’t help — he’s the unofficial waldorf pr-department. Just lure people in; don’t bother about what happens next. If people are unhappy, keep the propaganda coming and shut the criticism down if you can. Main point is, you’ve got to have a steady stream of new customers coming in to replace the losses. I think it’s really quite cynical. So perhaps he isn’t clueless; perhaps it’s strategy. I must say one thing though: if you’re in the business long-term, you might want to pay more attention to customer satisfaction. Lots of people leaving a store angry and dissatisfied is generally not a good thing, if your commitment to doing what you’re doing is a long-term investment. It might be worth taking seriously, instead of deluding yourself that your products suit everybody and that nobody could find anything to disagree with.

  5. I think we’re concentrating on the word “all” when we really need to have Sune define what he means by “help”… When Waldorf is a bad fit for a child, it may in his mind, help people deal with karma from past lives or some crap like that. It’s a win-win for people who are as disillusioned as Sune (that would include most Waldorf people). If you had a good experience, Waldorf was for you… if you had a bad experience, it was your karma to have one, and Waldorf “helped” you with that. Makes complete sense to people like Sune.

  6. Correct. The word ‘help’ is just as interesting in this context. More complex, too.

    So, Sune, what’s this help about? Enlighten us. Was I helped by waldorf? Were Pete’s children helped?

  7. I think we must also remember, they want “everyone” to come to Waldorf not because they can really help “all,” but because to find the people who ACTUALLY have karma with them, sometimes this is complicated, sometimes there is inevitable collateral damage. Sometimes they have to have several siblings in a family, for instance, only one of whom really has karma with them, and the others are just there because the one who has karma with them has to be there. The other siblings they may really have no use for, but that family is there because of the one child (their “real” client, so to speak).

    I’ve sometimes wondered, Alicia, if that was the case with you – was it really your brother they were after, might that explain why they didn’t just admit the school wasn’t a good fit for you? They may have believed they had no karma with you but “really” had karma with your brother. Just a thought.

  8. Possibly — but he didn’t exist then, he’s that much younger. He was born when I was almost through all of first grade. Three years of kindergarten disaster and then the horrible first year in school. When he was ready to start kindergarten, we had only a couple of years left there. Two I think. And he could read when he started kindergarten — a complete waldorf disaster ;-)

    But yes, you’re right. And I guess they might figure I have real strong karma with them anyway, even though things didn’t turn out well… I mean, 20+ years later and what am I doing?? Of all the people in my year, I, the waldorf catastrophe, could be said to have had more karma with it all than any of them. Perhaps the actual damage isn’t seen as damage, in the bigger picture, in these circumstances…

  9. oh, well, you’re a whole different case … you’re probably Rudolf Steiner reincarnated!

  10. as I pay a BBC licence fee I should have stepped in before on this thread to complain, except that the article is years old and refers to the Woods Report –


    I can’t help feeling Philip Woods would sell his own liver to get funding for Steiner schools. However the positive articles about Steiner which used to be in The Guardian every couple of months have dried up, and howls of derision greet Steiner threads on mumsnet.

    ‘Steiner schools are not without their critics. Some parents would find their philosophy hard to understand, and their approach in certain areas mildly eccentric.’

    Not half. ROFL as they say on twitter.

  11. Thetis — *mildly* eccentric doesn’t really cover it. So ROFL indeed.

    Of course he’d sell his liver. His wife’s an angelic reiki healer. She’ll heal him. Who needs a liver when you’ve got magic? (Though, according to mr D liver and magic might be the same thing. Especially dried liver. Nom nom.)

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