The third, final part of the German documentary. Didn’t interest me as much as the previous two parts, but still has something to tell us, I suppose. I think a couple of those things are how waldorf education suits those who want to be the centre of attention, stand on the stage, sing and act and perform, and those who find themselves at home and belonging to a collective and thus are able to happy to be in the midst of a static group of people for eight years. One of the kids — they’re now old enough to be interviewed themselves — puts it like this: they — the class — are like one human being. Someone else calls it a family, or something, and they see their teacher as a substitute mother. This idea of the class as a single organism fills me with shere terror. The idea is very familiar, a waldorf school always aims to be more than just a school, but I always found it frightening. To be in this, for eight years, and not belong – – – Naturally, those students who are interviewed are individuals who enjoy being where they are. Whether there are others less suited for this setting, people who are less outgoing and positive, people less enthusiastic about singing solo on the stage, we never find out. The teacher strikes me as sympathetic, and the intellectual development of these pupils doesn’t seem disastrous, but I always suspected that German waldorf schools, in general, kept somewhat higher standards — well, frankly, that Germany in general (also apart from waldorf) is quite different from Sweden. When everything you learn has to be communicated from the teacher, and not through books for example, you cannot have the progress of the entire class bogged down by severely retarded (I’m sorry — that was simply the case) children, who, at the age of twelve, still don’t know what 1 times 1 is. You need a fairly homogenous group that can learn, collectively, at a steady and reasonable pace. You also need a group that works well on a social level, and I’m not sure if that is even possible with children, much less with teenagers.
So in short, it was worth watching, but I came away (once more) feeling blessed that I got away.