Welcome to the norwegian Waldorf-/ Steiner critics!
By Kristín A. Sandberg
We have created this site in order to share our experiences as teachers and parents at the norwegian Waldorf-/Steinerschool. Having a good ten years of experience with the movement we feel obliged to pass on what we have learned. And it’s not that we weren’t warned or anything! It was our longing for something idealistic and our assumption we could see what was a sect and what wasn’t that fooled us.
In Norway, Rudolf Steiners pedagogical movement is the largest alternative to state schools. The Waldorf schools present their antimaterialistic and ecological values to people searching other ways to leed their lives – ourselves included. A lot of the Steiner/Waldorf values are similar to those of the green- and the anticapitalist movement. What scared us the most, was the fact that we, in order to find the very best pedagogical alternative for our children, were led to believe that the pedagogical tools of the Waldorf-school were not closely linked to the antroposophy, but seperable from their religious beliefs, whereas the whole movement in every possible way evolve around the thoughts of reincarnation and hierarcic structure.
Your life, your existential situation, the ones you love, your health are all a result of how you led your previous lives. And if or when you become critical, you will be told that you have not studied enough.
Unfortunately we experienced the school to be a highly religious sect with noe respect whatsoever for legal contracts, and with no continuing professional development, and to what we regard to be social responsibility. In very subtle ways, and with a mild and friendly smile they assure you that the childrens education is in the best of hands. But, as time showed us, their teacher-training consists exclusively of the spiritual fantasies of one single man. And having done teaching there ourselves, we found their curriculum not compareable to what is required from the state, nor claimed.
The Waldorf-teachers claim that the children choose their parents. This is not, as we believed, a lovely birthday fairytale to be told in the kindergarten, it is their religious belief. Litteraly speaking. It took a long time before we were able to understand why children, clearly in need of intervention by social services were not helped out of their miserable situation, until we realized how the school neglected their legal responsibility when other parents took action and reported directly to the authorities.
This is what the Rudolf Steiner/ Waldorf schools believe:
“It may happen that the astral body is attracted to a mother but that the ego is not attracted to the corresponding father; in such a case the wandering continues until suitable parents are found. (...) In the present phase of evolution, the “ I ” represents the element of will, the impulse of perceptivity. In the astral body lie the qualities of phantasy or imagination, of thinking. The latter qualities, therefore, are transmitted by the mother, the former by the father. The individuality who is approaching incarnation, seeks out through his unconscious forces the parents who are to provide the physical body.”
And, mind you, we’re not talking about having an open mind here. Waldorf-teachers are in no doubt as to what Rudolf Steiner's fantasies are concerned. This is the truth. And all the answers are already there. Waldorf-teachers are merely collecting examples as to prove how true the antroposophical truths are – as all cults with a guru or prophet will be.
This is what Waldorf-teachers lean on when teaching history:
“When in the Middle Ages the Huns poured over from Asia into the countries of Europe and caused alarming wars, this too had spiritual significance. The Huns were the last surviving remnants of ancient Atlantean peoples; they were in an advanced stage of decadence which expressed itself in a certain process of decay in their astral and etheric bodies. These products of decay found good soil in the fear and the terror caused among the peoples. The result was that these products of decay were inoculated into the astral bodies of the peoples and in a later generation this was carried over into the physical body. The skin absorbed the astral elements and the outcome was a disease prevalent in the Middle Ages, namely, leprosy. An ordinary doctor would, of course, attribute leprosy to physical causes. I have no wish to dispute what such doctors say but their line of reasoning is as follows :-In a fight, one man wounds another with a knife; he had harboured an old feeling of revenge against him. One person will say that the cause of the wound was the feeling of revenge, another that the knife was the cause. — Both are right. The knife was the final physical cause but behind it there is the spiritual cause. Those who seek for spiritual causes will always admit the validity of physical causes.”
We see that historical events have a significant effect upon whole generations and we learn how, even in fundamental conditions of health, improvements extending over long periods of time can be brought about.”
“As a result of technical progress in recent centuries there developed among the European peoples an industrial proletariat, and together with it, untold racial and class hatred. This has its seat in the astral body and comes to physical expression as pulmonary tuberculosis. This knowledge is yielded by occult investigation. It is often not within our power to help the individual among those who are subject to general karma of this kind. We are often compelled, with aching hearts, to see an individual suffering without being able to make him well or, happy because he is connected with the general karma. Only by working for the improvement of the common karma can we also help the individual.”
“Occult investigation” – what is that really?
Read also "Warm and Wolly" by Kristín A. Sandberg and Trond K. O. Kristoffersen
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