What's Where:


TABLE OF CONTENTS






Here is a directory to the pages on this site. At the end of the directory, you will find some general explanatory notes, including "A Question of Quotes".


The essays on this site were written over a period of years. There is some overlap, some repetition, and some minor inconsistency among them. I wrote most of these essays, but other critics of Waldorf schooling are also represented — including Dan Dugan, Pete Karaiskos, Grégoire Perra, Ian Robinson, Margaret Sachs, Debra Snell, Peter Staudenmaier, and Diana Winters. Read as much as you like; skim or skip over whatever you find redundant or dull. I think you'll find that, overall, the essays present a clear explanation of Waldorf schooling and the thinking that lies behind it.


— Roger Rawlings 






Waldorf Watch is divided into 16 sections.
To reach the sections, scroll down or click on the following links:

A short, direct answer to the question, "What are Waldorf schools all about?"


Best foot forward

The bright side


A pictorial overview


Waldorf's goals

Waldorf's reality

Teachers as priests

How they teach it

Words of warning


The key to Waldorf


The use of "clairvoyance" by Waldorf teachers

Developing our invisible bodies

Steiner, trying to make Waldorf education seem sensible


The memoir of a former Waldorf student and teacher


SQUARE ONE, Part 1, Part 2

From the beginning, again


TROLLS?

Any here?


◊◊◊

TEMPLATE
Design of the site






2. A FORMER WALDORF STUDENT





A report on life as a Waldorf student


An overview of Waldorf schooling; a far longer version of "I Went to Waldorf", including:


"Unenlightened - Part 2"


"Unenlightened - Part 3"


"Unenlightened - Part 4"


"Unenlightened - Part 5"


"Unenlightened - Part 6"


(including addenda, etc.)

"Unenlightened - Part 7"








3. WALDORF SCHOOLS TODAY





Bringing the inquiry up to date: What goes on inside Waldorf schools today?


Waldorf schools in the 21st Century

What they're saying

More

What they're reading

What they're saying (cont.)


A brief look at the purposes of Waldorf schooling


A brief summary of Rudolf Steiner’s doctrines and teachings


A guide for students and parents

Steiner's theory of everything


Some of the things you aren’t supposed to know


To survive or not, to teach or not

    

Debating and evaluating Waldorf education


News about Waldorf schools

The Watch in Waldorf Watch (Cont.)

NEWS 3    
Watching (Cont., Cont.)







4. CONSIDERATIONS FOR PARENTS





For parents considering sending kids to a Waldorf school


Detailed pointers on evaluating a Waldorf school


Reverence, wonder, and the aftereffects of straining for them


One family's story [external link]

 

Classroom discipline and...


Some positive elements, but also...

A parent's cry

Another

Court case

A father asks for guidance

Looking at a Parent Handbook


Unjustly assailed


An inquiry into the “success” of Waldorf schooling


The “temperaments” as conceived and acted upon in Waldorf schools


Can a Waldorf school cleanse itself?


Examining a problem that began with the first Waldorf School


An overview and a parent's personal report [external link]





You may also want to consult a few essays 
posted elsewhere at Waldorf Watch:


SIX FACTS ABOUT STEINER EDUCATION
A guide for students and parents

OUR EXPERIENCE
Reports and advice from parents whose children attended Waldorf schools

COMING UNDONE
A report by a mother who was drawn to a Waldorf school but left disillusioned

MOMS
Talking it over

POPS
Had enough?

Crossing many lines







5. THE WALDORF APPROACH





A look at the standard Waldorf curriculum


How they try to do it


How they get that way

The irrational modes of “thought” fostered at Waldorf schools

English classes and history classes in a typical Waldorf school


The central mythology in many Waldorf schools: Norse myths


At Waldorf schools, ignorance is often taken as wisdom


The Waldorf curriculum: the arts, and festivals


How they paint and draw


The Waldorf curriculum: math


The antiscientific nature of Waldorf education


Class journals as created by students at many Waldorf schools

The Anthroposophical take on technology


No [external link]


The Waldorf curriculum: astronomy


Steiner on our solar system or "our universe"


A behind-the-scenes look at Waldorf education


Exploring the fundamentals of Waldorf schooling


Further explorations


Still further explorations


Talks between Steiner and Waldorf teachers


"Practical" tips Steiner gave to Waldorf faculty








6. FORMER WALDORF TEACHERS, ET AL





A student, teacher, believer — who left 


Another firsthand account


A third firsthand account


A long, astrological tale — told briefly


Leaving Waldorf, finding something better


The real skinny


The child vs. the cause


Contamination and corruption

Teachers as priests


A wayward Anthroposophist


Reeling away from Christchurch


His reply


Focus on Steiner schools


A big year coming

A square peg

    

Parent and teacher


Founding member

After 10 years...

Run!


You will be lied to...

A chat between friends








7. IN THEIR OWN WORDS





Selected, revealing quotations; includes "Anthroposophy at Waldorf"


Other than Rudolf


Nonsense in the air

More


Perhaps the worst statements Steiner made


Additional revealing quotations; includes "Last Words" and "Reading Steiner"


Some of Steiner’s silliest statements (on topics such as gnomes)

Not






To consider more statements made by Anthroposophists
in recent years, see the following pages posted in
the third section of Waldorf Watch:


Waldorf schools in the 21st Century

What they're saying







8. THE WORST SIDE





The racial teachings deep in Anthroposophy


Problems in the doctrines


A lecture that exculpates?


FORBIDDEN
One of Steiner's suppressed lectures

                

Another


Two fundamental legends embraced by Steiner

Ties to Nazism? Allegations and denials


From SkepticReport [external link]


Steiner’s strange version, tied to his racial teachings

Anthroposophical racism, recapped








9. WALDORF AND RELIGION





Examining the central denial made by Steiner’s followers


Comparing Steiner's teachings with Christ's

The hidden story


Anthroposophy and hidden knowledge

Anthroposophy and Rosicrucianism


Steiner's strange ideas about the Lord

The Earth Goddess; and the Theory of Everything: Anthropo-Sophia


What Waldorf faculties aim for

About those "morning verses"

The religion of Anthroposophy in the classroom

Turning students into disciples

Why choose Anthroposophy when there are so many alternatives?





You may also want to consult a few essays 
posted in the first section of Waldorf Watch:


Waldorf's goals

Waldorf's reality

WALDORF WORSHIP
Teachers as priests

Steiner, trying to make Waldorf education seem sensible







10. CLAIRVOYANCE AND DELUSION






The missing basis of Waldorf thinking


Occult initiation in Anthroposophy


Oh why? Oh why? Oh why?


Ourselves

"Exact" clairvoyance

JVH
Delusional or fraudulent?

ESP
Case closed?

Being fooled


Getting happy





You may also want to consult the following essay 
posted in the first section of Waldorf Watch:


The use of "clairvoyance" by Waldorf teachers







11. THE WALDORF WORLDVIEW






An examination of Steiner’s central text


Steiner’s extraordinary, sci-fi-like narrative of human evolution;
it continues in:











Steiner promoted love, sort of


Surprising violence in Steiner's kindly vision


And badder, and baddest


America, Germany, and Waldorf


How to, he said (his #2 text)

Steiner’s occult conspiracy theories


Back-room maneuvers








12. DANGEROUS DISCONNECTIONS






Errors, fallacies, falsehoods...


Quack Anthroposophical medicine


Human nature as conceived by Steiner and acted upon in Waldorf schools

Macrocosms, microcosms — big and small


The Waldorf view of the natural world

Quack agriculture: astrology and magic


Laying it out clearly

The quality of Steiner’s thinking


Bizarre ideas about the universe: Vulcan, the Zodiac, Mars, etc.


Waldorf escapism








13. RUDOLF STEINER






Seeing Steiner through his followers’ eyes; with a brief chronology of Steiner's life


What he prescribed, and — perhaps — why


Steiner's visions


Steiner as leader

Steiner’s embrace of an architect of destruction


Steiner and his followers, beleaguered


The coming, epoch-ending war


What he might have done







14. PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER






A look back, plus


Mystical thinking, realistic thinking























Reports and advice from parents whose children attended Waldorf schools


More reports and advice from parents whose children attended Waldorf schools

Talking it over

Had enough?

Crossing many lines

Describing the near-collapse of the Waldorf school I attended


Deprogramming myself after Waldorf

Who the heck am I?


Doom and deliverance


Short and sweet

Can you trust me?








15. MORE RESOURCES






Sites that may help


Laying out the truth clearly and concisely


Where to go for further information: other websites





Based largely on SteinerBooks books










The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia















Alphabetized index for this site



 
























16. SUPPLEMENTAL PAGES






To see a listing of the supplemental pages,
click on this link:










The overall design of Waldorf Watch
is presented at









Occasionally an illustration fails to download. 
If you see a dingbat in a place where an illustration is clearly meant to go, 
you might try refreshing the page
(i.e., call up the page again).
















An attempt to simulate a characteristic style of Anthroposophical art,

a style often seen in Waldorf schools. Artwork in the schools

is often far superior to this, but aesthetics are largely beside the point.

Anthroposophical art is meant to evoke and embody spiritual powers and beings —

it is not art for art's sake, but art for occultism's sake.

[R.R., 2009.]









NAVIGATION


There are several ways to find your way around this website:

• Click on the underlined links provided in this Table of Contents ("HERE'S THE ANSWER", "UPSIDE", etc.)

• Click on the many similar underlined links that that are scattered throughout the site ("Our Experience", "My Life Among the Anthroposophists", etc.).

• Click on the links in the sidebar at the upper left of each page ("Here's the Answer", "I Went to Waldorf", and so on)

• Use the links provided in the Waldorf Watch Index and/or in the Encyclopedia.

• Use the "Search this site" function at the upper right of each page. This produces Google searches of the site. One-word searches seem to work best. (Thus, e.g., do a search for "advice". You should receive, among other hits, links to the essays "Advice for Parents" and "Advice for Teachers".)

• In most cases, you can move around the site by typing titles in the address line at the top of the screen. Thus, you are currently at https://sites.google.com/site/waldorfwatch/table-of-contents. Delete "table-of-contents" and type in, e.g., "advice-for-parents" (so that the address line reads "https://sites.google.com/site/waldorfwatch/advice-for-parents"). Hit your return key. You will go to the essay "Advice for Parents".

• To reach sections of the site's Dictionary, Encyclopedia, and Index, use the links provided in the footer appended to the bottom of each page at the site. 







ADDITIONAL NOTES



◊ While I take Rudolf Steiner seriously, I often laugh at his doctrines. Much of what he taught is preposterous. But be forewarned: Some of his doctrines are quite hateful and thus not at all laughable. And the harm Steiner's educational doctrines can inflict on innocent young children is serious indeed.

 My primary focus is on Waldorf schools. Many people find these schools attractive, at least initially. Waldorfs are often small, cozy, and beautiful. They can seem like safe refuges in a fearful world. However, any schools that abide by Steiner’s teachings are necessarily devoted to occultism, specifically Anthroposophy — although they often disguise this devotion. Understanding what goes on in such schools requires peering beneath the surface. Waldorf Watch aims to enable such peering.

 Especially important passages crop up in more than one essay. I don't expect anyone to read every essay here, so to make sure that various pivotal items reach as many readers as possible, I have stated some arguments, and cited some quotations, in two, three, or even four places on the site. If you come upon something you’ve read before, please just skip ahead.

 Throughout, I provide links to other sources of information. As time passes, some of these links may become outdated. I will update them if I can, but if you try to use a link that proves to be a dud, searching the Internet by keyword may take you where you want to go. 

 Here and there, I have included sketches I have made. Many of these are renderings of illustrations found in Anthroposophical books. Some photographs I've taken over the years are also scattered around the site. I apologize for my poor artistic efforts (all of which are identified by my initials, R.R.) — I use my own sketches and photographs only when no other, better works are available for reproduction here.






















Wet-on-wet watercolor painting
— typical of Waldorf school art —
is meant to have esoteric effects.
[R.R., 2009.]

Anthroposophical art may employ virtually any style —
there are no strict limits. However, all Anthroposophical art
aims to convey mystical conceptions.
For a discussion of the role art plays in Waldorf education,
please see "Magical Arts".













Please excuse any typos at this site.

I hope they are few and insignificant.

I’ll correct them all when I find them.








A QUESTION OF QUOTES



When quoting Steiner and others, I often omit extraneous and repetitive phrases, which I replace with ellipsis marks. I take care, however, not to alter any author's meaning. The best way to check me is to consult the texts from which I quote. I almost always provide citations. 

Here is an example. In my long essay "Unenlightened", I use the following quotation to show that Steiner differentiated between the soul and the spirit: “The soul must not be impelled, through the body, to lusts and passions ... The spirit, however, must not stand as a slave-driver over the soul, dominating it with laws and commandments....” [Rudolf Steiner, KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT (Anthroposophic Press, 1944), p. 96.] 

Here is a more complete version of the same passage, in which I include all words I previously omitted, and for context I include the sentences that appear immediately before and after the passage: 

“The body must be so ennobled and purified that its organs are impelled to nothing that is not in the service of the soul and spirit. The soul must not be impelled, through the body, to lusts and passions which are antagonistic to pure and noble thought. The spirit, however, must not stand as a slave-driver over the soul, dominating it with laws and commandments; the soul must rather learn to follow these laws and duties out of its own free inclination. The student must not feel duty to be an oppressive power to which he unwillingly submits, but rather something which he performs out of love.” 

Remember that my purpose was to establish that Steiner differentiates between the soul and the spirit. Including the additional sentences and phrases does not alter that differentiation; it merely makes the quotation longer while raising extraneous issues. That Steiner speaks of love, for instance, may be to his credit, but it does not change the distinction between spirit and soul. Thus, the clipped form of the quotation is accurate and more to the point. 

The issue of context is complex. The passage I’ve quoted comes from within a long paragraph. The only way to absolutely avoid taking such passages out of context would be to reprint entire paragraphs or perhaps entire chapters. But clearly that would be impractical and — in some cases — illegal due to copyright laws. The test you should apply is whether a quotation would mean something fundamentally different if taken within a larger context. In the example I've given, neither the omission of some words nor the absence of the larger context alters the point at issue, which is that Steiner distinguished between spirit and soul. 

Another note on this topic: In omitting phrases and sentences, I may seem to be ducking some issues. You can check me on this, as well. I can’t deal with every issue simultaneously, but I do not intentionally ignore any subjects that are important to an understanding of Waldorf education or Anthroposophy. Thus, I deal with Steinerian “love” in the such essays as "Love and the Universal Human", “Underpinnings”, and “Was He Christian?” Similarly, I deal with Steiner’s conception of thought (a subject introduced by the phrase “pure and noble thought”) in various essays including "Thinking", “Thinking Cap”, and “Steiner’s Specific”. For a discussion of Steiner’s doctrines about the human constitution (“the body must be so ennobled and purified that its organs...”), see “Steiner’s Quackery”, “What We’re Made Of”, and "Our Parts". For more on Steiner’s conception of freedom (which boils down to voluntary acceptance of laws and commandments), see "Freedom", “Nutshell”, and “Steiner Static”.

◊◊◊

I should also explain, briefly, that I generally format all quotations, long and short, alike. I place them within quotation marks. This violates a common practice, which is to omit quotation marks from long quotations, indenting these passages instead, and setting the indented material in smaller type. My purpose has been to ensure that all quotations are immediately recognizable as such, and that they are readily legible on computer screens.


— Roger Rawlings 








For a detailed examination of one of Steiner's lectures

— helpful in deciding whether I twist Steiner's meaning

by quoting him out of context —

please see "Lecture".