Talk:Waldorf education

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Contents of lede[edit]

It seems clear that the lede should focus on issues closely connected to the schools and educational philosophy. Does a critique of Steiner's comments on race qualify?

This really belongs to the article on Steiner. The fact that critics of WE have sometimes mentioned Steiner's valuations of race in connection to the education can be included in this article, but why in the lede? I know of (and the present citations list) no suggestion that these valuations actually play a role in the schools.

Finally, if the consensus is that this should stay in the lede, should not the fact that several empirical studies have demonstrated that Waldorf students have considerable less racial prejudice than students from other schools also be included in the lede for balance? HGilbert (talk) 01:52, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Broadly agree, and the treatment in Wikipedia articles of Steiner's educational theory, and the practice of this under the name 'Waldorf' or otherwise, can be such as to be compared with the treatment of other educational theorists or reformers affecting current educational practice, or the Philosophy of education, such as Pestalozzi, Commenius, Thomas Arnold, Edward Thring, Nathaniel Woodard, Montessori, Jean Piaget (naming just a few, almost at random). Qexigator (talk) 06:12, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Soundly agree. Just as a mention, I tend to believe that as time has passed Steiner would have likely had a change of mind on some things. My dad wrote a book in the early 50's and today it seems so both racist and sexist - but he definitely was neither. It was a different world back then and he was part of it. BTW, there is an ongoing quest to search out pseudoscience in Wikipedia wherever it may be lurking and expose it. See here: [1], so it is not unlikely that this article may be targeted. Gandydancer (talk) 11:39, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Done. I agree that Steiner would have both thought about these things differently, and been better about expressing his thoughts, which were often quite pluralistic and forward-thinking on these issues. HGilbert (talk) 13:44, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
  • see also Wikipedia talk:Criticism#When should critical reception or controversies be included in the lede?. I agree that criticism mentioned in the lede should be about the critical reception of Waldorf education, not about the critical reception of Rudolf Steiner (the person) and/or of Anthroposophy (the philosophy): it is correct to give appropriate summaries of such criticisms (as relevant to Waldorf education) in the body of this article, but these criticisms are too tangential to the topic of this article to be summarized in its lede. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:54, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks all; this is very helpful. HGilbert (talk) 10:28, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I am wondering if the information about the threefold structure of the education, and the second paragraph overview of its goals and character, should not be switched. The lede wuold then read,

  • Waldorf (Steiner) education is a humanistic approach to pedagogy based on the educational philosophy of the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy. Waldorf pedagogy emphasizes the role of imagination in learning and values the holistic integration of intellectual, practical, and artistic activities across the curriculum. Its overarching goal is to develop free, morally responsible, and integrated individuals equipped with a high degree of social competence. Especially for younger children, qualitative methods of assessment are preferred over quantitative and summative methods. Individual teachers and schools have a great deal of autonomy in determining curriculum content, teaching methodology and governance.
  • Steiner described child development as taking place in three distinct stages. These stages are reflected in the schools' approach to early childhood education, which focuses on practical, hands-on activities and creative play; to elementary education, which focuses on developing artistic expression and social capacities; and to secondary education, which focuses on developing critical reasoning and empathic understanding.

(followed by the rest of the current lede). Any thoughts? HGilbert (talk) 10:54, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Yes, that would be a better presentation, with general description of educational aim first, method and basis for it second. Similarly, anyone looking at Steiner's approach can see that, like other reformers, he was interested in promoting modern education for the young as a sound and healthy basis for growing up and later adult life, and with that in view he developed and proposed a theory and practice, arising from his own range of knowledge and experience, which became the origin of what is here called Waldorf education. Qexigator (talk) 11:44, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Details of positive and negative reception[edit]

As there is no detailed examination of the grounds for WE's positive reception given in the lede, it violates NPOV to go into considerable detail as to the grounds for its negative reception. I am moving these details to the appropriate sections. These could return if equal detail is provided for both aspects, but I do not see that this is done for other, similar articles (public education, Montessori education, etc.)

Another way of saying this: the Reception section's representation in the lede should reflect proportionally the contents of this section. HGilbert (talk) 07:34, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Once more, broadly agree, but should this sentence be left in the lead: Waldorf pedagogy has won praise for its holistic approach? It is supported, but evaluative, that is, positive appraisal without negative criticism, where the rest of the lead is factually descriptive. Is it needed here at all, given what has been written in the previous paragraphs? It sole purpose seems to be to mention 'holistic'. I count six 'holistic' in the main body, and the sources cited in the lead are or could be cited there. Perhaps this would be acceptable instead:
Waldorf pedagogy's holistic approach has been acknowledged.won praise for its holistic approach
Qexigator (talk) 09:40, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Vaccination controversy[edit]

This was under curriculum, but there is no suggestion that this is part of the curriculum of the schools. I have made a separate section for this under Reception. Is there a better place? I am open to any suggestions. (If there was a section on "Community", which there could well be, it would really belong there.) HGilbert (talk) 09:56, 27 May 2015 (UTC)