Talk:Waldorf education

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No criticism section[edit]

The whole article is a too glowing overview of Waldorf education. A quick Google search show lots of critiques of the system. (talk) 23:58, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

WP relies on WP:reliable sources. Try searching Google Scholar instead of Google.HGilbert (talk) 06:41, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
Generally criticism sections make articles into 'he said, she said' things, much better to discuss the full range of information in each section. As far as critiques, most of the ones i've found are personal anecdotes of someone's negative experience, or rants about Rudolf Steiner himself, and not the educational program, and not reported in a reliable source. If you find some, lets look at what can be included. --Rocksanddirt (talk) 17:38, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Totally concur - this entire article reads like an extended Steiner advertising brochure and the tone is shamelessly hagiographic. There is a total absence of references to or quotations from any of the many critics of Steiner and his methods and ideas (many of which are pure quackery). Completely unbalanced and lacking any critical rigour. This needs to be addressed. Dunks (talk) 00:46, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
In harmony with WP:Criticism, which states, "In most cases separate sections devoted to criticism, controversies, or the like should be avoided in an article because these sections call undue attention to negative viewpoints. Articles should present positive and negative viewpoints from reliable sources fairly, proportionately, and without bias," there is a Reception section rather than a Criticism section. Clean Copytalk 04:12, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
There are various concerns with the approach mentioned at various points in the article. I think the main problem is that none of this is summarised in the lead. It does say "Public funding of Waldorf schools in English-speaking countries is increasingly widespread but has encountered controversy" and that's it. Specifics on what aspects people disagree with would be useful.
Taking this further, we could also be more specific in the body. For example, the section on educational theory and practice says ' help children to incarnate their "unfolding spiritual identity", carried from the preceding spiritual existence, as beings of body, soul, and spirit in this lifetime. Educational researcher Martin Ashley suggests that the latter role would be problematic for secular teachers and parents in state schools.' What is the spiritual thing that people are objecting to? "carried from the proceeding spiritual existence" implies a belief in reincarnation, but it is an oblique way of putting it. Also, do the schools actually teach that reincarnation is true? Or is it just that Steiner believed in reincarnation and this informed his educational philosophy. This is not made clear.
Yaris678 (talk) 21:50, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
I have added the unbalanced template in an effort to address what seems to me to be a serious lack in the article. Totorotroll (talk) 17:52, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
I've started a new section and added some examples of controversies, plus linked to the PLANS article. I've confined the discussion to reputable sources, the BBC, the Independent, SFGate, and am searching for information about the events around 2009 in Sweden where teaching training was halted for a time and the Waldorf teacher training at Stockholm university was ended. This is, it goes without saying, with the aim of creating a more balanced article that reads less like an advertisement and more like an encyclopedia entry.Totorotroll (talk) 18:50, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
That's fine, but should news reports that only reference individual schools or teacher trainings really be included? There are tons out there, and this article will be overloaded. (For example, there are lots of news reports about a Waldorf school in the middle of Silicon Valley serving families with links to the technology sector, but since they chiefly focus on the one school, would they deserve reporting here?) I've removed the two sections that only referenced a single location.
And what we really shouldn't do is cherry-pick such reports, choosing only negative (or positive!) ones. Clean Copytalk 02:56, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

─────────────────────────As mentioned above, WP:Criticism advises, "In most cases separate sections devoted to criticism, controversies, or the like should be avoided in an article because these sections call undue attention to negative viewpoints." Would the newly-added material be better merged into the relevant sections?"Clean Copytalk 03:00, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

That Waldorf teacher training in a particular European country came under sufficient criticism from the government that it was stopped for a time, seems to be sufficiently serious to warrent inclusion in my view. We're not talking about an occurence at one particular Waldorf school, but a parliamentary decision that affected all Waldorf schools in Sweden.Totorotroll (talk) 16:40, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
Again, this was about just one teacher training -- the government didn't say all Waldorf teacher training should stop in the country. Also, do you have a source that indicates how or if this affected the schools in the country? Or are you just assuming this?
Bigger picture: Articles have been published about many other Waldorf teacher training programs -- in China, Israel, Brazil, Germany, etc.,-- and if we are going to include any news about these, we will need a big section on the theme. Same with individual schools. It would behoove us to establish an objective criterion in advance: when should news about individual schools or trainings be reported here? Clean Copytalk 17:45, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
Also, keeping this as a one-sided article, that almost exclusively focuses on positive views of Steiner education really isn't good enough. Steiner education has come in for a lot of critique from many different directions and sweeping this under the carpet doesn't do anyone any favours, if anything it contributes to a view of Waldorf as being somehow secretive, dishonest and cult-like. Totorotroll (talk) 16:46, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
I agree that we should strive for neutrality. The question I raised is whether critical views should be integrated into the article thematically, as WP:Criticism strongly recommends, or put in a separate section, which that same policy discourages. Clean Copytalk 17:45, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

Link policy[edit]

Wikipedia policy lists "social networking sites...[and] chat or discussion forums/groups" as external links to be avoided. I have removed the recently-added discussion forum from the external links section, accordingly. Clean Copytalk 03:05, 1 September 2018 (UTC)


As far as I can tell, there are no concrete suggestions for what reliable sources or views are not included here. Is there any objection to removing the NPOV tag? -- and if there is, please give a clear picture of what reliable sources can be drawn on to fill out the picture. Clean Copytalk 20:07, 16 September 2018 (UTC)


The BBC source gives no mention of the actual number of alleged teachers. Because Wikipedia is a publication which is often, at best, skimmed, it is important to put Waldorf education's real stance on this issue first, before any mention of a handful of alleged cases. Otherwise, this section might as well be slander. People reading this article might read the first paragraph and write off Waldorf education as a whole after reading about "racist Waldorf teachers." It matters in what order you place your facts. Proposed change:

In response to allegations of racist attitudes and behavior among Waldorf teachers, Waldorf associations in many countries -- including the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, the Steiner/Waldorf Schools Fellowship of the United Kingdom, and the Association of Waldorf Schools in Germany -- put out statements that their schools did not tolerate racism, and indeed "contribute to building a society based upon solidarity between and the coexistence of all human beings....The schools regard all human beings as free and equal in value and rights, regardless of ethnic, national, or social origin, gender, language, religion, and political or other beliefs."
Such allegations about racist attitudes and behaviour have been reported in particular Waldorf schools, including teachers reportedly expressing a view that individuals reincarnate through various races. Newspaper articles have reported claims that Steiner believed in a hierarchy of races, with the white race at the top, and associated intelligence with having blonde hair and blue eyes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:19, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
By the way, this section has nothing to do with "reception."-- (talk) 02:22, 18 October 2018 (UTC)