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OpenWaldorf.com was created to provide an open forum for parents to discuss and research Waldorf education on the Web. Before OpenWaldorf, there was no place on the Internet for open exploration of Waldorf. Hopefully OpenWaldorf.com fills this void, and will help demystify Waldorf education for new and prospective parents.
This web site is based on one Waldorf parent's ongoing personal journey. It has no official affiliation with Waldorf education, or anyone else!
At OpenWaldorf.com, parents can research and discuss anything they'd like to about Waldorf Education. OpenWaldorf provides many tools to aid your research, including Topics, a Reading Room, Steiner Says, Web Links, and a master checklist for parents. OpenWaldorf.com is updated frequently. Sign up for FREE email updates!
OpenWaldorf.com encourages open dialog, whether it's positive or negative, pro or con. You can discuss these topics in the OpenWaldorf.com forums. The only guideline is be polite. You may participate anonymously at OpenWaldorf.com, if you so desire.
Don't believe ANYTHING you read on the Internet, INCLUDING what you read here at OpenWaldorf.com! Instead, read primary sources, and ask lots of questions at your school. Waldorf has created a lot of light for many families, parents, children, and stakeholders. You owe it to Waldorf, and you owe it to yourself and your child to ask the important questions about Waldorf that will help you understand it better. Hopefully this site will help you with your personal choice regarding Waldorf, and better prepare you to be a Waldorf parent, if that is the path you choose.
Questions for Parent's Night or School Tour
About These Yellow Boxes
- You'll find these yellow boxes throughout the site. They contain questions you can ask to help you better understand Waldorf Education and evaluate your Waldorf school.
- The best times to ask questions are at Parent's Night or on the School Tour, when you'll have access to the most experienced members of the Waldorf faculty and parent-body.
You can print out the Master Checklist for parents, and bring it with you to school.
OpenWaldorf links frequently to the writings of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education. These links are often accompanied with one or more of the following symbols:
An means teachers read this in Waldorf Teacher Training
An means this is essential reading for parents.
A means this is highly recommended reading for parents.
An means this was recently removed from the Waldorf Teacher Training reading list
If you give Waldorf the scrutiny that your child's future deserves, you will learn many amazing things about Waldorf that, for whatever reason, you might not have discovered at the onset of your exploration. Some of the things you learn may sound unfamiliar.
YOU are your child's most important teacher. You only have one chance to "get it right" with your kid. In this life, time does not move backwards. Hopefully OpenWaldorf will help you become more deeply involved with your child's education, so you can make the best decisions possible for their future.
Everyone's familiar with the old adage of Lao Tzu: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." OpenWaldorf.com is intentionally sparse on opinion, and rich with links to primary sources about Waldorf education. As you become more familiar with Waldorf on the web, you will learn how to research Waldorf yourself, without the help of OpenWaldorf.com. OpenWaldorf's goal is to become obsolete in your journey with understanding Waldorf education.
Reading Steiner at the Rudolf Steiner Archive, becoming familiar with the excellent Waldorf resources and communities online, and learning how to use Google to explore topics of interest will empower you to better understand Waldorf education and your child's journey. The basic concept is "Read Steiner, Ask Questions." This is exactly how your teachers learned about Waldorf, and you can too.
Rather than worry about the stuff you don't understand, focus on what you can understand. For example, Steiner's basic beliefs about reincarnation, etheric and astral bodies, etc. can be understood without having to read the original German.
"I discussed the importance of being flexible enough to consider what is said not only for, but also against, an issue to be able, as it were, to see both sides of a problem. Generally, people see only one side, but there is really no problem in life that should be treated this way. Pros and cons are never lacking. We would do well to acquire the habit of always adducing the pros as well as the cons in a case. Being what they are, human vanity and egoism usually favor what one wants to do. Therefore, it is also good to list the reasons against."
Rudolf Steiner, Overcoming Nervousness
While OpenWaldorf is intended to be a positive site created by Waldorf parents, occasionally opposing views are presented in the name of fairness. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) differs with Waldorf's position on television for children over 2 years of age. It is important to be tolerant of deviant opinions, like those of the AAP. Many issues in Waldorf are not about absolute truth, they are simply matters of preference. By presenting alternative points of view, Waldorf's unique light can be even more visible to the world.
OpenWaldorf.com includes an open online discussion available to anyone who wishes to subscribe. Since we do not verify subscription information and have an open subscription policy, anyone may subscribe irrespective of their motivations and self-interests. Subscribers are asked to only submit posts that remain within the OpenWaldorf Guidelines. Subscribers that violate the guidelines are removed from OpenWaldorf.com.
Baiting is a problem of open lists. It is up to subscribers to not fall victim to the baiting tricks of other subscribers.
John Holland lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a Waldorf parent with an amazing daughter in the third grade at a mainstream public school in Berkeley, CA. You can send John email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OpenWaldorf reserves the right to anonymously quote from the feedback we receive in our Mail Bag. Your name and email address will NEVER be published unless you explicitly ask us to do so.
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Copyright (c) 2003 Information: The words of OpenWaldorf.com may be freely distributed on the condition that they are clearly marked with the following sentence: "Source: OpenWaldorf.com, the most open site on the Internet for new and prospective Waldorf parents." Third-party sources quoted on OpenWaldorf.com are subject to the copyrights of the respective owners. Participants own their own words, and have full copyright over what they say.