I first learned about Waldorf through an aquaintance who tried to convince me to look at Waldorf for my children, claiming it had Christian "roots". She swears Steiner's wierder theories are not taught, but couldn't logically argue why kids are discouraged from using black in their artwork, or why young children can't draw lines.
So I looked into it myself, and was appalled because I had heard a lot of praise for these schools, and knew they were a growing movement... and that many Waldorf schools are being publically funded.
Just read some Steiner, and realize that Waldorf teachers study his material almost exclusively in their training. I don't see how you can separate his "good" ideas from this stuff. He's obviously a nutty megalomaniac.
"If you use a lot of abstractions with children, you will stimulate them to concentrate particularly intensively upon the formation of carbonic acid in the blood and upon the crystallization process in the body, upon dying. If you bring children as many living pictures as possible, if you educate them by speaking in pictures, then you sow the seed for a continuous retention of oxygen, for continuous development, because you direct the children toward the future, toward life after death"
[Rudolf Steiner, 62. The Foundations of Human Experience: Foundations of Waldorf Education. Anthroposophic Press 1996]
"The Ancestors of the Atlanteans lived in a region which has disappeared, the main part of which lay south of contemporary Asia. In theosophical writings they are called the Lemurians. After they had passed through various stages of development the greatest part of them declined. These became stunted men, whose descendants still inhabit certain parts of the earth today as so-called savage tribes. Only a small part of Lemurian humanity was capable of further development. From this part the Atlanteans were formed.
"Later, something similar again took place. The greatest part of the Atlantean population declined, and from a small portion are descended the so-called Aryans who comprise present-day civilized humanity. According to the nomenclature of the science of the spirit, the Lemurians, Atlanteans and Aryans are *root races* of mankind. If one imagines that two such root races preceded the Lemurians and that two will succeed the Aryans in the future, one obtains a total of *seven*." (Steiner, 1904, CM p. 48)
"You see, when we really study science and history, we must conclude that if people become increasingly strong, they will also become increasingly stupid. If the blonds and blue-eyed people die out, the human race will become increasingly dense if men do not arrive at a form of intelligence that is independent of blondness. Blond hair actually bestows intelligence. ... It is indeed true that the more the fair individuals die out the more will the instinctive wisdom of humans vanish." (Steiner, 1922, HI-1, p. 86)
And this is from a recent teachers training manual... Steiner racism still figures prominently in Waldorf teaching, and this is not disclosed to parents. Many Waldorf parents really have no idea what Anthroposophy is.
"In ancient times Persia was inhabited by two different peoples, the Aryans and the Turanians. The Turanians, yellow with small cunning eyes, worshipped the god Ahriman, the prince of darkness. The Aryans saw their god in the light of the sun, and named him Ahura Mazdao, the Great Light." (Wilkinson, 1992, pp. 16-17)