L’Enseignement de la Préhistoire dans les écoles Steiner-Waldorf


In this fascinating new blogpost Grégoire Perra writes about how prehistory was left out of his Steiner education, and why.
I provide a synopsis in a comment below.

La Vérité sur les écoles Steiner-Waldorf

Pourquoi les écoles Seiner-Waldorf ne parlent pas des hommes préhistoriques aux élèves ?

Au cours de ma scolarité dans une école Steiner-Waldorf, je n’ai jamais eu de cours sur les hommes préhistoriques. Jamais on ne m’a parlé de la taille des silex, du mode de vie nomade et des stratégies de chasse de nos lointains ancêtres. Ce n’est qu’en discutant dernièrement avec une institutrice que je me suis rendu compte que cet enseignement faisait partie du programme réglementaire de CE2 notamment, et qu’il occupe une place importante dans les notions qui doivent être inculquées aux élèves en classe. J’ai alors réalisé la raison pour laquelle cette partie de notre histoire exerce sur moi depuis deux ou trois ans une sorte d’appel. En effet, depuis que j’ai quitté la dérive sectaire des écoles Steiner-Waldorf et de l’Anthroposophie et que je réintègre peu à peu le monde et la société contemporaines, c’est comme si…

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  1. Helen

    Grégoire perra writes that it is not only by inculcating New Age anthroposophical ideas that the indoctrination of children takes place, but also by leaving out certain aspects of knowledge which are contradictory to anthroposophy.
    He says there was a sad lack of teaching about prehistory during his time at Steiner school; he was not taught about early humans, their nomadic way of life or their hunting, and did not realise that it was an important part of Primary education for most other children in France.
    Since he left the anthroposophical sphere of life and began to reintegrate into contemporary society, early human history has had an appeal for him.
    He explains that the idea of humans developing their flint-knapping techniques over thousands of years is too contradictory to the anthroposophical curriculum as used in Steiner schools; the teachings of Rudolf Steiner , as derived from the Akashic record, hold that humans lived on the lost continent of Atlantis before it sank into the ocean around 10,000 years BC.
    Perra says that he has realised that not only did his generation in Steiner school miss out on learning about prehistory, but from looking at recent Steiner workbooks he has been given, children are still not being taught this era of human history in Steiner schools – even those which are part of the state-funded system.
    The Steiner curriculum starts with the Genesis story and slides straight to ancient civilisations such as the Persian and the Indus. Everything that happened before the 10,000 years preceding the Christian era is not presented to children in terms of history, but is addressed in a religious discussion.
    They don’t begin to teach about history until 10,000 years before the birth of Christ, which corresponds in their belief system to the submersion of Atlantis.
    It is a very clever strategy which works well, he says.
    With his detailed knowledge of Steiner doctrine he is also able to explain that fossilised remains of early hominids such as “Lucy” are explained away by anthroposophy as regressive “offshoots” of humans, [as are animals] retrograde humans; remains of the humans they claim existed in the same period of prehistory have not been found because their bones were made of cartilage, and therefore did not fossilise.
    Steiner also taught that humans could lengthen their limbs at will like chewing gum, to gather fruit from trees, for example.
    He adds that there is also an even more important reason why the development of humans is deliberately concealed from children in Steiner schools; the danger is that they would understand that the development of reason and technical intelligence has been a fundamental trait of the human species since its origin; for anthroposophists, it is not the development of reason that has been fundamental for man, but his relationship with superior beings, gods, who live in the spiritual world. Steiner describes human development not in terms of increasing reason, but in terms of the loss of contact with the supersensible world. For him, the loss of what he calls “Atavistic clairvoyance” is a kind of tragedy which must be enacted in order for humanity to acquire “consciousness of self .” But at present it is urgent for us to regain this lost vision of higher worlds, to which anthroposophical initiation holds the key. So we understand that human reason is of no value in the Steiner education system, and that they are not keen to teach children about a topic – prehistory – which shows that the progress of humanity was due to this faculty.
    He says it is important to point out that this omission of teaching children about prehistory and replacing it with myths, serves to disconnect them from history

    “Indeed, it is because man knows where he comes from that he can grow as an individual. But when you are taught in a Steiner school, everything is done to suggest that your origins are divine and supersensible, and not historical.”

    Perra adds that he has learned from bitter experience that a Steiner student has difficulty with time and with history; he lives in a world apart, with customs that have remained unchanged for 90 years. The student does not have a foot fully in the present. In very deep layers of his psyche he is floating somewhere outside of time, even when everything is done to give the impression that he is interested in contemporary life. But deep down, he is interested in our world as would be a being from another planet; one who would not have any real attachment to our society or our history.

    It is fascinating to read not only the reasons for the lamentably poorly designed curriculum in use in Steiner schools, but also the effects such a “unique” style of education can have on an individual.

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