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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Wikipedia Archives

Here are archives from Wikipedia discussion pages... there's some great behind-the-scenes reading here:


I am also removing the PLANS site link. This will be controversial in some quarters, so I am giving a full explanation of this here.
Diana writes: I am replying to some of Hgilbert's explanation for removing the PLANS link. (You have later noted that nobody ever replied to any of this.) I hope I am putting this in the right place as I haven't tried to make edits here before. I'm one of the people mentioned, without my name given, in this list of reasons PLANS supposedly should not be cited in the Waldorf article.
Hgilbert writes: "Grave concerns have become apparent about the honesty, transparency and standard of the site. In particular:
1) The 'historian' that is most frequently referenced has no academic qualifications in history."
Obviously the 'historian' whose credibility Hgilbert is attempting to call into question with the use of quotes round the word is Peter Staudenmaier. Peter Staudenmaier is a PhD candidate in history and has indeed published academic papers, in academic journals, as well as a book (not self-published) on the subjects in question here, all fully citable. (I will provide a list of his published works a bit later, in case this point is actually in dispute.) The numerous references here that merely lead to Sune [...]’s multiple web sites ("The Bee," "Waldorf Answers," and "Americans for Waldorf Education" are all the work of [...]) would also have to go, if a site that has used Peter Staudenmaier's work has to go, since to my knowledge Sune has no “academic qualifications” in history, and citing propaganda or product-promotion web sites is not usually acceptable in academic papers, unless perhaps they are being cited as *examples* of such.
Firstly: Is it not true that at the time of writing of writing these papers and book, and for a long period when P.S. was being cited as a historian on the PLANS site, and to this day, he had no academic qualifications as a historian? That he is now a candidate for such qualifications is to be praised.
You are missing the point. This is a person who does indeed have published articles, in scholarly journals, as well as a book on the subject, and numerous articles in other media. His publications meet the standards for citing here. There is no doubt about this. I offered a list but I really don't have time, I'd rather get an updated CV from him but also don't really want to bother him, as I don't think he's too interested in Wikipedia. Anyone interested can google him and find, in about 30 seconds, that he is a published author on various topics related to anthroposophy. He is not, however, "PLANS' historian." I don't see where he's cited as a historian on the PLANS site anyway. This is completely irrelevant. You could pick any one individual with an article on the PLANS site, and say, this person doesn't have a graduate degree, so we can't ever refer to the PLANS site? I don't think so. The fact that you have your facts all wrong in the first place is simply a reflection of the fact that you are barking up the wrong tree trying to discredit this one individual anyway. You don't have a graduate degree either, do you? Hm. Where does such an argument lead us next? Your academic degrees? Mine? Where do we even get off writing encyclopedia entries?
Actually, I do have a graduate degree. That's not the point, however; Wikipedia has criteria for sources to be used.
Where is your graduate degree from, what university? In what subject? Where was your undergraduate degree from?DianaW 03:54, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm not going into anthroposophists' activities in Nazi Germany. If you are the "enforcer" here of Wikipedian policies, it says clearly this page is not for discussing the issues in the article, but for discussing the *article*. The question was your bizarre assertion that because a certain individual who has articles on the PLANS web site doesn't have a PhD, the site could not be mentioned in the article! If this argument made any sense, why would you stop with Peter? Lots of us don't have PhDs. You could win that one much more easily than picking on Peter, but that is not the point, is it? The point is your sour grapes. (Hope I am indenting and signing things correctly now. There's more below.)DianaW 14:01, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Secondly: Peter was kind enough to send me the basis for claims he made on the PLANS site that a number of Nazis were friendly towards and supportive of anthroposophy/Waldorf education. One of those he mentioned was Rudolf Hess. The documents he sent spoke of Hess's staff, not Hess himself. I have since discovered that Hess was actually the person who signed the document forbidding anthroposophy in the Third Reich!!! If this was anthroposophy's friend in the Reich, what did its enemies do??? (Late edit; my apologies, I am wrong. Hess did lift a ban on anthroposophy in the Third Reich.)Hgilbert 15:01, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
Peter also said that a Nazi named Bauemler "said good things about anthroposophy". Bauemler was in fact mentioned in the documents he sent -- with numerous criticisms of the education and a single point of interest - a way that, despite fundamental ideological differences, its pedagogical results in overcoming intellectualism could be useful to the Nazi goals. The documents show no friend of the schools, but someone interested in making use of them for his own ends. Nothing he sent supports his contention that Bauemler said anything good about anthroposophy.
2) Several of the prime complainants on the site have been either misleading or at least not fully disclosing about key information. One has repeatedly accused the Waldorf school of not teaching her child reading in the three years the latter attended the school, and said that the child had a slow recovery from this poor academic start. She recently revealed (in response to direct questioning) a) that these three years were spent in the kindergarten (Waldorf kindergartens tell parents they will not teach reading), and b) that her child was reading well by the second half of first grade, i.e. within a few months of leaving the Waldorf school."
The above is about me. (It would help, of course, to use people's names, if you are going to write on other web sites trying to make it sound like they - I - am some disreputable character. The casual reader cannot possibly check what you are saying about me here, since you don't even name me.)
What you write above about me is completely false. I have never once, anywhere, “accused the Waldorf school of not teaching [my] child reading.” My child attended 3 years of preschool and kindergarten at Waldorf, and I of course had no expectation he would learn to read in kindergarten. Hgilbert has not understood any of the many posts I have written on the critics list and elsewhere on the problems in reading instruction in Waldorf, if he thinks I have ever made a claim such as he attributes to me here.
It is flatly false to frame this as if I “revealed” this information (the years my child attended the Waldorf school) only under “direct questioning.” This implies I somehow wish the dates or ages my child attended the school to be a secret. My child’s story in Waldorf has been told on the critics list in detail many times – and I sign my full name and explain who I am, what my association with Waldorf is, and why I write what I write. Many, many posts from me explain the timeline and details of my family’s experiences in Waldorf explicitly. I wrote my first posts on the critics list in late 1999. I don’t tell the whole story of my family’s Waldorf experiences, with dates and timelines, in every post, of course – so if you asked me, I told you. My criticism of the reading instruction in Waldorf is based on much more than my own child’s experience. It is based on numerous other children’s experiences, my own observations in the school (I worked in the Waldorf kindergarten for parts of 3 different school years), Steiner’s suggestions for teaching reading, and other published material on reading in Waldorf schools.
It is clear to those who have observed in Waldorf classrooms that reading is discouraged among young children (this is not a point in dispute; I have listened to Waldorf teachers many times trade tips on *how* to discourage reading in young children), and I do believe this is harmful to these children’s later academic efforts.
I have never withheld information about the dates and times of my son’s Waldorf years. I have certainly never suggested that I wanted the Waldorf school to teach him to read in kindergarten. I did not and I do not now call for Waldorf schools to teach kindergarteners to read. I do not believe reading should be taught explicitly in kindergarten, though I also don’t believe children who wish to read should be discouraged or shamed. Of course, if someone “directly questions” me, I will provide information on the dates we were in Waldorf and my son’s age at the time; but to imply that I am *otherwise* dishonest or withholding about this, and that getting the facts from me requires “direct questioning,” is not playing fair, Hgilbert.
It has also become apparent through direct questioning that the main complainants on the site almost all or all had their children in the schools for extremely short periods. A number of them do not and/or did not even have custody of the children in question. Some do not mention the views of their spouses, who have more contact with the children, regarding the education; others mention that their spouse holds a diametrically opposed view, supporting the education and feeling it works well for the child."
The above claims are also demonstrably false. Again, it is easy to make this sort of insinuation without naming names. "Lots of the contributors . . ." etc. It is false. I doubt that you could name more than one individual who posts in a regular or visible way there who either does not have custody or his or her children, or who has a dispute with a spouse or ex-spouse about Waldorf education. This is an argument by ad hominem - implying that the criticisms come from people who have had custody of their children removed! Frankly, knowing a number of them personally, the regular contributors there are an unusually happily and long-married group! - not that anyone's personal situation is relevant. It is simply incorrect that among Waldorf critics there is a high proportion of divorced parents or parents with disputes about Waldorf. This allegation cannot possibly be backed up by Hgilbert.
The claims about the "extremely short periods" is also false. Among the regular contributors there, my own child's stay in Waldorf was one of the shorter ones: 3 years. (Ages 3-6 are formative years.) Many of the other regular contributors had children in Waldorf for 5 or 6 years.
I am sorry if I misrepresented the group; a X. certainly does not have custody of his Waldorf child,
Oh look! Now the name has been removed! It sure didn't say "X" a few hours ago!DianaW 03:54, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, in response to your objection to names appearing here, the name has been removed. You cannot object to it appearing and object to it not appearing. This is a double bind, a tactic the PLANS discussions often use. Please avoid it here.Hgilbert 06:01, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
My name does, however, still appear on the Waldorf discussion list and Hgilbert's comments are still there for everyone to see - so I know that I am the Mr. X who Mr. Gilbert is referring to. Since I have been drawn into these discussions by Mr. Gilbert, I will state for the record here as I did there that I have not lost custody of my children and, in fact, enjoy more custody timeshare than my ex-wife who is a Waldorf teacher. That my name was mentioned here is quite disturbing to me and my family, but not surprising at all as I have become quite accustomed to the types of tactics some people have tried to use against me to discredit me and others who voice a critical view of Waldorf education. --Pete K 23:07, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Indeed I can object to it appearing and then object to it not appearing. Try to understand the issue rather than continuing to point fingers at others for your own very poor behavior - behavior very much contrary to the spirit of Wikipedia, and the hypocritical "good faith" reminders you keep sending to me. It is not whether someone's name is used or not used either in the article or in the discussions here. I'm all in favor of everyone using their real name. It is mud slinging that is objectionable - the posting of false (and irrelevant even if they were true) personal accusations - the attempt to discredit people based on personal situations or characteristics, rather than the substance of what they have said. Bringing in people's family situations is stooping quite low. You named names directly in response to my calling you on your false (and in itself disreputable) accusation that many critics do not have custody of their children. In other words, you stooped lower and lower. *At that point* removing the name is merely covering your tracks. You've had your cake and eaten it too.DianaW 15:13, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

You have no idea what you are talking about. None. The above is completely false, and you are on shaky ground talking about individuals' children here, and their marital situations! You could at least get your facts straight. It is completely untrue that X. does not have custody of his Waldorf child. This is really shocking. Can this possibly be okay with Wikipedia policies?
I really think you should be more
and I had been (falsely?) informed that others had not had custody of their children in Waldorf as well. I apologize if this is not the case (note that I would never include such hearsay in an article; this talk page is a good place to clear up such misunderstandings).
Oh, please be serious. You are trying to "clear up misunderstandings" with this sort of thing? You are doing nothing of the sort, you should be ashamed. You are trying to slander and defame. You implied the critics are a bunch of people who have lost custody of their children! You stoop to *naming names* of individuals you think have lost custody of their children and it turns out not to even be true. There is NOT ONE PERSON there that I know of who has ever had custody of their children removed. There is ONE case of a person who disagrees with his ex-wife about Waldorf. You were never "misinformed" about this - you have chosen to believe nasty rumors behind the scenes. These are the tactics of a cult trying to discredit its critics. You have lowered yourself. Wikipedia should dismiss you. This is appalling.
Perhaps you could mention the length of time that Dan Dugan's child(ren) and those of other principle contributors - Peter Staudenmaier, Peter Farrell, Steve Walden, etc. - have attended the school. Have the former two's children never went to a Waldorf school, for example? I have understood that Steve Walden's did. Has Dan Dugan had custody of his children throughout? How long were his children in Waldorf?
First of all, the critics list is an open list, for anyone interested in the topic. It is not only for people who have, or have had, children in Waldorf schools. There are a variety of other topics there - biodynamics, Camphill, anthroposophical medicine in addition to Waldorf. So naturally there are interested people who don't have a child in a Waldorf school but have encountered or become interested in anthroposophy in other ways. Walden's children were in Waldorf for (I don't recall exactly) but it is *many* years. Peter Farrell is interested in anthroposophy because he is a scientist, he is interested in the pseudoscience that comes out of anthroposophy. Peter S. we have already discussed; his interest is historical. He is probably (I can't speak for him but last I heard) writing a dissertation on Steiner.
This is a case of trying to discredit *individuals* by reference to personal details, family history, marital status, "exactly how many years were you at the school" etc., and there cannot be any doubt this is completely unacceptable and inappropriate as a means to *improve the article on Waldorf education*. I am shocked. This sort of thing wholly discredits Wikipedia.
Diana edits one more time to add: In fact although taking part in improving this article is obviously a lost cause, as you folks have it in a vise grip, under apparently round-the-clock surveillance, I am considering reporting this for defamation, as apparently Wikipedia does take accusations of defamation seriously. Discussions of whether contributors have custody of their children is not a legitimate academic inquiry. When I first read this this morning, I missed the part (because the text did not wrap properly) where you not only don't back off this claim, go on naming individuals whom you believe (erroneously) do not have custody of their children, but go on asking me even more specific questions about specific individuals, Does this person or that person have custody of his children. Are you serious!DianaW 16:53, 19 August 2006 (UTC)