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  #41  
Old 04.04.2011, 09:05
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Re: Steiner Schule

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I love the explanation on 3:10 onwards: Running around in weird clothes dancing letters helps you "to be more in touch with yourself"... I think dancing is fun and surely better for kids than many other activities. But I do not think what I see in this video should replace any maths or language education.

As a matter of fact did I have friends who went to a Waldrof school when I was a teenager - we made a glider pilot license together. All I can say is that I had an easier time to pass the exams than them - they simply did not have the knowledge to calculate the navigation questions well ("My first calculator! We are not allowed to use them at school!") and not the skillset to approach the rather dry and scientific topics well.
The other thing I recognized was that a far above average number of their classmates
a) were the kids of teachers
b) had issues to follow the normal curriculum on a regular school before.

In short: A fair number had parents who were convinced of Steiner and an equally fair number had parents who were experts on the education system and moved them to a Waldorf school in the last moment before they would have failed a class and would have needed to repeat it... so they were still able to graduate "on time" without losing a year. I would not send my kid to a class which is half full with the kids that failed elsewhere.
But the aim of Steiner schools are not to produce academic high fliers or captains of industry but well rounded, self confident, individuals with enough self esteem to be not afraid of "not fitting in", and theoretically to find their true vocation. A pupil who is truly academic would probably be better advised to change schools at a later stage or catch up on certain stuff outside school. I think it is true though that in the last years a Matura class has been introduced.

According to Rudolf Steiner children are born with a mission or vocation and it is their duty to find and fulfill this mission and not to be sidetracked because of parental pressure, expectations of society and financial gain etc.
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  #42  
Old 04.04.2011, 10:17
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Re: Steiner Schule

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But the aim of Steiner schools are not to produce academic high fliers or captains of industry but well rounded, self confident, individuals with enough self esteem to be not afraid of "not fitting in", and theoretically to find their true vocation. A pupil who is truly academic would probably be better advised to change schools at a later stage or catch up on certain stuff outside school. I think it is true though that in the last years a Matura class has been introduced.

According to Rudolf Steiner children are born with a mission or vocation and it is their duty to find and fulfill this mission and not to be sidetracked because of parental pressure, expectations of society and financial gain etc.
The aim of any school should be to give its pupils the skills they need to survive in the real world (emotionally, socially and intellectually). I feel sometimes that Steiner schools sidestep that and rather than prepare pupils for the real world, prepare them for some ideal world that doesn't exist.

The som of a good friend came out of Steiner school and is now at university. He showed me some of the maths problems he's struggling with. His problem is not that he cannot fundamentally understand what to do, but just hasn't been taught that problem-solving knack that virtually any complex problem can be reduced to a number of simpler problems if only you get the right angle on it. Also he does poorly in exams, not because he isn't smart, but because he is competing against students who have been trained to pass exams since they were about 11 and understand the simple fact that the Steiner teachers never told him that to pass an exam you don't necessarily need to know as much as possible, but you need to score as many points as possible in the teacher's marking scheme.
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  #43  
Old 04.04.2011, 10:57
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Re: Steiner Schule

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According to Rudolf Steiner children are born with a mission or vocation and it is their duty to find and fulfill this mission and not to be sidetracked because of parental pressure, expectations of society and financial gain etc.
Your statement is not logical: You are saying that every child has a mission and a parent should not step into the way of it. I think this impossible to achieve as children naturally get a lot of influences by their parents and the society around them, but anyway: Let's assume that the child's mission lies in science - by choosing to send the child to a Steiner school I would step into the way of it's mission, no?

If I understand your statement right, I might actually agree with Steiner: I do not think the parents should try to shape their kids too much. But that's exactly what they are doing when they send a kid to a Steiner school.
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  #44  
Old 04.04.2011, 15:08
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Re: Steiner Schule

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Your statement is not logical: You are saying that every child has a mission and a parent should not step into the way of it. I think this impossible to achieve as children naturally get a lot of influences by their parents and the society around them, but anyway: Let's assume that the child's mission lies in science - by choosing to send the child to a Steiner school I would step into the way of it's mission, no?

If I understand your statement right, I might actually agree with Steiner: I do not think the parents should try to shape their kids too much. But that's exactly what they are doing when they send a kid to a Steiner school.
OK yes it is very difficult to achieve, especially in the state system, because of the expectations, influences around them etc. But, if a child is self-confident enough and has enough self esteem, they will usually know what they want or where their real direction lies at the age of about 14 or 15. If someone is very motivated and enthusiastic about science, this should be picked up by the teachers/school and maybe, if there is not enough support for them, then they should probably be encouraged to change to a school which can better serve their needs or maybe their needs be satisfied outside school in someway.

I do not think the children are being shaped so much by the Steiner schools as by the state school where expectations are always that the pupil makes an apprenticeship or the Matura and are not taught so much to be introspective and find out what lies inside and to go for it
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  #45  
Old 04.04.2011, 15:24
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Re: Steiner Schule

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I do not think the children are being shaped so much by the Steiner schools as by the state school where expectations are always that the pupil makes an apprenticeship or the Matura and are not taught so much to be introspective and find out what lies inside and to go for it
I don't get that. Children that go to a Steiner school will afterwards typically make an apprenticeship or graduate from there with a matura as well, no?
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  #46  
Old 04.04.2011, 17:20
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Re: Steiner Schule

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I do not think the children are being shaped so much by the Steiner schools as by the state school
I have only one basis for such a comparative study: students at Oslo Universitity in the 90ies.
One could see within 2 seconds if the student presenting in the litterature or linguistic seminar was from a Steiner or from a (norwegian) state school, as much as one could see within 2 minutes wheather teaching staf was trained in Scandinavia, Germany or France.

Why? Style. Just style. Better, worse, higer, lower? No. Just style. Then, the individual differences made the real difference. I was in a French litterature lecture seminar with a totally ignorant incompetent scandinavian teacher and a totally messed up overconfident Steiner ex-pupil. That wasn't exactly good marketing for modern pedagogy. But then there was this amazing wise and over the top knowledgeble teacher from Germany and this bright imaginative self-disciplined talented linguist from the Montessori high school somewhere in the NL. Two show cases for pro-modernism anti-stateschool discipline propaganda if needed. And one ends up with mixed sutuations: the Steiner student loved the lectures by the French super-structured deep analysist abstract deductive thinkers and I, kind of super drilled French high school show case student, I loved the beatnik old linguistic teacher. Go figure that one. Did we just feel attracted to the opposite as we started to figure out that one needs them to balance one's mind and education? Maybe.

Sorry to deceive you, but the only things I learned as student and then as a teacher are:
- mother nature is a bitch when it comes to distribute abstract intelligences skills genes,
- one never knows how well a student can do until he/she has done it.

I don't like Steiner for many reasons, but it is important that they exist: some students just can't cope with anything else. If one wants to drill an intellectual elite, there are other schools for that, the market is already taken.
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  #47  
Old 04.04.2011, 20:48
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Re: Steiner Schule

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I don't get that. Children that go to a Steiner school will afterwards typically make an apprenticeship or graduate from there with a matura as well, no?
Usually yes - they also have to earn their living. But, should they choose not to - they don't seem to be afraid to choose other routes for example the neighbour's daughter works as a belly dancer in her spare time (and very good she is too). Another one is a yoga teacher. Which is not to say she will do this for the rest of her life.
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Old 04.04.2011, 20:51
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Re: Steiner Schule

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The aim of any school should be to give its pupils the skills they need to survive in the real world (emotionally, socially and intellectually). I feel sometimes that Steiner schools sidestep that and rather than prepare pupils for the real world, prepare them for some ideal world that doesn't exist.

The som of a good friend came out of Steiner school and is now at university. He showed me some of the maths problems he's struggling with. His problem is not that he cannot fundamentally understand what to do, but just hasn't been taught that problem-solving knack that virtually any complex problem can be reduced to a number of simpler problems if only you get the right angle on it. Also he does poorly in exams, not because he isn't smart, but because he is competing against students who have been trained to pass exams since they were about 11 and understand the simple fact that the Steiner teachers never told him that to pass an exam you don't necessarily need to know as much as possible, but you need to score as many points as possible in the teacher's marking scheme.
Yes - sometimes it is better if the pupils spend the last 2 years or so in a school with a competitive agenda before going to university. The foundations should have been laid by that age anyway.
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Old 04.04.2011, 21:02
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Re: Steiner Schule

I also think there is an attitude common to Steiner pupils : go for it, I get what I want/need and do it my way kind of people, in a positive way. But frankly, I am like that too although I went through traditional French school and very academic German university. And there are enough belly dancers and yoga teachers who went to state school or even to religious schools and still are belly dancers and yoga. I don't think the kind of school makes such a big difference on the long run, the individual's potential will mostly come through eventually.
If one think that Steiner school is a way of cutting off time between school bench and enlightning experience of one's talent, then go for it. But nobody ever said national curriculum killed talents by definition, not even Steiner schools.
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Old 09.08.2011, 15:04
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Re: Steiner Schule

I actually changed my mind about Steiner schools. I always thought they were a bit of a doss for thick people - and to some extent, there is truth to that. However, there's also a lot to be said for allowing kids to be kids, develop their creative side and be more well-rounded people.

For me, there should be a balance between the UK certification factories and the fluffy bunny Steiner world. And, I figured I'd be happy to left my kids go to a Steiner school and separately home-school them if they need to catch up in maths/science etc.

Having seen the result of a few 'hippy' families and their extreme approach to raising kids, I have to say that I'm impressed with the results they achieved.
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Old 09.08.2011, 15:56
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Re: Steiner Schule

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I also think there is an attitude common to Steiner pupils : go for it, I get what I want/need and do it my way kind of people, in a positive way. But frankly, I am like that too although I went through traditional French school and very academic German university.
I have talked to quite a lot of people from a Steiner background including teachers as I have a number of friends who are in those circles and an attitude I am seeing is that there is some sort of denial over there being exceptionally bright pupils. So if some pupil is bored because intellectually it's ahead of the year, rather than recognising that and stimulating it and giving it more advanced problems, the first reaction is, the parents must have been stimulating their child and teaching it extra difficult stuff and that's bad. I know of one case where a child joined the first clas at school and could already read simple words and do some simple artithmetic and rather than being pleased about that the teacher told the parents off for destroying the child's innocence. Also I was told of an occasion when they were discussing why nature was awakening in springtime and one child offered a scientifically correct explanation, and was scoffed by the teacher being told "that's what scientists think they know, but what we will learn topday is what really happened" with some fairy tale about dancing gnomes following. Of course nothing is wrong with nice stories and fairy tales, but the way they do it, you could almost feel that knowing things is wrong.
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Old 09.08.2011, 16:53
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Re: Steiner Schule

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The racist comments are misunderstood. What Steiner meant by these comments is that the 5 races are at different levels in their development and evolution but spiritually all are of equal value. (Is that really racist?)
How can I have missed this one.

Are you seriously asking if it is racist if you believe that black people aren't as developed as yourself?
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Old 09.08.2011, 18:33
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Re: Steiner Schule

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How can I have missed this one.

Are you seriously asking if it is racist if you believe that black people aren't as developed as yourself?
I have seen this particlar quote done to death on another forum and apparently its much more complicated than it looks. What apparently Steiner meant is based on a different meaning of the word race, so to casually interpret this as racism is missing the bigger point he was making. What that bigger point was, nobody was able to explain though, but it's more along the lines of his races not being genetic but more something vaguely parallel to the Thetans, ie people who look like normal people and live among us but are in reality of a far more advanced "race", who can see and understand things concerning the spiritual world and the nature of humanity that normal people can't, and who are called upon to assume spiritual leadership.
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Old 09.08.2011, 19:24
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Re: Steiner Schule

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I have seen this particlar quote done to death on another forum and apparently its much more complicated than it looks. What apparently Steiner meant is based on a different meaning of the word race, so to casually interpret this as racism is missing the bigger point he was making. What that bigger point was, nobody was able to explain though, but it's more along the lines of his races not being genetic but more something vaguely parallel to the Thetans, ie people who look like normal people and live among us but are in reality of a far more advanced "race", who can see and understand things concerning the spiritual world and the nature of humanity that normal people can't, and who are called upon to assume spiritual leadership.
Ok. Let's leave the word race out of it at all. This wasn't a quote, but the opinion of Enaj. In the video I posted at the beginning does the ex-Steiner teacher as well as others say that the books used today say that Africans are driven by emotions while Europeans by ratio.

Don't care what you call it, I call it racism. A pretty bad case of it actually as it goes far further than "I don't like dark skin" - it is deeply insulting and can only be explained with Steiner living in the time of Colonialism. So I cannot blame him for it, but I do blame everyone who believes this shit in 2011 for having some screws loose.
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Old 10.08.2011, 00:28
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Re: Steiner Schule

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Ok. Let's leave the word race out of it at all. This wasn't a quote, but the opinion of Enaj. In the video I posted at the beginning does the ex-Steiner teacher as well as others say that the books used today say that Africans are driven by emotions while Europeans by ratio.
But is this true or is it some urban legend or a scare story? I know several people who attended Steiner schools and I have discussed this with them and not one recalls ever being told this stuff by a teacher. And if by chance there was once somewhere a teacher who did say that, then that teacher is a racist and not the system.

Whoever claimed that Steiner schoolbooks say this stuff has fallen for a pretty hoax as Steiner schools don't work from books but from teachers telling stuff and writing on the blackboard. So anything anybody claims to have read in a Steiner schoolbook is BS.
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Old 10.08.2011, 01:43
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Re: Steiner Schule

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But is this true or is it some urban legend or a scare story?
Did you watch the video I linked before?
Yes, it's in the teachers books:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2t...orfschule_news
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Old 10.08.2011, 02:18
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Re: Steiner Schule

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Did you watch the video I linked before?
Yes, it's in the teachers books:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2t...orfschule_news
Are you saying it must be true because German TV says so?

Every organisation and every school and every football club will have some discontents who will feed TV with their sob-stories if some journalist stirs them up a bit first. I don't know much about Steiner but even I know enough to see that this documentary is a heap of BS and if that's the best they can do then that's very sad for them. The link from some things that Steiner maybe said but are probably quoted out of context to what happened to this girl in her schoolclass is very tenuous indeed. It's like investigating bullying in a Catholic school and finding some obscure quotations from St Augustine and St Ignatius to correlate to that and then say that is a proof the two are connected. Or like saying that because Karl Marx disliked spinach as a child that must obviously be the reason that school meals in Britain were so poor when Labour was in power. It just defies all logics. It's the sort of mind-numbing toodle-twonk you might expect from Murdoch or Belusconi or Bild Zeitung but a state-owned TV channel should be held to higher standards. It sure serves to remind me why I don't have a TV.
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Old 10.08.2011, 05:17
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Re: Steiner Schule

We all want the best for our children educationally, but often the quest to find a good education can turn into an experiment. I have been away from education for a while and know nothing about Steiner being a racist or into eugenics- actually I tried to read up on it but don't believe it.

I studied Steiner, Montessori, Froebel and of course the basics- Piaget etc.

I can see good and bad in all of them.

I had to learn different philosophies specifically for early education. They all start off to seemingly make sense. However as they fight to prove their ideology against the claims of others, they become too entrenched and often end up making exaggerated claims that do not match with reality. A bit like Skinner and his behaviourist approach to language.

Here is an example- some teachers use a combined Waldorf- Steiner/ Froebel approach. I was asked to comply with a Froebel study in collecting information with regards to trajectory and circular movements in young children, basically it drove me nuts, trying to categorize children based on some absurd concepts
If you read this page 122 then you might get an idea of what I mean.

http://books.google.com/books?id=NWA...org0QGR1sG2CQ&

What I am trying to get at is that you don't want your child to be an experiment for someone else's ideology.

There is a very good Montessori and Steiner schools in Winterthur, perhaps you should visit one if you haven't already?
http://www.rssw.ch/

I like the basic philosophy but for children 7 years and up think that it only works for student who are very self confident and self-motivated. The students are expected to develope their interests naturally, thus they are kept away from commercial stuff, which to a large degree includes TV and computers. Inspiration comes from within and their interaction with the natural world

This sounds great, but the fact is that the purpose of education is to enable a student to take part in the real world; TV and computers are part of the real world. In any case, all knowledge is in some way culturally influenced; nothing that a child produces will be purely from the child's own imagination or nature.
Children are a product of society. You may choose to limit that society but eventually they will come into contact with it and if lacking the necessary skills could blame you and your choices.

Most children at the Steiner school that I met followed projects of their own interest, with teachers standing by as expertise to offer help when needed in areas of Math Science etc. Many of these children did well because they had parents who were themselves inspired and were able to foster that ability in their children. The parents were in fact doing a lot of the work in teaching their children, they were handing on their expertise. But suppose you have a child that is not inspired, does not have parents continually involved in their learning, parents who lack expertise? Then couple that with no pressure in studying exams to gain entrance to University? Like it or not University is for most the main path through higher education, there are no Steiner universities,

Some that I met were not sufficiently prepared for the academic rigours of University. Perhaps they did not have the dedicated quality teachers that the Steiner so heavily relies on. Steiner students tend to rely heavily on their teachers as mentors and for inspiration, which to me is kind of counterproductive- you take them away from the wider world to make them reliant on a few individuals? Who is monitoring those individuals? Sometimes teachers can become quite egotistical and exert more control over a child than they should. How can you tel if they have the child's best interests at heart? Do they look on that child as part of a social experiment?

In the teenage years students are heavily influenced by their peers, the student will be in close knit groups. What happens if there is a personality conflict either with teachers or others in the group?

Why not read up on the different philosophies decide on what you think makes sense, send them to the regular school and teach them yourself?

Basically, all schools are institutions, whether they like to regard themselves as such or not. I shy away from students being schooled in institutions where there is little independent regulatory oversight. I see it as a potential breeding ground for crackpots and megalomaniacs, however well-intentioned the basic philosophy is.
Above all I believe that parents are the experts, or should be, when it comes to their children; they should follow their instincts and not fall into the trap that any particular ideology provides the perfect formula.
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Old 10.08.2011, 10:06
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Re: Steiner Schule

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It just defies all logics. It's the sort of mind-numbing toodle-twonk you might expect from Murdoch or Belusconi or Bild Zeitung but a state-owned TV channel should be held to higher standards. It sure serves to remind me why I don't have a TV.
Well, sorry to be so direct, but your argument is utter bullshit. The ZDF is indeed a fairly credible source and they did not quote some old obscure quotations - they interviewed a guy who got trained as a Steiner teacher less than a decade ago. They quoted a magazine for Steiner teacher. They quoted books with materials that is still today "recommended" by the schools to be used in class.
No, that's not Bild-Zeitung style but indeed journalism. That nobody from the Steiner school organizations was willing to give an interview to the most credible TV channel in Germany speaks for itself - they know why they don't want to do it.

And apparently did the journalists do their job well: Enaj actually delivered actually the proof when posting that Steiner "only" says that different races are on different development levels - it's exactly the point.

But you can of course go on and ignore anything that does not fit your believes.
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Old 10.08.2011, 11:01
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Re: Steiner Schule

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No, that's not Bild-Zeitung style but indeed journalism.
Let's take this apart.

1) The documentary starts with a black girl who has been called the N-word at school. Yes that happens. It's not right but it happens, as do other forms of bullying.

2) Then it interviews the girls' mother who says other children have also been bullied. Shock horror. I would never have thought it. She says there were also "Schlägereien" at school. You know, sometimes kids will fight. Did you ever get into a fight as a kid? Big deal. Interestingly, the woman doesn't say she saw this herself but says she was told by other parents. That's called hearsay. So ZDF wasn' even able to trace down the people involved in these "Schlägereien" to have them say so first hand or show any tear-rendering pictures of kids with cuts and bruises. So far one victim and a lot of hearsay. P*ss poor lazy journalism.

3) Then we see another woman who says she has heard of more cases of this. Yet more hearsay. Camera zooms in on some child's homework in which the word Aryan is written several time. Big deal. Did you ever write the word Aryan while doing school homework? So did I. Big deal.

4) Some teacher who dropped out goes on an unintelligible rant. If that was the best he could do, no wonder he was fired. No school likes stupid teachers. No idea what this has to do with the rest of the doscmentary, other than maybe demonstrate that the intake criteria for teacher training don't include an IQ test.

5) We see some quotes, all of which are well known and have been done to death and explained away counteless times (Google can be your friend) but only a ZDF could pretend this is hot new evidence that nobody has exposed before. They obviously don't have Google in the ZDF offices. That's why they'll be raising the GEZ charges again soon.

6) The tenuous implication is that all of this is connected.

Steiner wrote some racist quotes -> teachers learn this -> pupils learn it -> pupils turn on black pupils and bully them and beat them up -> school approves.

This really is Bild Zeitung stuff. No sorry, Bild Zeitung is too smart to sink so low. It's the most disgusting of gutter journalism.

You could use the same logic to prove that rap music causes global warming.

Last edited by amogles; 10.08.2011 at 11:15.
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