martedì, maggio 07, 2013


The efforts to find Godzilla a kindergarten in our German destination continue - trying to get onto those 24 month waiting lists . . . with moderate success. We have a built-in handicap, which is also an sort of litmus test, in that the initial approach to the schools has to be in English. Of course the forms go back in German, but if there are any exhaustive questions about the parents or child, those go back in English too, with a laughable Google translation by its side for form's sake.

We hope to be reasonably handy with the language by the time we get there, but there's no doubt that it will be immensely useful to have Godzilla in a school where the staff talking to us in English won't be seen as some sort of cultural imperialism, or as a practical impossibility. And given we're only applying to public German schools, that's apparently a challenge.

The upshot of all that is he's only on the waiting list at two schools. And one of them I'd be tempted to take him off the waiting list for, as it's a Waldorf school, which when I applied seemed like a really great thing. Then I read more about Waldorf and realized it was a cult. Seriously. And I'm not talking going to websites like, which I have no doubt exist, but reading books on the Steiner/Waldorf system leant to me by enthusiastic friends.

I don't have any problems with cults as such; I just can't accept them pedagogically. Education is a field full of discoveries and awesome, as is child-rearing, and if you lock your pedagogy or philosophy of child-rearing into a cult, which by their natures claim a higher knowledge of how the world works that doesn't have to bend to evidence from other fields, then you end up with a stunted pedagogy. The weaning-your-child-at-nine-months thing was the first red flag. There were others. And there is the racism thing. Sure, you say, it's not racist anymore. Alright. Then it's not fucking anthroposophy anymore, is it?

Anyways, Godzilla's still on the waiting list, particularly for the nursery, since it's a forest kindergarten. We'll see what happens. 

2 commenti:

e.f. bartlam ha detto...

How have I missed this bit about Germany.

Our main thing was a balance between quality education and having a culturally Southern environment. He's not in kindergarten yet but he works off a smart board and is learning Spanish...Friday nights is football and dances.

St Andrews in our area is one of the top prep schools in country but its a little too cloistered.

Germany? Where.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Cologne - it was gonna be Berlin, but then we decided better to go somewhere with an economy - and much closer to all our friends and family in Europe. Anyways, I love Cologne. But we'll see what happens in Germany over the next couple of years.