Open reviewing process

Travels in education: Towards Waldorf 2.0

Picture of Neil Boland
Travels in education: Towards Waldorf 2.0
by Neil Boland - Tuesday, 6 June 2017, 3:15 AM

In this paper, I have tried to document a values-based process involving culture, society and contemporaneity in Steiner Waldorf education. Using an action research model, it works through cycles which expand gradually from personal reflection to international discussion. The process is of its nature unfinished; this is a record of the first seven years.

I would welcome any comments to improve its quality.

With thanks and best wishes,


Picture of Pip Bruce Ferguson
Re: Travels in education: Towards Waldorf 2.0
by Pip Bruce Ferguson - Wednesday, 7 June 2017, 4:13 AM

Dear Neil

I read this paper with great interest. While I studied Steiner education decades back during my own teacher training, I was unfamiliar with the calls to 'update' it and hope in your next iteration you can include in your refs URLs that will let your readers access your recent writings in this area.

There are several ways I think you can strengthen this very interesting paper. Your work shows aspects of values I think you've skipped over (e.g. I identify integrity and various variations of that in a couple of places) and while early on, you recognise the possibility of being a living contradiction, you don't emphasise this overtly subsequently. Yet it is evident that the courage you needed to challenge 'exclusive' interpretations of Steiner's educational ideas are evidence that you did recognise that you were placed in a position of being a living contradiction, and that you did what you could to resolve the situation.

You may think my comments about your early use of 'familiarity with indigeneity' are a little on the hypersensitive side; they may be, but that arises from my having trodden in that particular puddle myself and got it wrong, so I'm just saying proceed carefully and check your usage with indigenous friends.

There are a few places (I've indicated in the track changed version attached) where I think you could strengthen your work with research that backs the points you are making. As my chief supervisor used to tell me, 'no claims without evidence!' But in general I found it a highly accessible, interesting account of an educator who obviously seeks to improve not only his own practice, but an entire approach to education. From the inserts and possible 'non sequiturs' I have put in, you'll see how the paper sparked off thoughts on all sorts of levels for me. Most of these are just the way I engage with work, but one or two may be ones you want to think about enlarging on or including.

I wish you well with the next iteration of this paper which I very much look forward to reading.

Warm regards


p.s., I'm renowned for my pedantry but there was very little to correct in the paper!

Picture of Neil Boland
Re: Travels in education: Towards Waldorf 2.0
by Neil Boland - Sunday, 18 June 2017, 1:28 AM

Kia ora Pip,

Thank you very much for your comments and the marked-up copy. Both are very useful. I will take your and Moira's comments to heart and rework the paper before re-posting it here. I hope to do so in a week or so, workload willing.

Many thanks again - it is much appreciated.


Picture of Moira Laidlaw
Re: Travels in education: Towards Waldorf 2.0
by Moira Laidlaw - Wednesday, 7 June 2017, 6:51 PM

Hi Neil. It's been a real pleasure to go through your paper this morning. I really enjoyed reading it. I wanted to review it in part because my brother attended a Steiner school in the sixties and seventies, and I was always fascinated by the tenets of their system. He found the school to be really supportive and loving which, in my experience, is number one in helping students to learn deeply and with pleasure. I was favourably disposed from the outset.

I have concentrated my responses - both in the grid and your text - in terms of the necessary links with Living Theory, as this journal is solely focused on LT accounts. Whilst not feeling at the moment that your text is a living-theory, I offer some points about that, should you wish to rework any of it.

I have to say I have felt awkward about commenting on your paper because it deals so honestly and authentically with your unique and fascinating journey. I really wouldn't want you to think I believe I have a right to comment on the quality of that. I hope I have been careful enough to contextualise my comments within Living Theory itself, rather than critising your pathway. I love the paper, but I don't yet see it as a Living Theory article.

I'd welcome any comments you might have in response to my feedback. I am also happy, should you decide to rework your paper, to offer any support you might want during that whole process.

I have pasted the rubric to the end of the article, as this site would only allow me to upload one document. Hope that doesn't make it inconvenient for you.

Warm regards, Moira

Picture of Neil Boland
Re: Travels in education: Towards Waldorf 2.0
by Neil Boland - Sunday, 18 June 2017, 1:31 AM

Hi Moira,

Thanks for your comments on the site and in the doc you attached. I am sorry for the delay replying - I've been off sick and attempting to stay away from the computer.

I am grateful to you for your comments about Living Theory. They have clarified things for me, and I hope that the next iteration will show that.

Many thanks again for your help and willingness to help,


Picture of sadruddin qutoshi
Re: Travels in education: Towards Waldorf 2.0
by sadruddin qutoshi - Sunday, 18 June 2017, 5:32 AM

Dear Neil,

I have enjoyed reading the paper and I came with few observations in the form of comments in the paper and also in rubric. I would suggest you to be more expressive with thick description of your lived experiences which would enable the readership to understand the living theory account.

Providing details of key concepts/ideas and views in multiple forms of expressions like images, photos/pictures, text (the script) and/or cartoons, to name but a few of the expressions would provide ample sources of understanding of how your encountered with living contradictions and made sense of the explanatory principles … that readers/audience could build better understanding of your living theory account.

With best regards and Love Sadruddin

Picture of Marie Huxtable
Re: Travels in education: Towards Waldorf 2.0
by Marie Huxtable - Sunday, 18 June 2017, 8:53 AM

second file for Neil's review by Sadruddin

Picture of Neil Boland
Re: Travels in education: Towards Waldorf 2.0
by Neil Boland - Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 3:49 AM

Many thanks, Sadruddin, for your helpful comments. I will see what I can find along the lines of photos, images and the like to help explain the text. Your recommendation to explain some of the terms and concepts in more detail is a good one. I will make sure I do it in the next iteration.

Thank you again,