Travels in education: Towards Waldorf 2.0 - published Dec 2017
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,
(Edited by Marie Huxtable - original submission Tuesday, 6 June 2017, 3:15 AM)
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.
p.s., I'm renowned for my pedantry but there was very little to correct in the paper!
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.
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
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,
Hi Neil. First let me apologise for being late in my response. I am very sorry. Illness and travel have made my timetable chockerblock recently. I hope the following comments - and the annotations on the text - are constructive.
I really like this paper and I can see that you have attended to most of the points that I made in my last set of comments. However, like Pip, I don't see that this is currently a Living Theory paper, although it so nearly is. I don't believe it will take much more work for me to recommend publication in EJOLTS. You show a lovely series of insights into the links between some of the values - particularly social justice - and the work and practice of Steiner education. It reads very persuasively throughout. I particularly like th way you show how others have influenced your learning.
A Living Theory paper, however, would require you to make one aspect of your writing much more specific, i.e. your discussion of social justice as a personal value. In Living Theory values are perceived as living, organic in growth and dynamic. They act as the standards of judgement for evaluating the influence for good we have in the world. Values are living in the sense that they modify over time in practice, when that practice is to do with improving something within a social context for the flourishing (in some way) of humanity. So your sense of what social justice is comprised of, for example, is not necessarily the same as someone else's. It is your sense of social justice I am really interested in, rather than Steiner's, if you get my point. You are clear in the paper that you feel the values you hold deeply within. Se the text for more about this comment.
A Living Theory account would be explicit about your own living value of social justice, and offer examples of how your understanding of it is growing through the work you're doing in relation to Steiner education and others.
Have a look at the comments I've made on the script itself and get back to me if I can be of any further help. I promise to get straight back to you this time!
I think with one more iteration, bearing in mind the comments above, I will be able to recommend it for publication.
All the best, Moira
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
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,
I have just uploaded the revised copy of this article. I was very grateful for your comments and I hope that I have been able to do justice to what you suggested.
I look forward to you comments this time.
You have done a great deal of work on this iteration, and to my mind it is nearly there (and obviously, your other reviewers will have their own perspectives on whether it has yet met the criteria for publication recommendation).
It is a thick, rich account of your action research and your attempts to investigate and improve Waldorf educational practices. I do think, and have pointed out where in several places on the track-changed attachment, that you need to more pointedly make this a Living Educational Theory account. You've done a great job of more clearly articulating your values and covertly demonstrating how you hold yourself to account in working these out in your practice, but as you are submitting to a Living Educational Theory journal, you should be overt about this also. I went back and revisited Moira's advice in the first iteration - I can see that you have addressed most of her points, but I think there are still a couple that need further explanation or linking.
There are also a couple of places where I think you've made assertions or claims, but need to provide evidence of why you made that claim (e.g., about how you realised Maori cosmology linked to Steiner's work). Some of the remaining comments in the track changed version are my usual engagement with the text, particularly as, like yourself as tauiwi, although I was born Kiwi, I've had to expand my knowledge of indigenous educational and cultural practices and there are authors whose work I think you might enjoy, but obviously who don't have to be included in this iteration.
It is a great paper and a joy to read, and I look forward to seeing it published soon!
I really enjoyed reading your paper and it looks very interesting. The paper shows you have worked hard and incorporated feedback from reviewers. Well done for your efforts. Neil, it looks ready for publishing with little efforts to address few of the comments here and there (so, please find the attached paper for further details about the comments).
Using postmodern genre your image/s play vital role to enable readers in making their own meaning without excluding what you expect readership to make sense of your living theory account. There is a clear flow of expression about how you came up with your living theory account of your 35 years of experiences with your embodied values except a few paragraphs as highlighted for an example. One thing I am still feeling thirsty in knowing more about your ‘lived spirituality’ as it has been one of my interested area which I have also talked in my doctoral thesis published from actionresearch.net.
It would be my humble submission to revisit few of the terms here and there which
still demand to explain in simple words (giving your own personal meaning of
those terms like, mansplanning, aggressive nationalism, predatory capitalism,
to name but a few.
wish you best of luck for your publication
Pip, I have run this past colleagues who are tangata whenua and profited from their comments. The outcome of doing this will likely be another couple of joint articles or talks which is in itself valuable.
Sadruddin, I would love to write more about lived spirituality as that is the underpinning of all my work, but it is going to have to wait for another time. I have started the article, however.
Many thanks again and I look forward to your comments,
Hi Neil. I love the redraft. I feel you really engage with the ideas that came up from the last iteration and that this is now, clearly, a Living Theory paper. Your reflections on values that emerge and develop over time in relationship and through processes come through this draft persuasively.
I have no hesitation at all in recommending your paper for publication in EJOLTS.
It has been a real pleasure for me in working with you throughout the review process. Thank you.
All the best, Moira
First of all congratulations for your efforts in improving this paper at this level. I really enjoyed reading this new version and it is ready for publication now.
However, i have come up with a few comments in the paper that i am attaching for your kind consideration if that is possible. otherwise its oky.
Neil, i have added few words that you can just 'reject' or 'accept' if that make any sense or not..e.g., in continuation of one of your sentences i.e., " I agree with Bullough and Pinnegar when they state that "the consideration of ontology, of one's being in and toward the world should be a central feature of any discussion of the value of self-study research" (2004, p. 319)." Perhaps, that may be one of the reasons that I am creating this living theory account as an evidence of this influence on self as a result of the inspiration that carry hope to create ripple effects on ‘sociocultural and socio-pedagogical others’ to influence their learning (Qutoshi, 2016, p.1).
once again congratulations!
best regards and
It’s a great paper and I warmly recommend publication. You’ve addressed the Living Theory pointers well, and I am glad you had input from your Māori colleague. The addition of Te Whare Tapa Wha and the links between its terminology and Waldorf education are really helpful.
A couple of minor things to check: you may well be copying “Lilly Watson” correctly from someone else’s work, but I have cited her before and I think she’s Lila, not Lilly. Perhaps check before submitting final to editors. Also, in the quotation from Cahill, I think the word difficulty appears where it should read “difficult” in the context.
Well done Neil.
Many thanks for all your constructive comments and for the thumbs up for publication. The paper is immeasurably stronger for your input and suggestions and I am very grateful to you for your care and time. It has been a powerful process and I look forward to publishing in EJOLTS in the future.
With thanks and greetings from the springtime November sunshine,