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Steiner-inspired schools produce great students

In his May 26 review of a biography of Saul Bellow, Stefan Fleischer cites as proof of this great author’s descent into irrelevancy his “seduction” by “the high falutin’ nutty metaphysics of Rudolph [sic] Steiner.”

I would like to invite Fleischer to visit Aurora Waldorf School in West Falls, one of many thousand such schools, part of the largest non-sectarian school movement in the world, founded by Dr. Rudolf Steiner in 1919. I would like Fleischer to speak with the admissions directors of local public and private high schools that have been fortunate enough to admit graduates of Aurora Waldorf’s K-8 program. They love them for their open positivity, intellectual curiosity and unflinching moral advocacy. And these students earn top grades.

In 1924 Steiner developed, for farmers, the principles of organic agriculture now emerging as the only way to avoid the chemical poisoning of the earth (see the algae blooms in Lake Erie) and its inhabitants. His architecture employed the first use of reinforced concrete to create sweeping forms. He spoke of the dangers of feeding cows cow flesh decades before this practice was recognized as creating Mad Cow disease. Hundreds of his teachings have been verified by science and experience.

Fleischer’s problem no doubt stems from Steiner’s assumption of the reality of the spiritual world. To Steiner it was as concrete as the physical is for everyone else; he investigated it with the same rigor as he did all of his scientific knowledge – and he was a mighty polymath. To someone who denies the existence, for example, of germs – as many great scientists did for decades – all the talk of this unique world was “nutty.” How life improved once this was overcome.

Mark Ebersole

East Aurora