Roy Wilkinson and the "How-To" Books

From: Robert Flannery
Subject: Roy Wilkinson and the "How-To" Books
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 21:58:14 -0400

Bruce writes:

There are many who write books and publish them themselves (well many is maybe an exagerration), and those wanting to glean things from them can and do. As I know Roy it is easier to see what he meant, but in some sense almost anything tends to become dogmatic when it is written down. I like reading Wilkinson to make me think! The best books and lectures, for me at least, are those where one comes away with more "question" than "answer".

The "how-to" books can be relied on for a lesson in a pinch. Consequently, every teacher who falls back on such a crutch has missed an opportunity to work the material through for themselves. Under such conditions, Wilkinson's books promote dogmatic behavior and thinking (apart from any consideration of the quality of his suggestions).

If reading Wilkinson makes you think (especially if it makes you think of alternatives), it's effective enough. That said, I find these particular books to be the most dangerous guides on the market because the boundary between anthroposophy and lesson plan is quite blurry.

Given the wide circulation of these titles, I'm amazed that more examples of miseducation of the type described by Micheal Kopp and Dan Dugan aren't in evidence. I strongly suspect that most waldorf teachers recognize this material for what it is, as well as what it isn't.

Robert Flannery
New York


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