Strangely I feel the need to say sorry, for any offense caused; to all the Steiner Waldorf students who have been reading this and the few who have commented to express their anger or shock at how their school is perceived by some people. I guess until now they would have had no clue that there is such a thing as Steiner criticism.
It is a difficult one to deal with, because I do not want to cause distress to anyone, especially young people who have enjoyed themselves at Waldorf.
Of course the children have no say in how they are educated – that is the whole point really, isn’t it? We need to make sure that parents have the right information to make the best choice for their child. If there are enough people who decide Steiner’s Occultism (sorry again) is a good way to educate their child once they know about it, so be it.
(I do have a worry that some of those signing up are from outside the area and prepared to move here to have a free Steiner education – that’s another blog post.)
What to do?
Several people have commented to me in person recently on their misgivings about, deep distrust of, or outright hostility to Steiner. There are stories to tell everywhere, about how people have encountered the Steiner movement in one way or another (sometimes quite funny stories, too), but understandably in a small town (and on the internet!) people are wary.
Informed choice and openness are the issues here. If the Steiner Free Schools do multiply, opposition will surface elsewhere. The subject needs to be aired and everyone is entitled to their say when it comes to how our money is spent.
So we will have to go on criticising, and hope that the young people will realise that disagreements are a part of life, and that they personally are not being targeted for criticism. Nor is their school, specifically. And I will try to keep in mind the age-range of the readership of this blog.