One of the members of the core team spearheading the Steiner free school “project” is pictured in Stroud Life this week with her baby, and was asked to explain more about her campaign.
It’s similar to a Prime Minister using his children to help his election campaign.
Well, clearly this person does not think the proposed school is a bad thing for Stroud.
That is either because she is ignorant of anthroposophy and how it is used in Steiner schools, or because she knows all about it and approves of it. If this is the case, she clearly does not think other parents have a right to know about it too.
I have asked her a couple of times why parents are not being told about anthoposophy and each time she repeats the mantra, used again in the interview,
“We neither teach nor promote anthroposophy.”
OK, so the message is “anthroposophy is bad, and we won’t use it”. She makes no attempt to explain what anthroposophy is when asked, beyond claiming it is “Rudolf Steiner’s own personal philosophy”.
“The school will be inclusive by making a distinction between his educational theory and his philosophical practice.”
This is not the truth. Steiner’s educational theory is part of anthroposophy. It has no other basis. His ideas on why children should be denied access to books until the age of 7 years are purely anthroposophical. It is to do with their spiritual development. It is also the reason why they are taught that Darwinian evolution is “reductionist” and “Victorian” and why Steiner prayers are said in school each day. It is why child studies are carried out and why eurythmy is insisted upon by the SWSF.
The mother was asked this question in the interview;
Is it true that children learn to read at an older age than in mainstream? Why…?
But she does not answer. She merely compares Britain to other countries.
If anyone wants to know the answer – here it is…
Another question did not get a truthful answer; “Will the school have qualified teaching staff?”
Answer; “We will always employ trained teachers…”.
Again this is not the whole truth. “Trained” teachers in Steiner schools means trained in anthroposophy. The courses are all about familiarising recruits with how to use anthroposophical art techniques and to follow Steiner’s very particular and highly suspect version of child development (spiritual development) Read more here.
These teachers are not qualified to teach in mainstream schools. Most Steiner schools do not require all teachers to be trained at all.
Question; What effect could this [school] have on existing schools in Stroud.?
Answer; no answer.
She simply criticises existing local schools ( a well-used Steiner technique).
If the school bid is successful, it will have a huge impact on education in Stroud. Aside from the objections raised here on this blog to the way Steiner schools affect children and families, many local people are concerned about the diversion of public money from much valued existing schools.
All in all I have to come to the conclusion that this mother is indeed very well aware of anthroposophy and how it is used in schools – her method of not answering direct questions leads me to this.
If she is aware, she does not see fit to share the information with potential Steiner families . Perhaps she fears this would reduce the number of families signing up. If not enough sign up, she and others of a similar outlook/lifestyle will have to pay to send their children to another Steiner school in the area.
On the plus side, one such school is very close by, and the walls are already painted exactly the stipulated shade of peach.