It’s slightly strange having to justify myself to someone who goes by the name “Little Thoughts” but the comment on “Michaelmas” needs a response. Judging by the phrases used, he/she is not English, but the meaning is clear, and Steiner schools and the associated problems are the same all over the world. He/she may be a former Steiner student defending the Steiner creed?
The points made in the comment have all been made and dealt with previously on the blog but for those who are new to Stop Steiner, here are some answers.
I thing the main confusion with Steiner schools is that they are all called similarly and if one gives a bad experience all people think all the other schools must give the same bad experiences.
It’s not confusion. The problem in Steiner schools is anthroposophy. All Steiner schools are run by people who are sympathetic to the belief system, and the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship oversees the schools and makes sure they comply with their criteria for accreditation – in other words, that they are Steinery enough. So there will be teachers in any given school who believe in Steiner’s reincarnation and that children are living out their karma. Usually these are the senior staff who make the decisions.
The problems experienced by unsuspecting families all over the world are universal; unchecked bullying, favouritism towards anthroposophical families, inept organisation, classification of children according to their build, “race”, or physical features. Lack of focus on intellectual pursuits, Steiner prayers and rituals, a curriculum that presupposes a spiritual world complete with “elementals” and demons, and the Steiner versions of history and science, etc, etc.
If in the school you visited, wether Steiner or not, you found teachers who do not inspire you confidence, you did the right thing: don’t send your children there
Parents are attracted in by the colourful and apparently “creative” appearance of Steiner. Teachers do not tell prospective parents about their beliefs, and parents have no way of knowing that karma and reincarnation are central to the Steiner curriculum. How would they even guess? Even when you look up anthroposophy on wiki it is not clear that the creed affects how children are treated in school, and you have to do a lot of digging to uncover the facts.
It is possible to work in a Steiner school for a few weeks and still not have a clue even when teachers start making remarks in the staff room about the shape of a child’s nose. I know now that this is anthroposophy in action; the child is being judged and categorised according to his so-called “temperament”. It is all so preposterous that parents have trouble believing what they see with their own eyes.
Steiner education is just a pedagogy, some schools apply like in the 19th century and some schools update it to the 21st century. It is up to each school, they are independent.
No, they are not independent; the SWSF see to that. They insist on child Study and Eurythmy and “teacher development” for example. As for updating the “pedagogy”, no. The Stroud Free school group tried that and got thrown out of the SWSF as a result, and their bid failed. Only schools that interpret anthroposophy in the “right” way are approved.
Steiner followers do not deviate from Steiner’s indications; they believe he was a genius, and clairvoyant. How could he be wrong?
Nonetheless, this website is full of biased information of people full of grudges and prejudism, there is not trace of unbiased judgement. The whole point of the site is to fearmonger, how mature is that: what will be next fear against inmigrants or jews?
Yep, had this one before, too. This is a single issue blog, set up to warn people that Steiner education is based on anthroposophy and about the experiences of those who have suffered. In addition it alerts readers to the connections between other Steiner organisations that are kept hidden.
I think it’s only fair to give people the information, and to provide the links to sites such as the Rudolf Steiner Archive, the SWSF and the Anthromed site, where Steiner supporters write freely about their beliefs on issues such as Autism, for example. That is not fearmongering, it is just providing information.
I said at the start of this that people should do their own research and make decisions based on that. They do need to know about anthroposophy and its effects in the first place, however, don’t you agree?
When the Steiner movement start being open about their activities there will be no need for a warning, from me or anyone else.
“Little Thoughts” wants the Steiner movement to be seen as innocent victims who do not deserve the kind of attention they are receiving from critics. Sadly it is families who are the victims as the many Steiner critical websites, and accounts on forums such as mumsnet testify.