The New Zealand Listener says the NZ Ministry for Education carried out an official investigation and found that
“…aspects of Steiner’s writings are not compatible with the Treaty of Waitangi or New Zealand’s education system. In supporting documents, the investigator also notes “more specific evidence of racism”.
This brilliant article describes what happened when parents and teachers discovered racism at their school, and spoke out.
The investigation followed complaints from a large group of parents and teachers at the state-integrated Te Ra Waldorf school where numbers have shrunk to 140 after the departure of 6 teachers and more than 29 families.
The teachers and parents found out the reasons for some of the unusual practices at the school, and were “vilified” for speaking out against the racism in anthroposophy.
After two years during which the investigation took place, those who left are now able to tell their stories, and much of what they say chimes with criticism already heard repeatedly around the world.
This article explains in detail the criticisms making it a valuable tool for the highlighting of the dangers of Steiner education.
The New Zealand government was not fobbed off by the school’s denials, and the Education Minister took complaints seriously enough to find out;
“The racism is seen as both overt and covert. The covert racism is a paternalistic, condescending racism based on Steiner’s belief that everyone is on a journey to becoming white. It is a very ingrained, racist theology. Once parents became concerned about the racism, they tried to find out more about what the teachers actually believe. It was difficult to find out, but what did become clear was that if you are in any way different – left-handed, Maori, differently shaped head – it marks you out.”
The issue of the victims of bullying being viewed as to blame themselves is also described.
The DfE here and Ofsted are being made aware of what is going on in New Zealand. Perhaps it will spur them on to take more interest themselves in this important matter.