As a newcomer to this forum, I was surprised when a search returned no results for Steiner, Waldorf, or anthroposophy.
Steiner schools have a sales pitch to parents which is very appealing to the middle-class, leftish liberal (among whom I number myself), with its emphasis on "educating the whole child", through art, play, dance, etcetera. Reading is not taught until the children's karma
is thought sufficiently developed, at age eight or nine. This approach may work well, for all I know, (though I haven't been able to find any statistics supporting it), even if the theories on which it is built are barking mad, which they appear to be. The schools admit in their prospectuses that they are run on the Anthroposophical principles set out by the occultist Rudolf Steiner; the originator of Anthroposophy. His ideas about science were, to say the least, eccentric. He was an adherent of "Goethean Science", advocating reliance on clairvoyance and revelation rather than experiment, and his version of history of the earth involved Atlantis and Goblins. (Yes, really!)
The reason for this post is that around 25 Steiner schools in the UK are keen to get public money through free school status. We worry a good deal about schools run by Evangelical Christian YECs, but Steiner science teaching may well be more pernicious still. I don't know, and I can't find out what they actually teach. If PLANS (website below) is to be believed, they are deliberately coy about it.
I think it would be a good idea for enquiry to be made of them, on BCSE notepaper, asking them directly if Steiner's ideas are applied to the science curriculum. IF they are, we should protest to Gove, and if they say not, we should have the statement on record in case of future backsliding.
For a quick tutorial on Steiner education ("Waldorf education" in the States) see http://www.waldorfcritics.org/
, particularly http://www.waldorfcritics.org/active/articles/Hansson.html
, and http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2011/01/should-the-state-be-funding-schools-which-were-founded-by-a-racist-mystic/
What do people think?