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Steiner education

(442 Posts)
alloveragain Wed 19-Aug-09 01:17:35

Can anyone suggest an appropriate forum in which I could talk to someone about Steiner education? We have our concerns about it, but our children are still at a Steiner school.

sunnydelight Wed 19-Aug-09 06:26:36

This has been done to death on MN, do a search for it.

sunnydelight Wed 19-Aug-09 06:29:00

Sorry, when I posted I realised that I sounded very blunt and non-supportive. I just meant that any threads about Steiner seem to go on for ever and ever and always end up in a bit of a ruck - it's something that people feel very strongly about. You should be able to have a rational chat about it in the education forum but I've never seen a rational debate about Steiner yet. Good luck smile

seeker Wed 19-Aug-09 07:05:41

I don't think you will be able to talk about Steiner education in a rational manner on any online forum - there are very "enthusiastic" supporters who, through their 'enthusiasm" tend to make debate very difficult.

All I can say is, if you have concerns, be strong and decisive and go with your instincts.

Good luck.

Barking Wed 19-Aug-09 09:13:56

HI Alloveragain, sadly the thread you posted on last night got reported and deleted. I tried contacting you direct but your preferences aren't set to allow this.

You can search my name in the archives to read about my family's experience.

I'm happy for you to contact me by clicking on the envelope to the right of my name.

Barking xx

AMumInScotland Wed 19-Aug-09 09:40:42

Unfortunately I don't think there are any online forums where open honest debate about this is possible, as Steiner school supporters always turn up and swamp any discussion between critics, and then it turns into an argument, and then the posters get barred from the forum, or politely requested to stay off that topic for fear of litigation.

If you search through old threads on here you will see some long and heated debates - I know this isn't the same as being able to join in a discussion yourself, but you may see the same issues you are experiencing being discussed by others, which at least makes you aware that others have raised those issues too...

You might also consider whether the fact that the Steiner supporters are so quick and thorough in quelling open debate between those critical of them is in itself a warning sign about their attitudes...

northernrefugee39 Wed 19-Aug-09 10:07:28

Hi alloveragain. What the others say is true I'm afraid. I don't really go on mumsnet any more, the "chilling effect" of not being able to discuss problems about our children's education and what it has done to them is very disheartening. I only saw this because someone told me.

There are websites which have articles about concerns, and various blogs too. But forums where mothers try to compare notes, like this, are usually swamped by specific supporters who report any negative stuff. They also threaten legal action; the forums have no choice but to delete the negative posts, because they are frightened of being prosecuted.

It is quite staggering that we aren't able to tell the truth of what happened personally to our children, discuss the pseudo religion it is based on, or even Steiner's work, and imo is the suppression of free speech.

If you use the contact another mumsnetter facility, you're more than welcome to chat off line.

As amum says, your instincts and misgivings are the thing to go on. Those caught up in it won't ever see any wrong.

seeker Wed 19-Aug-09 11:00:43

If you have concerns, act on them. Just as you would at any other school. If you feel that for whatever reason you can't act on them in relation to this particular school, ask yourself why not. Then act on them.

alloveragain Wed 19-Aug-09 11:46:22

Thanks to everyone for your responses. I have just changed my message settings so that I can be contacted directly if anyone would like to. (I'm actually in Australia)

maimuna Wed 19-Aug-09 11:51:09

Hi Alloveragain,
Its so important you get support,please feel me to contact me also,my family has been helped so much from a couple of parents I met here .You can Google Maimuna or my real name Maura Kwaten to find our story,although some of it was taken down.
Best wishes,Maura/maimuna.

frisbyrat Thu 20-Aug-09 09:59:51

It is, imo (and this does not reflect the views of mumsnet wink ), a cult. 'Nuff said.

lolapoppins Thu 20-Aug-09 14:33:06

If you have concerns, LEAVE. We went to hell and back with Steiner and are still dealing with the fall out 18 months later.

TubOfLardWithInferiorRange Thu 20-Aug-09 16:38:08

alloveragain, I suggest

restlessnative Fri 21-Aug-09 09:02:21

Have just had a look at the 'Waldorf Education List' linked to above. For anyone with concerns about Steiner education it may not be the place to go for help. You have to give your name and email, which if fribyrat has a point may not be a very good idea... also you're advised that you shouldn't be 'argumentative, needlessly confrontational' which could mean not agreeing with the hosts, who are all keen on Steiner Waldorf and (to quote the site itself) 'the philosophy behind it (anthroposophy)'

If your child is at a Steiner Waldorf school and you don't know about the 'philosophy behind it (anthroposophy)' it might be as well to find out what it is. And perhaps not just from those concerned with teaching your child informed by that underlying philosophy wink

lolapoppins Fri 21-Aug-09 15:28:10

I had a look at that site too seeing as it was mentioned. Seemed to be yet more of their rediculous cult like twaddle. I am thinking of setting up my own site. The anthros can threaten me with whatever they like, thanks to them, I don't have much left anyway.

restlessnative Fri 21-Aug-09 16:17:50

lolapoppins that's awful. I don't know how to respond.

There's some news btw on the UK Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship site - Tories to fund Steiner ed. An article from the London Evening Standard is here linked to by the SWSF (irritating how newspaper sites show comments backwards)

So your concerns and those of others on this thread should now be taken very seriously.

lolapoppins Fri 21-Aug-09 17:38:06

I just had a quick scan ofthat restlessnative, will read it properly once DS is in bed.

I saw Ed Balls' name crop up there a couple of times though. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't Ed Balls one of the leading voices in the review into home education (the one which says home educated kids are more likely to suffer from abuse)?

So, according to him, it would be okay to let my child join a cult, but if I were to homeschool him (which I am) I would be suspected of abuse?

Madness. My son suffered emotional abuse while attending a Steiner school on a horrendous scale. We are still dealing with the fallout now, 18 months on.

lolapoppins Fri 21-Aug-09 18:04:26

Sorry, scrap the above, I just read it properly!

restlessnative Fri 21-Aug-09 18:19:36

lolapoppins Is that the report mentioned here?

I can't speak for Ed Balls but I notice that Richard House, who reacts to the report by suggesting that the government wants to attack 'counter-culture' is a Steiner teacher. He turns up on the Open Eye campaign too, along with Graham Kennish, who is the University of Plymouth Steiner teacher training course science expert.

I'm not going to even think about Steiner/science hmm

I suspect Ed Balls has no idea about Steiner ed beyond the usual press-release.

restlessnative Fri 21-Aug-09 18:24:56

lolapoppins crossed posts! Of course the above are genuine concerns too, which is why they attract such attention. I think you can draw your own conclusions wink have a good evening.

storymama Sun 30-Aug-09 10:26:01

i the think that 'steiner' education really depends on the teacher, the setting, the children, the culture in which it has been established and carried and nurtured. I am a homeschool parent who pays a trained state teacher with specialist steiner training aswell to work with my 6 and a half year old as a tutor teaching her and 7 other kids the class one curriculum. i don't consider myself to be strictly steiner in my parenting, my girl watches the odd dvd and we have taught her to read and write all before the age of 7. I love the support of our homeschool group and the teacher and parents in helping me figure out how to teach and learn myself.

MANATEEequineOHARA Sun 30-Aug-09 10:30:31

Oh god...

(I am another with a horror story, but am also very wary of talking about in on mn, which is...sad)

OurLadyOfPerpetualSupper Sun 30-Aug-09 10:38:38

Another Steiner escapee here.
What NR39 said is so true - people do get 'caught up in it' and you will find it nigh-on impossible to get a straight answer to a direct question.
To me, that speaks volumes.

storymama Sun 30-Aug-09 10:44:49

i suggest you form a support group to clean up your hurts from well meaning but harmful people then figure out how to move on.

lolapoppins Sun 30-Aug-09 16:45:28

"well meaning but harmful" [hmmm]

It wasn't me that needed support to help me clean up 'hurts', it was my defenceless 5 year old son.

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