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The True Nature of Steiner Education

(46 Posts)
maverick Fri 08-Oct-10 10:51:29

Before putting your children into a Steiner school you should read the following post on Professor Colquhoun's blog:

The true nature of Steiner (Waldorf) education. Mystical barmpottery at taxpayers? expense. Pt.1

OP’s posts: |
CerealOffender Fri 08-Oct-10 10:54:36

oh dear

YakkinTosh Fri 08-Oct-10 10:59:10

Barmpottery is a magnificent word.

Can't wait to see this nonsense supported under the Tories Free Schools.

Octavia09 Fri 08-Oct-10 11:26:49

Steiner School system is just a sect. Like any other sect it brainwashes you to get you in and then sucks your finance.
Those dolls are just strange and pity.

restlessnative Fri 08-Oct-10 18:26:46

There's a moving new blog post from Carol Wyatt, an ex-(Steiner) Waldorf parent in the US here:

'I never really understood anthroposophy. The meaning of that word made no sense to me. I thought that it was like any other philosophical concept...That I could interpret it as I liked. What I soon realized was that anthroposophy is a religion. A religion that Steiner invented and Waldorf takes very seriously.'

pointythings Fri 08-Oct-10 19:21:00

The bit that scared me was the bit about it being OK if your unvaccinated child got measles and died, because it meant they were 'impaired'.

restlessnative Sat 09-Oct-10 08:51:48

pointythings - I agree.

ValentinCrimble Sat 09-Oct-10 10:17:24

I only glanced at the just confirmed what I saw when I visited a Steiner school in a remote rural area...I went all open minded and was bloody scary!

DH and I could not wait to get out of there! As we were brought into the kindegarten room, a bowl of faceless gnome dolls was proffered to my child who was freaked out by them....the atmosphere in the kindergarten was oppressive and weird. The "teacher" wore an outfit like Old Mother Hubbard and the school was full of paintings which looked like they had been done by the same hand. The little ones were unaturally quiet and good. They crowded round us and kid of grabbed on....

Our tour culminated in us stumbling across a bunch of 10 year olds totally unsupervised...who were playing poker in a deserted classroom! The younger kids were chasing one another with planks of wood in the yard and narrowly missing me and my baby in arms....totally bloody odd it was.

The garden was overgrown and was so reote we felt we had stumbled on a sect or cult...

ValentinCrimble Sat 09-Oct-10 10:19:29

About Anthroposophy....yes...all very strange plus when a child is naughty, they blame it on the gnomes! A child under 7 is thought to be still "with the little folk"...until their baby teeth come out...plastic is dirty and Stenier had some odd ideas linked to the Nazis.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Sat 09-Oct-10 10:29:13

Mad as a box of frogs.

minimathsmouse Sat 09-Oct-10 17:32:06

I think the dolls are lovely. I can see that they allow a child to use their imagination. The child is free to impose their own imagined faces on the dolls.

I believe in reincarnation and that children are not fully incarnate for several years. I remember my son asking who the people on the stairs were, why is that man wearing a hat, who is she? when no one else was in the house! I also used to see things as a child. Children often have imaginary friends, although this seems less common in this age, with computers, full days in nursery, plastic food and plastic toys, Tv watching and endless car journeys between this and that activity.

A friend has just sent her children to a steiner school (she seems normal)! and DS has started going to a steiner IGCSE class, he hasn't mentioned gnomes or spirits yet! although at 9 years old he was a bit confused by the thick coloured pencils. State Ed has been a far worse experience for us.

Unprune Sat 09-Oct-10 17:35:22

I know a couple of parents with children at Steiner schools and they all seem quite normal, with one exception, who is quite dim.

None of them has vaccinated their children but not afaik because of the explanation in that piece shock which is totally chilling.

minimathsmouse Sat 09-Oct-10 17:46:08

I have only vaccinated my DCs against the real nasties. I wasn't vaccinated as a child and all I got was german measlessmile I am still waiting to get chickenpox. It's a personal choice for parents to make.

ValentinCrimble Sat 09-Oct-10 21:36:01

"Free to impoe their own imagined faces on the dolls" Er...right..or get spooked by them like my child did! Why not make a doll and have them paint a face on it? Why have NO faces on ALL dolls? And why give 9 year old kids only certain mediums to create with when most can use a variety?

As for the reincarnation thing...well yes I am open....but to suggest that the odd charaters most kids "see" are something to dowith them not being "fully here" is just silly...of course they are fully here! No less than you or I!

minimathsmouse Sun 10-Oct-10 13:11:53

I had a snoop around on the net and found an article about this governments idea to allow Steiner schools to be set up as free schools. Steiner Waldorf people are being given training in PR to help them fend off the critsisms over anthroposophy.

maverick Sun 10-Oct-10 14:32:20

Steiner and the Open Eye campaign 00

OP’s posts: |
geraldinetheluckygoat Sun 10-Oct-10 15:41:07

minimathsmouse, hope you dont get chicken pox, I got it a couple of months ago, it was HORRIBLE I was out of action for three weeks!! I have honestly never felt so wiped out.

sarah293 Sun 10-Oct-10 15:44:57

Message withdrawn

ValentinCrimble Sun 10-Oct-10 15:46:46

minimathmouse from what I have seen and heard they don't need any PR training! If anyone tries to write a derogatory article they have the lawyers on them like a ton of bricks.

geraldinetheluckygoat Sun 10-Oct-10 15:47:12

hmmm quite. Steiner always sounds qutie idyllic until you look into it doesn't it, I loved the idea when I first hear about it. then I read some threads on Mumsnet...grin

minimathsmouse Sun 10-Oct-10 16:37:57

I fail to see how steiner schools could be set up as free schools. They might be free of the national curriculum but surely not from ofsted.

What about sats, the steiner kids wouldn't be sitting sats at the end of yr2. Not if they haven't so much as picked up a pencil. I think the idea of leaving reading/writing until the adult teeth come through is barmy. However I think there is too much pressure to learn reading/spelling in state schools, far too young.

Children can learn maths much earlier because we are born with an aptitude for magnitude and counting. Its easier to teach maths through play than the difference between synonymes and antonymes(or what ever!) Even cats can count! well, they can only count to four, but thats impressive.

ValentinCrimble Sun 10-Oct-10 17:28:02

There is one school in Hereford which is now a state run Steiner...couple of years ago they got money and are now state but with Steiner teaching!

pointythings Sun 10-Oct-10 22:00:04


Chicken pox in adulthood is really nasty - you're unlucky not to have had it. Fortunately my DDs had it aged 3 and 19 months, nice big dose, lots of spots but not very ill. Future generations won't have it so easy with chicken pox vaccinations becoming the norm, it's one I have my doubts about - but measles, whooping cough, tetanus, dyptheria, polio, meningitis - let's just say that unless there is a solid immunological reason why children shouldn't get vaccinated I'd worry why parents wouldn't.
The Steiner thing about vaccination that bothers me is teh casual attitude towards the preventable potential loss of a life - oh well, it must have been flawed - can you imagine being told that by people you thought were your community after you'd lost a child? If they value life so little, they should not be allowed to get their hands on children.

allchildrenreading Mon 11-Oct-10 11:20:14

"I think the idea of leaving reading/writing until the adult teeth come through is barmy. However I think there is too much pressure to learn reading/spelling in state schools, far too young."

minimathsmouse - there can be too much pressure when initial reading instruction is poor, or when it's poorly executed. When a good synthetic phonics programme - Jolly Phonics, for instance - is taught by a teacher who understands the principles - it is a wonderous experience for little children. And a good teacher will recognise almost as soon as children start to read those children who are likely to struggle and that's where a well-trained TA is invaluable.

It's not the parents, or the children but an understanding of the logic of the instruction that's crucial. A great problem has been the resistance of teacher training colleges to teach their students how to teach reading. Teachers can be ashamed of their ignorance (and it certainly isn't their fault)and can get very defensive. Local Authorities, too, have often provided inadequate training.

When I was a remedial teacher of reading a disproportionate number of children came from the local Steiner School. It was hard to help these children as they had so many faulty strategies and their loss of self-esteem was tragic.

It's a pity that a former Steiner Head is leading the campaign to stop children learning to read. It's much easier to teach a 4,5 year old than it is to help an older child. Our orthography is complex, that's why we need the extra years.

There are good things about Steiner schools but these are vastly outweighed by the indoctrination process.

minimathsmouse Mon 11-Oct-10 14:34:57

Allchildrenreading, you are right, but what of these stressed children in classes with teachers who either don't feel confident teaching phonics, are sceptical about phonics or have never been trained to teach reading in this way.

DS2 loves books and so far is doing fine, he is 5 yrs. Last year his teacher taught phonics on a whole class basis, but taught the children to use picture clues when reading 1-1 from a book. The school provides enough books, but there is no scheme in place, most of the books are the same as I was given in the age of look, see, say, remember whole word of the 70's confused

Also state schools rely on parents to practice reading with DC's, some might be less than committed, confident or patient themselves!

Allchildren, what do you think are the good things about steiner schools?

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