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Steiner schools... good or bad?(38 Posts)
Hi mumsnetters, this is my first post! As a new mum of one DS I am now thinking about education from a parents' perspective. I live near a Steiner/Waldorf school and have heard some good things about it. What are your thoughts/experiences? I like the artistic focus but does it give children a good enough chance to excel academically too?
I haven't got any answers but am following with interest. We're looking into a Steiner school for DS but have recently read an article that children that attend Steiner schools are more likely to be unvaccinated? Not sure how true that is, but it's definitely put DH on the back foot.
I can only comment on my personal experience in that I have managed 3 people who happened to be Steiner educated. All 3 were feckless and just somewhat ill equipped in a similar way.
I'm a teacher and my DS went to a Steiner nursery when he was 1-3. I absolutely loved it there - it was completely batshit but DS had a ball with all the outdoor play, baking bread etc. It was so calm and everything was natural. Wonderful place.
Quite a few of the children in my family have been Steiner educated. They're all really decent human beings with great morals and are now intelligent young adults with degrees and professional jobs. They're a little more bohemian than "normal" people in terms of what they wear, interests etc, but what is normal anyway?
It hasn't held them back in any way.
Steiner saved my sanity when DS1 was sinking in mainstream school. It does have a different feel in terms of values, so your children may prioritise happiness over ambition. It has the potential to turn out lovely, well rounded young people.
They are quite a commitment. Start getting to know people now, go to festivals etc. You'll find out if you fit in soon enough!
I know 3 families who removed their dc from steiner schools. They were all very unhappy and one claimed it was like a cult.
I took my dc (by mistake) to what I thought was a drop in toddler steiner group once. I was properly appalled by the unkindness the leader showed to one of the quite vulnerable parents. This was before I had read or heard anything negative about steiner schools. I've subsequently heard lots of bad things about them. No doubt, lots of people think they are brilliant.
You know how this is going to go
A few paid Steiner employees are going to arrive and give it the hard sell
A few experienced families are going to put across their experiences that it is a brain washing, racist cult where children are considered to have a "guardian angel" which allows them to be punished as much as they deserve, so teachers shouldn't interfere with natural healthy bullying, where children who are weak will die off and be reincarnated, so don't bother with any evil artificial medicine, where disabled children have had their disabilities caused by the moral weakness of the parents, where the best souls are reincarnated white, so being any of the lesser colours indicates a fault in your soul, where you are expected to pray to gnomes, and where the whole philosophy is so bat shit crazy that the first question a teacher may be asked on applying for a job is "are you psychic? we only employ psychics"
then MN will be threatened with legal action, and any detrimental posts, such as this one, will be pulled
and a little while later someone will ask again, and the whole hard sell/ personal experience/ legal threat/ deletions cycle will happen again.
maybe though, the simpliest answer to your question is their assertion that they never supported nazi race science in 1930s Germany is very hard to disprove, when they control so much of the evidence themselves, and some Steiner schools still teach it.
Maybe look at some of the forums offering support to Steiner survivors?
Hi @butlerswharf, that's interesting! Maybe not a coincidence then. What kind of work was it out of interest? I'm keen to understand what kind of futures the Steiner teachers and pupils expect. ie - is it just dancing and art or can they reasonably expect to become doctors/lawyers etc?
Maybe look at some of the internet forums offering support to Steiner survivors?
All sorts of weird and woo things in the philosophy behind it - wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole. Some Google searching should throw up aome of it at least.
If you want to go slightly ‘alternative’ is look at Montessori - in some ways it’s almost the opposite, all about realism in toys and practical skills but also very child lead and child focused. I went to a Montesorri nursery and early primary years, not sure how well it would have worked if I’d carried on through to senior school but the bit I did, I really loved and it set me up very well for the rest of school.
This one says this on its title page.
normal for a website of alumini?
Please note that although members often provide each other with emotional support, the moderators are not mental health professionals and cannot offer real counseling.
be aware, however that the Steiner movement has a huge, international, multimillion pound legal department, and act quickly and effectively against many such websites
MN certainly can't stand up against them
I may well get banned for saying these things.
But I hope you read y posts first, OP
I went to the Steiner school in Edinburgh for 6 years (from the age of 11-17). I was badly bullied at the state school I went to before but had a lovely time at Steiners as the kids just all get along (there isn’t all the popular crowd/nerdy crowd stuff like in other schools).
My personal opinion is that it definitely focuses on more of the creative subjects such as art, music, gardening and drama, but all the other subjects like maths, science, languages and English are all taught to a good standard too. Everyone in my class (bar one) went to uni and most of them all have good careers now. Some off the top of my head are a teacher, occultation therapist, psychologist, architect and accountant.
There were only about 25 kids per year which I really liked.
Let me know if you have anymore questions
If you read the OFSTED report for the Cardiff Steiner school they state the majority of teachers aren’t qualified. Steer clear
There were definitely a few weird things that we had to do such as eurythmy dancing, basket weaving and juggling (yes, really....) but stuff like that was only a small part of it.
We had to do a 2 month German exchange in year 8 which was so much fun (although don’t think my parents were best pleased about having to house a German boy for so long)
If you read the OFSTED report for the Cardiff Steiner school they state the majority of teachers aren’t qualified
because they recruit based on psychic ability, not qualifications
I'm not a paid employee! My two went there for some years, but went mainstream for secondary.
There are some weird and wonderful beliefs. The teachers aren't qualified in main stream teaching. They have a different training.
It was not all sweetness and light, but it was great overall.
The handcrafts and eurhythmy were about coordination and brain development. A low tech version of brain gym, if you like!
It's wrapped in weird and wonderful, but usually the underlying science is sound.
Private school teachers don't have to be qualified either.
Also, we don't have OFSTED in Cardiff
I don't think there's any underlying science to support their belief that children should be prevented from learning to read until the correct point in their dental development, nor in their position that SpLDs, and conditions such as Autism, are a punishment for bad behaviour in a previous life.
@FelicityLinen I was a doctor then and they were in supporting people roles (support worker/carer etc). Also I didn't realise the whole psychic/mystic type connection until reading this thread but that was also evident actually. I thought it was just part of the whole feckless thing until now. I didn't realise it was Steiner related.
I certainly wouldn't allow my children to go to a Steiner school. I just didn't feel it equipped people for the real working world.
All the European countries seem to favour starting formal teaching from age six or seven, when motor skills are far better prepared for it. Steiner philosophy's May refer to teeth, but the underlying science of waiting until children are ready is sound. Eurythmy looks frankly weird, especially when your child is 'prescribed' extra lessons, but the underlying science concerning gross motor skills and coordination is sound.