Frome Steiner Free School in Financial Trouble

What has happened to all the public money pumped into Frome Steiner Academy?

Trevor MephamThe first Free School approved in the UK run under the occult teachings of Rudolf Steiner has been issued with a ‘Financial Notice to Improve’. Frome Steiner Academy was set up in 2012 with the support of Michael Gove after applications from local Steiner supporters including Emma Cragie, former trustee of Bruton Steiner School, and her sister Annunziatta Rees Mogg (whose brother is local MP Jacob Rees Mogg). A letter that has appeared on the Department for Education web site states that the School has failed to submit its audited financial statements and so is in breach of its Trust Funding Agreement. The letter suggests there are bigger issues than just a late return,

This letter and its annex serve as a written notice to improve financial management, control and governance at the Trust. It reflects the weak financial position of the Trust and continued concerns on governance and oversight of financial management and controls by the board.

Steiner Schools are controversial because they are Anthroposophical Schools. That is, their entire approach and curriculum are based on the occult teachings of the early 20th Century mystic Rudolf Steiner. He saw these schools as being necessary to help children’s souls incarnate into their new bodies. He saw humans as moving through a racial hierarchy of existance where higher souls were born into Aryan bodies, where blond hair and blue eyes bestowed intelligence. Anthroposophy is an esoteric and initiated form of Christianity blended with ideas from Eastern mystical traditions and the occult worldviews of Madam Blavatsky and the Theosophists. Children are prevented from reading until their souls have passed through their first incarnation, typically after age 7. Technology teaching is held back until a second stage of incarnation is achieved around 14 years of age. All in all, these are very unconventional schools.

To give public money to such institutions was controversial. The BBC reported on the odd nature of their beliefs and filmed their principal, Trevor Mepham, attempt to dodge questions about reincarnation. It is a common thread to criticism of Steiner Schools that they are not open to parents and authorities about their Anthroposophical aims and universally misdirect enquiries by stating that they “do not teach anthroposophy”. This is misleading as whilst not directly teaching anthroposophical beliefs, their entire approach is based on Steiner’s mystical beliefs, including the dances (eurythmy), stylistic and restricted art, delayed education for children, teaching of myths, celebration of occult festivals and use of homeopathy and other alternative medicines on children.

The letter has been sent to Trevor Mepham, principal and Accounting Officer for the school. He is warned that unless the order is complied with then the termination process would be invoked. Mepham used to be head of the first publicly funded Steiner school in the UK set up under Labour’s Academy program before being moved to Frome for the first free school. The Steiner Academy Hereford was bottom of the primary school league tables for England in 2009. None of the children met the necessary levels. Hereford also held the dubious honour of being the only school in a Freedom of Information request that had “refused to allow either clinicians or school nurses to administer the HPV vaccine?”

It is my view that Steiner Schools are inherently anti-educational and, with their views on quack medicine and their hostility to vaccinations, are a threat to the health of children. If Frome Steiner Academy does fold it will be a good thing for the children of this Somerset town.

Update 13th May

The Frome Steiner Academy has posted a statement with respect to the issuing of the notice.

The DfE have said that the trustees need to have an independent review of the procedures to show that the Trustees/Governors are in a position to ensure that this doesn’t happen again and have robust procedures in place.

In essence as a school we have 4 months to file the accounts compared to the normal companies 9 months. The audited accounts have been produced and have a clean audit report with no issues apart from the late filing. They have been submitted to the DfE and are published on our website here.

They have given us a timeline for the review and we have been ahead of every step so far.

Their financial statement does indeed spell out a couple of financial and operational risks that were predicted when the school opened. Firstly, that they would not be able to get the 600 pupils they said they would. Their costs are based in having that number of pupils but they only get income for the 196 on the role. Secondly, the recruitment of Steiner teachers is proving challenging.

risksfrome

 

 

On this theme…

128 Comments on Frome Steiner Free School in Financial Trouble

  1. You disparage but totally ignore the positive reports many have posted here. Whilst having read a fair amount of steiner stuff and agree much of it seems weird, I am familiar enough with steiner ism to know the brilliance of steiner philosophy in practise. Therapies I have received from park attwood clinic were enormously beneficial to me and probably saved my life. And the deep and constant care I received was of quality I have never known any where else. As a teacher in the state system with significant knowledge of steiner education including pupils and teachers, I can only say I would have felt honoured to have either been a pupil in one of theses schools or indeed to have been given the opportunity myself to teach in one. Irrespective of the oddity of some of steiner thinking and theories, I remain a serious admirer of much that he achieved in so many fields of study as well as practice.

    • You speak as if you are more than familiar with Steiner. Can you specifically say what the achievements or insights from Steiner are that you so admire?

  2. While I am no business guru it baffles me that the Trustees could not manage anything so basic as filing proper accounts.

    It does not augur well for their future

    • There are no media reports. There is a very clear letter though from the DfE clearly explaining the failures in governance of this school. What detail would you think there is here?

  3. As I have reported in previous posts, mainly the quality of care and attention and honesty that is characteristic of those who work in their clinic and schools. Many people went to Park Attwood Clinic in Bewdley for example who were suffering from Cancer as well as other serious illnesses. The place was an amazingly supportive and loving community. I could write much more detail about many other positive qualities that were exceptional, and from which I benefited enormously as did many other patients. Very very unfortunately the ‘credit crunch’ of 2008/9, meant that Park Attwood had to close. A great loss for a great many people – not just for many patients here in this country, but for patients all over the world who came here to stay at this exceptional clinic.

  4. No more brainwashed than you I suspect W.C, and probably a lot more balanced in my views. The Tories are notorious for seeking to brainwash the populace, not least of all through their so called ‘academies’ – If you think these schools offer improved education, I suggest you dig a bit deeper and see what they are really about.

  5. A.L. please read my comments on the so called Tory ‘academies’. I suppose you think the D of E is somehow non partisan in its judgements?

    • I am not sure what could be at all ‘partisan’ about the DfE serving a notice for failure to submit accounts of how the school has spent public money.

  6. What I mean by saying that someone is ‘truly educated’ is that they will question EVERYTHING. The reality of this statement may or may not be competely true. I am slow to judge any situation this administration would censure. I have no confidence in any government departments at this time in our country’s history. I only know that in my experience, in general terms, Steiner schools and other Steiner institutions are amazingly competent and inspirational. ‘Public money’? —maybe you should question the Tory MPs who abused the trust our citizens gave them when they failed to declare their expenses in the general election. We have an extremely CORRUPT government right now, and I will repeat that I have no confidence in any statements made by any of their officials, including the reality behind this claim from the D of E. No integrity – ‘brainwashing’ was mentioned earlier in the thread – your comment fails to take this into account.
    Question EVERYTHING – that is what a good education will teach you.

  7. I quite agree that all politicians should be held to account, but what has that noble concept got to do with a school failing to submit accounts?
    Please avoid red herrings.

    In this case the question was, “How have you spent public money?”
    Satisfactory answer came there none.
    So, having questioned, what then?

  8. Dear Zorba the Budda (to be distinguished from Zorba the Geek),

    I share your chagrin that Park Attwood Clinic closed, and do not doubt that a “supportive and loving” community benefitted its patients – but it practiced ‘anthroposophical medicine’ (presumably including homeopathy), and that simply is not good enough – there being no plausible evidence in support of AM’s principles.

    It is a shame PAC did not concentrate on care and counselling – they might have been good at that.

    That is the perverse nature of camistry – such practices blind practitioners as to the genuine benefits TLC can bring, and take advantage of the vulnerable by making implausible claims.

    Move on, and may the Wu be with you.

  9. haha! If you voted for them Dokter Richard, I can understand why you think our government is not relevant…! Blue herrings are just as culpable…

  10. Unlike most people posting here, I have had experience of both Steiner schools and being a patient in a Steiner clinic for 11 years. I am not an anthroposophist and by the way this ‘presumably including homeopathy’ shows your ignorance as you clearly lump the two traditions together incorrectly.
    Do you know Maurice Orange who is also a Dokter?
    Have you cured cancer patients? Maybe most treatments are placebo – even many traditional medicines etc?
    I don’t know what you mean by ‘move on’. I am fine as I am thank you.
    Anyway, take care of yourself, and ‘The ‘Wu’ be with You,Too’!

  11. Apologies, but all the materiel I have read about ‘anthroposophy’ states that ‘homeopathy’ is part of that practice.
    Did you not know that?
    See ‘Rudolf Steiner Health Center’ : http://www.steinerhealth.org/about/anthroposophical-medicine/

    “Applied by conventionally trained medical doctors who combine orthodox medical treatment with complementary practice, this modern holistic paradigm combines European homeopathics, plant medicines, natural remedies and elements of allopathic principles.”

    I note you ‘are not an anthropologist’, but by any chance are you a homeopath or do you use ‘homeopathy’
    Not that it has anything to do with failure of a school to submit accounts – but it would help explain where you are coming from.

    • I’ve never met an anthroposophist who admits to being an athroposophist. They are all merely ‘inspired’ after studying it for 20 years or so.

  12. Given that the FSA was to all intents and purpose created from the Steiner school in Bruton, because they could not simply move it to Frome as the same legal entity, and I would suspect that the governance structure of the Bruton school moved to the FSA along with Guy Marson.

    Therefore Concerns over about poor governance and possible financial mismanagement at the Frome Steiner Academy (FSA) are not a big surprise as too the best of my knowledge the Bruton school was regularly in debt and in need of another whip round from the parents.

  13. Dear Andy.
    All Stiener Schools are run as franchise. Some are excellent, some do not meet the standerds needed. This is not a good way to judge Stiener education which is excellent and enables children to learn fast and think for themselves, ensuring that the children remain fascinated by a tree for example and, say, electro- magnetism. With this style of learning, The child will be able to link the two together, on their own. This means the understanding of the two subjects of interest goes far deeper that more mainstream education.
    Some schools fail or may get bad results. I would argue this is through poor management. I parent or primary care must visit the said school they have an interest in, examine the results and choose from there. Just as with any other school

    • The idea that Steiner education allows children to ‘learn fast and think for themselves and ‘link together’ various subjects is what is known in educational circles as ‘bullshit’. These are merely the stories Steiner education fanatics tell themselves and have no basis in reality. In truth, the curriculum in Steiner schools is a fossilised early 20th Century approach to teaching based on the mystical views of Steiner. You say ‘some schools fail or get bad results’. Again, this is nonsense. Children are not taught to get good results. They are lucky to get entered into more than a handful of exams. It is nearly unheard of for a student who has been through the full Steiner education to go on and excel in STEM subjects. It is almost as if (and I have had this said quite seriously by ex-Parents) Steiner schools design children to fail – their life choices then are better suited to joining various Steiner enterprises – biodynamic farming, camphill etc.

      What we see is that in the small number of Steiner Schools in the UK, a good fraction of them have in the past year or so failed inspections over child protection issues. These are predictable problems given the closed nature of the Steiner world. I predicted several years ago that Steiner schools would find themselves stretched if they tried to expand into Free Schools. Not enough cult members around to keep up even the standards they want to adhere to.

  14. Andy, I have never met a Jungist, or a Confuciousist either. Funny that? Please check you use of English before you use it to insult

  15. I’m know I’m asking for it but here goes…

    I’ve only skim read responses on here, so apologies for any sweeping statements or missed points but my daughter is a pupil at the steiner academy frome and I feel I need to say something at least.

    Firstly – I’m from your regular state school background, CofE first school, GSCE’s, A-levels, College, University .. all the normal stuff. I’m now a software developer trying make ends meet. I would sadly say I’m a fairly normal chap.

    I feel immensely privileged and grateful to have my child at this school. It’s truly enriched all of our lives. We looked at all the options before sending our daughter there. We of course want her to acheive well academically, but actually as it turned out, the most important thing for us was that she was happy. Fairly simple really.

    So we looked around the local schools, saw plenty of places full of dour faced pupils engrossed in their iphones, almost too scared to have real social contact with each other, let alone adults. We saw kids stressed out with exams in year one. We saw boys trying to force girls into situations that they’d seen in music videos or worse. Steiner academy frome was a different experience. The kids there are confident, they are intelligent, and want to learn. When you talk to children there, they look you in the eye and treat you as a human. There are no iphones, just real meaningful social interaction and lasting friendships. There is also, obviously, learning. But learning not just how to think, solve problems, work, succeed etc. but also how to be a person, how to treat others, how to help others, how to be a friend, how to enrich your life and how to be self-reliant. It’s that stuff that you don’t see elsewhere.

    I knew diddly squat about the whole philosophy before discovering the school, and I sttill don’t know that much. But I can see the difference it makes, and that difference is a positive one.

    I said above it has enriched all our lives, and that’s because this is not a place that you drop off your children and forget about them for the day. As a parent, you are involved in the whole thing. You have to be, and that is a wonderful experience. I definitely spend more time with my child now than I would have done had she been in a different school. This is partly through choice and partly because the school philosophy demands that I do so. And I’m glad they do.

    To lose this school would be to cut short an enterprise that could result in wonderful, fulfilled people leading fantastic lives. I feel the detrctors take it all too seriously from the wrong point of view. In all honesty I wouldn’t say I buy half the stuff about the fire gnomes, but the point is that you’re not supposed to. It’s for kids, so that we can let them BE kids.

    Phew, longer than I expected. And now I shut up, and remember that I don’t post stuff in comments on the interwebs.

  16. Hi Ben,

    Your position reminds me of our family a few years ago. We were enamoured of our local Steiner school, for much the same reasons as you. Then the more we found out about “the whole philosophy” behind it, the further we ran… Coincidently, the Steiner school we were involved with suffered from a lack of financial planning and accountability.

    Naturally, any school could have management and financial problems. Conversely, Steiner schools certainly do not have a monopoly on producing students who are socially and academically confident and well rounded. We eventually found a school which managed to get both sides right, without the kooky spiritual baggage of anthroposophy. Contrary to what a Steiner school would like you think, it can be done!

  17. Interesting, but a lot of people send there kids to schools where children are told there is an imaginary man who lives in the sky who watches over everything they do. Anthroposophy is probably no more barking than the major religions.

    • The difference is that Steiner Schools hide the Anthroposophical nature of schools from Parents. Most parents are pretty oblivious to the meanings of what and how their children are being taught.

  18. When considering a Steiner education it would also be helpful if any one could identify any ‘Steiner’ children who have gone on to achieve significant success in life, by any criteia (except ‘being happy’ – unless there is a definition of that quality).

    E.g., there is a school near Slough which educated at least four actors who are currently very prominent, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Prime Minister and the immediate past Mayor of London. My own school educated William Harvey who turned 3000 year old accepted wisdom on its head by discovering the circulation of the blood, and Christopher Marlowe who helped Shakespeare write his plays (IMHO). Oh, and Michael Morpurgo who was inspired by myself! Etc, Etc.

    There does need to be some measure of ‘outcome of education’ or tax payers are wasting their money.
    Which is the subject of this thread.

  19. You mean in the same way parents were pretty oblivious to the abuse of young children by established religious schools eg. catholic schools or the brutal indoctrination of young children in madrasas.

    Bigger picture, Andy. Bigger picture.

    • I am sure there are many bigger pictures out there Robin, but for now we are discussing Steiner Schools. Should we only discuss the issues around Steiner Schools when all other educational and social problems are solved?

      But while we are on the topic of abuse, there does indeed appear to be a constant concern about the insular nature of Steiner Schools leading to such issues. Have you read Perra? Or how a Steiner School in Scotland recently employed a serial sex offender?

      How about actually addressing the risk factors in Steiner Schools that lead to situations like this?

  20. “I knew diddly squat about the whole philosophy before discovering the school, and I sttill don’t know that much. But I can see the difference it makes, and that difference is a positive one.”

    So you feel OK not knowing “that much” about the philosophy behind the school? In other words, as long as you see a “positive” difference, it wouldn’t matter “that much” to you if the philosophy happened to be a racist one?

    I only ask because I actually DO know a bit about the philosophy behind Waldorf education.

  21. “I said above it has enriched all our lives, and that’s because this is not a place that you drop off your children and forget about them for the day. As a parent, you are involved in the whole thing. You have to be, and that is a wonderful experience. I definitely spend more time with my child now than I would have done had she been in a different school. This is partly through choice and partly because the school philosophy demands that I do so. And I’m glad they do.”

    OK so, the philosophy demands that you spend more time with your child than you would have if your child was at a different school. Are you sure about this? I ask because the philosophy is intended to separate children from their parents and to affix them to their teachers. Steiner was very clear about this. Have you read any Steiner? You know… the guy upon whose ideas your children’s school is based? Because it’s advancing the philosophy that is the reason for the school in the first place. As others have pointed out, it took acquainting themselves with the philosophy to bring them to the decision to leave Waldorf education… something you have chosen to avoid. Good luck with that.

    • Pete says: “OK so, the philosophy demands that you spend more time with your child than you would have if your child was at a different school. Are you sure about this? I ask because the philosophy is intended to separate children from their parents and to affix them to their teachers. Steiner was very clear about this. Have you read any Steiner?..”

      TRUE that 100%. It is part of the bamboozle to make it look like ‘a parent is spending more time with their child’. NO, you are not spending more time. The parents are spending time: fixing, cleaning, gardening, accounting, painting, May Fairs, Christmas Fairs, cooking etc etc – FOR the school and IN the school, and most of these are the times when your kids are with you as well. Parents decieve themselves all the time, by thinking how great the ‘parents spend more time with their child’. It is an illusion. The one trip a year and a couple of other outtings -when the school needs parents drivers (!), is what adds to this illusion. Parents have NO say when it comes to the classroom and the teachings, so keep on decieving themselves of how much more ‘time they spend with their child’.
      We did not know either. We loved the color and arts, we had no clue, that this is a dogmatic nonesense school, where in the beginning of grade 4 our child was still not reading. The facade is so captivating, we thought that is was fantastic! Oh, our child was happy alright but illiterate at the same time -hoops! what an enviable thing that was? The only sane thing was to leave- as soon as the anthroposophical nonsense was evident, which is not transparent to parents, plus when we really realized that the curriculum is so behind, that even for a child who is seemingly reading and can count, in comparison would be still behind. They do not know that it is only moral decency to be transparent. This of course needed inquiry and reading upon, not just blind belief, because the child ‘seemingly’ is happy. As soon as we realized how laughable the teachers training is, and how they have no subject knowledge, how impossible it is to be with one class for 8 years and teach everything etc, it was illusory for us to expect better or more from the teacher and the ‘pedagogy’. the teachers are themselves stuck in this nonsensical belief without any rational tought or critical thinking! Only what ‘steiner said” goes, and that is anthroposophy.
      The father who commented above who is so in love at the moment with this type of schooling, yet knows nothing about this dogmatic education, might not know that he could have a hand in the intellectual stunting of his own child. How can you not inquire about what are you paying for, if you are paying for it? The racist nonsense it teaches, which they all deny? The pseudoscience? Please be vigilent, but of course parents in the beginning do not know what to look out for.
      We started reading about Steiner, and we ‘only’ relized the bamboozle, and the deceit in the beginning of grade4, but then at an incredibly rapid paste. The bamboozle does not escape the educated parents either.

  22. A lot of hot air on here expressed by people who have already established their prejudices. Best to love them and leave them…?
    Best for each to go with their own experiences, and I know what has produced well being in me. I don’t need to partake in intellectual gymnastics to be clear on that.

  23. Hello there. Ian what most people mean by the term:: I felt healthy happy, energetic, and blossomed!

  24. MCnP sets out the issue well.

    How does Dianne know “what has produced well being ” in her?

    Did Dianne ‘blossom’ (or do any other children) on account of the TLC – or the application of anthroposophical dogma? Could the same results be achieved without anthroposophy?

    Might she not have blossomed more, and been happier, more ‘energetic’, healthier, if she had read at earlier age, avoided Anthroposophical Medicine (homeopathy, antipathy towards vaccination, etc.), been taught by a range of teachers, received a broader curriculum of education, learnt about Steiner in the context of pedagogy – and history, recognised his personal racial antipathies,and learnt to smile wryly at the tales of gnomes and reincarnation?

    Just asking.

  25. Look, if all some of you want is an intellectual fracas, I think you are wasting yourselves. All that is happening here is that prejudice s are being confirmed which makes the whole exercise of this discussion pointless. What I value and what clearly the several naysayers don’t, of personal growth and integrity in the pupils of these schools, appears to be what mainly divides us —and if we dont share these sort of priorities or our understanding of them..then i don’t see any agreement is possible.

  26. And incidentally I went to a state primary and then godalming grammar school —not a steiner school at any point. I came into contact with steiner education as an adult but for eleven years frequently attended a steiner clinic.
    I taught in two state comprehensives and had some contact with quaker independent schools too. (Equally commendable)
    The worst schools were definitely the state schools on just about every level except perhaps on the basis of the sheer challenge …

  27. This thread is about alleged financial difficulties of a school which receives public funding.
    I am certainly prejudiced against children being taught nonsense, and am surprised you appear not to be.
    The caring, pastoral aspect of Steiner schools may well benefit some children, but the underlying Steinerism (and quackery of anthroposophical medicine) should play no part in publically funded education.
    IMHO.

  28. I have read through many a comment section that looks just like this one over the years. Those that engage are often 1. those that believe the world is good and benign and open to questioning, and 2. those that believe the world is evil and malignant and deserving of suspicion. I have also noticed that there is nothing humble about those in the latter category. Surely any argument between those two is pointless unless one or the other has arrived at some kind of epiphany. Surely also judge on the calibre of students that emerge from Steiner education (and have gone all the way through). Not these puerile and pedantic debates. For the one who questioned above for a link to Waldorf Alumni, a simple Google will bring up many websites. For one that provides a link at the bottom to International Alumni, see here – http://www.americans4waldorf.org/Experiences.html. Otherwise, enough already.

  29. ” 1. those that believe the world is good and benign and open to questioning, and 2. those that believe the world is evil and malignant and deserving of suspicion. ”

    I just love how Waldorf people like to pigeonhole people. It’s in their nature to do so… Take the temperaments for example… or large and small-headed children. There’s no room in Waldorf for a “medium-headed” child… it’s always one or the other.

    “Surely also judge on the calibre of students that emerge from Steiner education (and have gone all the way through).”

    NO… let’s instead look at the TOTAL number of students who experience Steiner education… because you can’t treat students poorly throughout the process and then suggest that ONLY the ones who have made it “all the way through” are the actual results of your system. What about the students that were abused right out of Waldorf education? What about THOSE students?

    “For one that provides a link at the bottom to International Alumni, see here –”

    You provided a link to Sune Nordwall’s Waldorf propaganda “Americans for Waldorf” website (he’s not an “American” by any stretch of the imagination). Nobody here is surprised, of course. One can easily Google “Waldorf School Criticism” and get a very different picture.

  30. “1. those that believe the world is good and benign and open to questioning, and 2. those that believe the world is evil and malignant and deserving of suspicion. I have also noticed that there is nothing humble about those in the latter category. Surely any argument between those two is pointless unless one or the other has arrived at some kind of epiphany. Surely also judge on the calibre of students that emerge from Steiner education (and have gone all the way through).”

    Hahahahahah….and I have observed that #1 is the belief (which is bs really) of the ‘anthroposophically indoctrinated’ who believe, that the Earth has reincarnated 4 times already! Surely, amongst those students who have gone through all the way – are/were plenty who go/went to outside private studies or private tutoring at the same time. Many a times, parents and students just ‘forget to mention’ from shame, and weak and misleading websites, who want to create illusion with promoting alumni – are definitely not mentioning it.

    “Otherwise, enough already” – I am glad you are talking to yourself, probably this helps your reincarnation.

    • Good morning Ishe. I am afraid, the weekend and the beach with my kids kept me from the obviously urgent need to reply to you.

      So, as has been pointed out. You arbitrarily create two classes of people and then shoe-horn your opponents into one bad group whilst accepting you belong to the virtuous one. What obvious nonsense. It’s a classic defense mechanism for thinking of your opponents as ‘other’ rather than as equals and people deserving a different point of view.

      You claim we should look at the calibre of students that come through Waldorf education. The site you point to contains a very small number of cherry picked individuals. Presumably the best that can be done despite the thousands of Steiner students around.

      This page point to a much fuller list of supposedly ‘famous’ alumni. It is a remarkable list. What is quite obvious is the near total lack of any alumni that have succeeded in anything other than the arts – acting and musicianship. Almost a complete lack of scientists, technologists, medics, and engineers. No academics or researchers. Indeed, no-one who needs a round and full knowledge of the workings of the world. It’s almost as if the only way a Waldorf alumni can make it in life is if they have an artistic talent, because their education as not equipped them for anything other than relying on any creative ability they have in the arts. If the children have creative and intellectual abilities outside of the arts then they are stuffed. These ‘successful’ alumni look like they have done well despite their Steiner education not because of it.

      This shows the central deception at the heart of Steiner education. It is not an education. It is not ‘child-centred’. It is the exact opposite of holistic and individualised. It serves only the Steiner philosophy and movement. If a child has aptitudes and abilities outside the narrow straightjacket of Steiner thought then they are very badly failed.

      • Hello Andy. I see you have decided not to publish my previous reply. It’s your blog, your prerogative. It’s a shame that in it I addressed many of the concerns of your commenters that they now will not have the opportunity to view. Google is a wonderful thing, and no doubt they can do their own research. Other Alumni sites are available. There’s even a Youtube for those that learn visually (or have that temperament). I do stand by my assessment of those that see the glass half full and those that see the glass half empty. If I were again a child, I’m certain I would prefer the former as a teacher. Being an artist does not preclude one from having critical thinking by the way. I note that you put value on that ability. It therefore begs the question, if students have no background of the thought (critical or otherwise) of the human being through the historical timeline, how do they know the process by which they arrived at this point in time, and use their critical thinking to move forward without making the mistakes of the past? You crashed my Facebook page, not the other way around. If your blog had not appeared on it, I would not have bothered to comment. I suspect it was a waste of my time anyway. Oh well …. Cheers, from an Australian Anthroposophist. We are a breed unto ourselves and call out the informed with a penchant for using their senses to see only a picture that suits their closed narrative. That’s a luxury I can’t afford. By all means, continue to talk amongst yourselves.

      • Firstly, Ishe – I have published every comment you have submitted. I have checked spam and pending folders and see nothing outstanding.

        So, to your other points. Maybe there are other alumni sites. Perhaps you could point us to one that counters my argument that Steiner Schools fail those with an academic temperament. Where are the academic Steiner successes? Where are those with science awards, their engineering achievements, their technology innovations? Do you have evidence to counter the accusation that Steiner schools completely fail to equip students to understand our complex and rich world of science and engineering? I would argue that Steiner/Waldorf Schools deliberately do not give adequate education in these areas. They do not want to produce students with an evidence-based, secular and rational view of the world.

        I have not argued that artistic students do not have a critical thinking capability. What I am arguing is that Waldorf Schools deliberately stifle such styles of thought. They do so whilst claiming to be ‘holistic’ and ‘child centred’ and allowing ‘self discovery’. All utter nonsense. What such approaches do is fossilise ignorance.

        Nor do I not highly value artistic temperaments I argue is that this is all children have left to fall upon given their neglected education – if indeed they do have an artistic temperament. I would not even argue that Steiner Schools nurture artistic temperaments. Indeed, they have a highly restricted worldview of what is appropriate artistic and creative outlets. Their limited media and colours. The daft spiritual dancing. The allowable craft materials. Any child with real creative flair has to look outside of their school environment to experience art, design, architecture, dance and music beyond what Steiner thought was spiritually appropriate.

  31. Interesting Andy. I sent a reply and it reflected on your blog. In between, however, I get a 503 Error while you formulate your calculated reply, which I then miraculously gain access to. I made two points in my reply. The first being all Steiner schools conduct school orientations with prospective parents. In Australia some devote evenings to the “Journey” through the Class curriculum focus covering the entire experience. Parents questions are encouraged. If parents choose not to attend, it is not due to the schools lack of transparency. My second point concerned the curriculum itself, being the timeline of humanity, much like the oral traditions of First Nations. If we don’t know where we’ve been, we don’t know who we are, or where we are going, the very foundation of critical thinking. Consequently, if a child leaves the school midway through the curriculum, it would be analogous to the story finishing at Colonisation. The experience is incomplete in other words. That choice is again, one for the parents not the school.
    The rest of your comments appear to come from a pre-existing bias. There is no academic temperament. There is the thinking capacity. There is no artistic temperament. There is the imaginative capacity. When these combine together, it becomes visionary. When they are weighted one more desirable than the other, we have imbalance, a picture of the zeitgeist. How that happened has much to do with mainstream education as Sir Ken Robinson rightly points out. We need the visionaries more than ever. If you feel strongly in your convictions, there is nothing stopping you from starting your own school. It would certainly be a more purposeful use of your time than your investment in Quackometer.

    • You do not understand what critical thinking is. It is has nothing to do with Steiner’s views on what myths and pseudo-history should be taught as part of his curriculum. Critical thinking is about synthesis and analysis of evidence, the critique of sources and reasoning. Aspects that are entirely missing from the anthroposophical world and Steiner’s ‘visions’. Rote learning in Steiner Schools is the exact opposite of critical thinking. Copying workbooks is the antithesis of this. Just like following regimented artistic rules is the exact opposite of creativity. Why do we see exactly the same style of art in any Steiner School? Where is the individuality, the creativity, the development of ideas? Steiner education is fossilised according to the Great Man’s teachings.

      Perhaps if Steiner Schools do not weight ‘thinking/imagination’ as you appear to claim, could you then provide the evidence that Steiner Schools are able to produce excellent engineers and scientists as well as the smattering of artists and actors you have so far put forward?

      Can you provide the evidence that even Steiner Schools produce visionaries? Where are the great visionary leaders that come of such schools. Let’s see some actual evidence and then we can critically appraise it.

  32. Ishe says: “If I were again a child, I’m certain I would prefer the former as a teacher”..

    Certainty is what utter dogmatism is. Every other human being, in their lifetime or towards the middle or towards the end- will realize, where and how and what would they have changed or made it better in any shape or form, which requires a lot of questioning, pondering, analyzing and searching and gathering information AND still never can be certain. Only dogmatists (any dogmatist) are certain, only they know what they would have preferred for sure.
    Is it possible that they are certain, most likely because of the hallucinatory reincarnation “biography work” they have been deceiving themselves with when at anthro gatherings?.
    Oh, yeah, I recon, it could have something to do with it, …..
    This type of certainty- and ‘because Steiner said’ and the ‘spiritual age-development’ (which is NOT grade/age-appropriate curriculum in any shape of form) nonsense is what harms many many many children.
    As Brandolini said- which became known as Brandolini’s Law- : “The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.”
    Pseudoscience and innumeracy has quite a connection, mathematician John Allen Paulos in his book ‘Innumeracy: mathematical illiteracy and its consequences” makes it clear!

  33. Andy, I’m beginning to regret giving you the benefit of being “informed” but tunnel focussed in an above comment. In the spirit of the instant gratification times we are in, you ask for Steiner 101, and when it is outlined, you miss the entire point. Why do the children worldwide do the same art? During the Renaissance, there was pretty much only Renaissance art, not an expressionist anywhere to be found! The curriculum follows a timeline remember? Anyone can find this on the internet if they have a will to know. Science and engineering comes at a certain point, mainly during the industrial age. At this time children also draw with charcoal, the very essence of carbon based colour black. It’s not rocket science. Children make their own textbooks. Only now are researchers discovering that writing builds different neurological pathways in the brain to typing on a computer. This only aired during the week – http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rnafternoons/how-important-is-handwriting-in-digital-schools/7405464.
    Again, build an education movement on the strength of your convictions based on science and engineering and let’s see your results. As Buckminster Fuller said “If you don’t like the system, build a better one”. Until then, you are a self proclaimed debunker. A critic I would take seriously, since critics actually study the concepts they are critiquing. I’m obviously wasting my time here.

    • I asked you some very specific questions about supplying evidence to show how Steiner Schools produce ‘excellent engineers and scientists’. You have ignored this request. is this deliberate?

    • Perhaps it is worth pointing out that during the Renaissance there were many forms of art, both historical and from non-Western traditions. Why does Steiner privilege the white European styles of art?

    • The only answers I am missing are around whether or not you can substantiate your claims with evidence and defend your beliefs with reason.

      I am a step closer to having those answers now.

  34. “During the Renaissance, there was pretty much only Renaissance art, not an expressionist anywhere to be found!”

    What? Seriously? Who told you that? And I suppose Eurythmy – which is taught from kindergarten through high school (and beyond) was pretty much the only dance form – during the ENTIRE history of civilization… (since it covers the entire Waldorf experience).

    Why not cut the crap for parents reading this and admit Waldorf is just pushing Steiner’s stupid ideas onto unsuspecting parents and children and using any justification they can find. Because in truth, NOBODY mentioned Anthroposophy at the parent orientation evenings, did they?

    • Or hallucinations like the Anthroposophical forms of thought: “WAKING, Imaginative cognition; DREAMING, Inspired Feeling; SLEEPING, Intuitive Willing … [P]ictorial cognition enters inspiration…and arises again from intuition.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE (SteinerBooks, 1996), p. 118. “Pictorial cognition” is the creation of “imaginations,” that is, the products of imagination or, at a higher level, clairvoyance. “[T]hinking is a pictorial activity which is based in what we experienced before birth.” — Ibid., p. 62.

      Or more bullshit like: ““Any attempt to improve the methods of education should consist in modifying the intellectual element which has become over-dominant since the fourteenth century ….” — Rudolf Steiner, THE ESSENTIALS OF EDUCATION (Anthroposophical Publishing Co., 1926), p. 31.

      etc…etc

  35. “Children make their own textbooks. Only now are researchers discovering that writing builds different neurological pathways in the brain to typing on a computer.”

    But Steiner actually knew this right? Wait… he didn’t. He thought the intellect was crap… literally, he thought the brain was excrement. He placed no value on intellect. Perfect guy to start a school, don’t you agree? Here’s what he had to say about intellect:

    “A man who would receive Anthroposophy with his intellect kills it in the very
    act.” [LIFE, NATURE, AND CULTIVATION OF ANTHROPOSOPHY, p. 15.]

    “One of the things Ahriman wants for us is that we produce lots of libraries, storing lots of dead knowledge all around us.” [POLARITIES IN THE EVOLUTION OF MANKIND, p. 163.]

    The second one describes why Waldorf students make their own books… because reading knowledge is dead… inventing knowledge is what Anthroposophy is about!

  36. Aspie to non-duality and everything will be understood. It is not that the intellect is ‘excrement’ or pointless but that it has a specific function and mostly we exercise it as an expression of propaganda and employing predominant ‘left brain’ function – the important point is that creativity which many argue is one of the main qualities that make us human—should play a much larger part in the educational environment of schools. The values that Steiner schools focus upon are the very values that our society needs – if our entire planet is not going to be totally destroyed by our obsession with the ‘left’ brain- manifested via attitudes of control, domination, division, brute force….being stuck in our heads not our hearts,– academia in general. The public schools such as Eton are a good example of schools which produce automotons without feeling or meaningful vision for mankind.

    • Well of course this is not the time or place to debunk the nonsense of left-brai right-brain mythology. What is worth pointing out is the canard that Steiner apologists like to use that because some other school system is bad (in this case Eton) then Steiner is the answer. No, it does not work like that. Steiner Schools are not the default answer to educationa problems. You have to make a positive case for them.

    • Dianne – Steiner philosophy does have some special status where its ideas can exist as a default position without the need to justifiy them. What sort of arrogant stance is that? Steiner educationalists need to provide evidence that what they claim is true and the result of the education are better than alternatives. Steiner schools do not do this and cannot do this. Instead, they make appeals to vague, trite and non-sepcific ideas about teaching the ‘whole child’ etc.

  37. “The values that Steiner schools focus upon are the very values that our society needs…”

    That nonsense, Oh, God NO! That is down right DANGEROUS!

  38. “…….being stuck in our heads not our hearts,– ….”

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaah…. when I read these type of comments now, I just can not stop laughing, can not! Hahahahahaha

    Tell you what: ‘unstuck’ your head (cut it off, severe it ) so you are not stuck to it at all, and let’s see what your heart can do?

  39. “Why not cut the crap for parents reading this and admit Waldorf is just pushing Steiner’s stupid ideas onto unsuspecting parents and children and using any justification they can find. Because in truth, NOBODY mentioned Anthroposophy at the parent orientation evenings, did they?”

    So true. Yes, parents are unsuspected, because the facade is very “artsy”. any parent in their right mind would RUN, if they would know the bullshit like: ““When we think, we die continually.”
    — Rudolf Steiner, BLACKBOARD DRAWINGS 1919-1924 (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2003), p. 56.

    Or: ” “Although it is necessary, especially today, for people to be completely awake later in life, it is equally necessary to let children live in their gentle dreamy experiences as long as possible, so that they move slowly into life. They need to remain as long as possible in their imaginations and pictorial capacities without intellectuality.” — Rudolf Steiner, A MODERN ART OF EDUCATION (SteinerBooks, 2004), pp. 103-104.

    Or nonsense like: ““The cosmic ether, which is common to all, carries within it the thoughts; there they are within it, those living thoughts of which I have repeatedly spoken in our anthroposophical lectures, telling you how the human being participates in them in pre-earthly life before he comes down to Earth. There, in the cosmic ether, are contained all the living thoughts there are; and never are they received from the cosmic ether during the life between birth and death. No; the whole store of living thought that man holds within him, he receives at the moment when he comes down from the spiritual world — when, that is, he leaves his own living element, his own element of living thought, and descends and forms his ether body. Within this ether body, within that which is the building and organising force in man, are the living thoughts; there they are, there they still are.” — Rudolf Steiner, CURATIVE EDUCATION (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1999), p. 37

  40. “It is not that the intellect is ‘excrement’ or pointless but that it has a specific function and mostly we exercise it as an expression of propaganda and employing predominant ‘left brain’ function – the important point is that creativity which many argue is one of the main qualities that make us human—should play a much larger part in the educational environment of schools.”

    I didn’t say he said “intellect is excrement”, I said he thought the “brain was excrement”. He actually said that. But no worries, thinking doesn’t happen in the brain anyway… so we’re safe.

    Let’s get to your “important point” – that creativity should play a larger part (you don’t say larger than what) in education – which “many argue” is one of the main qualities that make us human.

    How do Waldorf schools express “creativity”? They certainly don’t permit free expression on the part of the students. Let a student try to use a color that isn’t permitted in a particular lesson… or draw a vertical line when they should be drawing the horizon… nope… not allowed. Let a child miss a stitch in knitting class only to watch a week or more’s work get unraveled before the entire class… and call it creativity. Waldorf environments are not open environments, they are carefully controlled environments that stifle creative expression by whatever means necessary – including discipline and not excluding abuse and bullying.

    “The values that Steiner schools focus upon are the very values that our society needs”

    And yet, Steiner schools HIDE the very values they hold dear from parents. Why? Maybe it’s because society has outgrown ideas like benevolent racism through colonization… which is STILL practiced in Steiner schools in places like New Zealand. Maybe it’s because society has outgrown dumb ideas like the temperaments and large and small-headed children… and that children shouldn’t be critical or even think critically. Maybe society has outgrown ideas like shaming and bullying children (and sometimes their parents), shunning, banning and isolating. Maybe society has outgrown ideas like children can be possessed by demons… ideas STILL practiced by Waldorf teachers today! Maybe society has outgrown eurythmy!

    I think you will have to make a strong case that our society needs these things – because these are the types of things Steiner promoted, and that Waldorf schools hide and are famous for hiding.

  41. Andy you are right. There is no evidence, but the extraordinary and bullshit claims still continue. In the words of Martin Fischer [1879-1962]: “When there is no explanation, they give it a name, which immediately explains everything.”

  42. Oh, this reply of mine, was supposed to go undr your post Andy, for June 9, 2016 at 9:05 pm. It ended up here at the end, even though I pressed reply under that comment of yours. Anyways….

  43. Pete everything you say, we observed or experienced in the waldorf we were involved with, not suspecting anything for a couple of years…Then I got a hold of some antho texts – and we were gone by the end of year.! the biggest problem is that waldorf is one of the biggest immoral, misleading and untransparent “things” (can not call it education) of the past 100 years.
    Creativity? The utter garbage of hallucinated belief that Earth is in its 4th reincarnation!….There you go, that is the great “creativity” of Waldorf!…..and if you paint wet on wet red and yellow- this will help the “spirit” reincarnate into a child….Wow how creative!….but parents have no clue!

  44. “Pete everything you say, we observed or experienced in the waldorf we were involved with”

    Yes, if you click on my name, you will be directed to a website where I have collected the experiences of hundreds of parents, students and teachers from around the world. Many of these focus on experiences similar to what I described above.

  45. Andy Lewis, responding to the previous right-left brain analysis of the Steiner curriculum:

    “Well of course this is not the time or place to debunk the nonsense of left-brain right-brain mythology..”

    “The greater the doubt, the greater the awakening; the smaller the doubt, the smaller the awakening. No doubt, no awakening. C.-C. Chang, The Practice of Zen”

    “SHIFTING TO ONE SIDE OF THE BRAIN

    The scans also revealed that during flashbacks, our subjects’ brains lit up only on the right side. Today there’s a huge body of scientific and popular literature about the difference between the right and left brains. Back inthe early nineties I had heard that some people had begun to divide the world between left-brainers (rational, logical people) and right-brainers (the intuitive, artistic ones), but I hadn’t paid much attention to this idea. However, our scans clearly showed that images of past trauma activate the right hemisphere of the brain and deactivate the left.

    We now know that the two halves of the brain do speak different languages. The right is intuitive, emotional, visual, spatial, and tactual, and the left is linguistic, sequential, and analytical. While the left half of the brain does all the talking, the right half of the brain carries the music of experience. It communicates through facial expressions and body language and by making the sounds of love and sorrow: by singing, swearing, crying, dancing, or mimicking. The right brain is the first to develop in the womb, and it carries the nonverbal communication between mothers and infants. We know the left hemisphere has come online when children start to understand language and learn how to speak. This enables them to name things, compare them, understand their interrelations, and begin to communicate their own unique, subjective experiences to others. The left and right sides of the brain also process the imprints of the past in dramatically different ways. 2

    The left brain remembers facts, statistics, and the vocabulary of events. We call on it to explain our experiences and put them in order. The right brain stores memories of sound, touch, smell, and the emotions they evoke. It reacts automatically to voices, facial features, and gestures and places experienced in the past. What it recalls feels like intuitive truth—the way things are. Even as we enumerate a loved one’s virtues to a friend, our feelings may be more deeply stirred by how her face recalls the aunt we loved at age four. 3

    Under ordinary circumstances the two sides of the brain work together more or less smoothly, even in people who might be said to favor one side over the other. However, having one side or the other shut down, even temporarily, or having one side cut off entirely (as sometimes happened in early brain surgery) is disabling.

    Deactivation of the left hemisphere has a direct impact on the capacity to organize experience into logical sequences and to translate our shifting feelings and perceptions into words. (Broca’s area, which blacks out during flashbacks, is on the left side.) Without sequencing we can’t identify cause and effect, grasp the long-term effects of our actions, or create coherent plans for the future. People who are very upset sometimes say they are “losing their minds.” In technical terms they are experiencing the loss of executive functioning.

    When something reminds traumatized people of the past, their right brain reacts as if the traumatic event were happening in the present. But because their left brain is not working very well, they may not be aware that they are reexperiencing and reenacting the past—they are just furious, terrified, enraged, ashamed, or frozen. After the emotional storm passes, they may look for something or somebody to blame for it. They behaved the way they did way because you were ten minutes late, or because you burned the potatoes, or because you “never listen to me.” Of course, most of us have done this from time to time, but when we cool down, we hopefully can admit our mistake. Trauma interferes with this kind of awareness, and, over time, our research demonstrated why.”

    The Body Keeps The Score, Bessel van Der Kolk

    Many of the anti-Steiner regulars here appear impervious to evidence and reason. This is usually caused by having a religious attachment to a too narrow worldview and its associated set of ideas. It’s pointless, cruel and an infringement of their personal liberty to argue with them since they don’t want to change. It’s probably best to leave them be.

  46. ……And don’t you just love it that the pro Steinerists, love to cherry pick data out of context, to further muddy the water and create more confusion, while they move on to being ‘stuck in their heart’!…
    Nobody is saying that the left and right brain is not responsible for different tasks! Yes it is, and that is only the simplified part. But for many this simplification became fact, hence the calling people ‘right brained/left brained’ – as if they ARE right/left brained. THIS is a myth! Simplifying is never a good idea, when dealing with something as complicated as the brain. The brain works as a whole, people are ‘whole brained”, even though different tasks are responsible by left or right side we use both of our hemispheres all the time. People ARE NOT, ‘right brained’ nor ‘left brained’- as it was understood from Zorba’s comment – to which is why (I think) precisely Andy replied to with “Well of course this is not the time or place to debunk the nonsense of left-brain right-brain mythology..”
    For proper understanding on how we are NOT right -left brained at all – read Science Based Medicine or other proper sources. But here is an article from the Business Insider- http://uk.businessinsider.com/left-brain-right-brain-thinker-myth-2015-3
    The way I see it, this stupid myth will never die (or very hardly will)- for simple reasons and fact, that the bullshit of Steiner education still claims nonsense like that and they latched onto these claiming that our society needs this bullshit! Behind the left/right brained myth, lies a lazy thinking, dichotomies are the result of lazy thinking and on top of that Steinerists want to think with the heart. But, labeling is ALL Steiner does: left brain-right brain, 4 temperaments, and of course the utter bullshit about left handedness which needs to be suppressed because of more hallucinations from Steiner, that in order for children to ‘establish’ dominance (whatever this means) and ‘crossing the midline’ it needs to be suppressed and forced to be right handed, so it can not be ‘messing and hindering natural processes and development’ (whatever that means)…and more and more hallucinated ultimate bullshit like that!

  47. That book has 600+ 5* reviews on Amazon and is the fruit of 30 years research by one of the world’s leading trauma researchers. That you want to argue his research is a myth confirms my point.

    • There are lots of 5* reviews for books on homeopathy, UFOs, Faeires, Big Foot, Unicorns and the Loch Ness Monster. The point is lots of people believe this nonsense.

  48. There are no 5* reviews for unicorns and fairies; even Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice doesn’t reach 5*’s, let alone 600+of them. That you think 30 years of world leading research is ‘nonsense’ is a pity but no one can help the wilfully ignorant.

  49. The point is that the The Body Keeps the Score is not comparable to your topics. You are doing so to ridicule it. This reflects on you not the book.

  50. Many of the 600+ reviewers of a book by a world authority on the causes and healing of trauma will be reading it to help themselves. To ridicule their opinions is arrogant and cruel.

    My argument was that you would not look at evidence and reason that contradicted your world view and I used your dismissal of left-right brain theory as an example. You’ve just dismissed the evidence and reasoning or a world authority. As I said above, it’s pointless to continue.

  51. I don’t want to be rude but don’t you consider you might be a bit obsessed for some reason about steiner schools…? You seem to spend an awful lot of energy over a long period of time, raging against these schools…

    • Dianne, please could you be kind enough then to tell me just how many hours it is appropriate to spend writing about these secretive occult schools that lie to parents?

  52. Ted, what you do not get is that you committed fallacy after fallacy, one after the other, starting from not considering what and why Andy said what he said to Zorba’s comment. From that point on, you twisted it, you took something else out of context, from a book (which could be completely legit in the context of the book, but how many read the book, what it is all about, what are exactly those quotes really mean in the context of the FULL book? etc etc..did you fully read it or you just have those quoted passages as something that you use to Steiner-justify?)-in any case, you used these as a Steiner-justification to contradict the left-right brained myth, as a conclusion without any further evidence (ex: the quote you gave has 2 references: #2+#3- which you need to SUPPLY, in order for your argument to be taken seriously, NOT Kolk, but YOU Ted, do you understand that?). Some of us, kept going back to the original myth, you kept sailing along the fallacies you made. So your fallacies one after the other were: straw men, then texas sharpshooter+no true scotsman together followed, then taken out of context appeal to authority+false cause together followed, then…….well this is bad enough…so, yes it is pointless to continue…the conversation is already split in two, simply because these fallacies were committed…we know what we are talking about- vs. you keep talking about something else – that, which you changed the premise to and as such it is out of context (trauma) in the above left-right brained ad hominem Zorba committed when he said this: “if our entire planet is not going to be totally destroyed by our obsession with the ‘left’ brain- manifested via attitudes of control, domination, division, brute force….being stuck in our heads not our hearts,– academia in general.” ….
    Some, will truly never understand…..

  53. Going back to the original post about the Frome Steiner school being in financial trouble: this school is not the only waldorf in financial trouble. Just in the beginning of June, we got a letter that I consider a begging letter to donate to the ex-waldorf private school we were involved with. The nerve! They are telling us, that since ‘we have no more active ties to that school, -we need to still give- because as previously having ties, simply we always have ties to that school’. The nerve!
    I call this begging an anthro obsecration! But they just keep sending us letters as a campaign to ‘give and grow’ for the next generation.

    Puking ! ……Hahahahahahahahahahahaahah…the nerve!

  54. “I don’t want to be rude but don’t you consider you might be a bit obsessed for some reason about steiner schools…? ”

    More obsessed than the people who participate in Steiner schools? People who devote their lives to disguising what Steiner education is about? People who know no other life, have no other friends and study no other works outside of what is available through Steiner education?

    Obsessed with pushing a harmful, racist, anti-intellectual agenda on unsuspecting parents and their children could well describe Steiner/Waldorf teachers.

  55. Don’t you just want to kill the messenger? The messenger, that brings to the light, the ultimate bullshit that these schools propagate?

  56. MCnP , the trauma context is perfectly valid: trauma research is braIn research; trauma causes brain changes, partially manifested in left-right brain changes, and those studying trauma necessarily become knowledgeable in brain science. All this would be obvious to someone wishing to find out about the world, rather than win arguments, and who took the trouble to look at what was being said by others.

    You and Andy are playing games to control the argument and get those who play to think you’ve won. For instance, Andy has said I’m not allowed to quote from books but that they must be referred to, like web articles. But books are not web articles and need quoting to be referred to.

    You accuse me of shifting the context. I did not and Andy’s corroboratory article was on the same topic and focus as my book reference.

    The meaning of the quote was perfectly clear and needed no further context. Again, you made the accusation that it wasn’t to, as you see it, win an argument, rather than to find the truth.

    I’ve never looked at any of the references the book used but, since you ask, here they are:

    2. Joseph, The Right Brain and the Unconscious (New York: Plenum Press, 1995).
    3 . The movie The Assault (based on the novel of the same name by Harry Mulisch), which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1986, is a good illustration of the power of deep early emotional impressions in determining powerful passions in adults.

    They are clearly more indications for further study than a research list.

    In the above you have attempted to obfuscate a very simple argument, to play the game I mentioned. However people can opt out of the game and simply see that: Andy Lewis said the right-left brain hypothesis is a myth; I showed it isn’t.

  57. Ted, when you’re done with your “left-brain vs right-brain” science, can you take a minute to discuss “large-headed vs small-headed” science with us? We would, after all, like to get back to the topic of Steiner/Waldorf education… right?

  58. Pete, a question occurrs to me. You’ve been repeating these anti-Steiner arguments for the 8 years since I’ve know you, and some years before that from what I’ve seen. This thread has been going 6 weeks now. Are you so desperate to be in your anti-Steiner battle that you can’t take some time out and let something else take up a bit of thread space?

  59. “Are you so desperate to be in your anti-Steiner battle that you can’t take some time out and let something else take up a bit of thread space?”

    I’m sorry Ted… I’ve actually been taking some time off… but did you think your bullshit would go unchallenged? The Waldorf Way is to stifle discussion about Waldorf and to change the subject (like Waldorf kindergarten teachers do when parents ask questions).

    Do I seem “desperate” to you when I point out that you value 600 positive reviews about a book, but not 600 negative reviews about Waldorf?

    I always enjoy pointing out how weak your argument is. You’ve been presenting weak arguments for years… and I’ve been calling you out on them for years. Yet, in apparent desperation, you come here yet again to make weak claims with no evidence. Other readers picked up on your style immediately and also called you on it.

    But hey, maybe everyone should take a break and let you have the floor to yourself to discuss whatever topic you want – right here on Andy’s blog.

    Optionally, you could consider producing your own blog where you could babble endlessly without restraint on any topic you like (which appears to be what you want to do here).

  60. MCnP has attacked my defence of the left-right brain theory, a support of zorbathebuddha2’s critique of modernity, by trying to attack the format and messenger without saying what he actually objected to in the message. Andy similarly posted a reference that did not relate to the message. The anti Steiners seem confused about what’s being argued here. Perhaps this alternative, RSA presentation of the message will help dispel the confusion.

    At the end of the presentation, Mcgilchrist summarises that the left hemisphere seeks control and will tend cut out what it doesn’t understand, leaving itself confined iself reinforcing ideas in a hall of mirrors, that it will vociferously defend against the ingress of new thought . This is what I characterised above as having a religious attachment to a too narrow worldview and its set of associated ideas.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dFs9WO2B8uI

  61. You miss the point, Pete. The number of reviews was a side issue (which is still unrelated to the number of negative reviews you may have). What was being discussed was the validity of the left-right brain theory, in response to two comments here. It seems you are so desperate to pull all discussion back to your anti-Steiner battle that you missed this.

  62. The video points out that an exclusive focus on rationality undermines itself, leaving an empty world. I think we can see that happening here with Pete, who has so little to say that he is reduced to reacting to his emotions and attacking me.

  63. No worries Ted… it’s not my blog. I’ll leave it to Andy to decide whether a Steiner blog about school finances is the appropriate place for you to promote your left brain/right brain book – something Steiner never expressed an opinion about to the best of my knowledge. Do you show any connection to Steiner about this subject? Did Steiner ever discuss left/right brain? Is there any Waldorf discussion about this?

    Anyway, I’m sure Andy’s readers who came here to learn about Steiner and Waldorf just can’t wait for you to take the discussion off topic. (BTW, when have you known me to have “so little to say” about anything?) Point me to your blog and we can discuss left/right brain all you like.

  64. MCnP provided a contentless critique of my post which Pete has just endorsed. He has done this because MCnP is in his gang – they work from the same set of ideas from the same too narrow worldview – and supporting his gang is more important to him than the truth of what’s posted. This is an egregore, a group consciousness, that undermines the free individuality that should belong to our age. It’s is a mirror image of a similar loss of individuality in much of the Steiner community, that is also caused by an exclusive focus on a too narrow set of ideas (those of Steiner).

  65. In the above exchange Pete failed to follow my argument (and instead attacked me) …and accused me of what he’d done . Accusing others of one’s own flaws, projection, is a trait of narcissism and narcissism seems to be a result of the egregore (it’s also apparent in the Steiner community).

  66. “In the above exchange Pete failed to follow my argument”

    You’re wrong about that Ted… I didn’t even read it because it was WAY off topic. You say I “attacked” you. I did no such thing. I asked you very politely to stay on topic, and when you refused, I deferred to Andy who owns this blog.

    Project much?

  67. “He has done this because MCnP is in his gang – they work from the same set of ideas from the same too narrow worldview – and supporting his gang is more important to him than the truth of what’s posted. ”

    I have no idea AT ALL who MCnP is.

    Paranoid much?

  68. “You say I “attacked” you. I did no such thing.”

    “you could consider producing your own blog where you could babble endlessly without restraint”

    “I have no idea AT ALL who MCnP is.”

    “Other readers picked up on your style immediately and also called you on it.”

  69. Wow, out for a couple of days…and I got “ganged”…Hi Pete, my gang body…. 🙂

    Anyways….some people (the believers) would never understand …

    For the last time, on being “left brained-right brained” is a myth, here is Scishow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYWBLX7aexI

    The rest (as in hemispheres having specific tasks) was repeated so many times…..above…

  70. Communication on social media is a new language, still not understood by those arriving from world of books. The dynamic dialog is not the same as the collective monolog. In the dynamic dialog you have to leave the old way of controlling the issue – by claiming inputs as “out of context” or “irrelevant” – when a parallel input appears in a discussion.

    The OP was about public financing of cultural activities. In my world cultural activities, like film, theater or education – must not be under control of short sighted demands of results or productivity.

    That fact is that the western academical in the last century has not been for purpose of Education – but for the purpose of training. Thies monopolized trading systems and all the money spend there are only serving one function: Production and casino capitalism.

    If we should follow the logic presented by some in this OP – all cultural activities receiving funding from the stat or business life – should be under the control of theses donors.

    The Stat Afghanistan are receiving Billion of US$ per year for Building of Schools and Education – after 10 years nothing have happened – corruptions are eating all the money – and those which are left falling into the hands of Taliban –

    Conscious dissonans it not all way a matter of falling out of context – but lost perspective and perception.

  71. Anoymous, you didn’t bother watching the RSA video on what’s being argued here. I guess you’ll have to remain confused.

  72. Cults are huge CONS. Cults, like the “spiritual” Waldorf schools and their movement, how they trick you to join not knowing their cult-like behavior, because they claim an “art school” facade, and when one joins thinking it is an art school, has no idea the anthro-nonsense that they propagate! Cults take over your life- you have no idea you are joining something that takes over your life! Actually- parents deceive themselves into: “we spend more time with our children now that they are in Waldorf school, and as a family”- having no clue- that they joined a cult and it is taking over their lives!. This is why, when one realizes how one was bamboozled, tricked and mislead big time, many actually can become depressed, that is why there are groups that talk about surviving Waldorf! She says it so clearly starting at 3 minutes and 10 seconds! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6DfJVjEMlc

  73. You imagine cults are the greatest bugbear –and somehow that the politics are different from just about any other institution?
    Wow. That’s a relief! You only find this behaviour in Steiner education apparently.
    The entire world is cult —wake up and smell the coffee MCnip.

  74. Zorba, I was going to reply- but then on the second moment I decided not to, as your straw man is so huge that it will end up being bigger.

  75. Well, isn’t it interesting, that this page calls Kolk’s MPD, or multiple personality disorder, stuff junk science. The whole thing is one page, and it speaks for itself. The criticism is coming from the President of Michigan Association of Responsible Mental Health Practices, against junk science invading Psychiatry! http://www.stopbadtherapy.com/experts/junk.shtml

    Interesting: this sentence: “The van der Kolk program is sponsored by the Trauma and Dissociation Study Group of Southeast Michigan. The name sounds respectable, but these people specialize in the treatment of MPD, or multiple personality disorder. MPD adherents claim that the illness results from severe childhood trauma, especially torture by witches. ”

    But, this one is even better: “There is no secret to the body memory treatments employed by van der Kolk. Memories are not always stored in the brain, he wrote for the Harvard Review of Psychiatry in 1994; “the body keeps the score.”

    So, reading this, now it is clear to me, why some above Steinerists actually chose from Kolk’s work above, to further muddy the water. Is it possible, that since, Steinerists also believe, that ‘childhood trauma’ can fly through reincarnation- this piece of opinion from Kolk about “memories are not always stored in the brain” came really handy to explain their bullshit ‘adequately’. This junk, looks like “science” to the outside world of new parents – so it must be a wonderful to know, that waldorf has ‘evidence’…not!
    Enjoy!

    • Answering my in-box, McNP, it’s been months since the Van de Kolk exchange and here you are still fulminating! Because you don’t like his work, because it talks about a subject and experience you find distasteful. Well, it’s about trauma so it will trigger aversion in those whose own trauma is unhealed. That Churchill article you quote from is ignorant about Kolk’s work and its tone is rancouress , supercilious and fearful. Using it to try to rebut Van de Kolk’s work shows you are unfamiliar with it (which is ironic since you accused me of that above) and not interested in truth or science but in avoiding them. What you really want to do is keep your opinions intact and uncontaminated with facts, so you argue…

      • Actually, the Van de Kolk trauma book has been a good litmus test for showing how some on this blog go about fullfiling its mission of investigating and showing up quackery. Van de Kolk is a perfectly respectable, scientific researcher whose professional focus has been on the somewhat controversial topic of trauma and its healing. Instead of considering this work on it merits, scoffing, ridicule and denial have been levelled at it by MCNP. If that’s how a moderately controversial topic is handled here how much less chance is there of expecting open minded, objective investigation of the significantly more controversial work and legacy of Steiner?

  76. Hello Andrew!
    I am a dark skinned person… and I have very intelligent friends from india, ethiopia…
    who are familiar with R. Steiners discriptions on races . No one takes an offence, because the meaning is not racist and not wanting to supress the value of human beings! The meaning is informative.
    I d be quite interessted in discussing with you!
    Although I fear YOUR intolerance!
    Paula Studer, CH

    • “Some of my best friends” etc.

      Can I politely suggest you should take offence over overtly racist descriptions of people and be worried how people who accepts Steiner’s teachings might then treat people in different ways depending on their skin colour?

      This stuff is not hard. Assigning inate racial characteristics to people, intellectual or spiritual, is exactly what racism is. It does not matter one jot that Steiner believed it was because of his ‘love’ of people – this is paternalistic racism, as abhorrent as any other.

  77. A couple of new science articles about “traumatic childhood” and false memories. The “traumatic memories” of the ’90’s that was part of ‘psychobabble’ of the time, which is still alive in the pseudoscientific alternative, waldorf fields today, but also still in some ‘integrated psychotherapist’ , “integrated hypnotherapist” and other alternative pseudosciences of very interesting ‘professionals’ and their letters after their names.
    “Lead author Dr Ciara Green, a lecturer in the school of psychology at Dublin said: “Increasing scientific and public understanding of the causes of false memory is an important goal, particularly in light of some of the more negative consequences associated with the phenomenon, including …………and the controversies surrounding false memories of traumatic childhood events.” here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/08/24/why-experts-get-it-wrong-being-knowledgeable-about-a-subject-imp/

    “The work propelled Loftus into the heart of the 1990 “memory wars”, when scores of people who had gone into therapy with depression, eating disorders and other common psychological problems, came out believing they had recovered repressed memories for traumatic events, often involving childhood abuse.Loftus, now a professor of law and cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine, performed a series of experiments that showed how exposure to inaccurate information and leading questions could……. More controversially, she demonstrated how therapy and hypnosis could plant completely false childhood memories in patients. She went on to become an expert witness or consultant for hundreds of court cases.In the 1990s, thousands of repressed memory cases came to light, with affected patients taking legal action against family members, former neighbours, doctors, dentists and teachers. …. “Whenever you work in an area that challenges people’s wrongheaded, cherished beliefs, it can be difficult. But sometimes it can also be a matter of life and death.”” Here: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/nov/17/we-cant-let-the-bullies-win-elizabeth-loftus-awarded-2016-john-maddox-prize-false-memory

    This is exactly why, it is sooooo dangerous and immoral – that the waldorf/anthro Tom Dick and Harry’s- starts with the bs of reincarnation and “biography work” (specific to waldorf), where they take ‘reincarnated biography’ seriously (basically: hallucinated ‘previous life and its explanations’- as absolute truth in this life and so the blaming starts) and come up with some “waldorf/anthro expert explanations” that the trauma came with the child/person from previous years/life etc. The nonsense is utterly dumbfounding and extremely harmful, especially when they take this nonsense to a degree in a school, where they blame/characterize/classify a child or even kick out a child from the school- on the basis of this nonsense!
    AS these scientists have evidence of how tricky this “childhood trauma” is (even in this life), anyone in their right mind, can understand, what utter nonsense it is to lift this up to the third power of ‘reincarnated previous life experience/trauma/whatever”??? And as it was evident above, many Steinerist, start to add the brain into this already shaky and dangerous terrain of ‘childhood trauma’ ; but many of us who digged deep into this nonsensical movement, know that also into their “special/alternative education” of how they characterize/classify children (teachers ‘diagnose’ (!) children into: small headed vs. big headed, slim vs obese; celestial vs earthly; imagination poor vs imagination rich; ego-penetrated or soul-penetrated; how the karma of encounter characterizes them etc etc) or the Camphill movements for example- where people simply died, because they did not get the proper care, as they were blamed into “the sickness is their fault” by an “expert biography anthroposophist doctor” and got mortified, stigmatized, excluded and afflicted with this nonsense!

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