‘The misconceptions conveyed in the article about Steiner Free Schools need correcting. The suggestion that Steiner schools `dismiss` Darwin is absurd. The best way to celebrate the genius of Darwin or any other scientific thinker is to engage with his ideas and to place them in context. This is what good school do and it is what Steiner schools do. Contrary to the views of David Colquhoun and Edzard Ernst, Steiner schools are strongly pro-science. They are also pro-enquiry and pro-academic rigour. Young people today face the threat of having science-as-orthodoxy, what Sheldrake would call `scientism`, thrust upon them as a creed that may not be questioned. Our young people must be encouraged and equipped to question everything, including orthodoxy, just as Darwin did.’ [Emphasis added.]
Encouraged and equipped to question everything — except the eurythmy teacher?
And except all the other things Steiner waldorf schools don’t wish to see questioned? And with an exception made, of course, for all those things inquisitive children ask before they realise that their questions are systematically evaded by the teachers, as the children, according to anthroposophical dogma, are not yet spiritually mature enough to know more? (Can anyone find a more efficient way of eventually extinguishing a child’s desire to ask questions about anything?)
How, exactly, may I ask, are Steiner schools encouraging and equipping students to question everything? With a solid foundation of knowledge? With superior literacy and numeracy? There’s no point in questioning — even if the claim that they’re equipped to question were true — if you have no basis to stand on and no tools to utilize. Then all you end up with is mindless and unfounded contradiction and spite. Something, I’m sure, most children, and even more so teenagers, can master without assistance of an ‘education’. That Steiner schools are ‘pro-academic rigour’ seems like qualified nonsense in general.
As Melanie pointed out on Twitter, it’s funny how they’re referring to Rupert Sheldrake in their effort to prove their scientific sanity. He’s doing ‘science’ on the psychic powers of dogs, among other things. Good thing for him that he’s not met mr Dog, because mr Dog would read his mind instantly (and might possibly find it suspiciously vacated? only Dog knows…).
In case somebody missed it, SWSF’s reply came in response to this TES article.