Steiner (or Waldorf, or Steiner-Waldorf) Education seems to arouse strong feelings amongst those who've encountered it. Amongst proponents, including parents and teachers, and in media articles, it's often portrayed in uncritically glowing terms. On the other hand it has acquired quite vocal detractors amongst some disaffected former parents and pupils, and some in the "skeptic" and humanist movements.
As a skeptical atheist whose two children have been (one is still) educated at a Steiner school I don't share either of these positions and I am frustrated by what I see as wrong-headed arguments on all sides. I am attempting to discuss it in more balanced and factual terms here:
Wikipedia article on Waldorf Education
This article has been fought over between pro- and anti-Steiner factions over the years, as can been seen from the article's
history pages and especially the page documenting
Wikipedia's arbitration process regarding the article which gives an indication of the strongly polarised opinions of – and sometimes abusive interactions between – contributors to this article.
As a result of this struggle the content of the article is backed by (currently) over 100 references. I think in some places clarity of communication has been sacrificed to the necessity to back up statements with sources acceptable to Wikipedia. That partisans of both sides still complain that the article is biased and manipulated by their opponents suggests that it at least achieves some sort of balance!
There are also Wikipedia articles on the history of Steiner-Waldorf schools, on
studies of Steiner education and on its
Disclaimer: I have made minor
to the main Wikipedia article (although my main contribution has now been moved to the new
Wikipedia also has an article on Anthroposophy
but this more succinct version
(from everything.explained.at) may be an easier read for an overview of Steiner's ideas.
Daisy Powell, whilst a student on Plymouth University's Steiner Teacher Training course, contacted both supporters and opponents of Steiner Education soliciting their views for her dissertation "Can the Steiner Waldorf schools movement break out of its niche by engaging with its critics?", in which she discusses many of the charges levelled against Steiner-Waldorf education and responses to them.
Comments? please email me.