Tory Michael Gove offers support for controversial school programme


2:25 am - November 10th 2009

by Unity    


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Since my last article on Steiner-Waldorf education in which I argued, that pseudoscience is not a valid educational choice, things have moved on somewhat.

In the last week or so Plymouth University has discontinued both its BA and Foundation degree courses in Steiner education, the only such courses in the UK.

Unlike Stockholm University, which took the same decision after concluding that the course literature contained ‘too much myth and too little fact’, Plymouth University have decided to axe their course due to poor recruitment and retention of students, although it is looking at incorporating a Steiner option into its existing BA course in Education Studies. They blame the government’s decision to withdraw funding for second degrees for the demise of these course. The excellent UK Anthroposophy blog has a rather more prosaic take.

Despite this obvious setback, the Steiner-Waldorf Schools Fellowship is pressing ahead with its efforts to get its nose into the state-funding trough by arranging a ‘special pre-election seminar about possible developments in the state funding opportunity for Steiner schools’. This will take place on the 17th November 2009 at the Charity Centre in Euston.

And if you haven’t already guessed the ‘possible developments in state funding opportunity‘ are those already indicated by Tory Shadow Education Minister, Michael Gove:

Under the Tory proposals, new schools entering the state system would be free from the constraints of the statutory national curriculum.

Mr Gove believes many parents think the particular teaching styles “and atmosphere of the environment” at Montessori and Steiner schools would suit them and their children.

This event has, to say the least, an interesting line-up of guest speakers.

Leading the way on an session entitled ‘If the Conservatives win the election…‘ will be Rachel Wolf, Director of the newly-formed ‘New Schools Network think-tank/charoty, who will be presenting proposals for the state funding of Steiner Schools.

Before founding the New Schools Network, Wolf  was an ‘education advisor to the Conservative Party‘, although her biography omits to mention that she specifically worked for Michael Gove, having previously worked for Boris Johnson as a research assistant.

Of the organisation’s nine listed trustees and advisers, six have a direct interest in diferrent elements of the government’s existing academies programme. Four – Sir Bruce Liddington (EACT) , Baroness Sally Morgan, Amanda Spielman (Both ARK Schools) and Christine Homer (David Ross Foundation/Havelock Academy) – are directly involved in organisations that are operating/opening academy schools. Spielman and Homer are both trustees of the New School Network, Liddington and Morgan are listed as advisers.

Wolf’s presentation will be followed by Sam Freedman, who’ll be answering questions about future Tory schools policy. Freedman is a Conservative Party Special Advisor (to Michael Gove – i.e. doing Wolf’s old job), having previously been the head of Policy Exchange’s education unit until earlier this year. Not uncoincidentally, Theodore Agnew, another of the New Schools Network’s trustees, is also a trustee of Policy Exchange, as indeed was Michael Gove until he was promoted into the Shadow Cabinet.

Finally, Emma Craigie will be leading a discussion ‘about our perception of the benefits and concerns implied by these proposals‘.

Emma Craigie is, of course, the eldest daughter of William Rees-Mogg, who sits in the House of Lords as a cross-bencher having once stood for election as a Tory candidate in 1956. Craigie was an early and enthusiastic supporter of the Steiner-Waldorf school in Bruton, Somerset, sending all her four children to the school, which her youngest still attends.

Her brother, Jacob Rees-Mogg has previously contested the seat of Central Fife (1997) and The Wrekin (2001) as a Tory, losing on both occasions, and will be contesting the newly-created seat of North East Somerset at the next election.

As for Craigie’s younger sister, Annunziata (gezundheit) Rees-Mogg, she will also be standing as a Tory candidate in the next general election, in the Somerton and Frome constituency in which the Briton Steiner school that Craigie supports is situated.

With friends like these, plus the occasional, carefully stage-managed Shadow Ministerial visit, its hardly surprising that the Steiner-Waldorf Schools Fellowship are getting what looks for all the world to be a free pass into the state-funded education system from the Tories, who seem to be remarkably incurious as to the background and beliefs of the occult society lurking behind these schools, the Anthroposophical Society.

What will the Tories be funding?

I covered some of that background in my previous article, since which time I’ve been forwarded a copy of the actual reading list (pdf) given to students taking the BA course in Steiner Education at Plymouth University – books listed on a blue background are specialist Anthroposophical/Steiner texts.

This affords us a chance to look at the kind of material that’s being used in the training of Steiner teachers and learn a little more about how Steiner schools operate.

The reading list includes relatively few credible mainstream texts relatively to the weight of Steiner-specific material on the list.

As regards science, there is not one mainstream science text on then reading list, unless you count Gray’s anatomy, while the final year ‘Philosophy and Anthroposophy’ module is, but for E O Wilson’s book ‘Consilience‘ based entirely on Goethe and works promoting ‘Gothean Science’.

It’s also very noticeable, when it comes to the modules on ‘School Experience’ that while most of the recommended texts are mainstream texts (i.e. not written by Anthroposophists) especially in the first year of the course, all of these texts share one common feature: they are all highly critical of mainstream education. Those modules are so unbalanced in their view of mainstream education that they amount at best to propaganda and at worst to outright indoctrination.

One book that does make the reading list for the course is Steiner’s own ‘Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its attainment’ in which students will be introduced to Steiner’s views on race and reincarnation:

A race or a nation stands so much the higher, the more perfectly its members express the pure, ideal human type, the further they have worked their way from the physical and perishable to the supersensible and imperishable. The evolution of man through the incarnations in ever higher national and racial forms is thus a process of liberation.

And if you’ve any doubts as to what constitutes one of the ‘higher national and racial forms’ then Steiner had this to say in ‘Die geistigen Hintergründe des Ersten Weltkrieges’ (The Spiritual Background of World War I):

People have white skin colour because the spirit works within the skin when it wants to descend to the physical plane…but where the spirit is held back, where it takes on a demonic character and does not fully penetrate the flesh, then white skin colour does not appear.

In theory, students on the Steiner Education course could be encouraged to critique that passage from ‘Knowledge of the Higher Worlds’ and reach the conclusion that Steiner got it wrong, that his views on race do not stand up in light of what we now understand about ‘racial science’ much as today’s Darwinians are happy to acknowledge the that Galton, the Eugenics movement and the Social Darwinists were wrong in their racial and social interpretations of Darwinian evolutionary theory. That assumes, however, that the Steiner movement is prepared to admit that Steiner’s was wrong, raising awkward questions as to what else he might also have got wrong.

On the same reading list we find Robert Trostli’s ‘Physics is Fun’, a sourcebook for Steiner teachers that has this to say about the ‘Task of the Teacher’ in Steiner education:

The curriculum of the Waldorf school prepares students to receive the pictures of the Angels. Which subjects help students develop the impulse of brotherhood? Which subjects help them develop a sense of what the human being really is? Geography and the foreign languages. Which subjects help students develop a sense for the hidden divinity within each human being? History and literature. Which subjects help students develop the ability to reach the Spirit through thinking? Science and mathematics.”

Why this matters

Apologists for Steiner education routinely argue that anthroposophy is not taught to children in Steiner schools. This is true only in a very limited sense. The connection between anthroposophy and Steiner education’s curriculum/teaching methods is not made explicit to either the children or, for the most part, their parents, all of whom are actively discouraged from asking questions about anthroposophy unless they already committed anthroposophists.

That’s official line but, as Trostli’s reference to the curriculum preparing students ‘to receive the picture of the Angels‘, that’s not what happens in practice – the ‘picture of the Angels’ is a poetic and highly euphemistic reference to the anthroposophical belief that:

[A]ngels – the spirits closest to human beings – are seeking to create images in human astral bodies. These images are given with the intention of bringing about ‘definite conditions in the social life of the future’ related to brotherhood, religious freedom, and conscious spirituality…

If… humanity sleeps though the angels’ spiritual revelation, the consequences will be dire, and aberrations connected to sexuality, the misuse of medicine, and the misapplication of mechanical forces will begin to manifest.

Publisher’s blurb for Steiner’s ‘The Work of the Angel in our Astral Body’

Anthroposophy may not be explicitly taught in Steiner schools, but much, if not most, of what is taught aims to prepare students to receive those beliefs. In this there are marked similarities between approaches used by the Anthroposophical movement and those of Scientology, which uses personality testing and self-improvement ‘courses’ (rather than schools) as a means of drawing in the suckers while very carefully keeping all the bat-shit stuff about Xenu and Thetans well in the background until their chosen marks are firmly on the hook.

Also on the Plymouth reading list is William Pelikan’s ‘The Secrets of Metals’, for which part of the publishers blurb reads as follows:

In The Secrets of Metals, Wilhelm Pelikan—in the light of spiritual science—discusses the significance of the classic “seven metals” and their importance for humankind as well as for nature as a whole and the Earth. He also discusses the “newer” metals as well as the virtually unknown “radiation effects of metals”—the effects of which Rudolf Steiner used therapeutically.

As you may well have already guessed, the reason that these ‘radiation effects of metals’ are virtually unknown is because they don’t exist.

Even without the closure of Plymouth’s BA and Foundation degrees in Steiner Education – and its worth remembering that the entry standard for the BA was a mere 2 E’s at A level, it remains the case that a majority of teachers working in Steiner schools in the UK do not have a recognised teaching qualification.

As for the question of how any mainstream political party could give serious consideration to funding these schools from taxation, what we we know to date suggests that a pathological hatred of state education and a hefty dose of political nepotism seems to be enough to swing things in the Steiner movement’s favour.

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About the author
'Unity' is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He also blogs at Ministry of Truth.
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Reader comments


“Under the Tory proposals, new schools entering the state system would be free from the constraints of the statutory national curriculum.”

You are absolutely right to be concerned at this new and alarming twist in Conservative policy for schools.

It will give free rein to all sorts of fads and cults. How long will it be before we have not only Creationist schools but Scientology schools, Shaman schools and Hogwarts Academies?

One of the great innovations of the Thatcher governments – credit where it is due – was Kenneth Baker’s introduction of a national curriculum in 1988 to address the mounting evidence of failing standards of schooling.

Gove must go.

The National Curriculum has done very little for schools since its inception and it has also become a needless politicised mess as well, giving far too many levers to central government. With that in mind, I still find this Steiner situation very worrying.

I am certainly not in favour of allowing religious groups to set up schools and teach what they like – with or without state funding. But supposing there is a national curriculum which all religious schools must respect, can someone explain why giving public money to Steiner schools is any different from public funding for Anglican, RC, Jewish or Muslim schools?

My worry about this post is that rests a lot on the word ‘cult’. This is a highly questionable word – one that all too easily gets used to dismiss the claims of newer religious groups compared to the older and more established ones. I think any liberal discourse on this topic has to be very, very wary of using the word.

To be related to one unimportant Tory PPC is suspicious; to be related to two unimportant Tory PPCs is clearly proof of a far-right conspiracy to brainwash our kids.

What I find disgraceful is that speakers at a conference called ‘If the Conservatives win the election…‘ are openly Conservative. How dare they? One is even related to other conservatives!

Tim J:

All of which rather misses the point that both the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship and the New Schools Network are registered charities and therefore not permitted to serve the interests of a political party, Conservative or otherwise.

Not to mention, of course, the point that it appears to be Conservative Party policy to hand over taxpayers money to a bunch of occultist fucknuts.

Still, if Tory MPs can spend taxpayer’s money on Astrology software…

@2: “The National Curriculum has done very little for schools since its inception”

The situation before the National Curriculum was a complete mess and there is evidence that achievement standards have improved since its introduction.

Of course, one of the many problems with the National Curriculum has been the recurring tendency of successive governments to shovel more and more into it until it is now widely regarded as overcrowded.

Despite that, only a few weeks back Gove himself was suggesting that schools should be required to teach a highly selective version of British history – which curiously omitted the factory acts, the later part of the industrial revolution (presumably because there was increasing state intervention), the failing attainment and reach of schooling provided by charities and the churches, and, of course, the opium wars, least anyone imagine a British government would commit troops to wars in China to promote the right of British traders based in Hong Kong to sell opium to the Chinese to spread addiction.

This academic research relating to the early 19th century hardly bolsters a case for governments remaining aloof from intervention in schooling:

“We have noted a substantial body of original research . . . which found that stagnant or declining literacy underlay the ‘revolution’ of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. . . Britain in 1850 was the wealthiest country in the world but only in the second rank as regards literacy levels. [Nick] Crafts has shown that in 1870 when Britain was world economic leader, its school enrolment ratio was only 0.168 compared with the European norm of 0.514 and ‘Britain persistently had a relatively low rate of accumulation of human capital’.”
Sanderson: Education, economic change and society in 1780-1870 (Cambridge UP, 1995) p.61

Gove doesn’t seem to me to be particularly well-informed for a shadow eduction minister.

6 – Given the judgements of the Charity Commission wrt both the Smith Institute and Policy Exchange it is ringingly clear that substantially more party political activity than inviting Tories to speak at a conference about what the Tories might do in Government would be needed to breach rules on party political activity – the Smith Institute remember hosted a conference not on Labour policy, but how Labour could most effectively beat the Tories, and it was determined that their party political problem was only one of perception.

[Note - this is not whataboutery, which is an increasingly irritating charge. This is argument by analogy.]

And of those speakers, one used to work for the Tories – but no longer does. One does work for the Tories and is answering questions about what Tory policy is, and one is related to Tories, though is obviously there because she’s a fan of Steiner schools, and not because her brother takes his nanny campaigning.

On the reading list, books published by anthroposophic publishers or written by anthroposophic authors are marked in blue colour. A few more books should, in my estimation, be marked blue:

– on page 2. Two books (by Edelglass and Bortoft) are anthroposophic. Lindisfarne press is an anthroposophic publisher:

“An imprint of SteinerBooks, Lindisfarne Books publishes a unique range of titles dedicated to transforming the pursuit of knowledge and recovering the sacred in our culture and personal lives.”

http://www.steinerbooks.org/p.php?id=12

– on page 4, a book by Holtzapfe, published by Lanthorn press. Most likely anthroposophic.

– on page 5, a book published by Floris press isn’t marked blue (DiCarlo: Towards a new worldview). It should be. Floris is definitely an anthroposophic publisher.

This isn’t immensely important — but it shows that the steiner reading list is even more anthroposophic. It is to an astonishing degree based on anthroposophic and steiner material.

Well Bob, those stats aren’t all that surprising since up until shortly before then, the government had been trying to repress literacy rather than encourage it. They were worried about all that subversive literature and so whacked massive stamp duties on newspapers etc..

And as I said before, school enrolment is not equivalent to “an education”, as the substantial number of home schooled children today attest.

@11: “And as I said before, school enrolment is not equivalent to ‘an education’, as the substantial number of home schooled children today attest.”

Of course, home schooling will achieve wonders with this:

“Up to 12 million working UK adults have the literacy skills expected of a primary school child, the Public Accounts Committee says. . . The report says there are up 12 million people holding down jobs with literacy skills and up to 16 million with numeracy skills at the level expected of children leaving primary school.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4642396.stm

“A £2bn scheme to improve basic skills among adults has been called a ‘depressing failure’ by education inspectors.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4506410.stm

Hard academic research reported that by the mid 1970s, half of Britain’s adult education had no education qualifications at all. That was the legacy of successive governments – by 1979, the time in government since WW2 by the Conservative and Labour Parties was almost the same.

By the mid 1990s, the percentage of the adult population without any qualifications had dropped to about a quarter.

@12: “this is quite an interesting response to Sanderson”

No it is not – that “response” was published in 1978.

The much esteemed research of Nick Crafts on the industrial revolution and its aftermath was published later. Sanderson’s still later research was synoptic by intent and commissioned by the Economic History Society. We can be pretty sure that it was extensively peer reviewed.

The government’s recognition by 1870 of failing schooling provision by charities and the churches led to Forster’s Education Act:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elementary_Education_Act_1870

Better to have failed O levels than to have scraped a pass on a fair few GCSEs and GNVQs. You can’t compare apples with oranges like that. But you aren’t going to see any argument from me that we are not better educated than in the past. I am sure we are. But we are also a lot richer, and there is a lot more demand for jobs that require qualifications, so I am not convinced it is down to any specific government policy.

If you are saying that it is legitimate for the state to fund schools with agendas based on non- scientific principles, it is not reasonable to pick and choose your cults.

Even when a cult teaches misogyny, homophobia and the evils of dance and cricket.

“Better to have failed O levels than to have scraped a pass on a fair few GCSEs and GNVQs.”

I agree that GCSE standards are unsatisfactory. More importantly, so does my son who had a string of straight As but then he went to the maintained grammar school down the road where the average score of the candidates for A-levels is better than at Eton.

But none of that establishes a case for scrapping a national curriculum and tackling the perennial problem of failing schools.

1. Bob b . Good points on education. Since 1850 Britain has lagged behind other countries in developing new industries
1850 Chemicals – Germany
1890 Electrical – USA
1910 Factories/mass production- USA
1945 Plastics – Germany, USA
1960- Consumer electronics based on transistors and chips- Japan/USA
1980/1990s- Computers and internet- USA

In each industrial evolution Britain may have had a few technical pioneers , but lack a sufficiently large educated workforce to support the new industries.
The Royal College of Science ( part of Imperial ) was created in order to educate scientists for industry and some of the professors were German. The inability of Britain to compete effectively in these new industries led to Germany, USA and Japan catching up and then passing Britain’s industrial capacity.

There is also the cultral bias of most public schools against teaching science and in particular, training people for a career in technology. In 1900 , there were 29 classics and only one science master at Eton. If a pubic school did take mathematics seriously, such as Winchester, then one should not enter trade but remain a gentleman undertaking pure research . The comments along the lines ” Oh he is in trade ” could still be heard in the 1980s.

Most scientists and engineers came from grammar schools, a few public schools which did have connections with industry( Bromsgrove, Malvern, etc) or worked there way up from the shop floor using night schools . Northcote Parkinson, the historian has written several witty books, commenting on the failure of most public schools and universities to train technically educated industrialists, politicians and civil servants. We have civil service who consider having someone with a first in Classics running the department of transport rather than a chartered engineer as being eminently sensible!

It would appear that most people in running education in this country have no industrial and technical experience and therefore do not understand the knowledge and skills required for people working in this sector . Historically , Germany always educated a person for the level above which they were employed. Hence , Germay has produced a large technically advanced industry and armed forces over the last 160 years.

The problem is that in many former industrial areas, the pupils want practical classes to which they can relate. Many working class boys see no connection between what they are taught at school and the technical skills they need to obtain secure well paid employment in industry. Perhaps it is time to ask the opinions of craft trained foremen from such companes as Rolls Royce and the various F1 teams as what sort of education pupils need to receive, in order to obtain employment with their companies.

Bobb. Your quote from Orwell is very relevant on this issue.

Perhaps it is time we look at the scientific and technical education offered in Germany and Japan and just copy them!

@18: “Northcote Parkinson, the historian has written several witty books, commenting on the failure of most public schools and universities to train technically educated industrialists, politicians and civil servants. We have civil service who consider having someone with a first in Classics running the department of transport rather than a chartered engineer as being eminently sensible!”

Thanks for your support, Charlie2.

I mostly agree. It was symptomatic of English attitudes to education that by 1800, England and Wales had two universities while Scotland had four. A principal function of the two English universities was to train students for the clergy, not so in Scotland which is how Edinburgh and Glasgow universities became famed for their medical schools.

Since WW2, we have lamentably failed to provide for good technical vocational schooling and training opportunities, especially so compared with west Germany but even compared with France. The university picture is more complicated.

The fact is that universities have had recurring difficulty in attracting quality candidates for engineering and technology degrees – the same A-level subjects are needed for a place to read for a physics degree as to read for an engineering degree. What happens in Britain is that students with the necessary strong A-levels tend to opt for physics – or astronomy or maths – rather than engineering.

The old DTI looked into this in the early 1990s when Heseltine was minister. What was uncovered in a comparison with Japan is that the percentage of science + engineering degrees among graduates was virtually the same in both Britain and Japan. But the percentage of engineering degrees in Japan was much higher while the percentage of science degrees in Britain was much higher.

About 10 years back I became embroiled in an online debate with a lady about schooling. One of her main complaints was that schools taught unnecessary subjects like trigonometry – I’ve even had that said to me recently.

Now there is absolutely no prospect of doing an engineering degree or taking vocational qualifications in a range of technical subjects without trig. Trig is needed for producing the transformations in video games, in which Britain has a comparative advantage in trade. Trig is also needed for surveying.

An interesting new trend:

“WOMEN university students now outnumber men across all subject areas, from engineering to medicine and law to physical sciences.”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2356965.html

Btw the boys school down the road puts an emphasis on science subjects in its curriculum. Girls from neighbouring schools join its 6th form.

20. Stuart White

Unity: since you haven’t yet responded to my question at 3 (so far as I can see), I am going to ask it again: Can you explain what the difference is between state funding of a Steiner school and state funding of a school affiluated to an established, ‘mainstream’ religion?

If you are opposed in principle to state funding of schools with a religious affiliation and agenda, then of course I understand why you would be opposed also to funding for Steiner schools.

But your language of cultism/occultism – as opposed to ‘religion’ – clearly suggests you think there is something distinctively dodgy about state funding of Steiner schools compared to, say, Anglican or RC schools.

But if that’s your position, then I worry about how liberal your position really is. ‘Cult’ is a word all too easily used by the powerful to deny equal standing to the less familiar/ more marginal religious group. For this reason, liberals should be very careful about its use (which is not to say its use is never justified).

I’m not sure you – or some of the commentators on this thread – are taking the requisite care.

21. Ken McKenzie

Loathe though I am to engage in a discussion about graduate education, here goes, since its’ come up.

In short, we have quite a lot of engineering postgrads because the real financial rewards in the UK are at MEng level, but not many PhDs because

a) we don’t really need them for industry
b) the relatively low pay levels for academia compared to industry making that extra few years training not very good in terms of financial returns.

In the UK engineering is a special case and should not be used to illustrate the UK HE system as a whole.

Oh, and Bob, that Times piece is not actually true, although it is broadly correct. There are a number of study areas, most notably the physical sciences and engineering, where men still outnumber women (directly contradicting the Times) – but overall there are more women doing undergrad qualifications than men.

More men doing PhDs though.

Stuart – would one way to make the distinction be that remarkably few individuals and families acclaim this anthroposophy and it looks like even many of those sending their children to Steiner schools know very little about it. The same cannot be said of the vast majority of Muslim, Christian and Jewish schools (though a handful of closed off madrassas might have similar problems). It is the fact that the belief system is not endogenous to any local community that is the problem. In practice, this will mean that children might end up gaining a Stainer education not because their parents particularly approve of it, but because of a handful of educators with connections to the Tories do so.

This isn’t fulfilling a community demand for a faith education, but is coming close to imposing it on communities where these schools will be opened and presumably, for some pupils, one of just a few other options going.

Plus you have the very odd racial undertones to the teaching which I don’t think would be considered acceptable in any faith school.

23. Stuart White

Nick: thanks for your helpful comment. I’m still not sure, however, that your comments completely knock down the case for state funding for a Steiner school (given that other religions get state funding).

I should say that I know next to nothing about the Steiner belief system. If it has a racist element then I would regard that as something that ought not to be taught in a school and which certainly shouldn’t get public subsidy.

I also accept that parents shouldn’t be in the position of having little choice but to send their children to a school with a given religious affiliation – whatever that affiliation is. So if public subsidy for Steiner schools had this effect, I would oppose the subsidy.

But insofar as there are Steiner parents who want a school that reflects their values, then – assuming the values are non-racist – I think they have as much right to public subsidy as any other religious group, subject to the same conditions and qualifications.

Above all, I want to sound a cautionary note about the language of ‘cults’. While I don’t think the term is useless, I think it is overused. Yes, strange, unfamilar religious groups can have ideas and/or practices that we think questionable. But ditto for the more familiar ones. The discourse of ‘cultism’ all too easily supports unfair double standards in treating people of different faiths (as in ‘you can have this right or subsidy because you are a ‘religion’, but you can’t because you’re a ‘cult”). A self-described liberal blog site ought to show a bit more circumspection in its use of the term.

To be honest most Steiner parents are not aware of the darker side of the Steiner philosophy, they tend to think they are getting a lovely, natural, small school experience for their kids.

Raising awareness about the irrational and downright distasteful side of Steiner has got to be a good thing. I wouldn’t send my kids to such a school though I suspect that in practice they are not all that Unity paints here .

Parents should make informed decisions about their children’s education and be free to do so.

I agree that state funding of such schools is daft, maybe though it’s a way to bring them into line. He who pays the piper plays the tune after all. I’m almost surprised Mr Balls hasn’t thought of it.

Excellent article Unity and a very important one too.

Elizabeth, sadly the idea of bringing the Steiner Waldorf or to be more precise the educational wing of Anthroposophy in to line is a noble idea but the movement has recently been granted EYFS exemptions, so are free to continue applying this potentially very dangerous philosophy onto little children under the guise of ‘saving childhood’.

http://www.savesteinerschools.org/

http://www.savesteinerschools.org/wp-content/uploads/file/SoS%20Decision%20-%20annex%20A%20table.pdf

26. Maura Kwaten

Unity,brilliant article,I hope it will travel far and wide…

I recently took my daughter out of the Steiner school in Kings Langley.She suffered racism there (she is mixed race) that we felt the school did not deal with.

Personally I don’t think it matters if you call it a cult or not,it is what it is.We were told the school was ‘broadly Christian’,I would say its not,Christians don’t believe in reincarnation.Christian schools don’t have rules about learning to read and write which are based on the readiness of the childs soul.They don’t have a belief that children are not ready to have their own opinion till age fourteen.

With a Catholic/muslim/Jewish school you know what you are getting into.

Do you think we would have sent our mixed race daughter to a school where teachers learn that humanity reincarnates through the races?
I feel the schools are deliberately misleading.When we left the school we asked that a full statement regarding the racism in Steiner’s work be added to the school prospectus so parents could make an informed choice.We also asked that Anthroposophy be explained,that the schools were there to help the children reincarnate well ( It hasn’t been added ). I believe all Steiner schools need this to be stated in their prospectus’s.

The University of Plymouth told our lawyer that the course was closed due to lack of interest.The teacher training course is also closed at Emerson College,as is the Anthroposophy Course.

Why would the Government fund these schools when there aren’t even people wanting to teach at them ? And State funding schools where teachers don’t even need GCSE’s !

The movement has to accept the internet is here,information is out there about the education,about Anthroposophy,most regular people think it ‘weird’ at best ,many see it as vile and racist .Can they throw out the racism,I don’t see how,its not a ‘few racist phrases’ as stated in the disclaimer we were handed as we left the school it is the basis of a belief system apparently we reincarnate,lighter and lighter until we are are raceless,sexless beings who will procreate through the larynx…if humanity does not follow Anthrposophy it will fall into the abyss.

Is that what Christians believe ?
These things may not be taught to the kids,but the fact that the teaching methods are apparently there to help the childrens souls would shock may prospective parents.

There are many well meaning and kind people at these schools but we left feeling cheated,confused and hurt.

It is vital the Conservative Government have a full understanding of what the education is about,I don’t think they have a clue which is understandable as nor did we,it took a lot of digging around and many hours of reading Steiner books ordered from Amazon or read at the Steiner online library…

Thanks again for this..

I have a lot of quotes from the books on the teachers reading list if you want me to post a few,you get quite a good understanding of what they have to learn.

Peace, Maura.

27. Stuart White

Thanks for sharing your experience, Maura.

I wanted to point out that the title of this post has been changed from its original. Originally, the title referred to the Tories supporting a ‘cultish’ school programme. Hence my comments on the word ‘cult’ at 3 above and later in the thread. The title now refers to a ‘controversial’ school programme. So my criticism of the article’s tonality has been met.

Great comment Maura.

Now that Unity has researched Steiner education and its relationship to anthroposophy, lack of awareness can no longer be a get-out clause for policy makers. I don’t know how useful it is to call anthroposophy a cult but it is certainly occult: in other words saturated with the supernatural. It’s no crime to be interested in the occult and if you’re fascinated by early 20th century esoteric societies, good luck to you. But anthroposophy is an integral part of Steiner education, it IS Steiner education. Funding would not change that, it hasn’t changed it in Sweden. Similar stories of alarmed and disappointed families are told on forums in every country where there are Steiner schools and it is folly to ignore this, or to suggest that because state education can also fail families it’s worth the risk of funding this plausible but deeply flawed alternative education system.

I’ve had children in Steiner schools and (since that’s the nature of provision here) in a Church of England school. I’m not a fan of faith-based education but at least in the latter case there were no surprises in the very mild form of religion that informs the school. Even though, unusually for a parent I knew that anthroposophy was a prominent feature of our Steiner schools, I didn’t take that fact seriously. I believed that it was ‘optional’ or incidental and that the schools were really about creativity etc.. in the way they like to present themselves, more or less unchallenged until now in the UK. I should have taken it seriously, as the Tories must now. Anthroposophy is irrational, unscientific fantasy; a historical curiosity interesting to its adherents but potentially harmful to vulnerable children.

Another wonderfully researched article from Unity.

Following 2½ years parental experience at a Steiner school we started to look more deeply at SteinerWaldorf – thank Googleness – and we began to realise that weird belief systems underpinned the powerful, worldwide Steiner edifice. In this country, hardcore Anthroposophists will go to great, and clandestine, lengths to preserve their financial powerbase; whilst they seek to extend their remit within the mainstream educational system with more and more publicly-funded Steiner schools – and they won’t go quietly.
(£16 million of OUR cash went to fund the Hereford Steiner school on the back of Glenys Woods’s Report to Oftsed. Oh, should I mention that dear Glenys is an angelic reiki healer….no, better not)

So….Davey Cameron and his blue stockings intend to brown-nose up to the Steineristas yet they seem to know nothing – except what the Rees-Moggs tell them. Has any Tory ever spent ever spent any quality (not the right word) time at a Steiner school? The teaching is poor (often by unqualified ‘teachers’ who have no concept of basic education tenets), copying from the board is mandaTory, the art is putrid/karmic, discipline is karmic, bullying is allowed as it’s karmic. Karma is karmic!

As for ‘informed decisions’, as Elizabeth wrote, parents cannot make a rational ‘informed decision’ from Steiner teachers as they obfuscate and lie or say it’s very complex.
As for the difference between ‘conventional’ faith schools and Steiner schools, I guess you more-or-less know what fantasy you’re engaging with in faith schools. With Steiner schools, they don’t advertise themselves as a faith or religious school – they are designated as a ‘spiritual science’.

As for the comparison with Scientology, which is reasonable, Steiner schooling is worse – there are far more Steiner schools worldwide than Scientology schools and they are supersubtle at entrapping parents and then gradually indoctrinating the children. With Steiner schools it’s not important what they tell you but what they DON’T tell you.
And what really exacerbates the paradox with Steiner schooling is that, unlike all other educational systems here, there is no regulation. Or rather…there is self-regulation by the Steineristas. Ofsted are regularly hoodwinked and Steiner schools are expert at covering over serious issues.
And so Steiner schools flourish and give off their warm-fuzzy aura; meanhwile, there are thousands of people, and eventually their post-pubertal children, who not only believe this bollocks but go on to teach and inspire this bollocks.
As Ron Hubbard once put it so succinctly, “The best way to control people is to lie to them”.

There are a number of important points spinning off Unity’s piece:
Some knobs at Tory HQ need to acquaint themselves with the underlying philosophies of Steiner education preferably before Sam Freedman gets his blue arse rammed by a Steiner angel next Tuesday.

Some distressed ex-Steiner parents – invariably a literal handful of mothers – continue to recount their stories online despite recurrent intimidation, legal threats and deleted postings; they have been immensely brave putting their heads above the parapet. Many incidents of physical, racial and psychological abuse have been collated. And the Anthros conceal most of this by sweeping their squalid secrets under their astral carpets; so….
…… it’s about bloody time that some heavy hitter – Dawkins, Grayling, Toynbee – took on this cause and exposed the cult in the national (educational) press.

Notwithstanding the cancellation of the lunatic Plymouth Gnostic Gnome course – the FULL story may eventually come out – and other Steiner schools closing their teacher-training courses, the Steineristas will slither back again with their crooked smiles and slavery tongues and cosy up to Government bodies. The Steiner Anthros have a great deal to lose.

Steiner is not warm and fuzzy – it is a squalid travesty of a fuckwittery educational system of the very highest order.
And….it is delusional, decetiful and incredibly dangerous.

Thanks for an interesting, passionate and well-written article,
Dave,

In the article, you argue about Steiner’s views on “race” and quote
from one of a series of articles he wrote (June 1904 to September 1905)
to support your argumentation, more specifically an article he wrote Aug.
27 1905
.

In the same journal he also, parallel to the articles, that later were
republished as “Knowledge
of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment
“, published a number of articles
(July 1904 – May 1908), later republished as “Cosmic Memory, Prehistory of Earth and Man“, that are a sort of comments on the “Secret Doctrine” by Blavatsky from Steiner’s point of view. This is the context of the comment on “higher” “racial forms” that you quote.

Looking closer at the comments by Steiner, it shows that “race” as used
in the context does not refer to its more common use later, during the
20th century (“five main varietes of mankind”, rooted in the views of Blumenbach
in 1795), but to two other meanings.

One of them refers to humanity during the stages in the development
of our solar system in Steiner’s view, in Theosophy referred to with the
strange term “root races” (for more on this see here).
The other refers to the human forms that developed during “Atlantean time”,
that the late Steiner (Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner, September
26, 1919) in the main identified with Tertiary and Quaternary up to the
end if Pleistocen. For more on this, see “>here.

While Steiner’s view may stand out as far out – that humankind existed
in different forms not only during the whole of the Cenozoic time (partly
reflected in the fossils of primates from the beginning to the end of the
period), but also, in spiritual form, from the beginning of the development
of our solar system (an even more provocative view) – those two (not the Blumenbach ones) are the different “racial forms” that constitute the immediate contex for his comment on “higher” “racial forms”, that you quote, puts it in another light and makes it I think understandable and to the point.

At no time that I’m aware of did he refer to the Blumenbach’s “five
main varieties of humankind” in terms of “lower” or higher”. When Steiner
did comment on the “races” in this sense with regard to their nature when
they were formed in the past in his view, he stressed that what he referred
to in describing them were bodily qualities, and not our inner nature, what we are as humans.

In “Knowledge of Higher Worlds and Its Attainment” (that you quote from)
he also commented 1904, “Practical aspects“:

“qualities which … have to be combated [on the path of spiritual
development] are … the making of distinctions in human beings according to the outward characteristics of rank, sex, race, and so forth. In our time it is difficult for people to understand how the combating of such qualities can have anything to do with the heightening of the faculty of cognition. But every spiritual scientist knows that much more depends upon such matters than upon the increase of intelligence and employment of artificial exercises.

“Especially can misunderstanding arise if we believe that we must become foolhardy in order to be fearless; that we must close our eyes to the differences between people, because we must combat the prejudices of rank, race, and so forth. Rather is it true that a correct estimate of all things is to be attained only wen we are no longer entangled in prejudice. Even in the ordinary sense it is true that the fear of some phenomenon prevents us from estimating it rightly; that a racial prejudice prevents us from seeing into a man’s soul. It is this ordinary sense that the student must develop in all its delicacy and subtlety.”

And in a lecture on “Education as a Force for Social Change” he later, in 1919, commented:

“… as regards … what is independent of our bodily makeup we are all individually made; each one of us is his or her own self, an individual. With the exception of the far less important differences that show up as racial or national differences … but which are (if you have a sense for this you cannot help noticing it) mere trifles by comparison with differences in individual gifts and skills: with the exception of these we are all equal as human beings … as regards our external, physical humanity.

“We are equal as human beings, here in the physical world, specifically in that we all have the same human form and all manifest a human countenance. The fact that we all bear a human countenance and encounter one another as external, physical human beings… this makes us equal on this footing.
We differ from one another in our individual gifts which, however, belong to our inner nature.”

This is part of the basic attitude cultivated in anthroposophy, as one background for Waldorf education and may be one of the central factors contributing to the probably marked lower level of racist attitudes of Steiner Waldorf pupils in general, as indicated by a study by an independent criminological research institute some years of pupils in general in Germany, at the request of the German Parliament, to find out how wide spread racism and violence is among German pupils.

According to the study, the proportion of xenophobic pupils, hostile to foreigners, was by far the lowest among Waldorf pupils, 2.8%, compared to “Gymnasien” (High schools) 8.3%, “Gesamtschulen” 16.5 %, “Realschulen” 17.4 % and “Hauptschulen” (main schools) 24.7 %.

As for the relation between anthroposophy and Steiner Waldorf education, nothing is “secret” about it and it is immediately found if you put minimal time on the subject.

The Wikipedia article on Steiner Waldorf education and Waldorf Answers as central sources on the subject, give quite clear descriptions of the relation between Steiner Waldorf education and anthroposophy:

At Waldorf Answers:

“While anthroposophy forms the philosophical and theoretical
basis of the teaching methods used in Waldorf schools and is reflected in the attitudes of many Waldorf teachers and in the general structuring and orientation of Waldorf education during the different stages of development, anthroposophy is not taught as such to the students in the overwhelming majority of Waldorf schools world wide.

If anthroposophy is taught in some form by an individual teacher, it is done against the basic Waldorf tradition and in complete contradiction of the intention of Waldorf education, as expressed by Rudolf Steiner as the founder of Waldorf education.”

The comparison with Scientology is also not that well found with regard to its secrecy about it. All written works and basically all talks by Steiner (that strange guy …) are published in printing and anyone can buy it from any book store. Much of it is also published in English translation online. For the specific lectures and talks on Steiner Waldorf education online, see here.

Why don’t Waldorf teachers talk much about anthroposophy, and can be reluctant to do it?

Waldorf education is not intended to missionize or push it as a world view, neither on the pupils, nor on the parents, as alleged in ideologically based somewhat paranoic “criticism” especially the last decade.

Waldorf teachers generally (except for probably very few ones) agree with Steiner on the importance to leave the pupils absolutely free to form their own world view and only provide them with a dedicated understanding of them all to make this possible. Also, few Steiner Waldorf teachers probably have a really encompassing understanding of anthroposophy, beyond a basic level, in a way that would make it possible to address ALL the questions that may arise from reading something from one or other of the 90.000 pages of Steiner’s published works (mostly more or less reliable transcripts of talks), that in itself only constitutes an introduction to the subject.

Is Steiner “difficult”, as probably both many “anthroposophists” in some sense and many even experienced Steiner Waldorf teachers think?

I think this view is understandable and have indicated only one aspect of this above, and the reason for it. You repeatedly have to do some serious thinking and digging into the historical and cultural contexts 100 years ago to understand what he was referring to, or tried to understand and make understandable.

(I’ll see if I find the time to analyze and comment also on your other – sensationalist ;-) quote from a comment half a year into WWI, with battles raging all around the world, including the Far East and the role of “devils” to be defended against in its cultures, that is the historical context for the comment.)

Regards,
Sune

Thanks for your article, Dave.

I have tried to post an answer, that does not seem to have been let through yet(?). For the time being, I have therefore put it at http://thebee.se/Termprari/LC/20091116.htm

Maybe also just one short comment on what “LondonRefugee” writes as

“Steiner is not warm and fuzzy – it is a squalid travesty of a fuckwittery educational system of the very highest order.
And….it is delusional, decetiful and incredibly dangerous.”

Kenneth Chenault, Chairman and CEO of American Express, former Waldorf student (Waldorf School of Garden City) Evelyn Galinski, former Waldorf pupil and daughter of Heinz Galinski, Auschwitz survivor and Chairman of the Central Jewish Council in Germany from 1988 until his death in 1992, Jennifer Aniston (and Jens Stoltenberg, the present Prime Minister of Norway), also former Steiner Waldorf student(s), don’t quite seem to agree with you.

http://waldorfanswers.org/WaldorfComments.htm

Regards,

Hello Bee,
How nice — well, ok… — to see you around, some of us were slightly worried.

I am a former waldorf student, and I agree with LondonRefugee. But I’m a mere mortal, not a second rate actress, survivor of atrocities (except, well, I did survive waldorf!) or minister of any kind. So there would be little reason to bother with what I write.

Luckily, you give people many good reasons why they should avoid waldorf. Reading Steiner gives lots of clues, too. It may be entertaining (not difficult at all), but doesn’t speak in favour of waldorf education.

buzz buzz

Kenneth Chenault, Evelyn Galinski, Jennifer Aniston…

And Tom Cruise thinks Scientology is the dogs bollock – SFW.

The Lion want courage, the Tin Man wants a heart and Dorothy wants to go back to Kansas with Toto, so i guess that makes you the Scarecrow…

I take this to mean that you think the expressed experiences of Kenneth Chenault, African-American CEO of American Express, former Steiner Waldorf pupil, (Waldorf School of Garden City) (not known as anthroposophist), Evelyn Galinski, former Waldorf pupil and daughter of Heinz Galinski, Auschwitz survivor and Chairman of the Central Jewish Council in Germany from 1988 until his death in 1992 (also not known as anthroposophist) and Eric Utne, founder of, publisher, and former editor-in-chief of Utne Reader, (described by The New York Times as “one of the most distinctive voices in magazine journalism”) (not known as an anthroposophist but) now a Waldorf teacher, and the very low level of xenophobia among Steiner Waldorf pupils (in Germany, acording to an independent investigation) to be good arguments to … avoid? Steiner Waldorf education?

Chenault:

“My parents were looking for a school that would nurture the whole person. They also felt that the Waldorf school would be a far more open environment for African Americans, and that was focused on educating students with values, as well as the academic tools necessary to be constructive and contributing human beings. … I think the end result of Waldorf education is to raise our consciousness. There is a heightened consciousness of what our senses bring us from the world around us, about our feelings, about the way we relate to other people. It taught me how to think for myself, to be responsible for my decisions. Second, it made me a good listener, sensitive to the needs of others. And third, it helped establish meaningful beliefs. In all the Main Block lessons — in history, science, philosophy — we really probed the importance of values and beliefs. In dealing with a lot of complex issues and a lot of stress, if that isn’t balanced by a core of meaningful beliefs, you really will just be consumed and fail.”

Galinski:

“I personally have had only good experiences during my school time; it was liberal, antiracist, tolerant of every faith and not missionary”

Utne:

“My son Leif attended a Waldorf school from nursery through eighth grade. Even more gratifying than his specific achievements are his ongoing infatuation with learning and absence of incapacitating cynicism. … Waldorf schools generally turn out young people who get into the colleges of their choice, but more importantly are well prepared for life. I hope this form of education becomes the basis for public school curriculum throughout the United States. And I hope it happens soon.”

http://waldorfanswers.org/WaldorfComments.htm

And of course that Helmut Kohl [former German chancellor], Hans-Dietrich Genscher [former German Minister of Foreign Affairs] and Thorvald Stoltenberg [former Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs] chose a Steiner Waldorf education for their children (in the last mentioned case Jens Stoltenberg, the present Norwegian Prime Minister, whose Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre, also has put one or more of his children in a Waldorf school.

http://www.diewaldorfs.waldorf.net/listengl.html

Boy, you are picky.

Thanks Unity for shedding new light on this issue.
Peter Staudenmaier writes eloquently on “higher” and “lower” root races here
http://bit.ly/7kwAFD.

He ends the piece with this comment

“The whole anthroposophical campaign to “defend Steiner” on the issue of race
depends crucially on a desperate hope that readers will not look at the
books themselves, that they will not peer behind the curtain, that they will
simply trust the guardians of Steiner’s legacy rather than reading Steiner
directly. What is genuinely remarkable, I suppose, is just how often this
actually works in the case of anthroposophists.”

The Steiner teacher training reading list is an eye opener- a madcap caper through anthroposophy (it has been called “anthroposophy training” by one of the students there after all;) others have called the teacher training “brainwashing” and “indoctrination”.(Dr. David L. Mollet, educationalist) Strong words.

Monsieur Gove is surely smooching with the wrong set – but it’s clear he has no idea about the occult agenda of anthroposophy, how could he? While the gnome theme is playful, when acessorised with arcane occult truth it takes a nose dive.

Is anthroposophy mentioned between the breathless admiration of “whole” child education? (teaching all of their bodies, the astral, etheric and physical – more for your money, one can see the attraction for a politician) Though their empire stretches all the way from biodynamic tofu to felt flute sacks, it’s tempting to assume he has never read the basics of Steiner’s cosmic clairvoyant plan……just another to take it on faith and allow children’s minds to be messed with.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Unity

    @libcon The skinny on Tory backing for anti-science Steiner schools and more examples of Steiner fucknuttery – http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  2. James Graham

    RT: @libcon: More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  3. sunny hundal

    Big story – @Unity_MoT exposes high-level Tory support for cultish school programme RT @libcon: http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  4. PeaceFulWarrior

    Liberal Conspiracy » Tory Michael Gove offers support for cultish … http://bit.ly/1rQmLR

  5. PaulMracek

    Liberal Conspiracy » Tory Michael Gove offers support for cultish … http://bit.ly/4iAIOZ

  6. Rod Saunders

    Liberal Conspiracy » Tory Michael Gove offers support for cultish … http://bit.ly/HMfr2

  7. Lovely Horse

    Plymouth Uni's Steiner Waldorf course reading list and more RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  8. Thetis

    @SchoolDuggery RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  9. Thetis

    @GuardianEdu RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  10. UK Education Matters

    Liberal Conspiracy blog: allowing state schools to opt out of the national curricuculum could let in some wacky ideas http://is.gd/4RxQY

  11. Rachel Gooch

    RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  12. Rachel Gooch

    RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  13. Sarah Raphael

    RT @Lovelyhorse_ Plymouth Steiner Waldorf crse rding lst & mre RT @libcon More Tory Spport for 'Occult Society' Schls http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  14. Thetis

    well put RT @SchoolDuggery Lib Con blog: allowing state schools to opt out of national cur could let in some wacky ideas http://is.gd/4RxQY

  15. Lovely Horse

    @channel4news Includes Plym Uni's Steiner course reading list RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  16. Sinbad J

    Liberal Conspiracy » Tory Michael Gove offers support for cultish … http://bit.ly/GOhdT

  17. Lovely Horse

    Steiner Waldorf schools, a closer look @RationalMoms RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  18. Lovely Horse

    More on Steiner Waldorf schools @RickAlanRoss RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  19. zooey

    RT @Lovelyhorse_: RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  20. Liberal Conspiracy

    :: More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  21. Lovely Horse

    What's Gove up to? @daily_politics RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  22. Thetis

    @HouseofTwits are you following me re Mystic Barmpot Mogg & co? Tories support #anthroposophy: race & reincarnation http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  23. Sarah Raphael

    @johannhari101 RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  24. Sarah Raphael

    @jourdemayne RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d u r recommended by the fine @jackofkent

  25. Kotan

    Liberal Conspiracy » Tory Michael Gove offers support for cultish … http://bit.ly/4iAIOZ

  26. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Unity_MoT: @libcon The skinny on Tory backing for anti-science Steiner schools and more examples of Steiner fucknuttery – http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  27. Rod Saunders

    Liberal Conspiracy » Tory Michael Gove offers support for cultish … http://bit.ly/EeM9I

  28. Thetis

    ALERT! TODAY on LiberalConspiracy please RT: RT @Lovelyhorse_ RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  29. Patrick Baird

    #TheNewSchool Liberal Conspiracy » Tory Michael Gove offers support for …: Spielman and Homer ar.. http://bit.ly/EeM9I

  30. Thetis

    @Crispian_Jago It's OK :) but please RT RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  31. rachelala

    RT @SchoolDuggery: Liberal Conspiracy blog: allowing state schools to opt out of NC could let in some wacky ideas http://is.gd/4RxQY

  32. Lovely Horse

    @JonSnowblog RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  33. Lovely Horse

    @PrivateEyeNews RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  34. Lovely Horse

    @mikebakeredhack RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  35. Lovely Horse

    @johannhari101 RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  36. Lovely Horse

    Cause for concern @RichardDawkins RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  37. Lovely Horse

    What are the Rees-Moggs and Gove up to? @newsbrooke RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  38. Lovely Horse

    What are the Rees-Moggs and Gove up to? @edballsmp RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  39. Sarah Raphael

    @jonronson RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  40. Lovely Horse

    @newsbrooke What are the Rees-Moggs and Gove up to? RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  41. Adam Bienkov

    Late to this one but RT @libcon More Tory Support for 'Occult Society' Schools http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  42. Thetis

    @5Raphaels can't decide what to have for lunch at Chutneys today… http://bit.ly/47Ur2d

  43. Thetis

    @josswinn sadly, time to read this and take it seriously before you go any further: http://bit.ly/9nQsMc & http://bit.ly/93ifb7 #Steiner

  44. Lovely Horse

    @edballsmp worth taking a good look at the Steiner teacher training materials (Plymouth Uni) to understand our concerns http://bit.ly/7nXWBs

  45. Sarah Raphael

    RT @lovelyhorse_: @edballsmp worth taking a good look at the Steiner teacher training materials (Plymouth Uni) to understand our concerns http://bit.ly/7nXWBs

  46. Lovely Horse

    @timesed Mr Gove, please look closer at philosophy of #Steiner #Waldorf schools. Holistic whole child woo http://bit.ly/7nXWBs #voteschools

  47. Neil Raphael

    RT @lovelyhorse_: @timesed Mr Gove Rachel Wolf look closer at philosophy of #Steiner #Waldorf schools. Educational woo http://bit.ly/7nXWBs

  48. NN

    From nov 2009,still interesting: M Gove offers support http://bit.ly/a3DTiN

  49. alicia h.

    RT @_alfa_omega_: From nov 2009,still interesting: M Gove offers support http://bit.ly/a3DTiN

  50. alicia h.

    @mocost See the reading list for steiner teachers mentioned in this post: http://bit.ly/aa8VLQ





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