Author: Margaret

Ipswich Science in the Pub

John Benton says, “If anyone is unclear about the interactive nature… basically we’ll be drinking beer, talking about science, and browsing the web :)”

“All men can be husbands”

The Coalition for Equal Marriage‘s petition to support the introduction of same-sex civil marriage has passed 50,000 signatures. This video in support of equal marriage has been made with the support of the BHA, among others. Should mention that not all gay people want marriage. Some are perfectly happy with a civil partnership.

Children of the Rainbow

The Guardian reports:

Up to 40,000 Norwegians have staged an emotionally charged singalong in Oslo near the court building where Anders Behring Breivik is on trial for the murder of 77 people in a protest organisers said showed he had not broken their tolerant society.

The proposed Fullfledge school – Steiner, or not?

A guest post from Melanie Byng, aka @ThetisMercurio on Twitter:

Looking at the Fullfledge Ecology School site I see that: ‘Our teachers will be creative, dedicated and both Steiner and State qualified‘.

There is no reason for Fullfledge teachers to be trained as Steiner teachers – unless Fullfledge is to be a Steiner Waldorf school. Steiner teacher training courses are based on Rudolf Steiner’s religion/belief system, anthroposophy. Here is another example, this time from the UK: The London Waldorf Seminar – Steiner education teacher training.

Does Fullfledge intend to create its own Steiner teacher training course, without the anthroposophy which underpins the entire education system? If so, what exactly would be left? If teachers at Fullfledge are trained on Steiner teacher training courses as they exist now, surely prospective parents should be informed about anthroposophy – especially as Fullfledge is already (in our opinion) describing itself dishonestly as not-a-Steiner school. This lack of honesty, however well-meaning some involved may be, will only make things more bewildering when life at the school goes wrong for staff or families.

As Esther Fidler commented in her post at UK Anthroposophy (and note that Ewout Van-Manen is still listed on the Fullfledge site as one of those responsible for ‘Vision and Curriculum’, as a Director of School Development at Greenwich Steiner School and – perhaps surprisingly – as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts):

In my opinion, the only thing setting Fullfledge apart from a regular Steiner school is that the initiative is not a member of the UK Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship (SWSF), a prerequisite for including Steiner in a school’s name. Van-Manen said that many parents felt secure with the Steiner curriculum but that SWSF schools have become ‘associated with dogma’ with which Fullfledge did not wish to be associated, as (he said) “Most of the things you read on the internet about Steiner schools are true”.

Steiner education: a parent’s testimony

More on Steiner schools (see last post), and how they might appear child-centred and cuddly, while hiding their true objectives. A comment has appeared on Alicia Hamburg’s blog from the parent of a child who attended the Leeds Steiner kindergarten. He or she wrote:

It is imperative now that the very highest education authorities intervene here, and under no uncertain terms ensure that all Steiner establishments publish full and precise disclosure of their beliefs and intentions. It is paramount that the uninformed and unsuspecting are given protection. Personally, we count ourselves among the lucky ones. The number of victims this cover-up has claimed over the past 90-odd years of Steiner schooling doesn’t bear thinking about, but in these times of the nanny-state, litigation, think-tanks and watch-dogs, it is almost inconceivable that this problem can still exist.

You should read the whole post and all the comments. If you don’t know what anthroposophy is, click here to find out what Steiner Waldorf teachers learn at college.

Steiner Free School in Suffolk one step closer

The people behind the Fullfledge Ecology School, a Steiner school planned for the Woodbridge area, report:

Our proposal has passed the first stage of approval and we are now on the second stage, which is an interview with the DFE. We are preparing for this now.

Five members of the project team will represent Fullfledge Ecology School at the interview.

The DFE will inform us ‘in the summer’ whether we have the final go ahead to start the school in September 2013.

Click here to read our previous posts on this proposal, any why it’s not good news. Click here to read what the Steiner Waldorf critics say.

Lunacy in Jerusalem

The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.