Laura McInerney’s promiscuous use of the term “extremist” to label Steiner schools is grossly misleading. Quite apart from her report’s various innuendos and inaccuracies (e.g. its calculated use of the pejorative term “extremist”, the discredited claim that Steiner was a “racist”, and the misdefinition of eurythmy), the idea that the broadness or otherwise of the Steiner education curriculum can be accurately indexed by the GCSE exams that students take is fundamentally to misunderstand the nature and content of the education, and is, I’m afraid, just sloppy journalism. One does not expect Guardian journalists to throw around the term ‘extremist’ in such a tabloid-esque, unthoughtful way.
There are many ways in which novel educational approaches strive to escape the anti-learning toxicities of mainstream educational practices, and Steiner education is undoubtedly one of the more progressive and enlightened ones – that’s why it is the world’s most popular independent educational approach, chosen by tens of thousands of families across all cultures and continents, and often at considerable personal economic sacrifice to families. That’s a lot of “extremists”.
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