Sunday, May 27, 2012

Steiner and science

A group of parents and teachers have launched a campaign to create a new free school. The Bristol Steiner Free School group announced...that it would bid next February for government approval of the project. Free schools are state-funded but independent of council control and set up in response to demand from groups of parents....[The group said the school would have] a strong academic element, specialising in environmental sciences...The Steiner School movement emerged from the ideas of early 20th century educationalist Rudolf Steiner. (full story).

Steiner (pictured) claimed direct experience of the 'spiritual' world. He was a philosopher, occultist, social reformer, architect, esotericist. and founded Anthroposophy. Anthoposophy claims to investigate the spiritual world and believes it can attain precise and clear conclusions in the same way that science concludes about the physical world.

I've been an active green for 30 yrs and I teach environmental sciences  (which is simply the proper application of scientific methods to the environment). I do not support Steiner's ideas or Steiner Free Schools and would point to the British Humanist Association concerns about them (see ).

Like others commenting on this Post report I can’t see how Steiner's ideas are at all consistent with modern science and its methods and so I am as concerned about Steiner Free Schools setting up with public money and support as I am about certain other kinds of Free School with a significant ideology behind them instead of openness, questioning and reason.

Background on Steiner:  and  

Love the local

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Bedminster has been named as the region’s only successful bidder in the first round of the Government’s ‘Portas Pilots’ – an initiative to get TV retail guru Mary Portas to help revitalise town centres....‘Bemmie’, as it’s affectionately known in the city, will now get a £100,000 grant and the expertise of Mary Portas and the project team (more here). Might as well have given Bedminster a bag of peanuts because that's all that £100,000 is. The focus on the issue of local shopping areas, and high streets, and the availability of some expertise, is welcome, provided it goes beyond govt public relations - but the amount of money is really tiny. What's really needed is a strategic, genuinely participative approach, backed by appropriate amounts of money which starts to shift the whole economic emphasis towards the local, regional and national economy and de-emphasising the global economy which is the source of so many problems.