For the past 4 years, I've been going around in mental circles about education choices. It's a real dilemma: on the one hand, I believe in comprehensive education which, in an ideal world, should cater for every child.
And then there's the Glasgow Steiner School, which is a real alternative. A school not focusing on achieving, but on letting the child develop their own interests, in a holistic way. The more I read about the Steiner approach to education, the more excited I get, the more I wish that my children should have an opportunity to go down this route.
Yet, it's a private school. I'm not even yet considering whether or not we could afford it or if it's logistically possible. One thing at a time.
How can I justify rejecting comprehensive education when I believe in it's value as an equaliser in society? Of course it's not a perfect system, and if anything, it should be changed from within. And don't I know that school is just a minor element in the learning journey of a child, accounting for only 17% of learning (the rest is made up by input from parents, family, community and peer group). Does it really matter which school my girls go to?
And yet. Waldorf education. All natural materials. Learning by exploring. Child led. Holistic. Respectful to other human beings and the environment. Gardening, knitting, cooking, outdoor play on the curriculum.
Oh my, I'm tempted. Not by ensuring my children do well and will be high achievers, but by instilling a love of learning in them and giving them the opportunity to learn life skills rather than how to pass exams.
Two ideologies having a tug of war in my head.