...a journalist in the Guardian wonders. The answer of course is that it depends on the child although all the adults I know who were Steiner educated either didn't like it much or simply loathed it and got next to nothing out of it.
And he shouldn't kid himself: plenty of the original Steiner theory, the epistemology, the ethics, the ontology are all completely bats, and many Steiner schools perpetuate the foolishness to this day.
He certainly kids himself on the matter of coerciveness of Steiner schools.
"The children are free to play without their natural curiosity or imagination being stifled by numeracy or literacy lessons. "
OK, so Steiner isn't prescriptive in exactly the same way as a state school but it is nonetheless still highly prescriptive, potentially hugely restrictive and stifling to curiously and imagination, eg: a child is not enabled to read before the age of 7, he won't be aren't allowed to watch MythBusters because he won't be allowed a TV at home. He won't be allowed to listen to music in the car on the way home because this stifles what would otherwise apparently be a far more valuable conversation. He'll be compelled to wear a hat on prescribed occasions because otherwise a child's spirit might wiggle out... or something equally batty. He won't be allowed to draw Buzz Lightyear with a fine pen when he should be drawing little angels with chunky crayons.
Ho hum. Why waste your time, I'd say.