What are the factors affecting parents' motivations for sending their child to a Steiner School?
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The purpose of this mixed methods case study is to identify the factors motivating parents to send their child to a Steiner School. Currently, Steiner Schools are in the independent sector and so fees must be paid in order for a child to attend the school. Even though fees must be paid in order for a parent to send their child to a Steiner School, some parents are still choosing Steiner education over state education (Ruenzel, 2001). The literature review is organised thematically and examines the current theorists and existing literature available regarding Steiner education. The themes discussed in the literature review explore the origins of Steiner Waldorf education and the school curriculum before going on to look at Steiner pedagogy, the school environment and the criticisms of Steiner education. The literature review also explores the factors influencing parents to choose a particular school for their child to attend. The themes discussed here include parental choice of school; parental education and social class; parents and their own school experiences; parents' social networks; parental involvement with schools; geographical location of the school and selective schools. Quantitative data and qualitative data were collected from questionnaires that had been handed out to a sample size of thirteen parents. This case study has found that a parents' educational background, age and understanding of the Steiner curriculum are factors that can motivate them to send their child to a Steiner School. The findings also suggest that another factor which may have influenced parents' motivations to choose this school could be their friends and family. Parents also found it important for them to be able to get involved with their child's education as well as within the school environment. Finally, some recommendations are made for any future research that is to be carried out regarding parents and Steiner Schools.
BA (Hons) Educational Studies and Early Childhood Studies
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