The parents of Steiner school students who drive big vans and grow their hair a little bit too long are also the type of people who used to own bizarre pets as kids, according to a new study.

A recent report by the Child Research into Education and Entertainment Pathways Institute (CREEPI) has established a direct link between childhood weird pet ownership, and unconventional schooling options.

The main subject of this particular study, the Waldorf Education Module, also known as Steiner Schooling, is a commonly accepted brand of holistic learning in Australia.

Based on the educational philosophy of Austrian occultist, Rudolf Steiner (born 1861), Steiner Schools are intended to develop intellectual, artistic, and practical skills, with a focus on the imagination and creativity of students.

It is a type of education that thrives in places like the NSW Blue Mountains and the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, where local residents are generally just a little bit out there.

In these schools, individual teachers have much more direct control over curriculum content, teaching methods, and governance – based on what they think would work better for the classroom they are presented with. Assessments of student’s learning are integrated into the daily life of the classroom with a preference to avoid ‘tests’.

Popular ‘alternative methods’ of teaching include teaching kids how to learn their timetables with bongo drums, and practice how to write with granny smith apples that have been punctured with thick strands of camels hair dipped in in squid ink.

This new CREEPI study has found that any parents who prefer this style of schooling for their children, were once the kids that had obscure rodents and cold-blooded reptiles as pets.

“It makes sense really” says lead researcher, Professor Monty Sawry (CREEPI).

“People tend to stay on the same path they forge as children. If you had a lizard as a pet, you’re probably going to raise a child who is more of a lizard than a cat or dog”

“Guinea pigs are kind of weird, but not exactly Steiner school weird. Not like frogs or blue-tongues”

“Some people even own bats as pet. That’s extremely Steiner School behaviour”


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