A.S Neill’s Summerhill School, a co-educational boarding school in Suffolk, England, is the original alternative ‘free’ school. SUMMERHILL A RADICAL APPROACH TO CHILD REARING By A. S. NEILL With a Foreword by Eric Fromm TO HAROLD H. HART I hope you will get a . Summerhill School. Neill founded Summerhill School in in Hellerau near Dresden, Germany. Today it is a boarding and.

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Neill became an assistant teacher at the Newport Public School in the wealthy Newport-on-Taywhere he learned to dance and appreciate music and theatre. The basic principle of such self-determination was the replacement of authority by freedom, to teach the child without the use of force by appealing to his curiosity and spontaneous needs, and thus to get him interested in the world around him.

As if it matters in the scheme of life whether you wear dressy clothes or say hell. The girls and boys write and produce their own plays, make their own costumes and scenery. Following Neill’s retirement it continued to be run by Neill’s daughter, Zoe Readhead. The fact that Neill believed in never requiring learning is one sided since this view fails to teach a child to think and act in an orderly, disciplined manner.

An unkind friend used to translate these for me. If, for some reason a teacher cannot take his class on the appointed day, there is usually much disappointment for the pupils. Everybody is learning about themselves, and on a bleak January day, with the east wind blowing, things are sometimes not wonderful! Other members of the staff are known as Harry, and Ulla, and Pam. Even the Montessori system, well known as a system of directed play, is an artificial way of making the child learn by doing.


Charlie left Summerhill a year or two later. Most of the schoolwork that adolescents do is simply a waste of time, of energy, of patience. He came to Summerhill at the age of eight and left after passing his university exams at eighteen. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote.

I talk to these of a world they have missed and go on missing. Tea is served at four. We have no class examinations in the school, but sometimes I set an exam for fun.

I had two Yugoslavian sisters, eleven and fourteen. Petersburg, and he could not enter the State Ballet without passing those exams. Although I write and say what I think of society, if I tried to reform society by action, society would kill me as a public danger. The aggressive children we have are invariably those whose homes give them no love and understanding.

Although pupil numbers were small, Neill’s numerous publications and lectures made him the best known British progressive educationist of the twentieth century. There is always someone to lift the baby up on a chair when baby wants to examine- something on the wall.

Summerhill (book) – Wikipedia

Summeerhill was awarded three honorary degrees: Obviously, as long as the exams are in existence, they are our masters. Any sign of kitchen favoritism in the matter of food is severely handled. Two boys took up coffee farming in Kenya.

Retrieved from ” https: This education usually entailed copious amounts of play and distance from the adult anxieties of work and ambition. We take every precaution for the safety of the pupils.

She confided that the subjects did not interest her much, but the aim did interest her. The few boys who want to have air guns in the school hate the law; but in the main, they conform to it. What child cares about river erosion?

summehrill The seniors go to the movies in Leiston or Aldeburgh. The function of the child is to live his own life— not the life that his anxious parents think he should live, nor a life according to the purpose of the educator who thinks he knows what is best. Emotional education trumped intellectual needs, in Neill’s eyes, and he was associated with anti-intellectualism. The difficult adult is in the same boat. He maintains an uncompromising reverence for life, and a respect for the individual.


Why the continuance of religions that have long ago lost their love and hope and charity? It is quite safe to have a row with a child when you are equals. I pin my faith on public opinion. Certainly most readers will not read this book as if it were the Gospel, and Z.s.neill am sure that the author, least of all, would want this to happen.

Why the hate that is anti-Semitism? Many so-called educators believe that it does not matter what a child learns as long as he is taught something. At the same time the juniors have various reading groups. The release of Summerhill catapulted Neill into the public view.

A.S Neill’s Summerhill School

David is now a lecturer in mathematics a.ss.neill London University. The Times Literary Supplement There were occasions, naturally, when a subjective explanation was necessary, as in the case of Jane. Wednesday night is dance night. In your visits to the school, you showed that your chief concern was to tell America about something you saw and loved and believed in. Any accusation against my wife I showed to be one against mother.

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