Summerhill School: the children’s republic or "the school for scandal" (1921- present)
“I see that all outside compulsion is wrong, that inner compulsion is the only value. And if Mary or David wants to laze about, lazing about is the one thing necessary for their personalities at the moment. Every moment of a healthy child's life is a working moment. A child has no time to sit down and laze. Lazing is abnormal, it is a recovery, and therefore it is necessary when it exists.”
― A. S. Neill (founder of Summerhill), Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Childrearing
Dane Goodsman (Summerhill graduate):
"Fear in terms of learning is the most common emotion you come across. Not just in schools. Anywhere. To anybody. Anyone learning anything. Fear is the biggest single emotion involved in it. Whether positively or negatively, however they view it, fear is there for most people. But not at Summerhill. There are certain things that cause me to be anxious, but I sort of rationalise myself through it. Maybe the difference between Summerhill and elsewhere is that at Summerhill there was no reason to be fearful, but other people do have real reason to be fearful. The system relies on their fear. I think that for other people their interactions with their fellow humans is a more fearful business than it is for me, and is driven by fear in more ways than it is for me."
"At Summerhill everything was out on the table. The cards were on the table all the time. You live being part of a very small community and you’re surrounded by these people for twelve weeks at a shot. There’s no going away from them. You get to know them terribly well. And so if you use these as models for what the rest of humankind might be like, you’ve got a bloody accurate picture. Most people don’t have that chance."
from After Summerhill: What Happened to the Pupils of Britain's Most Radical School?
by Hussein Lucas (July 26 2011)
We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall.
― Pink Floyd, Another Brick In the Wall Lyrics
recommended by Greg Jensen
More on these controversial free schools, and whether there should be schools at all:
That Dreadful Educationalist: Answering A. S. Neill's Critics
by John Potter
Is Summerhill as bad as they say?
Summerhill: Theory and Practice (PhD thesis)
by Dane Goodsman
Summerhill: Growing up free and fearless
by Tapani Lausti
List of democratic schools - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Legacy of Trust: Life After the Sudbury Valley School Experience
by Daniel Greenberg, Mimsy Sadofsky
Pedagogy of space in a democratic free school : a case study of Windsor House
by Sarah Anne Mills
by Ivan Illich