A.S. Neill: The Summerhill Concept

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by MrsMcCartney45
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Historical biographies

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A.S. Neill: The Summerhill Concept

A.S. NeillThe Summerhill Concept

Students in school choosing what they would like to learn/play with. Neill believed that in order for a mind to grow strong, a student should make independent decisions on what to do with his/her time.

School meetings are held with the students themselves to democratically make decisions and rule on consequences of students who have unfavorable actions. Students governed themselves.

Lessons at the Summerhill School are chosen by the students. They have an equal say in their education; lessons are not mandatory.

Married to:Lillian Richardson who helped him establish first school. Second wife Ena Wood Neil ran Summerhill School after his death, now their daughter runs the school.

Summerhill wrote 12 books and this is a picture of his biography. He is considered a major contributer to democratic education.

“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 best”

Alexander Sutherland Neill10-17-83 to 09-23-73Scottish progressive educator, author and founder of the Summerhill SchoolAdvocate of personal freedom for childrenBorn to schoolteachers, one of 13 childrenWorked for father as pupil-teacher

Neill’s Educational PhilosophyInfluenced by Maria Montessori, Sigmund Freud and Wilhelm ReichBelieved that happiness of the child should be the paramount consideration in decisions about the child’s upbringing, and that this happiness grew from a sense of personal freedom.Deprivation of this sense of freedom will lead to unhappiness and be responsible for psychological disorders of adulthoodHelp children achieve:Self DeterminationCritical ThinkingSelf MotivationSelf Discipline

Neill’s Educational Legacy:Influenced many progressive educators who came after him:John Taylor Gatton, John Hold and many others in unschooling and democratic education have taken Neill’s ideas further.2007 Summerhill School was accepted by OFSTED as providing a good quality academic education.Recognized by the United Nations for exceptionally good treatment of children


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