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Comment: Cover has light crinkling and wear on corners and on top of spine, tanning all over, several small brown spots, a coffee-ring stain, and a few long thin white spots. Edges of pages have a dozen very small light brown spots. Inside, several pages have tanning around the edges and a few have several very small light brown spots. Otherwise, inside is pristine!
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Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing Paperback – 1960

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Hart Publishing Company; 1st edition (1960)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000BKJDMK
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By David Chirko on December 7, 2006
Scottish born psychologist (M.A., English) Alexander Sutherland Neill (1883-1973) penned a description of a school for independently normal children entitled "Summerhill," which is, as its subtitle states, a radical approach to child rearing. Curiously, Neill himself was originally a failure in school. The unorthodox and open Summerhill school was inaugurated in Germany in 1921, later moving to Austria, and then in 1924, to Leiston, Suffolk, England. Its motley array of pupils come from various lands, ranging in age from five to fifteen years old--therein divided into three age groups, of twenty-five boys and twenty girls.

A simplicity to read, the "Summerhill" book is endorsed in the foreword by legendary sociologist and psychoanalyst Erich Fromm (who is not the author of "Summerhill"). Fromm recapitulates what Neill's systematic principles in this volume are. In a nutshell: nourish the whole child's potential to love life intellectually, as well as emotionally; have him educated commensurate with his capacity, sans dogmatic disciplining; allow him to be free, but without encroaching on anyone; have the teachers maintain a transparency; encourage security in the pupil without resorting to submission and domination tactics, or utilizing guilt in one's methods; and advocate a theology of human freedom, not sinful suppression.

This book is divided into seven intriguing chapters, dealing with, respectively, activities at the school, rearing children, sexuality, theology and morality, problem issues for children, problem matters for parents, and lastly, questions and responses.

Many of the cherished positions of the giants in child and educational psychology are challenged in this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Brown on October 14, 2013
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I don't recall how I learned about the Summerhill School, but it really educated me as to how children learn. This school was founded in England in 1921 by Alexander Neill for "troubled kids". Children are not small adults. They don't think and reason as adults can, or as adults should. Children can't be taught; they can only learn. And they learn what they want and when they want. This book covers all the issues involving children.
Actually, I feel that there are no "problem kids" or "troubled kids"; it's "problem adults" and "troubled adults". Government controlled schooling is imprisonment and indoctrination. The kids can sense this. That is why they rebel. Rather than my trying to endorse this book, I suggest that parents and potential parents read it. In addition, I recommend 2 books by John Holt originally published in 1962: "How Children Learn" and "How Children Fail".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John P. on July 11, 2012
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I thought this book was wonderful and spiritual. It teaches children from their core problems and not from their exhibited outside event. I was inspired. Everyone should read it especially those in the education realms and parents.
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This book is a great help to my interests. It provides much food for thought while challenging the every day style approach to educating children.
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If Only---All children could experience this kind of Loving Freedom, the world would be much more sane, prosperous and Peaceful !
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sigh ONara on April 9, 2013
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Amazing piece of work, that is almost entirely timeless. The author brings up some Freudian concepts that nobody uses anymore, but otherwise the author is a thinking beyond our time.
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