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Summerhill School: A New View of Childhood Paperback – September 15, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A.S. Neill is one of the great pioneers of modern times in the education of the child...Anyone who is in any way concerned with the education of children should make this book required reading.” ―Ashley Montagu
“I know of no educator in the western world who can compare to A.S. Neill. Summerhill is a tiny ray of light in the world of darkness.” ―Henry Miller
Top Customer Reviews
Lamb's edition of this classic brings out new information on the scope of Neill's views omitted by the Cold War edition of the 60s - while keeping - and adding to - Neill's treasured remarks about childhood. Lamb is a wonderful source, having been a pupil at Neill's school while Neill still ran it! Get this book! It will teach you about a lot more than just permissive education!
With the current epidemic of school violence and the airing of information about the actual frequency of bullying - in the schoolyard and elsewhere - opinions wax hot over whether an authentic response ought to be to introduce more relaxed humanism toward students - or to tighten up with even more discipline and objective testing than now exists! The jury is still out on this one, but the verdict doesn't look good for the humanists! It's high time dear old Neill was allowed to have his say in the discussion once again!
Albert Lamb's new edition of Summerhill allows Neill to speak with even more of his own voice than was included in the original. Neill's views on several issues thought to be too controversial to be included in a book published in an America just beginning to emerge from an era of McCarthyism have been restored to their proper place by Lamb. They sound far less controversial now than they did during the sixties.Read more ›
This book would be good to use as a model for setting up a student government. How would student government be effective you ask? Neill states that students show amazing loyalty to their own democracy.
This book was easy to read and had plenty of stories to keep me interested. From time to time, the author would ramble on and get completely off the subject, which he admits that he does. However, this book is not for people who are easily offended by open-mindedness. Neill allows the students at his school to have a lot (A LOT) of freedom. Swearing, sexual activity, nudity, and smoking are just some of the extra-curricular activities that Summerhill students are allowed to participate in. I think Neill allows this stuff to take away the glamour behind it, and teaches the kids why its stupid to smoke, etc. instead of just saying its off limits. Every one knows that the off limits activities are the ones you want to do most, because it is off limits.
The whole idea behind Summerhill is release, allowing children to live out their natural interests, and encouraging them to find out who they really are and to be comfortable with that.
I recommend Summerhill because, well, you just have to read it. Some of it is absolutley insane, and some of it is absoultley ingenuis!
But I must disagree with the characterization of A.S. Neill as a socialist. He may have had socialist tendencies, but he was more a Paul Goodman-style anarchist. Socialism is the regulation and limiting of actions by certain parties; anarchism is the opposite -- the deregulation of everything. And this is the environment that A.S. Neill fostered at Summerhill, to his credit.
It's really sad that the trend in the United States is towards the very opposite: the complete regulation of children's lives, scheduled down to the minute with safety the being the top priority. This tendency is creating a generation of children who lack spontaneity and creativity.
We need more free schools like Summerhill.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It tells you what school could be!!! Teachers take it to your heartPublished 4 months ago by Marianne D. Buddensiek
Neill's insights about raising children come from observing them grow in an environment that listens to their needs. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Michelle Korenfeld
This book was an amazing read! It helped me realize a lot about myself and how my childhood has affected the person who I am today. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Chocolate Danny
A favorite of mine for 50 years. I re-read it periodically. Neill was light years ahead of his time. Read morePublished 9 months ago by John R. Palmer