Here I talk about my own experiences as the English teacher at Summerhill School and what those experiences meant for my evolving awareness of what a reduced curriculum might be.
The second of three posts on the reduced curriculum. Here we look at the phenomenon of bloating in the curriculum: how to avoid it. Create a better curriculum in a free school.
The first in a series of posts about the Reduced Curriculum to help subscribers to Summerhill Democratics think about this important issue in setting up a free school.
Geoff is an authoritarian. He believes there are bad people in the world and the police are there to protect us from them. He believes the royal family is an essential bulwark of authority and stability in the world. He believes nationalism is an atavistic tribal urge that will never be replaced by internationalism.
The first of a series of posts on the Qualities of Teachers in Democratic Schools. This post deals with qualities of understanding.
Anarchy Rules… um… OK? Democratic schools flirt with anarchism. Anywhere you have a small democratic community that turns its face away from Socialist central planning on the one side and Capitalist manipulation of the market on the other, anarchy is bound to be mentioned. Anarchists look at Summerhill in confusion. “Why didn’t Neill come right out…
Giving Choices: the Invisible Teacher It doesn’t matter how nice you are, how exciting you are, or how well-meaning you are, if your basic instinct is to reduce choices you shouldn’t be working in a democratic school. This is a tricky issue. You might be a real believer, for example, convinced that you have the…
Touch is problematic in most schools. Summerhill is different. Sometimes it seems like a troop of monkeys, but there are safeguards to ensure that touch does not become something it shouldn’t. In this post I ask if something can be learnt from the way things are done at Summerhill.
Do you know what is good for children? You are wrong! I have heard people say things like, “children love structure” or “routine is good for children” or, on the other side, “children need to be left alone” and “freedom is the best tonic for children.” I don’t believe any of this because I don’t…
Zoë Readhead, the principal of Summerhill School, loves horses. In this post I talk about how her love of horses has had a beneficial effect on the school.