• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Recent progressive educators will be mentioned. Free schooling and the type of education rendered in Summerhill School will be analysed. The philosophy of Neill

Extracts from this document...


Introduction In this essay the discourse will be on progressive education, some of the old and the recent progressive educators will be mentioned. Free schooling and the type of education rendered in Summerhill School will be analysed. The philosophy of Neill, the founder of the Summerhill School will be discussed as well as the impact Summerhill education has on the lives of its graduates, especially their ability to adapt to the outside world on leaving Summerhill School. Summerhill School is an independent progressive and free school founded by Neill Summerhill in 1921. The school was originally set up as a community for delinquent children but other children without behavioural problems were later admitted to benefit from the application of the psychoanalytical theory. Progressive Education Progressive education movement started in Europe and United States around the 19th century to reintroduce freedom in the area of learning as a reaction to what was assumed to be the very narrow and too formal nature of traditional education. The progressive education proponents believe in growing a new type of children that will not match to the orthodox structure and ethos of public schools. As an objective, the progressive education thinkers aimed to educate "the whole child" i.e. having to address his/her physical, emotional and intellectual growth; and to encourage the child to participate in learning. The progressive education thinkers propound that "a child learns best by actually performing tasks associated with learning" (Britanica, Vol 9:722, 1995). One other progressive educational philosophy is that children must be untied from inflexible educational structures like making pupil to obtain a particular knowledge whether they enjoy it or not. This movement led to the proliferation of experimental progressive schools in both Europe and the United States. In Italy for example the Montessori schools were established, in England Cecil Reddie established the Abbotsholme in 1889 and A.S. Neills founded the Summerhill in 1921. ...read more.


Neill Summerhill founded the Summerhill School in 1921 mainly for delinquent children. Neill was influenced by Homer Lane community called the little Commonwealth where he took care of such children; Neill admired the place and saw it as a place where child-centred education was administered, although it was not a school. Both Neill and Lane applied the psychoanalytical theory on the delinquents. Subsequently, Neill established Summerhill School and used similar theory to provide private lessons to the delinquents after which he admitted other children without behavioural problems. Neill, the founder of Summerhill believed in freedom of choice and few restrictions and boundaries similar to other progressive schools. The works of Neill Summerhill which based on the practical experiences from his school has also contributed to the literature in progressive education. Summerhill School will be fully described next to shed more light on the experiences of Neil Summerhill. SUMMERHILL SCHOOL Summerhill School was founded in 1921 as a progressive and free school, which means that as a progressive school it is different from other schools in terms of its ethos. It is a school that provides an alternative form of education that centres on freedom of children from the domination of adults, specifically the government. "They rejected the idea of government operated schools because of the possibility that political leaders would use education to perpetuate their power" (Spring J. 1994:51) In Summerhill, children are expected to use their capacity and self direction to fashion out the best way to live amongst themselves as a community. Summerhill is different from other progressive schools in one sense that parents are discouraged from visiting their children; this is probably due to Summerhill's aim to free children from the holds of adults. Freedom of choice is exercised in Summerhill. Freedom of choice is good for children to help bring out the hidden potential in them. Each individual is free to do as he or she pleases as long as it does not infringe on the freedom of others (Purdy Year? ...read more.


Reading, writing and basic mathematics are important subjects that should be taught at a given age and in this writer's opinion it should be made compulsory. In a progressive and free school like Summerhill children are exposed to the disciplines of reality, to love and see each other as equals, which is a good preparation for the real world. It has been seen that some former pupils end up with good careers. According to Lamb [ed] (1995: date missing; no it's the page that is missing and can go like that) "There are doctors, lecturers artists and various kinds of professionals produced by Summerhills ..." This disproves the idea that there is no form of education going on there. In conclusion, to form a particular judgment on Summerhill may not be an easy task; there are some aspects that people may not like such as the seeming unlimited freedom; for example having pupils decide as to whether or not to attend classes, which has been discussed earlier. On the other hand there are some practices that are admired by people in Summerhill and outside alike; for example the participatory teaching and learning and group work. However, freedom in various free schools should be re-examined to ensure that these schools are promoting the right freedom for the children. In this writer's opinion, freedom should be such that will enable one to understand how to achieve freedom in life after school. The sort of freedom that will deny children their right to useful knowledge is not good freedom. For instance, when one has freedom in school but cannot use the same freedom to exercise their rights in a democratic society due to their inability to read or write, such type of freedom is misplaced and wrong. The progressive and free education system may be considered too permissive compared to what public and state schools are but one cannot deny that the are more civilized and enlightened movement for tackling societal morals and addressing the endemic issues of corporal punishment within the education system.. Reference: The New Encyclopaedia Britanica, Vol 9:722, 1995 Chicago. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How current provision and practice is influenced by the work of the early years ...

    4 star(s)

    Today education and play are integrated. The children's development is very much encouraged though a provision of resources and activities implemented for the needs of the children. It practices creativity, science and the humanities and all these are integrated in the curriculum.

  2. counselling stages of attachement

    * The increases in the social behaviour were greater in those who attended 5 days a week than those who attended only two days a week. This suggests that it was the day care that was increasing the rate of social development.


    They managed this easily and we talked about which was the biggest set and which was the smallest. This caused some confusion as Victoria said the smallest set was the set with the smallest apples while Abdus argued that the smallest set was the set with the least amount of apples.

  2. "Working conditions were terrible in 19th century Britain." Does the evidence support this view?

    Source 6- P. Gaskell, The Manufacturing Population of England. London, 1833 "Any man who has stood at twelve o'clock at the single narrow door-way, which serves as the place of exit for the hands employed in the great cotton-mills, must acknowledge, that an uglier set of men and women, of boys and girls, taking them in the mass, it would be impossible to congregate in a smaller compass.

  1. This curriculum plan is to be based on children aged between nought to two ...

    Show the children the hard-boiled egg, explaining that it has been cooked in boiling water. Pass the egg around and explain that although the egg will still break, the inside is hard now rather than runny. 5. Take the shell off the egg and show the children the inside.

  2. I have decided to do my portfolio on Beaufort Park School, for several reasons. ...

    1991: * Unemployed of working age = 1315 * Unemployment rate = 22.9% * Change in employment = 5.0% * Total residents = 13 629: - White = 96 .9% - Black Caribbean = 0.3% - Black African = 0.3% - Black other = 0.8% - Chinese = 0.5% -

  1. Is Popular culture an Influence on Violent Behaviour?

    The BBFC argues that: 'Abstinence is the best form of protection. That is, if someone does not want to see a certain film they should not and that warnings displayed on video cases and in cinemas should act as a deterrent for people.'

  2. To provide age/ability appropriate activities/experiences that will encourage the development of knowledge and understanding ...

    Like a house. Without the walls the roof will fall, with out the foundations to learning the child will have difficulties. All of the activities can be implemented by all of the children with in the Pre School. All of the activities can be implemented by all of the children

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work