ERIC Number: ED361411
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
School as Community: The Ecology of Childhood--A View from Summerhill School.
This article describes the educational philosophy and practice at Summerhill School, England, an alternative school for elementary school-age through secondary school-age children established in 1921. The school's guiding principle is that education must respect the nature of childhood. Following a brief description of the school's founding by A. S. Neill and its overall structure, the paper describes how the school emphasizes the integrity of children. Integrity in children, when allowed to take its own course, can regulate itself according to its own needs. Traditional schooling, no matter how liberal, cuts children off from the nature within themselves and alienates them from the natural ecology of childhood. At Summerhill, new students follow a pattern of gradual realization that culture no longer binds them, a period of rebellion and breaking out, and finally a period of healing and renewed wholeness that brings maturity. The school attempts to follow children's instincts. Brief stories of the healing or learning experiences of actual students are provided. Summerhill functions primarily to protect and nourish the integrity of the child before possible damage by culture can be done. (JB)
Descriptors: Child Development, Children, Ecology, Educational Environment, Educational Philosophy, Elementary Education, Elementary Schools, Foreign Countries, Integrity, Nontraditional Education, School Role, Secondary Schools, Student Development
Down-to-Earth Books, 72 Philip Street, Albany, NY 12202.
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)