On the Side of the Child: Summerhill Revisited

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Teachers College Press, 2003 - Education - 149 pages
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Neill's Summerhill School and his radical approach to child rearing are as controversial today as they were in 1960. His "code of freedom" emphasized the principles of freedom, love, and positive discipline in the care and education of children. These ideals continue to evoke admiration by many who have found them key to not only raising healthy happy children but also to stemming the tide of violence in our schools and society. Others dismiss these same principles for being idealistic at best and harmful at worst.

In this wonderful new book Ayer weighs in as a parent and an educator who has spent years in the classroom experimenting with Neill's progressive approach. He examines Neill's idea of freedom as it relates to social justice and questions of class and race in today's classrooms. He explores what it means to have a school that supports and creates freedom and what such schools have looked like in the past. He also considers what it means to have a school founded on love and acceptance of the child, where the teacher's goal is to understand children and how they learn, and where all students can and do learn.

Featuring key sections from the original text, Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing, this engaging volume is must reading for anyone considering alternative visions for raising children and for overcoming violence in today's schools.

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On the side of the child: Summerhill revisited

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In this new book from Herbert Kohl's "Between Teacher and Text" series, Ayers revisits A.S. Neill's controversial approach to child rearing and education. In 1921 in Suffolk, England, Neill founded ... Read full review

About the author (2003)

William Ayers is a school reform activist and Distinguished Professor and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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