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Summerhill School


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A. S. Neill was born in 1883 in Forfar, Scotland. In addition to establishing the Summerhill School, Neill lectured widely and published over twenty books. He died in 1973. His daughter, Zoe Readhead, now serves as the headmistress of Summerhill. Editor Albert Lamb, a Summerhill alumnus, worked as a cartoonist and musician before returning to the school to help out on the staff. He now commutes between Summerhill and his home in the Cotswolds, where he lives with his family.


This update of the 1960 classic, Summerhill, presents radical educational theorist A. S. Neill, ``looking back in 1971 on fifty years of running his pioneering self-governing free school,'' in Suffolk, England. Lamb, who was an American student there in the early 1960s, weaves extracts of Neill's writings in a narrative that details the progressive school's struggles. As an octogenarian, Neill (1884-1973) recalls his advocacy of a then new psychological approach that pointed to emotions, not intellect, as the primary forces shaping a child's growth. At Summerhill, now run by Neill's daughter, Zoe Readhead, ``kids grow up in their own way and at their own speed'' in a self-governing, sympathetic environment. It appears that they are not scanted educationally. Generous in acknowledging his debt to others, including his mentor, psychologist Wilhelm Reich, Neill here freshly details his belief in children's ability to be self-regulating. (Jan.)

"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

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