Anti-authoritarian education


Anti-authoritarian education is a collective term for various educational concepts from the 1960s and 1970s. This way of life is closely linked to the student movements of the 68s and 70s and comes from a generation that grew up in a time when obedience, constraints and rules were pillars of education. Anti-authoritarian education is absolutely opposite to these cornerstones. The idea was that the new generation of parents wanted to do things differently for their children and put a free education in the foreground.


The anti-authoritarian is a comprehensive educational philosophy and not simply a style of education. Anti-authoritarian education was scientifically founded and defined pedagogical goals, norms and mission statements. The following ideals are characteristic of anti-authoritarian education: The main aim is to shape education without constraints so that the children can freely develop their personality and realize themselves.

In addition, the movement pursued a liberalization of cleanliness, orderly education, the removal of taboos and the liberation of child sexuality. The children were to be less pushed into predetermined roles. Here you will find more tips on how to educate your child: Child rearing

  • Rights
  • Freedom
  • Developmental autonomy for the child

What are the advantages of this type of education?

In anti-authoritarian education, children are educated freely so that they have every opportunity to develop and unfold completely freely. This enables children to try out many things and in this way find out where their personal strengths lie. The children try out what they enjoy and what they do not enjoy.

They develop their own ideas and recognise their strengths and weaknesses. The anti-authoritarian education promotes the creativity of the children to a great extent. In addition, the children develop a healthy self-confidence and self-esteem through their freedom and experiences.

At the same time, the children learn at an early age to take responsibility themselves. They experience early on that their actions have consequences. In this way they make both positive and negative experiences.

Anti-authoritarian education is based on the idea that there should be no strict hierarchy between parents and children. This is why children and parents meet at eye level. The children feel taken seriously and learn to articulate and discuss.

What are the disadvantages?

Anti-authoritarian education does without rules and constraints. However, this can lead to one or the other child acting with a strong focus on his or her own advantage and putting himself or herself first. In the social environment, in kindergarten, at school or later in professional life, anti-authoritarian educated people can attract negative attention through selfishness.

Often the children have difficulties in dealing with negative criticism and subordinate themselves in a group or hierarchy, as in later working life. At school, children with an anti-authoritarian upbringing can attract negative attention through lack of social behaviour. They are often regarded as loners, as they are less able to adapt and want to be the centre of attention.

Unfortunately, the children often lack consideration. In addition, the children act according to the pleasure principle, they do exactly the things they enjoy. What the children do not enjoy, they simply do not do.

However, this can have a negative effect on some things: if the children do not want to do their homework, they do without it. Especially small children do not understand the importance of some tasks and do not act out of well-founded considerations. The children often stand out negatively at school and get worse grades although they are actually gifted in one or the other subject. This topic could also be interesting for you: KITA or childminder – Which form of care is the right one for my child? or Punishment in upbringing In addition, the editorial staff recommends the article on “Educational counselling” at this point, if you need external help in raising your child.