Educational concept according to the A. S. Neill | Anti-authoritarian education

Educational concept according to the A. S. Neill

Alexander Sutherland Neill was an educator and director of the democratic school Summerhill in England, which he himself founded at the beginning of the 20th century. The reform educator believed that a child is “good” from birth and capable of love, compassion and empathy. Comparable to the anti-authoritarian education, Neill welcomed the sexual freedom of movement.

Neill felt that childhood self-love and the urge to masturbate were natural in contrast to the otherwise very religious contemporaries of the educator. He advocated learning out of lust for life as opposed to learning for school with pressure to perform. Besides the Democratic School in England, he also founded a school in Germany together with Dr. Otto and Lilian, namely the International School in Hellrau.

Summerhill is a democratic school in Leiston, England, which was founded by A. S. Neill in 1921. The ideas of the school resemble the principle of free education in the context of anti-authoritarian education in Germany during the 1960s. The characteristics of Summerhill were self-government of the school through a kind of school community in which children and teachers met on an equal footing about everyday school life, completely voluntary school attendance and workshops for the students. This topic might also be interesting for you: Educational mission – What is it?