Summerhill: a radical approach to child rearing
EdCentral community rating

Add to my reading list
Alexander Sutherland Neill

In this book, Neill describes his progressive school experiment in England – Summerhill School – and the philosophy that informed his approach and the management of the school.

Summerhill was founded in the 1920s and created a community in which pupils could be free from adult authority. An important freedom at Summerhill was the right to play: all lessons were optional and there was no pressure to conform to adult ideas of growing up, though the community itself had expectations of reasonable conduct from everyone. Neill believed in the innate goodness of children, and emphasized self-regulation, personal responsibility, freedom from fear, "freedom in sex play", and loving understanding over moral instruction or force.

Some considered this is a pioneering example of liberal, progressive child- centred education: others, as a bogus, failed experiment, with no basis in science. It has been much discussed ever since. 

In listing research, EdCentral makes no judgment or recommendation as to its quality, validity or methodology and none should be inferred. Through peer ratings left by education practitioners, EdCentral’s aim is to support the development of a repository of shared knowledge and experience.

*   Please note that your reading list can only be saved permanently if you are logged into your account.

Alexander Sutherland Neill

Published by:
Hart Publishing

Date of publication:

Country of origin:

CPD opportunities:

Providing an account of the progressive philosophy of A.S. Neill, and the alternative education programme offered by Summerhill School, this book may be of interest to policy makers and teachers wishing to critically examine their practice.


Record ID:
R330 / 434
Rating Summary:

0 based on 0 votes

Start a discussion

Back to search results   |   New search   |   View my reading list   |   Print this page

EdCentral Logo