Democratic Schools – Summerhill

A. S. Neill’s Summerhill School in Suffolk, UK is a completely democratic school. Students of all ages decide for themselves what they will do and when, how and where they will do it.

“This freedom is at the heart of the school; it belongs to students as their right, not to be violated. The fundamental premise of the school is that “all people are curious by nature ; that the most efficient, long-lasting  and profound learning takes place when started and pursued by the learner; that all people are creative if they are allowed to develop their unique talents; that age-mixing among students promotes growth in all members of the group; and that freedom is essential to the development of personal responsibility.”

From their website,

The important freedom at Summerhill is the right to play. All lessons are optional. There is no pressure to conform to adult ideas of growing up, though the community itself has expectation of reasonable conduct from individual.

Sounds like my kind of school.

Interested to hear from anyone who has had experience with democratic schools. 

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