Summerhill on my mind….

I haven’t posted for a bit, but I’ve sure been thinking about it a lot!!
I’m reading A.S. Neill and Peter Gray and others in preparation for attending the Intl. Democratic Education Conference in Boulder, CO.
I am drawn to some provocative words from the founder of Summerhill School – “Every time we show Tommy how his engine works we are stealing from that child the joy of life – the joy of discovery – the joy of overcoming an obstacle. Worse! We make that child come to believe that he is inferior, and must depend on help.”  Notice that he chooses his words carefully, not suggesting that help is not needed but instead that it should be sought rather than depended upon. This may seem like a fine distinction when it comes to very young children, but I would submit that there is no better time for a person to have a clear view of their own potential. Our job is to be present, genuinely interested and invested in our kids as they construct their understanding of the physical world, culture and community around them.

I’ll close (for now) with a few more thought provoking words – “I hold that the aim of life is to find happiness, which means to find interest. Education should be a preparation for life.”  – A. S. Neill

What are your children interested in?


About Kris Taylor

I am the very fortunate director of two small, mixed-age preschools that are finding their unique paths by interpreting and incorporating the best of the progressive, constructivist early childhood philosophies. I never forget that the community of teachers, families and children are what makes it the amazing place that it is. Each day is another precious opportunity to practice and perfect valuing, respecting and loving one another; creating and exploring community; and having immeasurable fun in the process.
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