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robertogreco : summerhill   16

Henry Readhead, England - YouTube
"A. S. Neil’s grandson, and belongs to Summerhill’s present management
Life in Summerhill – a school that is a legend
How to create a warm supportive community, in a place that allows freedom for the individual."
summerhill  asneill  henryreadhead  2017  education  democratic  democracy  democraticschools  schools  unschooling  deschooling  learning  community 
april 2018 by robertogreco
Boy who did not want to learn to read - Children of Summerhill 1998 - YouTube
"This is a story of an alumnus of the Summerhill School, who did not learn to read and write in school, but later in life when he needed it - as an English conversation teacher to Japanese engineers!!!"

[via: https://twitter.com/ecomentario/status/813210427614171136 ]
literacy  summerhill  reading  howwelearn  education  schooling  writing  communication  asneill 
december 2016 by robertogreco
The burning issue in Banksy’s Graffiti — Medium
"Over half term Banksy broke into Bridge Farm Primary School in Bristol and drew a giant image of a girl rolling a burning tyre away from a distant school house. Media coverage of this event has, perhaps inevitably, gravitated towards the price of the art work and the disciplinary implications of Banksy’s letter to the children telling them that it’s “always easier to get forgiveness than permission”. What is less covered, and what is perhaps more worthy of a national discussion, are the subversive criticisms of the state of formal education and the lives of children in the UK and around the world which are evident in Banksy’s latest piece of work.

Banksy’s painting depicts a 14 foot stick figure girl with her back to a school house. The school, also drawn in simple lines, appears small and insignificant in the background. Its windows are barred. The one element of the painting that appears vivid and real is the burning tyre, with smoke billowing up into the air. The girl holds a stick in her hand and is pushing the tyre along, away from the school and towards a solitary flower. Her expression is blank and somewhat confused. The game she is playing is hoop rolling, where children use a stick to tap a hoop or tyre along, rolling it forward and preventing it from toppling over. Children used to play it on the streets of England as early as the 15th century, though you are unlikely to encounter a hoop roller on the streets today. Children in many parts of the world, especially in less economically developed countries, can still be seen rolling and racing tyres down the road for fun. The difference in Banksy’s image is that the tyre is billowing in flames.

One’s initial instinct upon seeing the image may be concern for the child. The fire appears large and out of control and the girl is blindly ploughing forward pushing it away from the seemingly safe space of the school building. Does the tyre represent the world outside the school walls? Have we created a world that is so hostile to children that we have to keep them cocooned in schools for 13 years of their lives before they are equipped enough to survive it? Is this why we have created schools that compartmentalize and pre-package the world into safe and “useful” learning parcels rather than letting children learn and be inspired first hand?

Education and learning have always been around in one form or another, yet the ways in which we learned in the past were more diverse, local, contextual, culturally and ecologically sound. However mass compulsory schooling, the idea that every child must spend a vast chunk of their lives in an institution, is a very new idea. It originated in Prussia in the 19th century in order to produce obedient and disciplined soldiers following Prussia’s defeat in the Napoleonic wars. Men did not know how to fight, or perhaps did not want to fight, so they were bred to fight. The model worked well for the industrial revolution as well, freeing parents from childcare in order to work in the factories, and breeding children with basic skills and literacy who would follow in their parents’ footsteps, working for others. During the colonial era, education was used intentionally to wipe out indigenous cultures and create subservient clerks for the colonial administration. As Thomas Macaulay, who was largely responsible for the development of modern schooling in India put it, schools needed to create “a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect”. Today, we imagine that schools are more liberating and have a broader curriculum, but perhaps we need to look again.

I have a vested interest in the different ways formal schooling has been designed and accessed around the world. In 2004, fresh out of university, I went to work in Yemen, on the island of Socotra. I had visited the island in 1997 on a school trip from the capital, Sanaa, and it had left a deep impact on my learning. Socotra is an island of extreme botanical diversity and natural beauty, and one where traditional environmental management systems had maintained harmony between human needs and the balance of the ecosystems which sustained them. When I arrived, Socotra was going through its first real boom in development. An airport had been built, tourists were starting to arrive, and villagers and nomads were settling in towns and sending their children to schools. The schools that were being built were of two types: government schools that promised students a path towards a secure government or private sector job, or faith schools that promised parents and children a route towards a secure religious identity. Both types of schools removed children from the land, the forests, the streams and the beaches they used to roam, play on and learn from. Slowly, children who used to know the names of all the plants and their uses and who used to follow generations old customs to preserve the unique diversity of the island forgot the names of the plants, they forgot how to scramble up the mountains and dive for seashells, and they happily started driving their 4x4s, playing loud music and chucking litter out the windows. The new environmental management system for the island then had to be imported, with computers, international experts, degrees from western universities, and more 4x4s.

My experience watching this transformation in Socotra has remained with me. Since then, I’ve worked and visited schools in other parts of Yemen, in Jordan, in Morocco, in Chad, in India, in the UK and in refugee camps from Algeria to Palestine. Around the world, a similar story can be seen. A story where children’s connection to place and to community is being replaced by a connection to a very narrow idea of what success and happiness looks like. A vision of identity and status being linked to consumption, where learning “useful” knowledge is done in classrooms and not in the real world.

Children in schools today wear school uniforms, blazers, suits and ties. We teach them that in order to be successful they must sit behind a desk and use a computer. School children don’t wear dungarees as uniforms. Most don’t learn that they can be happy being woodworkers or growing food or fixing bikes. They by and large don’t get the chance to learn about deciduous forests by being in them, smelling them, feeling them and playing in them. They learn about deciduous forests by reading about them and answering exam questions about them. When we took a group of year 11 students from my school in London to the south coast, one of them looked at the English channel and asked “is that the river?” One in four of the children in my Modern Foreign Languages class had never seen the River Thames, despite living within a half hour’s walk from it. These children attend a school that sets very high expectations and cares incredibly about the wellbeing of its students. The same children would go on to achieve GCSE results which place them in the top 10% in the country. They are highly successful students.

Schools have discipline and authority. Some schools may have active student councils, but by no stretch of the imagination are our schools democratic structures. We tell our children that we live in a democracy but children know fully well that they have no power to change the status quo, or to challenge authority. I understood this very quickly teaching in London. The school rules stated that “I do as I’m asked the first time I’m asked”. There was no room for negotiation, it was for the greater good of maintaining discipline and not “disrupting learning”. The unwritten rules were even more disconcerting. I quickly learnt that as a teacher, if I were to witness a dispute between a teacher and a student, it was my job to back my colleagues regardless of the situation. It was for the greater good of maintaining discipline. Perhaps we need to look at these dynamics to understand why Britain is struggling to get its youth to vote in the European referendum.

We give lessons about sustainability, and some schools may even have recycling bins and green clubs, but the environmental footprint of schools from construction to transport, energy and water has a long way to go to meet sustainability parameters. Seeing the smoke billowing out of Banky’s tyre, one cannot but think of environmental damage, pollution and global warming. Does the tyre represent the environmental destruction that we as humans are creating? Does it represent the mindset that we instill in our children during their schooling where we are inherently taught to blindly plough forward, producing waste and consuming fossil fuels, because that is the path to growth?

In the international development agenda, the goal of ‘Education for All’ is inseparable from the development path of nations. Children have to learn their Maths and their English. They forget about traditional knowledge systems, local food sources, water resources, languages and community cohesion. The world is a competitive place and they must learn the skills to allow them to move to cities where they too will consume and fuel our endless growth and our endless piles of burning tyres. It is also clear that a lot of very well intentioned work is being done. For example, when I worked on education in refugee camps in Jordan, people were thinking about psychosocial care for children affected by trauma, on creating safe spaces and child friendly spaces for children and on equipping them with the skills they would need to move on after devastating conflict. All of this is important and invaluable work, but where are these learning models coming from? How do they connect to local identities, and what vision of a happy, successful and ecologically sound future do they aspire to?

Maybe Banksy was being kind by sending us a note along with his art. He gave us a red herring to tend to our sensibilities, in case we are not quite ready to face the art. But perhaps one can hope that, … [more]
education  unschooling  deschooling  rowansalim  colonialism  happiness  success  community  children  learning  culture  place  experience  2016  banksy  environment  development  summerhill  asneill  shikshantar  highered  highereducation  compulsory  schooling  schooliness  via:carolblack  society  nature  knowledge  ater  food  jordan  yemen  teaching  howweteach  howwelearn  discipline  authority  negotiation  socotra  morocco  chad  india  uk  algeria  palestine  identity  status  consumption  economics  sanaa  thomasmacaulay  liberation  curriculum  sfsh 
june 2016 by robertogreco
BBC News - The anarchic experimental schools of the 1970s
"In the 1970s, idealistic young activists created a wave of experimental schools - no compulsory lessons, no timetables, no rules. So what happened to the kids who attended these free-for-alls?"



"Summerhill has survived because it has a niche as the only boarding school of its type in the world. Its fees give it the cash to keep going - or just about, she says. Boarding fees start at £3,148 per term for seven-year-olds rising to £5,472 for 13-year-olds. Day fees are roughly 60% of this.

She thinks the 1970s free schools probably "confused freedom with licence". People often assume Summerhill is about anarchy, she sighs. But it has a law book setting out rules voted for by the children. It covers everything from nude swimming to queue jumping and internet porn - which is apparently allowed for the older children.

Summerhill does turn out pupils who become doctors and entrepreneurs. They leave with exam results, something that the 1970s free schools never managed. Ofsted says that in 2013 Summerhill's results were in the top 20% of schools in England.

None of the Scotland Road kids went on to become millionaires, but would they have done any better at "normal" school? There's a sense that those who are happy to talk about their experiences necessarily are those with the fondest memories. Generally, there's a mixture of emotions from gratitude to have experienced something so unusual, tempered by an acknowledgment that the schools were often far too chaotic."
freeschools  1970s  education  history  uk  summerhill  anarchism  unschooling  deschooling  alternative  schools  progressive  rudolfsteiner  mariamontessori  asneill 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Can Any School Foster Pure Creativity? | MindShift
"Promoting creativity would require an entirely new conception of public schooling. Teachers would have to be transformed into mentors whose mission would be to support the individual interests of each child and introduce them to new ideas and possibilities, which the student may or may not opt to embrace. Traditional testing would have to be eliminated — tests implicitly teach that failure is bad and that there is only one right answer. Creative learning would be more effectively promoted by having students actively engage in their creative pursuits as opposed to being confined to a classroom.

It’s worth noting that learning environments with these features already exist. For example, democratic schools such as Sudbury Valley and Summerhill provide environments where students are responsible for deciding what and how they learn, who they associate with, and what activities they want to pursue. The staff acts as mentors to support students as opposed to directing their thoughts and behavior. Roughly thirty democratic schools exist in the U.S. and while this may not be appropriate for every child, studies have shown that this climate promotes creative traits.

Given these circumstances, the idea of teaching creativity in an environment that requires assessment, evaluation, and grading seems unlikely, if not impossible. Even where opportunities to show creativity might be devised, students may be inclined to self-censoring: A student who wants a good grade may not feel completely free to produce something that might be offensive.

So what’s the result? Creativity scores decline, and school administrators wonder why their efforts towards boosting creativity have failed. What’s more, the paradox of expecting students to exhibit creativity in an environment that suppresses such displays becomes a breeding ground for neurotic children."
schools  education  learning  creativity  add  adhd  summerhill  sudburyschools  cevinsoling  2014  howweteach  howwelearn  openstudioproject  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  testing  standardizedtesting  currcilulum 
august 2014 by robertogreco
No Teachers, No Class, No Homework; Would You Send Your Kids Here? - Emily Chertoff - The Atlantic
"Many agree that the generation of Americans now in their teens and 20s had some of the most over-supervised and over-structured childhoods in U.S. history. It will be interesting to see whether these trends will continue, or whether these next-generation parents react to their own disciplined upbringings by becoming more hands-off. If they grow to resent the way they were raised, democratic schools may come to look like a pretty appealing option for their own children."
parenting  supervision  education  learning  sudbury  sudburyschools  sudburyvalleyschool  trends  deschooling  unschooling  2012  summerhill  schools  democratic  democraticschools  democraticeducation 
december 2012 by robertogreco
La Educación Prohibida | Un proyecto audiovisual para transformar la educación…
"La Educación Prohibida es una película documental que se propone cuestionar las lógicas de la escolarización moderna y la forma de entender la educación, visibilizando experiencias educativas diferentes, no convencionales que plantean la necesidad de un nuevo paradigma educativo.

La Educación Prohibida es un proyecto realizado por jóvenes que partieron desde la visión del quienes aprenden y se embarcaron en una investigación que cubre 8 países realizando entrevistas a más de 90 educadores de propuestas educativas alternativas. La película fue financiada colectivamente gracias a cientos de coproductores y tiene licencias libres que permiten y alientan su copia y reproducción.

La Educación Prohibida se propone alimentar y disparar un debate reflexión social acerca de las bases que sostienen la escuela, promoviendo el desarrollo de una educación integral centrada en el amor, el respeto, la libertad y el aprendizaje."

[Direct link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1Y9OqSJKCc ]
tolstoy  democratic  democraticschools  freeschools  escuelaactiva  sudburyschools  sudbury  2012  asneill  summerhill  españa  perú  español  prussia  schooliness  montessori  waldorf  rudolfsteiner  johntaylorgatto  williamkilpatrick  rosaagazzi  agazzisisters  johannheinrichpestalozzi  olvidedecroly  célestinfreinet  olgacossettini  emmipikler  reggioemilia  mariamontessori  ivanillich  paulofreire  schooling  history  schools  parenting  learning  education  progressive  deschooling  unschooling  colombia  ecuador  uruguay  argentina  chile  laeducaciónprohibida  spain 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Comparing A.S. Neill to Rousseau, Appropriate? (JUAL)
"The following article explores a comparison drawn by several authors between A.S. Neill and J.-J. Rousseau. To conduct this exploration, the article first delineates a methodology that rests on the analysis of key educational themes. Then, the article contextualizes the works of both Neill and Rousseau. This contextualization clarifies the subsequent comparative analysis. This analysis examines Neill and Rousseau' stances on knowledge, learning, teaching and the nature of learners. This examination identifies evident discrepancies between the discourses of both authors. As a result, it concludes that the likening of Neill to Rousseau is largely inappropriate."

[This URL is likely to break. If it does not work, check the JUAL archives for "Volume 5, Number 2 (Issue #10) - 2011."]
unschooling  deschooling  education  learning  rousseau  summerhill  asneill  teaching  knowledge  2011  giulianoreis  marc-alexandreprud'homme 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Manhattan Free School
"The Manhattan Free School is an independent school for people from ages 5-18. Our school’s fundamental premise is based on the resolution constructed and adopted at the 2005 International Democratic Education Conference, which states:

In any educational setting, young people have the right:

* to decide individually how, when, what, where, and with whom they learn,

* to have an equal share in the decision-making as to how their organizations—in particular their schools—are run, and which rules and sanctions, if any, are necessary. We believe people are born curious and because of this we can trust in their desire to learn and their enormous capacity to make sense of the world on their own terms."
alternative  democratic  education  sudburyschools  summerhill  nyc  unschooling  teaching  schools  freeschools  lcproject  deschooling  manhattan  manhattanfreeschool 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Some vaguely consistent threads around education in my morning procrastination break. - bengoldacre
"we're living through a technological revolution, which creates changes in what can be cognitively outsourced & what's worth learning, & where some people can press ahead by leaving out the pointless stuff…this stuff about local people setting up education academies is all very well, but what I’d like to see is a visionary nerd school, like a geeky version of Summerhill but set up by, I don’t know, Tim O’Reilly, Suw Charman, Cory Doctorow, Bruce Schneier, Petra Boynton, Vaughan Bell & others. But the inevitable reality is that a lot of individuals will be way ahead on this, educating themselves & cracking on, before institutions can have a hope of catching up. This might have implications for our hopes of living in a meritocracy, or at least it might in certain fields, and in certain countries. And then again it might not. But aren’t you glad to be alive? Normally living through “interesting times” somewhere means war and misery. For now, these changes really are just interesting."
summerhill  via:preoccupations  timoreilly  schools  ict  teaching  education  learning  uk  corydoctorow  meritocracy  bruceschneier  petraboyton  vaughanbell  suwcharman  bengoldacre  technology  change  gamechanging  autodidacts  unschooling  deschooling  democratic  science  medicine  tcsnmy  curriculum 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Democratic education - Wikipedia
"Democratic schools do not have compulsory uniform curricula. Instead, these schools place emphasis on learning as a natural product of all human activity. They assume that the free market of ideas, free conversation, and the interplay of people provide sufficient exposure to any area that may prove relevant and interesting to individual students. Students of all ages learn together; older students learn from younger students as well as vice versa. Students of different ages often mentor each other in social skills."

[list here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_democratic_schools]
democratic  summerhill  lcproject  tcsnmy  schools  unschooling  deschooling  education 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Homer Lane - Wikipedia
"Homer Lane (1875-1925) was an American-born educator who believed that the behaviour and character of children improved when they were given more control over their lives. He was born in Connecticut and started his teaching career at Peters High School in Southborough, Massachusetts. He later went to Detroit, where he worked with youths who had run afoul of the law. In 1912 he was invited to go to England where he founded the Little Commonwealth school in Dorset and greatly influenced A. S. Neill, the founder of Summerhill School."
education  history  homerlan  asneill  summerhill  freeschools  democratic  control  tcsnmy  deschooling  unschooling 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Confessions of a home-schooler | Salon Life
"For reasons I can about halfway understand, other parents often seem to feel attacked by our eccentric choices. ... Some people seem genuinely disturbed by our decision, on philosophical or political grounds, as if by keeping a couple of 5-year-olds out of kindergarten we have violated the social contract. Specifically, we have rejected the mainstream consensus that since education is a good thing, more of it -- more formal, more "academic," reaching ever deeper into early childhood and filling up more of the day and more of the year -- is better for society and better for all children. This is almost an article of faith in contemporary America, but it's also one that's debatable at best and remains largely unsupported by research data...some people suspect we have a hidden ideological or religious agenda we're not telling them about."

[One page: http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2009/09/28/confessions_homeschooler/print.html ]
homeschool  unschooling  education  parenting  glvo  cv  schools  society  defensiveness  nonconformism  anarchism  summerhill 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Educational facility No:1. The topology of a proposal for a phantom experimental free school leaflet. East Dulwich
[Wayback: http://web.archive.org/web/20101029134555/http://www.dismalgarden.org/pages/dulwich.html ]

"Exhibited and distributed for free, the above fold-out leaflet proposal describes in detail plans to redevelop the Top Room exhibition space into an experimental self-sustainable art institution based on a non-hierachical "Exploding School" model which utilises the "scattered resources" of city space as a means of context based site-specific teaching.

Disregarding established old-school educational models, "Educational Facility No:1" takes as a starting point the ideas of William Godwin, Summerhill, the Chicago Metro High School and Paul Goodman's School Without Walls to create a hybrid contemporary educational facility enabling a more site-specific context based collaborative art education."
schools  schooldesign  education  architecture  learning  lcproject  cities  urban  urbanism  paulgoodman  summerhill  art  exploration  space  design  explodingschool  colinward  nilsnorman  williamgodwin  schoolwithoutwalls  cityasclassroom  unschooling  deschooling  openstudioproject 
june 2008 by robertogreco

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