A. S. Neill

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My own criterion of success is the ability to work joyfully and to live positively.

Alexander Sutherland Neill (17 October 188323 September 1973), known as A. S. Neill, was a Scottish educator and author known for his school, Summerhill School, and its philosophies of freedom from adult coercion and community self-governance. He wrote 20 books in his lifetime, and his best seller was the 1960 Summerhill, a compilation of four previous books about his school. The book was a common ancestor to activists in the 60s free school movement.

Quotes[edit]

  • A good teacher does not draw out; he gives out, and what he gives out is love. And by love I mean approval, or if you like, friendliness, good nature. The good teacher not only understands the child: he approves of the child.
    • The Problem Teacher (1939), p. 11
  • If the emotions are free, the intellect will look after itself.
    • The Free Child (1953), p. 29

Summerhill (1960)[edit]

A child is innately wise and realistic. If left to himself without adult suggestion of any kind, he will develop as far as he is capable of developing.
  • A child is innately wise and realistic. If left to himself without adult suggestion of any kind, he will develop as far as he is capable of developing.
    • p. 4
  • Hate breeds hate, and love breeds love.
    • p. 8
  • You cannot make children learn music or anything else without to some degree converting them into will-less adults. You fashion them into accepters of the status quo – a good thing for a society that needs obedient sitters at dreary desks, standers in shops, mechanical catchers of the 8:30 suburban train – a society, in short, that is carried on the shabby shoulders of the scared little man – the scared-to-death conformist.
    • p. 12
  • No one has the right to make a boy learn Latin, because learning is a matter for individual choice; but if in a Latin class, a boy fools all the time, the class should throw him out, because he interferes with the freedom of others.
    • p. 356

External links[edit]

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