Library Journal - Library JournalIn this new book from Herbert Kohl's "Between Teacher and Text" series, Ayers revisits A.S. Neill's controversial approach to child rearing and education. In 1921 in Suffolk, England, Neill founded Summerhill, a school based on freedom and positive discipline. Students were not forced to attend classes or complete work but instead learned when they felt like it. This democratic, egalitarian community taught students to respect themselves and others while also promoting social justice. Ayers, who has spent years in the classroom experimenting with Neill's ideas of freedom and unconditional acceptance (which admittedly "seemed more than a little loony"), explains how these ideas have been successful in schools and can be applied to contemporary parenting and education. The second half of the book includes selections from Neill's original work, Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing (1960). While Neill's ideas are iconoclastic and interesting, Ayers's analysis is difficult to follow. Readers would benefit more from reading Neill's original text than this confusing study. Not recommended.-Charity Peak, Regis Univ., Colorado Springs, CO Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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