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Freedom, Not License!

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  7 reviews
A.S. Neill, the now-renowned headmaster of the Summerhill School in England, has received hundreds of letters from correspondents in the USA requesting advice about their specific problems in child rearing. With his uncommon wisdom & in his unique, forthright style, he proffers answers.
There are chapters about sibling rivalry, homosexuality, eating habits, the fearful chi
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 1st 1978 by Pocket Books (first published 1966)
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Jan 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is truly radical parenting advice! It will really stretch your definition of what it means to be truly free and how that translates to parenting and education...and the world at large.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I suppose the older a book gets, the more you have to wade through to get to the good parts, and even more so the more radical the book was to begin with. This book suffers from its 53 years, but there are reasons to wade. It’s still a good book, it still has some gems. The core point is excellent, and the application to so many situations is helpful. Sometimes it’s even helpful when it’s so dated it’s irrelevant, because of the contrast in assumptions between the writer and the reader. A reader ...more
Oct 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
I've already read Neill's books before and I like them, but I must say that the content is so similar to that in "Summerhill", the same theories, only that in this one, they're applied to specific topics.

But just as I criticized his homophobic and sexist views on sexuality, I'll do it this time: he said that he wouldn't hire any gay or lesbian teacher because it'd be bothering. He thought that the army and some schools and prisons stimulate homosexuality.

Neill also stated that homosexual activit
Luís Nunes
Sep 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: educomedy
Look, this book is worth reading too, I was amazed at the difference in the treatment of educational issues then and now. It's amazing how the lack of information is still an evil, which produces much disagreement. The internet would be an antidote, if Internet users seek to get rid of the proselytizing of reactionary clerics of all religions. But where most have not mastered a foreign language becomes much easier handling especially on young people. Just check the recent conflicts in China and ...more
Feb 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Teachers, Parents
Recommended to Platontz by: Father
Shelves: education
The first time I tried to read this book was back when I was a teenager. At that time I thought of it as the greatest book a person could read and a guide to how parents should treat their children.

After almost ten years, experience showed me that Alexander Neill was wrong in his theory and too naive to his approach to children. I do appreciate the love he shows for teaching as well as his criticisms of the extremely social conservatives of his time, who did a great damage to their children, but
Anyone involved with children, be you parent or teacher, would do well to read this book. AS Neill, founder of the Summerhill School, wrote these responses to letters that he received from American parents. I find much of it to make sense, despite the obvious Freudian fallbacks. One warning, his views on homosexuality are obviously backwards at best, almost bad enough to discount the whole book, but why throw out the baby with the bathwater???
Elizabeth Lund
Somewhat interesting advice-column book. Most relevant for parents--not teachers--seeking to apply Neill's philosophy.
Jonah Meyer
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Alexander Sutherland Neill was a Scottish progressive educator, author and founder of Summerhill school and its philosophy of freedom from adult coercion and its community self-governance, which remains open and continues to follow his educational philosophy to this day. He is best known as an advocate of personal freedom for children.

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