Summerhill School is a democratically-run boarding school in England for children aged six to eighteen. Founded by A.S. Neill in 1921 it is sometimes called “the oldest children’s democracy in the world,” and when I visited for a week in 2005 I loved it – I said to my mother “That’s the first school I’ve visited that I actually like!” The kids had so much freedom – some of them went to lessons but many of them simply spent the day climbing trees and messing around on bicycles. I also got to witness the school meeting, which was wonderfully egalitarian, with teachers and students on a completely equal footing, able to speak their minds honestly and without “Children’s independence” の続きを読む
I just got back last night from APDEC 2016 in Taiwan. I’m pretty tired but I want to get some initial thoughts down – hopefully I’ll write more about these topics in the coming weeks (once I recover).
Play is really, really, really important for children’s development. It’s important for cognitive learning, and also equally important for emotional health (Peter Gray).
Children spending time away from their parents is really important, and they cope with it very well – they’re not nearly as dependent on us as we (like to?) think they are (Henry Readhead).
Children need other children to play with – there’s nothing wrong with also playing with adults, but playing with other children is vital.
Play is also vital for adults – ideally you’ll experience your work as play .
Parents need help to be the best parents they can be – without training they’ll tend to copy their own parents.
Educators, parents, and children (and indeed, probably everybody in the world) would all do well to learn Non-Violent Communication. This is something I feel I might be able to help people learn, though I also need to learn a lot more about it too.
In the UK (if it’s still appropriate to call it that…..) there’s an incredible amount of bad feeling, division, distrust, resentment and anger going on right now, and when people are this angry at each other they tend to focus on their differences (which they use as insults to yell at each other). I’d like to suggest that, understandable though this anger and shouting is, it would be more useful to try to find something that both Leavers and Remainers can agree on. “the one thing both sides can agree on” の続きを読む
A simplistic view of democratic process is that it is about voting for what you want, but in reality democratic decision-making is far more complex: it’s about dialogue, and negotiation, and compromises both sides can live with. This is because democracy is founded on the idea that everybody has a valid perspective and therefore should have the right to contribute to decision-making – the aim then becomes a solution or compromise that satisfies as many of the interested parties as is realistically possible without compromising the central principle of mutual respect. “The Brexit debate is no longer democratic” の続きを読む
It’s my belief that we should leave children’s learning up to their own curiosity, because learning that comes from curiosity is true learning that they will remember throughout their life, whereas learning that they have forced upon them is shallow and soon forgotten. As an example, I want to reflect on my school-based maths learning.