Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Summerhill School ISU

The book that I chose for my ISU is Summerhill school, a "test school" in Suffolk, England. The school is entirely based off a democracy for its teachers as well as its students. The students at Summerhill have full control of what they want to do, when they want to do it. What they want to learn, and when. There is no attendance for classes or some dictator-like figure forcing you to go to class, to the point where you could miss classes for years at a time. The students have just as much say in creating/abolishing rules, which they do by voting, and all votes are weighted equally; the head pricable's vote counts just as much as a 6 year old student. What this does is create students that have a sence of ownership and responsibility over the rules and their educational experience. Ultamately, the student can choose if they want to go to class or not, without any concequences for their choice. When a student does go to class it's because they want to learn. 'A student that wants to learn is a student that will learn'. This greatly enhances the eductational experience as students will be more interested and inclined to learn, meaning they will learn more material. This will also cut back on 'undesirable behavior' during class, as they chose to be there. There are many reasons why this form of education can be bennificial to both the student and the teacher. What do you think of this style of educatiion? Do you think there should be more of these types of schools?


  1. I would love to teach in this type of school, if only for the experience to see how it works. I have floated around with the idea of structuring an English class in such a way, but within the context of our current educational model, I don't know how that would work. I have many questions that prevent me from jumping on board.

    One question popped into my head while reading this post: What happens when you miss classes for years at a time?

    I don't think that there aren't consequences for missing class; rather the consequences are natural.

    I am excited to hear your presentation on the book.

  2. To a certain extent I believe that this is a beneficial way to teach students. Although, I feel as though some students may need someone to lead them, tell them what to do and push them to make good choices. Those students that need that extra help may not be able to get where they are capable of in life because of the lack of structure. I understand that it is the students responsibility to show up to class but some students may need just a bit of motivational support in order to do so.