Summerhill isn't a widely-known or even reputed school. It's a "free school" where children are given the choice and responsibility to attend classes or not. Widely frowned upon by much of academia, it has always been financially struggling but has somehow survived these past 90 years.
It has also influenced many other experimental schools. My own high school was based on Summerhill philosophy, and though my school is gone now, in its time and place it was revolutionary. I realize now how very important and influential that experience was in shaping both my education and who I am as a human.
Were I ever rich, I'd found a Summerhill-like school. For many of us who attended St. Francis, it quite literally saved our lives. St. Francis was an ecumenical school as well as a free school, and though Christianity was available it wasn't singularly forced. In my Sophomore year I recall taking a class in Witchcraft History as well as an Islamic History course. I took many English courses in my Freshman year. Aside from the obligatory Classics we read Bestsellers and Mystery novels, which encouraged and edified my love of reading.
I was a scholarship student, one of very few there. Most of the kids were wayward rich types whose families didn't know what to do with them. There were some bad incidents, but we always drew together as a school and everyone really did have a say in what happened. It was painful to graduate and leave that school. Makes me wonder how many people can say that of their secondary education.
3 days ago