Alexander Suez ago country Neill


Alexander Suez ago country Neill (* 17. October 1883 in Scotland, † 23. September 1973) is considered as an important reform paedagogue even if its school Summerhill in Germany only in the early seventies admits became. Its Pädagogik is affected by realizationsthe psychoanalysis. At different times it used different psychoanalytische beginnings, it reümmierte however toward end of its life that its Pädagogik had existence also without these portions. It was friendly with William realm, with which it went also into therapy. Neill becomes (in Germany) asFounder of the anti-authoritarian education regards, since the German translation of its most well-known work under the misleading title “theory and practice of the anti-authoritarian education” was published. Its work is brought partly also with the term Antipädagogik in connection. From both writing up it dissociated itself, duringit under these key words in the German-speaking countries in the student movement became famous. Neill uses - following William realm the term of “regulations education”. There were numerous beginnings for democratic child education, which were affected by its work in connection with the 68er movement.

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lives and working

with four and one-half years was given first schooling to Neill. At this time it (not only) was common in Scotland to discipline children with impacts and hard punishments. There Neill of itsFather was informed and not as preferentially to apply should, he was not very strictly treated. Neills nut/mother, up to their marriage likewise as a teacher actively (married women were not allowed to work at that time in Scotland as teachers), attached great importance to the reputation of the family in throughthe Scottish Calvinismus coined/shaped society.

At the age of 14 years Neill began successively training as accountant and a retailer. It was not lucky in this occupations and became 1899 “Pupil Teacher” at the school of its father. After 4-jähriger training he got a teacher diploma and was now auxiliary teachers. This task did not satisfy it particularly, since it rejected the usual educational proceedings. From 1903 to 1908 Neill worked on different Scottish village schools. It developed a deep dislike against the hard educating methods at these schools, took even private instruction and decided,To take up study.

From 1908 to 1912 Neill in Edinburgh studied. Its study closed it with that M. A. (Master OF kind) off. Subsequently, it cooperated one year as an editor in an encyclopedia and went to London, where it as an artistic assistant of the“Piccadilly of magazine” worked.

1914, after outbreak of the 1. World war - it was classified as unfit for the war service -, it became public in representation of the rector gone to the front - directors/conductors of the Gretna School. Its experiences at this school led it to the intellectualTurning point. At the beginning of still another adapted teacher, he thought on educating questions, resuming now.

It rejected the learning obligation and the punishing system and put more value on play and joy. Its pupils could leave for example instruction, if they wanted it. Its timeas a head master in Gretna Green it describes in its first book “A Dominie's log”. The publication 1915 represented the beginning of its career both and to writers and and reform paedagogue. The book became a best-seller in Great Britain and Neill wrote afterwards four further “Dominie” - books.

Inthis time fall its first contacts to Homer Lane. Neill became Lanes pupils, friend and patient and took over many of its principles. Lane believed in the innate property in each child. It had considerable successes in the “Little Commonwealth”, a home for with difficulty trainable children. HereLane turned its revolutionary therapeutic measures, like z. B.psychoanalytisch “paradoxes motivated sanctions” on, which later used also Neill, if he encouraged for example pupils for hitting windowpanes, or recompenced thieves.

As Neill after the military service, into which it had been still called up 1916,in Lane to cooperate, had he wanted to experience, which had been terminated its experiment with the locking of the “Little Commonwealth”.

Thus it applied to the “King Alfred School” from John Russell. This koedukative reform school in London had abolished notes and flogging punishment. After Homer Lanes exampleit led there “Self government”. When it came to protests within the Lehrerkollegiums regarding the autonomy meetings, to it Russell put close to terminate the work on this school.

Starting from spring 1920 it published the new Era” together with Beatrice Ensor the magazine “Education OF.Now he could concern himself with a broad topic choice and become acquainted with most different school attempts in Great Britain and on the continent. It practiced criticism at the existing educational system in its “Editorials” violently. During this time he became acquainted with the always well-known becoming Montessori - Pädagogik. It leaned this beginningas too scientific, too properly, too didactically off.

Neills radical attitude, which he admits on lecture journeys and by publications made, kindled many discussions and quarrels with other reform paedagogues.

1921 were Neill on behalf the “new Era” in Europe on the way. In Germany it visited in Dresden HellerauLilian Neustätter, an acquaintance from the time to the King Alfred School, which he married later. In Hellerau there was the “Jaques Dalcroze school”, whose enterprise described Neill for the “new Era”. Neill remained for a pupil of the reform paedagogue in Germany and created 1921 with Christine Bear,Emile Jaques Dalcroze, and Lilian Neustätter the “international school” in Hellerau. Here the chance resulted to lead a school after its conceptions for Neill. Already soon it terminated its activity with the “new Era” to convert around its own school idea into the reality.

Thus tookit for example the form “Self government”, set up the participation in instruction to each pupil freely, main header the class system, would use “paradoxes sanctions” and introduced so-called “private one lessons”. 1923 stopped the school their work. The reasons for this were notices of departure of primarily foreignPupils due to unrests, which broke out in Saxonia. Thus the economical basis for Neills school experiment broke away.

Neill on the Sunday mountain in a former monastery building in Austria found a new location for the school. Regular instruction did not take place at this school - ifthose altogether only 9 pupils questions had, a group were formed, which argued with certain circumstances. Neill brought a pupil to neuro tables to an analysis with William Stekel in Vienna and underwent in the connection of such a treatment with this pupil victory mouth Freuds.The school on the Sunday mountain met on violent resistance of the population and on the part of the school administrative board. Thus one decided after less than one year to shift the school seat to England. The principal reason for this was the fact that Neill did not give religious education (and to give wanted none). The school administrative boardrefused permission for the school, which is missing up to then.

At the end of of 1924 was rented a house in Lyme Regis in the county Dorset, which lay on the “Summerhill”. Here the school got finally the name with that it once world-famous will should. The school specializedon problem children, who appeared anti-social at other schools cumbersomely, putridly, slowly-acting and (or). 1926 increased the popularity of Neills school suddenly, due to the appearance of its meanwhile eighth book “The problem of Child”.

The building in Lyme Regis should be supplied to another use and Neillmade itself on the search for new school building. In Leiston at the English east coast he found a former Mädchenpensionat with suitable buildings and green areas. It took up a credit and bought the messuage.

In the 30's Neill began also abroad lectures toohold and thought after a lecture journey 1936 even to create a branch Summerhills in South Africa. This idea was not realized due to the religious reservations in the South African public however. It traveled by Scandinavia, held lectures in Stockholm and Oslo and learned there 1937 William realm know, with which it visited psychoanalytische meetings. The two justified thereby a close friendship which should last to on realm end of life.

1940 had to be left Leiston temporarily, since the military seized the building due to the war. A temporary spare accommodation became in Ffestiniog inNorth Wales found. Neill was not lucky with the there dominant situation. Difficulties with the personnel, who made its leading position contentious for it, the Kalvinismus of the environment and the bad weather impaired it and its interest in the school much. Despite the war existed a waiting list forSummerhill - particularly because of the rural situation safe before Bombenamgriffen. 1944 died Neills Mrs. Lilian in Ffestiniog.

1945 married Neill at the age of 62 years the substantially younger Ena Wood, which had maintained its first wife before. This mark not predominantly acted itaround a reason marriage. The relationship had strongly passionate elements and Neills friend, William realm, to it the marriage had strongly advised against.

Short time on it could return the school back to Leiston to school building very heruntergekommene by the military use.

To 2. November 1946 became Neillsfirst and only child Zoë born. Neill undertook a first lecture journey with Ena and the baby by the USA and visited his friend William realm, who had established himself in Maine.

In June 1949 the first school inspection took place. Against Neills expectation those cutSchool amazingly positively off. 1959 took place a further school inspection, whose result was disillusioning “fair, but” and the numbers of students sank.

This changed suddenly, as at the end of of 1960 the book “Summerhill: A Radical Approach ton of Child Rearing " in the USA appeared. The book is a compilationof texts from five earlier books Neills. The compilation was made by Neills American publisher Harold hard and is not not comprehensible for lack of source data. Neill was a little content with the arbitrarily arranged complete text and regretted themselves the cancellation of many texts, with the psychoanalysis and theirInfluence on Neills Pädagogik concerned, but economic success connected with the book and the new popularity reconciled it with these lack.

1966 were lent to Neill first by altogether three honour doctor titles of the University of Newcastle.

1968 appeared itself Emmanuel of amber study over former Summerhill pupils,on the whole positively for Summerhill affected. The study been based on no very broad basis: Amber had traveled on an old scooter by England and former pupils and pupils had interviewt. Its data basis and the dressing of these data were most doubtful, but the studyby Neill were gladly consulted, in order to add its school idea an empirical justification.

1971 celebrated Summerhill its 50-jähriges existence.

1972 appeared Neills autobiography “Neill! Neill! Orange Peel " in the USA and one year later in England. To this time were Neill health worse and worse. Itdied to 23. September 1973 in the hospital of the neighboring place Aldeburgh.

Summerhill is operated since then by Neills daughter Zoë and has in the last years particularly many Japanese pupils and pupils. In Japan Neills school idea was very popular for the 50's and became as alternativeto the rigiden Japanese educational system outstandingly.

In the last years Summerhill was examined several times and should be closed on operation of the authorities. The school went to before the highest industrial tribunal and could reach that to international Privatschulen other standards are imposed than to other public schools.At the same time - and that was important to Zoë Readhead - it could be interspersed that the liberty of the instruction attendance was maintained as substantial element of the Neill Pädagogik. Obviously due to the processes and the associated publicity the school recently again particularly attracts many pupils and pupils.The number of Summerhill children corresponds nearly from the war years, as if anxious parents their children in the rural Ffestinog sent.


  • autonomy at school, Zurich: Pan publishing house 1950.
  • Theory and practice of the anti-authoritarian education. The example Summerhill, Reinbek with Hamburg:Rowohlt paperback 1969 ISBN 3499602091 (the bound German first edition sideidentical to it appeared to a large extent unnoticed under the title education in Summerhill. The revolutionary Beiospiel of a free school. Munich: Szczesny 1965).
  • The principle Summerhill, questions and answers, Rowohlt paperback, 1971, ISBN 3499166909
  • the green cloud,Rowohlt paperback, 1971, ISBN 349920794X


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