A.s. Neill Quotes

Alexander Sutherland Neill (17 October 1883 – 23 September 1973) was a Scottish educator and author known for his school, Summerhill, and its philosophies of freedom from adult coercion and community self-governance. Neill was raised in Scotland, where he was a poor student but became a schoolteacher. He taught in several schools across the country before attending the University of Edinburgh from 1908 to 1912. He took two jobs in journalism before World War I, and taught at Gretna Green Village School during the first year of the war, writing his first book, A Dominie's Log (1915), as a diary of his life as headteacher. He joined the staff of a school in Dresden in 1921, founding Summerhill upon his return to England in 1924. Summerhill received widespread renown in the 1920s/1930s and then in the 1960s/1970s, due to progressive and counterculture interest. Neill wrote 20 books in his lifetime, and his best seller was the 1960 Summerhill, a compilation of four previous books about his school. The book was a common ancestor to activists in the 1960s free school movement

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A.s. Neill


I would rather see a school produce a happy street cleaner than a neurotic scholar.

A.s. Neill


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All crimes, all hatreds, all wars can be reduced to unhappiness.

A.s. Neill


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The function of a child is to live his/her own life, not the life that his/her anxious parents think he/she should live, nor a life according to the purpose of the educators who thinks they knows best

A.s. Neill


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If the emotions are free the intellect will look after itself

A.s. Neill


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No teacher has the right to cure a child of making noises on a drum. The only curing that should be practiced is the curing of unhappiness.

A.s. Neill


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