When my daughter was about nine years old, I wanted to move to Tallahassee, FL. so she could attend a Summerhill school. It is the only one like it in the entire state, and it was so, SO, so appealing to me! We visited the school for a week, she liked it and wanted to go. If there is anything that I regret having done in life, it is to not have made that move to Tallahassee. I got stuck on logistics, and was waiting for the right time. Well, because of psychological proof of the formation of a person’s personality by the age of 11, I didn’t have much time to take her to that school; they wouldn’t accept anyone over 11 yrs. old (with certain exceptions) because after that age it is hard for people to accept something other than what they have been taught the first 11 years of life.
In this instance, my child would have had to learn that she is responsible for seeking information. She would have learned that success is becoming the very best of whatever you will want to be; be it a street sweeper or an astrophysicist. She would have learned that there is SO much to learn by playing outside for hours and hours.
Can she learn these things at home? Sure. Would they have made a deeper impression upon her young mind, if she were to have learned these things amongst her peers? I think so.
Now she is happy when she gets 15 minutes of recess in school, she is inundated with homework, but there isn’t much of a requirement to seek information; just to finish homework on time. Most of the society around her says that being successful has to do with making a lot of money, and definitely not by being a street sweeper.
I can’t take her to that school in Tallahassee, but I have been talking with her at home, encouraging her to find a balance between using her phone to look up songs she likes and finding information about human history, earth’s history…the universe’s history, and anything else she wants to find out about.
What is your take on the psychological presence or absence in how schools are formatted? Like how kids are told to sit at a desk for hours, while we know humans at that age need to move around, touch things, explore, feel textures, expend energy…
What is your take on a school like Summerhill?
What is your take on the use of technology?
What is your take on how most of society defines success?
By the way, one very cool thing I learned at that school is that Time Flies Like Arrows, Fruit Flies Like Bananas.