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CI 204 - CI 204 Book Report By Austin Haywood Being raised...

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CI 204 Book Report By Austin Haywood
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Being raised in a public school my whole life; I was under the assumption that the way that the public schools’ education system operated was adequate. I thought that I was being prepared for the real world with the concepts that I was taught. The ideas that are presented in Summerhill School, A New Look on Childhood by A.S. Neil, contain new and unheard of concepts to me. One idea that is illustrated involves allowing children to learn at their own pace. I thought that one had to learn various facts at different intervals for 12 -13 years prior to college. A.S. Neil shows a different way for presenting the same amount of knowledge to youth when they choose to be exposed to it. Neil was able to develop a school and make it functional because he set up two major fundamentals within the school. He gave the students freedom and made the school a Democracy instead of a Dictatorship. First, Neil gave students the freedom to make decisions on their own. Students were never forced to go to class and could play all day if they wanted to. This freedom allowed students to enjoy leisure time for themselves and learn at their own pace. Neil’s theory is that students will gain knowledge more efficiently if they learn what they want when they want. He also understands that not all students are the same; for example, student one may learn math quicker than student two. This does not mean that student two is not as intellectually capable as student one or that he/she will never learn the material. It just means that it may take student two a longer amount of time to learn the same subject matter as student one. In addition, Neil could also interpret this example as portraying a student who may not be ready to learn math yet and will begin to learn the material when he/she is ready. This method of educating has been profusely criticized by the British government, but in truth, Neil proves that this method works. The majority of
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students initially do not want to attend class. However, eventually one group of students learns just enough to get a job and a second group develops strong motivation to learn the material.
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