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It could be said that AS Neill began the reformation of liberal education when he founded Summerhill Free School in 1921 The academic nature was opposite of a standard school where students have a variety of classes that they are expected to attend The voluntary attendance and absence of order and adult authority are just a few ethos that characterize Summerhill Students are expected to gain more of an educational wealth by learning basic concepts of self-esteem tolerance integrity fairness and understanding rather than math equations and science functions Because Summerhill is so popular and unique it has received enormous amounts of criticism Consequently the Free School has been a victim to numerous attempts of closures According to Kristi Ruark from the website Summerhill School Neill the fourth of 13 children grew up under the stern hand of his schoolmaster father who ran his classroom with an iron hand Ruark Neill believed he can expand his pupils minds and horizons by providing a comfortable learning atmosphere in which students can learn about what they are interested in compared to following fixed schedules of classes At the age of twenty-five Neill went to Edinburgh University and took a degree in English Afterward he became a journalist and later head of a small school in Gretna Green England There he began to compose his first Whalen 2 book A Dominies Log and form his ideas on freedom for children After a year in the school he wrote I have converted a hard-working school into a playground and I rejoice These brains have had a year of happiness and liberty They have done what they liked they have sung their
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