Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:31 am

Mahasi Sayadaw
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/15/19



Mahasi Sayadaw U Sobhana
The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw
Title Sayadaw
Born Maung Thwin
29 July 1904
Seikkhun, Shwebo District, British Burma
Died 14 August 1982 (aged 78)
Rangoon, Burma
Religion Buddhism
Nationality Burmese
School Theravada
Lineage Mahasi
Education Dhammācariya (1941)
Occupation Buddhist monk
Senior posting
Based in Mahasi Monastery, Yangon, Myanmar
Predecessor U Nārada
Successor U Pandita, Dipa Ma

Mahasi Sayadaw U Sobhana (Burmese: [x], pronounced [məhàsì sʰəjàdɔ̀ ʔú θɔ́bəna̰]; 29 July 1904 – 14 August 1982) was a Burmese Theravada Buddhist monk and meditation master who had a significant impact on the teaching of vipassanā (insight) meditation in the West and throughout Asia.

In his style of practice, derived from the so-called New Burmese Method of U Nārada, the meditator lives according to Buddhist morality as a prerequisite for meditation practice. Meditation itself entails the practice of satipatthana, mindfulness of breathing, anchoring the attention on the sensations of the rising and falling of the abdomen during breathing, observing carefully any other sensations or thoughts. This is coupled to reflection on the Buddhist teachings on causality, gaining insight into anicca, dukkha, and anattā.


Mahāsi Sayādaw was born in 1904 in Seikkhun village in Upper Burma. He became a novice at age twelve, and was ordained at the age of twenty with the name Sobhana. Over the course of decades of study, he passed the rigorous series of government examinations in the Theravāda Buddhist texts, gaining the newly introduced Dhammācariya (dhamma teacher) degree in 1941.

In 1931, U Sobhana took leave from teaching scriptural studies in Moulmein, South Burma, and went to nearby Thaton to practice intensive Vipassana meditation under Mingun Jetawun Sayādaw (also rendered Mingun Jetavana Sayādaw), also known as U Nārada. This teacher had practiced in the remote Sagaing Hills of Upper Burma, under the guidance of Aletawya Sayādaw, a student of the forest meditation master Thelon Sayādaw. U Sobhāna first taught Vipassana meditation in his home village in 1938, at a monastery named for its massive drum 'Mahāsi'. He became known in the region as Mahāsi Sayādaw. In 1947, the Prime Minister of Burma, U Nu, invited Mahāsi Sayādaw to be resident teacher at a newly established meditation center in Yangon, which came to be called the Mahāsi Sāsana Yeiktha.

Mahāsi Sayādaw was a questioner and final editor at the Sixth Buddhist Council on May 17, 1954. He helped establish meditation centers all over Burma as well as in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, and by 1972 the centers under his guidance had trained more than 700,000 meditators. In 1979, he travelled to the West, holding retreats at newly founded centers such as the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, U.S.
In addition, meditators came from all over the world to practice at his center in Yangon. When the Mahāsi Sayādaw died on 14 August 1982 following a massive stroke, thousands of devotees braved the torrential monsoon rains to pay their last respects.


Mahāsi's method is based on the Satipatthana Sutta, which describes how one focusses attention on the breath, noticing how one breaths in and out. Practice begins with the preparatory stage, the practice of sila, morality, giving up worldly thoughts and desires.[1][2][note 1] The practitioner then engages in satipatthana by mindfulness of breathing. One pays attention to any arising mental or physical phenomenon, engaging in vitaka, noting or naming physical and mental phenomena ("breathing, breathing"), without engaging the phenomenon with further conceptual thinking.[3][4] By noticing the arising of physical and mental phenomena, the meditator becomes aware how sense impressions arise from the contact between the senses and physical and mental phenomena,[3] as described in the five skandhas and paṭiccasamuppāda. This noticing is accompanied by reflections on causation and other Buddhist teachings, leading to insight into dukkha, anatta, and anicca.[5] When the three characteristics have been comprehended, reflection subdues, and the process of noticing accelerates, noting phenomena in general, without necessarily naming them.[6]

Notable students

Freda Bedi
• G. V. Desani
Joseph Goldstein
• Anagarika Munindra
• Achan Sobin S. Namto[7]
• Sayādaw U Paṇḍita (Panditārāma)
Sharon Salzberg
• Jack Kornfield [8]

• Chanmyay Sayādaw (U Janakabhivamsa)
• Ashin Jinarakkhita


Mahāsi Sayādaw published nearly seventy volumes of Buddhist literature in Burmese, many of these transcribed from talks. He completed a Burmese translation of the Visuddhimagga, ("The Path of Purification") a lengthy treatise on Buddhist practice by the 5th century Indian Theravadin Buddhist commentator and scholar Buddhaghosa. He also wrote a volume entitled Manual of Vipassana Meditation. His English works include:

• Sayadaw, Mahasi (1971). Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation.
• Sayadaw, Mahasi (1983). Thoughts on the Dharma.
• Sayadaw, Mahasi (1991). Practical Vipassana Exercises (PDF). Buddhist Publication Society. ISBN 978-9552400896.
• Sayadaw, Mahasi (1998). Progress of Insight: Treatise on Buddhist Satipathana Meditation. Buddhist Publication Society. ISBN 978-9552400902. Archived from the original on 2000-12-08.
• Sayadaw, Mahasi (2016). Manual of Insight. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 9781614292777.


1. Jeff Wilson notes that morality is a quintessential element of Buddhist practice, and is also emphasized by the first generation of post-war western teachers. Yet, in the contemporary mindfulness movement, morality as an element of practice has been mostly discarded, 'mystifying' the origins of mindfulness.[1]


1. Wilson 2014, p. 54-55.
2. Mahāsi Sayādaw, Manual of Insight, Chapter 5
3. Jump up to:a b Mahasi Sayadaw, Practical Vipassana Instructions
4. Bhante Bodhidhamma, Vipassana as taught by The Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma
5. PVI, p.22-27
6. PVI, p.28
7. "Our Teacher -". Retrieved 2008-05-04.
8. "About". Jack Kornfield. Archived from the original on 2013-12-22. Retrieved 2013-12-21.


• Wilson, Jeff (2014), Mindful America: Meditation and the Mutual Transformation of Buddhism and American Culture, OUP USA

External links

• A Discourse on Paticcasamuppada by Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw
• Biographical Sketch of Mahāsi Sayādaw from
• The Practical Dharma of Mahasi Sayadaw
• The Venerable Mahāsi Sayādaw's Discourses and Treatises on Buddhism
• Books by Mahāsi Sayādaw
• Biography of Mahāsi Sayādaw from the American Burma Buddhist Association
• A Discourse on Satipatthana Vipassana by Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw from
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:42 am

Insight Meditation Society
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/15/19



The Insight Meditation Society (IMS) is a non-profit organization for study of Buddhism located in Barre, Massachusetts.[1] It was founded in 1975, by Sharon Salzberg, Jack Kornfield, and Joseph Goldstein and is rooted in the Theravada tradition.[2][3] Its first retreat center in an old mansion in Barre, Massachusetts was opened on February 14, 1976.[4]

Insight Meditation Society, in Barre, Massachusetts in the backdrop amidst blossoming trees.


IMS offers Buddhist meditation retreats at two facilities – the Retreat Center and The Forest Refuge – in rural central Massachusetts. The Retreat Center is one of the two IMS centers in the United States. However, all the centers teach vipassanā.

From 1996-2006, IMS offered a correspondence course developed by its founders Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg entitled Insight Meditation which consisted of 12 audio cassettes and a workbook.[5] The course later evolved into Insight Meditation: An In-Depth Correspondence Course, with 24 audio CDs and an 88-page workbook.[6]

Vassa is a basic practice for Buddhist monastics. During this three-month retreat, monks seclude themselves and follow a tight regimen of meditation and dharma study. Every year, the Insight Meditation Society runs a three-month course that has been called the "marathon of meditation". Save for triweekly interviews with instructors and nightly lessons, the retreatants observe full silence. In Theravada tradition, after lunch, they do not eat another meal, but are allowed snacks and drink tea, which is not accepted by many Buddhists as proper practice.[7] The center's courses provide instruction and practice in vipassanā or mettā meditations.[4]


"When a Retreat Center course is in progress, anyone who is not already participating in the retreat is welcome to attend the evening talks about the teachings, known as dharma talks. Those with insight meditation experience are also welcome to attend group sittings." [8] Dharma talks are available for free download, a service provided by Dharma Seed.


1. Jayakrishna, Nandini; Ornish, Dean (2009-09-08). "Being young, here, now". The Boston Globe.
2. Latin, Don (2005-01-23). "Bridging Eastern and Western Buddhism". San Francisco Chronicle.
3. Fronsdal, Gil (1998). "Insight Meditation in the United States: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness," in C.S. Prebish & K.K. Tanaka (1998), The Faces of Buddhism in America, University of California Press.
4. "FAQ about IMS". Insight Meditation Society. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
5. Goldstein, Joseph (1996). Insight Meditation. Boulder, CO: Sounds True. ISBN 9781564559067.
6. Salzberg, Sharon (2004). Insight Meditation: An In-Depth Correspondence Course. Boulder, CO: Sounds True. ISBN 1591790727.
7. Goleman, Daniel (1993-03-21). "A Slow, Methodical Calming of the Mind". The New York Times.
8. "IMS Retreat Center General Information". Insight Meditation Society's Official Website. Insight Meditation Society. Retrieved 25 February 2012.

External links

• Official website
• Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation Society -Retreat Center
• Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation Society -Forest Refuge
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:41 am

Carl Götze (educator): German educator and school reformer
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19

Carl (Karl) Johann Heinrich Götze (born January 2, 1865 in Pinneberg , † May 2, 1947 in Cuxhaven ) was a German educator and school reformer.

Life and work

Carl Goetze attended from 1884 to 1887 a teacher training for elementary school teachers in Hamburg, where he subsequently found a first job as a teacher. In 1906 he married Gertrud Scheel, with whom he had two children. From 1914 to 1919 he taught at the school in Brödermannsweg in Groß Borstel. He then took over the management of the experimental school Telemannstraße in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel. In 1920 he moved to school board, where he led the elementary school as a high school board. His service ended with retirement in 1930. He positioned himself early Social Democratic, but was only after 1918 a member of the SPD .

As a school reformer Götze engaged from the end of the 19th century, first in the company of the Friends of the fatherland school and education system. He wanted to change the aesthetic education comprehensively and lead from a technically oriented, theoretical drawing theory to creative design. For this he attended English schools, where the drawing lessons had been reformed and worked with the New Paths to the artistic education of youth, a related standard work by James Liberty Tadd, which appeared in 1900 on the German book market. As part of his efforts, he met the director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle , Alfred Lichtwark. They organized in 1897 in the Kunsthalle an exhibition of free children's drawings, which gained national recognition under the title "The child as an artist". Götze initiated the art education days that took place in Dresden in 1901, in Weimar in 1903 and in Hamburg in 1905. From 1905 to 1914 he published the art magazine Der Säemann and became involved from 1908 in a leading position in the federal government for school reform. The educator worked closely with Georg Kerschensteiner and the Prussian Central Institute for Education in Berlin.

During Götze's service in the Weimar Republic, comprehensive school reforms took place in Hamburg. These included the self-administration of the schools, a working school, free forms of teaching and practical teaching methods. In addition, the Institute for Teacher Training was launched. Together with school senator Emil Krause, Götze was able to protect the four experimental schools in elementary school against attacks by conservatives. As a representative of the school reform in Hamburg, he participated in numerous domestic and foreign congresses and events.

Since 1991, the Carl-Gotze-Schule in Groß-Borstel reminds of the former pedagogues.



Reiner Lehberger: Götze, Carl. In: Hamburg Biography. Volume 1, Christians, Hamburg 2001, ISBN 3-7672-1364-8, pp. 107-108.

Heinrich Kautz: Götze, Carl Johann Heinrich. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 6, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1964, ISBN 3-428-00187-7, p 595 ( digitized ).
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:47 am

Society of Friends of the Fatherland Education System
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



The Society of Friends of the Fatherland Education is one of the oldest teaching associations in the world. [1]


The founding of the company goes back to Peter Breiß, who in 1805 suggested in the Journal Hamburg and Altona to set up a "Journal for Hamburg Schools, their Teachers and Friends". Johann Carl Daniel Curio took up the idea and founded in Hamburg with Breiß and others in the same year the company, whose chairmanship Curio took over. The purpose of the society was to improve the material supply of the teachers (income, pension, widowhood) and the training of the members.

On November 4, 1911, the office moved to Curiohaus.

On April 27, 1933, an extraordinary general meeting of the company decided to join the National Socialist Teachers Association (NSLB). 1937 followed the transfer of the total assets of the society to the NSLB. [3]

In 1945, the company re-founded under Max Traeger and Anne Banaschewski. In 1948, the company, under its chairman Wilhelm Festing (1877-1958) joined the newly founded trade union Education and Science (GEW) as a member and formed in her the National Association of Hamburg. Festing's portrait, which originally hung in Curiohaus, can be found today in the Museum of Hamburg History .

Until 1976, the original name of the company remained in the first place, followed by trade union education and science, regional association Hamburg, then the order turned around in union education and science, national association Hamburg, society of the friends of the fatherly school and education system. In this form, the name has been preserved to this day, the GEW see it as a result of the Society of Friends of the fatherland school and education system.

Reading circle

The reading circle had the function to provide the members with educational new releases. These - initially books, then only magazines from 1852 - were to circulate among the members. In 1903 it was dissolved, because he was perceived in the face of the mass of educational new publications and the structural difficulties that brought the circulation of the reading material, as no longer up to date.


After only one year of existence, there were already 70 volumes in the library of the society. As in libraries of other teacher associations, the first books were purchased almost exclusively through gifts. The first printed catalog of 1828 contains 160 entries. It was only from 1831 onwards that an annual amount was made available, which allowed a systematic stock-building, at least as a starting point.

The Hamburg fire of 1842 also destroyed the library. However, a new stock could be quickly established through donations, which in 1845 again comprised 1,100 volumes and grew to 2,500 volumes by 1866. Until the middle of the 19th century, it had the largest inventory of all teacher associations, but thereafter the members' interest in the library seems to have diminished. 1872 only 1430 books are noted, of which a further 639 volumes should be deleted. Removed were "all outdated and all incomplete works, as well as manuals and textbooks" [4]. For the future it was planned to purchase only works that could not be purchased by the members due to the high price.

In 1887/88 the inventory with 1620 volumes again included more than before the separation action and in 1904 there were already 5657 volumes in the library. The changed task compared to the beginnings of the library was clarified by a member of the library committee in a programmatic lecture in front of the society:

It is no longer the immediate practice-oriented literature that has priority in the collecting activity, but the scientific training. "The most necessary and important discipline of a teacher's library is, of course, the pedagogy, first because it is our science, and then because it is little or no representation in other libraries." Therefore, should primarily be purchased works that "pedagogy as Treat system". Selection should avoid any one-sidedness", so that colleagues have the opportunity to compare, to test and to choose the best of all ... The most important phenomena in the field of auxiliary science of education must continue to exist; in particular, such writings are to be considered here, which try to give us information about the emotional life of the child." [5]

However, the library has lost importance after 1945, because the training of members in the sense of the club founders is no longer as an objective in the statutes of the GEW-Landesverband Hamburg since 1951. So it was in the early 1970s book sales, until the mid-1970s, a new perspective for the library was found in the form of a newly founded foundation. In 1995, the library was first handed over to the University Library Lüneburg . At the beginning of 2001, the handover to the Library of Educational Historical Research took place. On October 11, 2001, the BBF invited to a solemn handover event. [6]

Web links

• Report on the Handover of the Library to Historical Education Research Online


• Hermann Stoll: History of the Society of Friends of the Patriotic School and Education in Hamburg. Festschrift for the centenary celebrations 1805 - 1905, Hamburg 1905.
• Hermann Stoll / Hermann Kurtzweil: Society of the Friends of the Patriotic School and Education in Hamburg 1905 - 1930. On the anniversary of its 125th anniversary on November 3, 1930, Hamburg 1930.
• 150 years Society of Friends of the Fatherland Education. Hamburg 1955.
• Jürgen Bolland: The "Society of Friends" in the change of the Hamburg school and educational system, Hamburg o. J. [1955].


1. F. Kopitzsch: By Johann Carl Daniel Curio, Peter Breiß, the "Society of Friends" and their library . In: Bulletin of the Library of Educational History Research 2002 , H. 1, pp. 10-15.
2. Franklin Kopitzsch: Breiß, Peter . In: Hamburg Biography . Volume 2, Christians, Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-7672-1366-4 , p. 67.
3. The Curiohaus 1911-1961. A contribution to the history of the society of the friends of the patriotic education in Hamburg . Hamburg 1961.
4. H. Stoll: Festschrift for the centenary celebrations 1805-1905 . Hamburg 1905, p. 249.
5. J. Studt: The necessity of designing our library. In Educational Reform , Supplement to No. 42. 26 (1902).
6. G. Gehlen: The library of the Society of Friends of the Patriotic Education is adopted . In: Bulletin of the Library of Educational Historical Research 2002 , H. 1, p. 7-10; P. Göbel: Address on the occasion of the handing over of the GEW library to the Library of Educational History Research . In: Bulletin of the Library of Educational History Research 2002 , H. 1, pp. 15-18; Tagesspiegel of October 29, 2001
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:41 am

Beatrice Ensor
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



Beatrice Ensor

Beatrice Ensor (1885–1974) was an English theosophical educationist, pedagogue, co-founder of the New Education Fellowship (later World Education Fellowship)[1] and editor of the journal Education for the New Era[2].

Early years

Born in Marseille on 11 August 1885, Beatrice Nina Frederica de Normann was the eldest child of Albert Edward de Normann and Irene Matilda (née Wood). Her father was in the shipping business and her early years were spent in Marseille and Genoa, hence her fluency in Italian and French. She was greatly influenced by a theosophical book that a visitor to her home had left. This led in 1908 to her joining the Theosophical Society, which came to play an important part in her life. She had two brothers - Sir Eric de Normann (K. B. E., C. B) and Albert Wilfred Noel de Normann ("Bill").

Coming to England to complete her education, she trained as a domestic science teacher and for a short while taught the subject at a college in Sheffield. This led to her being appointed Inspector of women’s and girls’ education by Glamorgan County Council. She became disenchanted with the regimented and passive teaching she saw but when she inspected a Montessori school in Cheltenham, she became very interested in the ideas of Maria Montessori whom she met and corresponded with. She attended a conference in East Runton in 1914 organised by the New Ideals in Education group; the topic of the conference was 'The Montessori Method in Education'. She was a vegetarian and anti vivisectionist.

Theosophy and St Christopher School

In the early months of World War I she was appointed by the Board of Education as H. M. Inspector of domestic science in South West England based in Bath. But she found civil service work uncongenial and, having played a major part in founding the Theosophical Fraternity in Education, she was invited to become Organising Secretary of the Theosophical Education Trust in 1915. In this role one of her main tasks was the consolidation of the Society’s educational work at Letchworth Garden City into St Christopher School[3], which was co-educational and boarding, with Isabel King as its Headmistress. One of the teachers at the school for a while was V. K. Krishna Menon[4]. She worked closely for a time with George Arundale who became the President of the Theosophical Society Adyar.

Robert Weld Ensor

In 1917 she married Robert Weld Ensor, of Northern Irish/English descent, who had served in the Canadian North West Mounted Police [5] and was then a Captain in the Canadian Army coming to England, fighting in France and then going on the Murmansk Expedition. It was theosophy that brought them together. They had one son, Michael, born in 1919. Annie Besant, Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa and Harold Baillie-Weaver were his godparents.

New Era in Education

Beatrice Ensor with (left to right) Ovide Decroly, Pierre Bovet, Édouard Claparède, Paul Geheeb and Adolphe Ferrière

In 1922 through the auspices of the Save the Children Foundation she helped to bring under nourished Hungarian children to Britain for a spell to recover their health. She travelled to Budapest and returned with the first party. For this she was awarded a medal by the Hungarian Red Cross [6]. But a more enduring role to her Theosophical role was the production, with A. S. Neill for a time as joint editor, of the Journal Education for the New Era[7], which still flourishes some 90 years later. Co-operating magazines in French and German followed edited by Adolphe Ferrière fr:Adolphe Ferrière and Elisabeth Rotten de:Elisabeth Rotten respectively.

Hungarian Red Cross

The New (World) Education Fellowship

Beatrice Ensor and Professor Carl Jung - Montreux 1923 - Second International Conference of the N.E.F.

In 1921, together with Iwan Hawliczek, she organised a conference in Calais on the ‘Creative Self-Expression of the Child’, with attendance of over 100. Although this was inspired by theosophists anxious to prevent another world war, what emerged was the New (later World) Education Fellowship [8], an entirely non-political and non-sectarian forum for new ideas in education. It was not to advocate any particular method but to ‘seek to find the thread of truth in all methods’. It still has active sections in some 20 countries. Beatrice Ensor, together with the editors of the other two journals, formed the initial organising committee of the N.E.F., which held international conferences at two yearly intervals, presided over by distinguished educationists and pedagogues.

The second conference of 1923 was held in Montreux, Switzerland and there she met Professor Carl Jung whom she invited to speak at a meeting in London (where she introduced him to H. G. Wells), Emile Jacques-Dalcroze, Professor Franz Cizek and Alfred Adler.

In 1929 the conference was held in Kronborg Castle, Helsingör, Denmark and amongst the delegates and speakers were Maria Montessori, Rabindranath Tagore, Jean Piaget, Kurt Lewin, Adolphe Ferrière fr:Adolphe Ferrière, Ovide Decroly, Helen Parkhurst, Pierre Bovet fr:Pierre Bovet, A. S. Neill, Elisabeth Rotten, Franz Cizek, Dr Harold Rugg, Professor T P Nunn, and Paul Geheeb de:Paul Geheeb.

Other conferences were held at Locarno (1927), Cheltenham and Heidelberg (1925).

She was a member of the Education Advisory Committee of the Labour Party for a short while but her utopian views clashed with those of R. H. Tawney and resigned her position.

The N.E.F. and Unesco

Just as theosophy had a profound influence on the N.E.F. so the N.E.F. had a profound influence on the creation of UNESCO[9]. It was described as "the midwife at the birth of UNESCO" (Kobayashi) and has been an NGO[10] of UNESCO since 1966 (Hiroshi Iwama). It changed its name to W.E.F. that year.

Frensham Heights School

Meanwhile, problems were building up within the Theosophical Education Trust leading to tensions in the Letchworth community in which the termination of her husband’s appointment as Secretary of the Trust played a part. In 1925 Isabel King and Beatrice Ensor left to establish Frensham Heights[11], a co-educational school in Surrey, from Montessori to university entrance level, for which Mrs. Edith Douglas-Hamilton (one of the Wills tobacco heiresses) provided the capital. Some of the St Christopher staff and children moved to Frensham to form its nucleus. However, two years later, Mrs. Douglas-Hamilton died unexpectedly without having established the financial independence of the school that she had intended. The dramatic change produced a situation where Beatrice Ensor and Isabel King did not feel they could work. They both left but the break was without bitterness and they both remained on the board of governors for several years.

Lecture Tours and South Africa

Beatrice Ensor then concentrated her work on the New Era and N.E.F. and undertook two lecture trips to North America in 1926 and 1928, speaking on new movements in education in Boston, New York City, Detroit, and Chicago. She was also one of an educational group that was invited to tour Poland and visited South Africa in 1927 and 1929.

Her husband had moved to Louterwater in South Africa where he acquired a large farm in a little developed valley, recently found to be suitable for the growing of deciduous fruit. The orchards he planted were just beginning to bear by 1933 when he died. This meant that Beatrice had to move to South Africa and take over the farm. This greatly restricted her educational work. She was one of a group invited to lecture in Australia in 1937, where she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Western Australia, Perth. She helped the South African section of the N.E.F. and financed and had built on her farm a school for mixed race children, for whom no provision existed in the area.

When it became clear that her son would be pursuing a civil service career, just as her brothers had done, and did not want to take on the farm she sold it and moved to a house on the coast at Keurboomstrand near Plettenberg Bay. But when her family were settled in England she moved there to be with her grandchildren, living first at Blackheath, then in London, at Dolphin Square, where she died in 1974.

Michael Ensor, Beatrice Ensor and Paul Geheeb, date 1927?


• An Investigation into the Origins of UNESCO (The Genesis of UNESCO, the New Education Fellowship and the Theosophical Fraternity in Education) - by Hiroshi Iwama - Orion Printing Company, Tokyo 20 December 1998
• St Christopher School 1915-1975 Letchworth, Aldine Press by Reginald Snell - first published in 1975
• A New Education for a New Era: Creating International Fellowship Through Conferences 1921-1938. Paedogogica Historica Volume 40, Numbers 5-6/October 2004, pp. 733–755(23) by Professor Kevin J. Brehony
• de Normann, B. and G. Colmore (1918). Ethics of Education. London, Theosophical Publishing House
• d e Normann, B. (1917). The educational aspect of infant welfare work. in Report of the Conference of Education Associations. London: 210-215
• de Normann, B. (1917). "Educational Reconstruction (1) The Present Position of Education in Great Britain -- Beatrice." The Herald of the Star 6(March): 121
• de Normann, B. (1917). Brotherhood and education. London, Theosophical Educational Trust.

External links

• Institute of Education, University of London (abstract)
• University of Geneva
• Professor Kevin J. Brehony[permanent dead link]
• Association Montessori Internationale
• Informaworld on the WEF
• The World Education Fellowship International
• The New Era in Education
• Margaret White
• Frensham Heights School
• Paedagogica Historica
• Naruto University of Education, Japan
• ERIC (Education Resource Information Center
• German section: Weltbund für Erneuerung in der Erziehung
• The Archives of the World Education Fellowship are held by the Institute of Education Archives:
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:07 am

Maria Montessori
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



Schocken books had been started by my grandfather, my mother’s father, originally in Germany before the war. And then in New York City starting in about 1946.

Q. What was his name?

A. Salman Schocken.

Q. And what was the nature?

A. It started as publishing books of Jewish interest, both some classics and some contemporary writing about Judaism. He was very close with Martin Buber, and published some of Buber’s writings, and other important Jewish thought leaders of the 30s, 40s, 50s. And then after he died, my father, Herzl Rome, took it over and expanded the list so that it continued to publish Judaica, but it broadened to become a general publisher of trade books. Not so much fiction, but a lot in different academic disciplines, and my mother introduced one of the first important series on women’s studies, and also a series on education. She was the person who brought back the writings of Maria Montessori, who had been virtually forgotten at that time.

-- A Conversation With David Rome, by The Chronicles

It is essential to realize that while the outer forms of irrationalism had penetrated political Establishments, the interior content of Underground systems of thought had begun to penetrate academies. The widest breach in the rationalist front was inevitably in the terrain of psychology and psychiatry, because of the nature of the subjects studied and the historical circumstances in which that study took place. Theories deriving from psychoanalysis, or developing parallel with it, have absorbed some of the same influences. Of these the most significant has been the New Education.

The builders of the brave new worlds of the Progressive Underground were most naturally concerned with the education of the children who would one day inhabit their Paradise. Doctrines of "spiritual revolution" found their natural outcome in attempts at reeducation; of "spiritual evolution," a good analogy in the educational progress of the child.

The pioneer of the altered attitude to education was Maria Montessori (1869-1952) whose vision of a race of Superchildren bordered on the apocalyptic. "The outcome ... is the New Child, a superior being, giving promise of a New Humanity, with powers of mind and spirit hitherto unsuspected." Many of the developments already discussed were part of the movement toward the New Child. In Germany, Langbehn's Rembrandt als Erzieher was followed by Carl Gotze's Child as Artist and Gotze's educational work based on the principle that the child was a natural creative artist who must have his powers liberated through education. The youth movements, and the groups with which Rolf Gardiner and the Springhead Ring were in contact, also formed parts of the movement for "liberated" education -- that is, designed to evoke the powers of the child rather than imposing adult standards upon him. In America the "Junior Republics" in which children governed themselves were set up. The idea was also tried in England with a "little Commonwealth" in Dorset. The Order of Woodcraft Chivalry and the Kibbo Kift were very much part of the educational movement and embodied a commitment to reestablishing "natural man." [141

The theories of the psychologists provided added impetus.
Freud's conclusion that neuroses were produced by repressions fitted excellently with the ideas of those who wanted to recreate natural man; while Jung was a central figure in the minds of educational reformers after the First World War, as his psychology was particularly favorable to ideas of "spiritual evolution." Jung accepted the Biogenetic Law and may have been more influenced by his contact with G. Stanley Hall than he cared to admit. He lectured at conferences of the New Educators in 1923 and 1924, and his views on educational development very closely coincide, for example, with those of Ernest Westlake of the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry.

Occultists and religious reformers also concerned themselves with the children of the future -- for they, after all, were the custodians of the idea of "spiritual progress." Johannes Muller and Heinrich Lhotzky both put forward educational theories. The leading exponent of occult ideas of education has been Rudolf Steiner; and in 1962 there were almost seventy schools run on Anthroposophical principles in various parts of the world. Steiner himself also lectured to the New Educators, and (according to the Manchester Guardian) a conference attended by Steiner at Oxford in 1922 found in him "its central point." Steiner's principles were based on his occult theories, and it is easy to see how these could coincide with less esoteric ideas of evolution. "We must know on what part of the human being we have especially to work at a certain age, and how we can work upon it in the proper way," he wrote. "We can awaken what is in the child, but we cannot implant a content into him." [142] Such a coincidence of ideas makes it comprehensible that the organization that carried the flag of the New Education throughout Europe sprang from the Theosophical Society.

In 1914 a committee of Theosophists under Bishop George Arundale of the Liberal Catholic Church -- a former tutor of Krishnamurti -- decided to start a Theosophical School. The site chosen was -- where else? -- Letchworth Garden City. To the Theosophical tenets of karma and reincarnation were added the more generally "progressive" ideas of Arts and Crafts, Montessori theory, and Dalcroze Eurythmics. A general vegetarian diet was the rule and the pupils governed themselves through a "moot." The Theosophist Beatrice Ensor, an inspector of schools, was inspired by the Letchworth experiment and founded the Theosophical Fraternity of Education in 1915. She established a magazine to propagate enlightened ideas; and in 1921 she held a meeting of her fraternity in Letchworth, when it was decided that next year they should organize a general conference of educators at Calais which the Theosophists would run, although themselves keeping in the background. In 1921 the Calais conference was held, the name of the Theosophical paper changed to The New Era, and the New Educational Fellowship established. Its first object was "to prepare the child to seek and to realize in his own life the supremacy of the spirit." [143]

The New Era secured contributions from both occultists and educators. Beatrice Ensor shared the editorship with the celebrated A. S. Neill, and the entire spectrum of the Progressive Underground contributed to its pages. There was Isabelle Pagan of Racial Cleavage and Cloudesley Brereton, who wrote for G. R. S. Mead's Theosophical magazine Quest. There were articles by the Jungian therapist Esther Harding and the ubiquitous Patrick Geddes. The president of the Arts and Crafts Association joined the leader of a new French youth movement and Wilhelm Stekel -- a friend of Neill -- in a remarkable synthesis of "advanced opinion." Beatrice Ensor and the Theosophists were never quite submerged by the more practical educators. In April 1923, Mrs. Ensor contributed an editorial that noted approvingly the efforts of A. Conan Doyle and E. L. Gardner to capture the fairies.

We have recently come across other children who see fairies, and we are trying to obtain more photos. It is a very beautiful idea that Nature's laws are operated through the cooperation of beings who, while not belonging to our human order of evolution, are nevertheless working side by side with humanity in the building up of our world ... it would seem as though we were now beginning to reawaken at a higher level the sense organs which enabled the folk of yore to see clairvoyantly "the little people." [144]

-- The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

Maria Montessori
Portrait of Montessori, artist and date unknown
Born Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori
August 31, 1870
Chiaravalle, Marche, Italy
Died May 6, 1952 (aged 81)
Noordwijk, South Holland, Netherlands
Resting place Noordwijk, Netherlands
Nationality Italian
Education University of Rome La Sapienza Medical School
Occupation Physician and educator
Known for Founder of the Montessori method of education
Children Mario Montessori Sr.

Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori (Italian pronunciation: [maˈriːa montesˈsɔːri]; August 31, 1870 – May 6, 1952) was an Italian physician and educator best known for the philosophy of education that bears her name, and her writing on scientific pedagogy. At an early age, Montessori broke gender barriers and expectations when she enrolled in classes at an all-boys technical school, with hopes of becoming an engineer. She soon had a change of heart and began medical school at the Sapienza University of Rome, where she graduated – with honors – in 1896. Her educational method is still in use today in many public and private schools throughout the world.

Life and career

Birth and family

Montessori was born on August 31, 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy. Her father, Alessandro Montessori, 33 years old at the time, was an official of the Ministry of Finance working in the local state-run tobacco factory. Her mother, Renilde Stoppani, 25 years old, was well educated for the times and was the great-niece of Italian geologist and paleontologist Antonio Stoppani.[1][2] While she did not have any particular mentor, she was very close to her mother who readily encouraged her. She also had a loving relationship with her father, although he disagreed with her choice to continue her education.[3]

1883–1896: Education

Early education

The Montessori family moved to Florence in 1873 and then to Rome in 1875 because of her father's work. Montessori entered a public elementary school at the age of 6 in 1876. Her early school record was "not particularly noteworthy",[4] although she was awarded certificates for good behavior in the 1st grade and for "lavori donneschi", or "women's work", the next year.[5]

Secondary school

In 1883[6] or 1884,[7] at the age of 13, Montessori entered a secondary, technical school, Regia Scuola Tecnica Michelangelo Buonarroti, where she studied Italian, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, accounting, history, geography, and sciences. She graduated in 1886 with good grades and examination results. That year, at the age of 16, she continued at the technical institute Regio Istituto Tecnico Leonardo da Vinci, studying Italian, mathematics, history, geography, geometric and ornate drawing, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, and two foreign languages. She did well in the sciences and especially in mathematics.

She initially intended to pursue the study of engineering upon graduation, an unusual aspiration for a woman in her time and place. However, by the time she graduated in 1890 at the age of 20, with a certificate in physics–mathematics, she had decided to study medicine instead, an even more unlikely pursuit given cultural norms at the time.[8]

University of Rome—Medical school

Montessori moved forward with her intention to study medicine. She appealed to Guido Baccelli, the professor of clinical medicine at the University of Rome, but was strongly discouraged. Nonetheless, in 1890, she enrolled in the University of Rome in a degree course in natural sciences, passing examinations in botany, zoology, experimental physics, histology, anatomy, as well as general and organic chemistry, and earning her diploma di licenza in 1892. This degree, along with additional studies in Italian and Latin, qualified her for entrance into the medical program at the University in 1893.[9]

She was met with hostility and harassment from some medical students and professors because of her gender. Because her attendance of classes with men in the presence of a naked body was deemed inappropriate, she was required to perform her dissections of cadavers alone, after hours. She resorted to smoking tobacco to mask the offensive odor of formaldehyde.[10] Montessori won an academic prize in her first year, and in 1895 secured a position as a hospital assistant, gaining early clinical experience. In her last two years she studied pediatrics and psychiatry, and worked in the pediatric consulting room and emergency service, becoming an expert in pediatric medicine. Montessori graduated from the University of Rome in 1896 as a doctor of medicine. Her thesis was published in 1897 in the journal Policlinico. She found employment as an assistant at the University hospital and started a private practice.[11][12]

1896–1901: Early career and family

From 1896 to 1901, Montessori worked with and researched so-called "phrenasthenic" children—in modern terms, children experiencing some form of mental retardation, illness, or disability. She also began to travel, study, speak, and publish nationally and internationally, coming to prominence as an advocate for women's rights and education for mentally disabled children.[13]

On March 31, 1898, her only child – a son named Mario Montessori (March 31, 1898 – 1982) was born.[14] Mario Montessori was born out of her love affair with Giuseppe Montesano, a fellow doctor who was co-director with her of the Orthophrenic School of Rome. If Montessori married, she would be expected to cease working professionally; instead of getting married, Montessori decided to continue her work and studies. Montessori wanted to keep the relationship with her child's father secret under the condition that neither of them would marry anyone else. When the father of her child fell in love and subsequently married, Montessori was left feeling betrayed and decided to leave the university hospital and place her son into foster care with a family living in the countryside opting to miss the first few years of his life. She would later be reunited with her son in his teenage years, where he proved to be a great assistant in her research.[3][15]

Work with mentally disabled children

After graduating from the University of Rome in 1896, Montessori continued with her research at the University's psychiatric clinic, and in 1897 she was accepted as a voluntary assistant there. As part of her work, she visited asylums in Rome where she observed children with mental disabilities, observations which were fundamental to her future educational work. She also read and studied the works of 19th-century physicians and educators Jean Marc Gaspard Itard and Édouard Séguin, who greatly influenced her work. Maria was intrigued by Itard's ideas and created a far more specific and organized system for applying them to the everyday education of children with disabilities. When she discovered the works of Jean Itard and Édouard Séguin they gave her a new direction in thinking and influenced her to focus on children with learning difficulties. Also in 1897, Montessori audited the University courses in pedagogy and read "all the major works on educational theory of the past two hundred years".[16]

Public advocacy

In 1897 Montessori spoke on societal responsibility for juvenile delinquency at the National Congress of Medicine in Turin. In 1898, she wrote several articles and spoke again at the First Pedagogical Conference of Turin, urging the creation of special classes and institutions for mentally disabled children, as well as teacher training for their instructors.[17] In 1899 Montessori was appointed a councilor to the newly formed National League for the Protection of Retarded Children, and was invited to lecture on special methods of education for retarded children at the teacher training school of the College of Rome. That year Montessori undertook a two-week national lecture tour to capacity audiences before prominent public figures.[18] She joined the board of the National League and was appointed as a lecturer in hygiene and anthropology at one of the two teacher-training colleges for women in Italy.[19]

Orthophrenic School

In 1900 the National League opened the Scuola Magistrale Ortofrenica, or Orthophrenic School, a "medico-pedagogical institute" for training teachers in educating mentally disabled children with an attached laboratory classroom. Montessori was appointed co-director.[20] 64 teachers enrolled in the first class, studying psychology, anatomy and physiology of the nervous system, anthropological measurements, causes and characteristics of mental disability, and special methods of instruction. During her two years at the school, Montessori developed methods and materials which she would later adapt to use with mainstream children.[21]

The school was an immediate success, attracting the attention of government officials from the departments of education and health, civic leaders, and prominent figures in the fields of education, psychiatry, and anthropology from the University of Rome.[22] The children in the model classroom were drawn from ordinary schools but considered "uneducable" due to their deficiencies. Some of these children later passed public examinations given to so-called "normal" children.[23]

1901–1906: Further studies

In 1901, Montessori left the Orthophrenic School and her private practice, and in 1902 she enrolled in the philosophy degree course at the University of Rome. (Philosophy at the time included much of what we now consider psychology.) She studied theoretical and moral philosophy, the history of philosophy, and psychology as such, but she did not graduate. She also pursued independent study in anthropology and educational philosophy, conducted observations and experimental research in elementary schools, and revisited the work of Itard and Séguin, translating their books into handwritten Italian. During this time she began to consider adapting her methods of educating mentally disabled children to mainstream education.[24]

Montessori's work developing what she would later call "scientific pedagogy" continued over the next few years. Still in 1902, Montessori presented a report at a second national pedagogical congress in Naples. She published two articles on pedagogy in 1903, and two more the following year. In 1903 and 1904, she conducted anthropological research with Italian schoolchildren, and in 1904 she was qualified as a free lecturer in anthropology for the University of Rome. She was appointed to lecture in the Pedagogic School at the University and continued in the position until 1908. Her lectures were printed as a book titled Pedagogical Anthropology in 1910.[25]

1906–1911: Casa dei Bambini and the spread of Montessori's ideas

The first Casa

In 1906 Montessori was invited to oversee the care and education of a group of children of working parents in a new apartment building for low-income families in the San Lorenzo district in Rome. Montessori was interested in applying her work and methods to mentally normal children, and she accepted.[26] The name Casa dei Bambini, or Children's House, was suggested to Montessori, and the first Casa opened on January 6, 1907, enrolling 50 or 60 children between the ages of two or three and six or seven.[27]

At first, the classroom was equipped with a teacher's table and blackboard, a stove, small chairs, armchairs, and group tables for the children, and a locked cabinet for the materials that Montessori had developed at the Orthophrenic School. Activities for the children included personal care such as dressing and undressing, care of the environment such as dusting and sweeping, and caring for the garden. The children were also shown the use of the materials Montessori had developed.[28] Montessori herself, occupied with teaching, research, and other professional activities, oversaw and observed the classroom work, but did not teach the children directly. Day-to-day teaching and care were provided, under Montessori's guidance, by the building porter's daughter.[29]

In this first classroom, Montessori observed behaviors in these young children which formed the foundation of her educational method. She noted episodes of deep attention and concentration, multiple repetitions of activity, and a sensitivity to order in the environment. Given free choice of activity, the children showed more interest in practical activities and Montessori's materials than in toys provided for them, and were surprisingly unmotivated by sweets and other rewards. Over time, she saw a spontaneous self-discipline emerge.[30]

Based on her observations, Montessori implemented a number of practices that became hallmarks of her educational philosophy and method. She replaced the heavy furniture with child-sized tables and chairs light enough for the children to move, and placed child-sized materials on low, accessible shelves. She expanded the range of practical activities such as sweeping and personal care to include a wide variety of exercises for care of the environment and the self, including flower arranging, hand washing, gymnastics, care of pets, and cooking.[31] She also included large open air sections in the classroom encouraging children to come and go as they please in the room's different areas and lessons. In her book[32] she outlines a typical winter's day of lessons, starting at 09:00 am and finishing at 04:00 pm:

• 9–10. Entrance. Greeting. Inspection as to personal cleanliness. Exercises of practical life; helping one another to take off and put on the aprons. Going over the room to see that everything is dusted and in order. Language: Conversation period: Children give an account of the events of the day before. Religious exercises.
• 10–11. Intellectual exercises. Objective lessons interrupted by short rest periods. Nomenclature, Sense exercises.
• 11–11:30. Simple gymnastics: Ordinary movements done gracefully, normal position of the body, walking, marching in line, salutations, movements for attention, placing of objects gracefully.
• 11:30–12. Luncheon: Short prayer.
• 12–1. Free games.
• 1–2. Directed games, if possible, in the open air. During this period the older children in turn go through with the exercises of practical life, cleaning the room, dusting, putting the material in order. General inspection for cleanliness: Conversation.
• 2–3. Manual work. Clay modelling, design, etc.
• 3–4. Collective gymnastics and songs, if possible in the open air. Exercises to develop forethought: Visiting, and caring for, the plants and animals.

She felt by working independently children could reach new levels of autonomy and become self-motivated to reach new levels of understanding. Montessori also came to believe that acknowledging all children as individuals and treating them as such would yield better learning and fulfilled potential in each particular child.[32] She continued to adapt and refine the materials she had developed earlier, altering or removing exercises which were chosen less frequently by the children. Also based on her observations, Montessori experimented with allowing children free choice of the materials, uninterrupted work, and freedom of movement and activity within the limits set by the environment. She began to see independence as the aim of education, and the role of the teacher as an observer and director of children's innate psychological development.[31]

Spread of Montessori education in Italy

The first Casa dei Bambini was a success, and a second was opened on April 7, 1907. The children in her programs continued to exhibit concentration, attention, and spontaneous self-discipline, and the classrooms began to attract the attention of prominent educators, journalists, and public figures.[33] In the fall of 1907, Montessori began to experiment with teaching materials for writing and reading—letters cut from sandpaper and mounted on boards, moveable cutout letters, and picture cards with labels. Four- and five-year-old children engaged spontaneously with the materials and quickly gained a proficiency in writing and reading far beyond what was expected for their age. This attracted further public attention to Montessori's work.[34] Three more Case dei Bambini opened in 1908, and in 1909 Italian Switzerland began to replace Froebellian methods with Montessori in orphanages and kindergartens.[35]

In 1909, Montessori held the first teacher training course in her new method in Città di Castello, Italy. In the same year, she described her observations and methods in a book titled Il Metodo della Pedagogia Scientifica Applicato All'Educazione Infantile Nelle Case Dei Bambini (The Method of Scientific Pedagogy Applied to the Education of Children in the Children's Houses).[36] Two more training courses were held in Rome in 1910, and a third in Milan in 1911. Montessori's reputation and work began to spread internationally as well, and around that time she gave up her medical practice to devote more time to her educational work, developing her methods, and training teachers.[37] In 1919 she resigned from her position at the University of Rome, as her educational work was increasingly absorbing all her time and interest.

1909–1915: International recognition and growth of Montessori education

As early as 1909, Montessori's work began to attract the attention of international observers and visitors. Her work was widely published internationally, and spread rapidly. By the end of 1911, Montessori education had been officially adopted in public schools in Italy and Switzerland, and was planned for the United Kingdom.[38] By 1912, Montessori schools had opened in Paris and many other Western European cities, and were planned for Argentina, Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Switzerland, Syria, the United States, and New Zealand. Public programs in London, Johannesburg, Rome, and Stockholm had adopted the method in their school systems.[39] Montessori societies were founded in the United States (the Montessori American Committee) and the United Kingdom (the Montessori Society for the United Kingdom).[40] In 1913 the first International Training Course was held in Rome, with a second in 1914.[41]

Montessori's work was widely translated and published during this period. Il Metodo della Pedagogia Scientifica was published in the United States as The Montessori Method: Scientific Pedagogy as Applied to Child Education in the Children's Houses, where it became a best seller.[42] British and Swiss editions followed. A revised Italian edition was published in 1913. Russian and Polish editions came out in 1913 as well, and German, Japanese, and Romanian editions appeared in 1914, followed by Spanish (1915), Dutch (1916), and Danish (1917) editions. Pedagogical Anthropology was published in English in 1913.[43] In 1914, Montessori published, in English, Doctor Montessori's Own Handbook, a practical guide to the didactic materials she had developed.[44]

Montessori in the United States

Main article: Montessori in the United States

In 1911 and 1912, Montessori's work was popular and widely publicized in the United States, especially in a series of articles in McClure's Magazine, and the first North American Montessori school was opened in October 1911, in Tarrytown, New York. The inventor Alexander Graham Bell and his wife became proponents of the method and a second school was opened in their Canadian home.[45] The Montessori Method sold quickly through six editions.[42] The first International Training Course in Rome in 1913 was sponsored by the American Montessori Committee, and 67 of the 83 students were from the United States.[46] By 1913 there were more than 100 Montessori schools in the country.[47] Montessori traveled to the United States in December 1913 on a three-week lecture tour which included films of her European classrooms, meeting with large, enthusiastic crowds wherever she traveled.[48]

Montessori returned to the United States in 1915, sponsored by the National Education Association, to demonstrate her work at the Panama–Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, California, and to give a third international training course. A glass-walled classroom was put up at the Exposition, and thousands of observers came to see a class of 21 students. Montessori's father died in November 1915, and she returned to Italy.[49]

Although Montessori and her educational approach were highly popular in the United States, she was not without opposition and controversy. Influential progressive educator William Heard Kilpatrick, a follower of American philosopher and educational reformer John Dewey, wrote a dismissive and critical book titled The Montessori Method Examined, which had a broad impact. The National Kindergarten Association was critical as well. Critics charged that Montessori's method was outdated, overly rigid, overly reliant on sense-training, and left too little scope for imagination, social interaction, and play.[50] In addition, Montessori's insistence on tight control over the elaboration of her method, the training of teachers, the production and use of materials, and the establishment of schools became a source of conflict and controversy. After she left in 1915, the Montessori movement in the United States fragmented, and Montessori education was a negligible factor in education in the United States until 1952.[51]

1915–1939: Further development of Montessori education

In 1915, Montessori returned to Europe and took up residence in Barcelona, Spain. Over the next 20 years Montessori traveled and lectured widely in Europe and gave numerous teacher training courses. Montessori education experienced significant growth in Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Italy.

Spain (1915–1936)

On her return from the United States, Montessori continued her work in Barcelona, where a small program sponsored by the Catalan government begun in 1915 had developed into the Escola Montessori, serving children from three to ten years old, and the Laboratori i Seminari de Pedagogia, a research, training, and teaching institute. A fourth international course was given there in 1916, including materials and methods, developed over the previous five years, for teaching grammar, arithmetic, and geometry to elementary school children from six to twelve years of age.[52] In 1917 Montessori published her elementary work in L'autoeducazionne nelle Scuole Elementari (Self-Education in Elementary School), which appeared in English as The Advanced Montessori Method.[53] Around 1920, the Catalan independence movement began to demand that Montessori take a political stand and make a public statement favoring Catalan independence, and she refused. Official support was withdrawn from her programs.[54] In 1924, a new military dictatorship closed Montessori's model school in Barcelona, and Montessori education declined in Spain, although Barcelona remained Montessori's home for the next twelve years. In 1933, under the Second Spanish Republic, a new training course was sponsored by the government, and government support was re-established. In 1934, she published two books in Spain, Psicogeometrica and Psicoarithemetica.[55] However, with the onset of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, political and social conditions drove Montessori to leave Spain permanently.[56]

The Netherlands (1917–1936)

In 1917, Montessori lectured in Amsterdam, and the Netherlands Montessori Society was founded.[57] She returned in 1920 to give a series of lectures at the University of Amsterdam.[58] Montessori programs flourished in the Netherlands, and by the mid-1930s there were more than 200 Montessori schools in the country.[59] In 1935 the headquarters of the Association Montessori Internationale, or AMI, moved permanently to Amsterdam.[60]

The United Kingdom (1919–1936)

Montessori education was met with enthusiasm and controversy in England between 1912 and 1914.[61] In 1919, Montessori came to England for the first time and gave an international training course which was received with high interest. Montessori education continued to spread in the United Kingdom, although the movement experienced some of the struggles over authenticity and fragmentation that took place in the United States.[62] Montessori continued to give training courses in England every other year until the beginning of World War II.[63]

Italy (1922–1934)

In 1922, Montessori was invited to Italy on behalf of the government to give a course of lectures and later to inspect Italian Montessori schools. Later that year Benito Mussolini's Fascist government came to power in Italy. In December, Montessori came back to Italy to plan a series of annual training courses under government sponsorship, and in 1923, the minister of education Giovanni Gentile expressed his official support for Montessori schools and teacher training.[64] In 1924 Montessori met with Mussolini, who extended his official support for Montessori education as part of the national program.[65] A pre-war group of Montessori supporters, the Societa gli Amici del Metodo Montessori (Society of Friends of the Montessori Method) became the Opera Montessori (Montessori Society) with a government charter, and by 1926 Mussolini was made honorary president of the organization.[66] In 1927 Mussolini established a Montessori teacher training college, and by 1929 the Italian government supported a wide range of Montessori institutions.[67] However, from 1930 on, Montessori and the Italian government came into conflict over financial support and ideological issues, especially after Montessori's lectures on Peace and Education.[68] In 1932 she and her son Mario were placed under political surveillance.[69] Finally, in 1933, she resigned from the Opera Montessori, and in 1934 she left Italy. The Italian government ended Montessori activities in the country in 1936.[70]

Other countries

Montessori lectured in Vienna in 1923, and her lectures were published as Il Bambino in Famiglia, published in English in 1936 as The Child in the Family. Between 1913 and 1936 Montessori schools and societies were also established in France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Russia, Serbia, Canada, India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand.[71]

The Association Montessori Internationale

In 1929, the first International Montessori Congress was held in Elsinore, Denmark, in conjunction with the Fifth Conference of the New Education Fellowship. At this event, Montessori and her son Mario founded the Association Montessori Internationale or AMI "to oversee the activities of schools and societies all over the world and to supervise the training of teachers."[72] AMI also controlled rights to the publication of Montessori's works and the production of authorized Montessori didactic materials. Early sponsors of the AMI included Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, and Rabindranath Tagore.[73]


In 1932, Montessori spoke on Peace and Education at the Second International Montessori Congress in Nice, France; this lecture was published by the Bureau International d'Education, Geneva, Switzerland. In 1932, Montessori spoke at the International Peace Club in Geneva, Switzerland, on the theme of Peace and Education.[74] Montessori held peace conferences from 1932 to 1939 in Geneva, Brussels, Copenhagen, and Utrecht, which were later published in Italian as Educazione e Pace, and in English as Education and Peace.[75] In 1949, and again in 1950 and in 1951, Montessori was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, receiving a total of six nominations.[76]

Laren, the Netherlands (1936–1939)

In 1936 Montessori and her family left Barcelona for England, and soon moved to Laren, near Amsterdam. Montessori and her son Mario continued to develop new materials here, including the knobless cylinders, the grammar symbols, and botany nomenclature cards.[77] In the context of rising military tensions in Europe, Montessori increasingly turned her attention to the theme of peace. In 1937, the 6th International Montessori Congress was held on the theme of "Education for Peace", and Montessori called for a "science of peace" and spoke about the role of education of the child as a key to the reform of society.[78] In 1938, Montessori was invited to India by the Theosophical Society to give a training course, and in 1939 she left the Netherlands with her son and collaborator Mario.[79]

1939–1946: Montessori in India

Main article: Montessori in India

An interest in Montessori had existed in India since 1913, when an Indian student attended the first international course in Rome, and students throughout the 1920s and 1930s had come back to India to start schools and promote Montessori education. The Montessori Society of India was formed in 1926, and Il Metodo was translated into Gujarati and Hindi in 1927.[80] By 1929, Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore had founded many "Tagore-Montessori" schools in India, and Indian interest in Montessori education was strongly represented at the International Congress in 1929.[81] Montessori herself had been personally associated with the Theosophical Society since 1907. The Theosophical movement, motivated to educate India's poor, was drawn to Montessori education as one solution.[82]

Internment in India

Montessori gave a training course at the Theosophical Society in Madras in 1939, and had intended to give a tour of lectures at various universities, and then return to Europe.[83] However, when Italy entered World War II on the side of the Germans in 1940, Britain interned all Italians in the United Kingdom and its colonies as enemy aliens. In fact only Mario Montessori was interned, while Montessori herself was confined to the Theosophical Society compound, and Mario was reunited with his mother after two months. The Montessoris remained in Madras and Kodaikanal until 1946, although they were allowed to travel in connection with lectures and courses.

Elementary material, cosmic education, and birth to three

During her years in India, Montessori and her son Mario continued to develop her educational method. The term "cosmic education" was introduced to describe an approach for children aged from six to twelve years that emphasized the interdependence of all the elements of the natural world. Children worked directly with plants and animals in their natural environments, and the Montessoris developed lessons, illustrations, charts, and models for use with elementary aged children. Material for botany, zoology, and geography was created. Between 1942 and 1944 these elements were incorporated into an advanced course for work with children from six to twelve years old. This work led to two books: Education for a New World and To Educate the Human Potential.[84]

While in India, Montessori observed children and adolescents of all ages, and turned to the study of infancy. In 1944 she gave a series of thirty lectures on the first three years of life, and a government-recognized training course in Sri Lanka. These lectures were collected in 1949 in the book What You Should Know About Your Child.[85]

In 1944 the Montessoris were granted some freedom of movement and traveled to Sri Lanka. In 1945 Montessori attended the first All India Montessori Conference in Jaipur, and in 1946, with the war over, she and her family returned to Europe.[86]

1946–1952: Final years

In 1946, at the age of 76, Montessori returned to Amsterdam, but she spent the next six years travelling in Europe and India. She gave a training course in London in 1946, and in 1947 opened a training institute there, the Montessori Centre. After a few years this centre became independent of Montessori and continued as the St. Nicholas Training Centre. Also in 1947, she returned to Italy to re-establish the Opera Montessori and gave two more training courses. Later that year she returned to India and gave courses in Adyar and Ahmedabad. These courses led to the book The Absorbent Mind, in which Montessori described the development of the child from birth onwards and presented the concept of the Four Planes of Development. In 1948 Il Metodo was revised again and published in English as The Discovery of the Child. In 1949 she gave a course in Pakistan and the Montessori Pakistan Association was founded.[87]

In 1949 Montessori returned to Europe and attended the 8th International Montessori Congress in Sanremo, Italy, where a model classroom was demonstrated. The same year, the first training course for birth to three years of age, called the Scuola Assistenti all'infanzia (Montessori School for Assistants to Infancy) was established.[88] She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Montessori was also awarded the French Legion of Honor, Officer of the Dutch Order of Orange Nassau, and received an Honorary Doctorate of the University of Amsterdam. In 1950 she visited Scandinavia, represented Italy at the UNESCO conference in Florence, presented at the 29th international training course in Perugia, gave a national course in Rome, published a fifth edition of Il Metodo with the new title La Scoperta del Bambino (The Discovery of the Child), and was again nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1951 she participated in the 9th International Montessori Congress in London, gave a training course in Innsbruck, was nominated for the third time for the Nobel Peace Prize. Montessori died of a cerebral hemorrhage on May 6, 1952, at the age of 81 in Noordwijk aan Zee, the Netherlands.[89]


Montessori on a 1970 stamp of India

Maria Montessori and Montessori schools were featured on coins and banknotes of Italy, and on stamps of the Netherlands, India, Italy, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.[90]

Educational philosophy and pedagogy

Main article: Montessori education

Early influences

Montessori's theory and philosophy of education were initially heavily influenced by the work of Jean Marc Gaspard Itard, Édouard Séguin, Friedrich Fröbel, and Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, all of whom emphasized sensory exploration and manipulatives.[91][92] Montessori's first work with mentally disabled children, at the Orthophrenic School in 1900–1901, used the methods of Itard and Séguin, training children in physical activities such as walking and the use of a spoon, training their senses by exposure to sights, smells, and tactile experiences, and introducing letters in tactile form.[93] These activities developed into the Montessori "Sensorial" materials.[94]

Scientific pedagogy

Montessori considered her work in the Orthophrenic School and her subsequent psychological studies and research work in elementary schools as "scientific pedagogy", a concept current in the study of education at the time. She called for not just observation and measurement of students, but for the development of new methods which would transform them. "Scientific education, therefore, was that which, while based on science, modified and improved the individual."[95] Further, education itself should be transformed by science: "The new methods if they were run on scientific lines, ought to change completely both the school and its methods, ought to give rise to a new form of education."[96]

Casa dei Bambini

Working with non-disabled children in the Casa dei Bambini in 1907, Montessori began to develop her own pedagogy. The essential elements of her educational theory emerged from this work, described in The Montessori Method in 1912 and in The Discovery of the Child in 1948. Her method was founded on the observation of children at liberty to act freely in an environment prepared to meet their needs.[97] Montessori came to the conclusion that the children's spontaneous activity in this environment revealed an internal program of development, and that the appropriate role of the educator was to remove obstacles to this natural development and provide opportunities for it to proceed and flourish.[98]

Accordingly, the schoolroom was equipped with child-sized furnishings, "practical life" activities such as sweeping and washing tables, and teaching material that Montessori had developed herself. Children were given freedom to choose and carry out their own activities, at their own paces and following their own inclinations. In these conditions, Montessori made a number of observations which became the foundation of her work. First, she observed great concentration in the children and spontaneous repetition of chosen activities. She also observed a strong tendency in the children to order their own environment, straightening tables and shelves and ordering materials. As children chose some activities over others, Montessori refined the materials she offered to them. Over time, the children began to exhibit what she called "spontaneous discipline".[99]

Further development and Montessori education today

Montessori continued to develop her pedagogy and her model of human development as she expanded her work and extended it to older children. She saw human behavior as guided by universal, innate characteristics in human psychology which her son and collaborator Mario Montessori identified as "human tendencies" in 1957. In addition, she observed four distinct periods, or "planes", in human development, extending from birth to six years, from six to twelve, from twelve to eighteen, and from eighteen to twenty-four. She saw different characteristics, learning modes, and developmental imperatives active in each of these planes, and called for educational approaches specific to each period. Over the course of her lifetime, Montessori developed pedagogical methods and materials for the first two planes, from birth to age twelve, and wrote and lectured about the third and fourth planes. Maria created over 4,000 Montessori classrooms across the world and her books were translated into many different languages for the training of new educators. Her methods are installed in hundreds of public and private schools across the United States.[100]

Montessori method

Main article: Montessori education

One of Montessori's many accomplishments was the Montessori method. This is a method of education for young children that stresses the development of a child's own initiative and natural abilities, especially through practical play. This method allowed children to develop at their own pace and provided educators with a new understanding of child development. Montessori's book, The Montessori Method, presents the method in detail. Educators who followed this model set up special environments to meet the needs of students in three developmentally-meaningful age groups: 2–2.5 years, 2.5–6 years, and 6–12 years. The students learn through activities that involve exploration, manipulations, order, repetition, abstraction, and communication. Teachers encourage children in the first two age groups to use their senses to explore and manipulate materials in their immediate environment. Children in the last age group deal with abstract concepts based on their newly developed powers of reasoning, imagination, and creativity.[101]


Montessori published a number of books, articles, and pamphlets during her lifetime, often in Italian, but sometimes first in English. According to Kramer, "the major works published before 1920 (The Montessori Method, Pedagogical Anthropology, The Advanced Montessori Method—Spontaneous Activity in Education and The Montessori Elementary Material), were written in Italian by her and translated under her supervision."[102] However, many of her later works were transcribed from her lectures, often in translation, and only later published in book form.

Montessori's major works are given here in order of their first publication, with significant revisions and translations.[103]

• (1909) Il Metodo della Pedagogia Scientifica applicato all'educazione infantile nelle Case dei Bambini
o revised in 1913, 1926, and 1935; revised and reissued in 1950 as La scoperta del bambino
o (1912) English edition: The Montessori Method: Scientific Pedagogy as Applied to Child Education in the Children's Houses
o (1948) Revised and expanded English edition issued as The Discovery of the Child
o (1950) Revised and reissued in Italian as La scoperta del bambino
• (1910) Antropologia Pedagogica
o (1913) English edition: Pedagogical Anthropology
• (1914) Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook
o (1921) Italian edition: Manuale di pedagogia scientifica
• (1916) L'autoeducazione nelle scuole elementari
o (1917) English edition: The Advanced Montessori Method, Vol. I: Spontaneous Activity in Education; Vol. II: The Montessori Elementary Material.
• (1922) I bambini viventi nella Chiesa
o (1929) English edition: The Child in the Church, Maria Montessori’s first book on the Catholic liturgy from the child’s point of view.
• (1923) Das Kind in der Familie (German)
o (1929) English edition: The Child in the Family
o (1936) Italian edition: Il bambino in famiglia
• (1934) Psico Geométria (Spanish)
o (2011) English edition: Psychogeometry
• (1934) Psico Aritmética
o (1971) Italian edition: Psicoaritmetica
• (1936) L'Enfant(French)
o (1936) English edition: The Secret of Childhood
o (1938) Il segreto dell'infanzia
• (1948) De l'enfant à l'adolescent
o (1948) English edition: From Childhood to Adolescence
o (1949) Dall'infanzia all'adolescenza
• (1949) Educazione e pace
o (1949) English edition: Peace and Education
• (1949) Formazione dell'uomo
o (1949) English edition: The Formation of Man
• (1949) The Absorbent Mind
o (1952) La mente del bambino. Mente assorbente
• (1947) Education for a New World
o (1970) Italian edition: Educazione per un mondo nuovo
• (1947) To Educate the Human Potential
o (1970) Italian edition: Come educare il potenziale umano


1. "Highlights from 'Communications 2007/1'". Association Montessori Internationale. Archived from the original on December 14, 2007. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
2. Kramer, 24; Trabalzini, 13
3. Flaherty, T.
4. Trabalzini 7
5. Kramer 27
6. Kramer 31
7. Trabalzini 8
8. Kramer 32–33; Trabalzini 7–8
9. Kramer 34–35; Trabalzini 9–10
10. Kramer 40–41
11. Kramer 47–50
12. Montessori is often described as the first woman doctor in Italy, but in fact Ernestina Paper earned a medical degree in Florence in 1877 and practiced medicine beginning in 1878. (Trabalzini 14)
13. Kramer 52–58; Trabalzini 16–23
14. "Mario Montessori". Sweetwater Montessori School. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
15. Ball, Laura. "Maria Montessori". Psychology's Feminist Voices. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
16. Kramer 58–61; Standing 28; Trabalzini 16–17
17. Trabalzini 18–19; Kramer 73
18. Kramer 78
19. Kramer 84–85
20. Kramer 86; Trabalzini 21
21. Kramer 90
22. Kramer 87
23. Kramer 91; Trabalzini 23–24
24. Kramer 92, 94–95; Trabalzini 39
25. Kramer 95–97; Trabalzini 39–41
26. Kramer 110; Trabalzini 49, 52
27. Kramer 111
28. Trabalzini 53
29. Kramer 111–112
30. Kramer 113–116; Trabalzini 40–47
31. Kramer 115–121; Trabalzini 54–56
32. Montessori, M.
33. Kramer 123–125; Standing 53–54; Trabalzini 56
34. Kramer 126–131; Standing 47–50
35. Kramer 135–136
36. Kramer 137; Trabalzini 57
37. Kramer 147, 150, 155; Standing 58–61; Trabalzini 103–104
38. Kramer 155
39. Kramer 176
40. Kramer 172, 155
41. Trabalzini 107–108
42. Kramer 167
43. Trabalzini 106–107
44. Kramer 174; Trabalzini 103–104
45. Kramer 159, 162–5
46. Kramer 172
47. Kramer 181
48. Kramer 186–202
49. Kramer 212–215
50. Kramer 227–229
51. Kramer 230–231
52. Kramer 246–250
53. Kramer 249–250; Trabalzini 119–120
54. Kramer 269–270
55. Trabalzini 160
56. Kramer 331–333
57. Kramer 251
58. Kramer 267
59. Kramer 323
60. Kramer 305
61. Kramer 235–245
62. Kramer 272
63. Kramer 294
64. Kramer 280–281
65. Kramer 282; Trabalzini 127
66. Kramer 283, 285
67. Kramer 302–304
68. Kramer 326; Trabalzini 156–7
69. Trabalzini 158
70. Trabalzini 158–160
71. Kramer 246; Standing 64
72. Kramer 305–306
73. Kramer 311
74. Trabalzini 157
75. Kramer 330; Trabalzini 173
76. "Nomination Database – Peace". Retrieved June 4, 2011.
77. Kramer 337; Trabalzini 161
78. Kramer 339; Trabalzini 162
79. Kramer 340–341; Trabalzini 165
80. Kramer 342
81. Kramer 306–307
82. Kramer 341–342
83. Trabalzini 165
84. Kramer 345–346; Trabalzini 167–168
85. Kramer 348; Trabalzini 168
86. Kramer 348
87. Kramer 348–355; Trabalzini 169–170
88. Trabalzini 170
89. Kramer 360–367; Trabalzini 170–172
90. Montessori.
91. Kramer 59–67
92. Montessori (1938), 17–23
93. Kramer 76
94. Lillard 16
95. Montessori (1938) 28
96. Montessori (1938) 1–3, 28–29
97. Montessori (1938) 62
98. Montessori (1938) 62, 76–77
99. Montessori (1936) 126–138
100. Lillard, P. (1996). Montessori today: a comprehensive approach to education from birth to adulthood. New York: Pantheon Books.
101. Hainstock, Elizabeth G. (1997). The Essential Montessori: An introduction to the woman, the writings, the method, and the movement. New York: the Penguin Group.
102. Kramer 356
103. "A Montessori Bibliography". Montessori Family Alliance. July 13, 2017. Retrieved January 3, 2019.


• Flaherty, T. "Maria Montessori(1870–1952)". Women's Intellectual Contributions to the Study of Mind and Society. Archived from the original on December 25, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
• Hainstock, Elizabeth (1978). The Essential Montessori. New York: The New American Library. ISBN 0-451-61695-2.
• Kramer, Rita (1976). Maria Montessori. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-201-09227-1.
• Lillard, Angeline (2005). Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516868-2.
• Lillard, Paula Polk (1972). Montessori: A Modern Approach. New York: Schocken Books. ISBN 080520394X.
• Lillard, Paula Polk (1996). Montessori Today. New York: Schocken Books. ISBN 9780805210613.
• Montessori, Maria. The montessori method: Scientific pedagogy as applied to child education in "the children's houses" with additions and revisions by the author. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
• Montessori, Maria (1948). The Discovery of the Child. Madras: Kalkshetra Publications Press.
• Montessori, Maria (1949). The Absorbent Mind. Madras: Theosophical Publishing House.
• Montessori, Maria (1914). Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company.
• Montessori, Maria (1912). The Montessori Method. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company.
• Montessori, Maria (1936). The Secret of Childhood. New York: Longmans, Green.
• Standing, E.M. (1957). Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work. New York: Plume. ISBN 0-452-26090-6.
• Trabalzini, Paola (Spring 2011). "Maria Montessori Through the Seasons of the Method". The NAMTA Journal. 36 (2).

External links

• Association Montessori Internationale
• American Montessori Society
• Centre for Montessori Studies (CeSMon), Roma Tre University
• The Maria Montessori No One knows and Maria Montessori in India
• The Centre for Montessori Studies in her native home in Chiaravalle, Italy
• e-text of The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori
• Women's Intellectual Contributions to the Study of Mind and Society
• The Montessori Foundation
• Photos of Maria Montessori (1913–1951)
• Works by Maria Montessori at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Maria Montessori at Internet Archive
• Works by Maria Montessori at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Newspaper clippings about Maria Montessori in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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A. S. Neill
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Accessed: 8/16/19



A. S. Neill
Born Alexander Sutherland Neill
17 October 1883
Forfar, Scotland
Died 23 September 1973 (aged 89)
Aldeburgh, Suffolk, England
Occupation Educator, author

Known for Founding Summerhill School, advocacy of personal freedom for children, progressive education
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. Raised in Scotland, he was a poor student, but became a schoolteacher at several schools across the country before attending the University of Edinburgh in 1908–1912. 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 head teacher. He joined the staff of a school in Dresden in 1921, founding Summerhill on his return to England in 1924. Summerhill received widespread renown in the 1920s to 1930s and then in the 1960s to 1970s, due to progressive and counter-culture interest. Neill wrote 20 books in his lifetime, his bestseller being the 1960 Summerhill, a compilation of four previous books on his school, read widely among the free school movement in the 1960s onwards.

Early life and career

Alexander Sutherland Neill was born in Forfar,[1] Scotland, on 17 October 1883[2] to George and Mary Neill.[3] He was their fourth son; one of the eight surviving children out of 13. He was raised in an austere, Calvinist house with values of fear, guilt, and adult and divine authority, which he later repudiated.[4] As a child, he was obedient, quiet, and uninterested in school.[3] His father was the village dominie (Scottish schoolmaster) of Kingsmuir, near Forfar in eastern Scotland, and his mother had been a teacher before her marriage. The village dominie held a position of prestige, hierarchically beneath that of upper classes, doctors, and clergymen.[3] As typical of Scottish methods at the time, the dominie controlled overcrowded classrooms with his tawse, as corporal punishment. Neill feared his father, though he later claimed his father's imagination as a role model for good teaching. Scholars have interpreted Neill's harsh childhood as the impetus for his later philosophy, though his father was not shown to be harsher to Allie (as Neill was known[3]) than to anyone else.[5] Neill's mother (née Sutherland Sinclair[3]) insisted on high standards for her family, and demanded comportment to set the family apart from the townspeople.[6]

Children usually left the local school for Forfar Academy at the age of 14, and with his father a teacher, Neill was especially expected to do so. Instead of wasting time and money,[7] Neill went to work as a junior clerk in an Edinburgh gas meter factory. His parents took pity on his hatred of the job, homesickness, and its low pay, and so Neill became an apprentice draper in Forfar. He found the work stultifying and came home after a foot inflammation. Neill tried to take an examination that would raise his pay grade, but could not bring himself to study. Now 15, his parents decided to make him his father's assistant "pupil teacher".[1] The children liked Neill, though he received poor marks from a school inspector. He taught a wider range of topics as his self-confidence grew, and he developed an interest in mathematics from the Forfar Academy maths master. After four years, he tried for teacher training college, but came nearly last in his class. He continued as a pupil teacher in Bonnyrigg and Kingskettle, where he found the teachers' instruction militant and loathsome.[8] He stayed in Kingskettle for three years, during which he learned Greek from a local priest, an experience that increased his interest in academicism and sublimated his interest in priesthood into a desire to attend university. After studying with the priest and the Forfar math master, Neill passed his university entrance exam and preliminary teacher's certification.[9]

Neill became an assistant teacher at the Newport Public School in the wealthy Newport-on-Tay, where he learned to dance and appreciate music and theatre. He also fell in love, and Margaret became an obsession of his. He adopted progressive techniques at this school, and abandoned the tawse for other forms of establishing discipline. Neill was friendly and relaxed with his pupils, and described his two years there as "the happiest of [his] life thus far".[10] He finished his university entrance exams and received his full teaching certification.[10]

In 1908, at the age of 25, Neill enrolled in the University of Edinburgh. He began as an agriculture student, at his father's behest for a well-salaried career,[10] but switched to English literature by the end of his first year.[11] Neill was excluded from cultural events due to his lack of funds, but participated in sports, showed interest in the military, and wrote for The Student (the university magazine) and the Glasgow Herald.[12] He became the student paper's editor during his last year, which opened Neill to a world of culture. He also felt more confident to pursue women.[11] In his editorials, Neill criticized the tedium of lectures and the emphasis on tests instead of critical thinking.[11] He began to develop his thoughts about the futility of forced education, and the axiom that all learning came from intrinsic interest.[13] Neill graduated in 1912 and began to edit encyclopedias and similar reference books. He took a new job as art editor of the Piccadilly Magazine, but its operations were halted by the 1914 onset of World War I,[14] in which he served as an officer in the army. He returned to Scotland, working as a head teacher at Gretna Green School during the first year of the war. The diary he wrote for this year was published as a book, A Dominie's Log, in November 1915 by Herbert Jenkins, and received good reviews for its humour and narrative style.

Neill was invited to join a progressive school in Dresden in 1921. The school moved to a monastery near Vienna in 1923, where the townspeople did not receive it well. He moved to England in 1924 and started Summerhill in Lyme Regis, where the name came from the estate.[15]

Summerhill School

Main article: Summerhill School

Summerhill, 1993

The school picked up some notoriety and the average enrolment was 40 pupils. In 1927, it moved to Leiston, where it remained.[15]

Neill credited Summerhill's environment instead of himself for the school's reformatory successes.[4] Neill used to offer psychoanalytic therapy ("private lessons", since he was not a licensed therapist[16]) for children who arrived as delinquents from other institutions, but later found love, affirmation and freedom to be better cures.[4]

The Summerhill classroom was popularly assumed to reflect Neill's anti-authoritarian beliefs, though their classes were traditional in practice.[17] Neill did not show outward interest in classroom pedagogy, and was mainly interested in student happiness.[18] He did not consider lesson quality important,[18] and thus there were no distinctive Summerhillian classroom methods.[19] Leonard Waks wrote that, like Homer Lane, Neill thought all teaching should follow student interest, and that teaching method did not matter much once student interest was apparent.[19][20] In a review of an algebra lesson taught by Neill as recounted through Herb Snitzer's Living at Summerhill, Richard Bailey described Neill's teaching technique as "simply awful" for his lack of student engagement, inarticulate explanations, and insults directed at students.[21] Bailey criticized Neill's absolution of responsibility for his pupils' academic performance, and his view that charismatic instruction was a form of persuasion that weakened child autonomy.[22] Ronald Swartz referred to Neill's method as Socratic, about which Bailey disagreed.[17]

Neill was not religious. Despite this, he would flippantly remark that Summerhill was the only Christian school in England when its philosophy was compared with that of Christ. Neill saw the doctrine of "original sin" as a means of control and sought a world ruled by love and self-examination.[23] Like Freud, he felt that children who were denied understanding of their sexuality in their youth became adults who were similarly fearful of their own sexuality.[24]


See also: Philosophy of Summerhill School

Neill felt that children (and human nature) were innately good, and that children naturally became just and virtuous when allowed to grow without adult imposition of morality.[25] Children did not need to be coaxed or goaded into desirable behaviour, as their natural state was satisfactory and their natural inclinations "in no way immoral".[26] If left alone, children would become self-regulating, reasonable and ethical adults.[27] Together with Homer Lane, Neill supported personal freedoms for children to live as they please without adult interference, and called this position "on the side of the child".[25] Neill's practice can be summarised as providing children with space, time, and empowerment for personal exploration and with freedom from adult fear and coercion.[28]

The aim of life, to Neill, was "to find happiness, which means to find interest."[29] Likewise, the purpose of Neill's education was to be happy and interested in life,[30] and children needed complete freedom to find their interests.[29] Neill considered happiness an innate characteristic that deteriorated if children were denied personal freedom. Such unhappiness led to repressed and psychologically disordered adults.[30] He blamed a "sick and unhappy" society for widespread unhappiness.[31] Neill claimed that society harboured fears of life, children and emotions that were continually bequeathed to the next generation. He felt that children turned to self-hate and internal hostility when denied an outlet for expression in adult systems of emotional regulation and manipulation. Likewise, children taught to withhold their sexuality would see such feelings negatively, which would fuel disdain for self. Neill thought that calls for obedience quenched the natural needs of children. Moreover, their needs could not be fulfilled by adults or a society that simultaneously prolonged their unhappiness, although perhaps a school like Summerhill could help.[24]

Neill... believed that the best thing teachers could do was to leave children alone to develop naturally.
Denis Lawton, Education and Social Justice, p. 78[32]

As for "interest", Neill felt it came organically and spontaneously as a prerequisite for learning. Neill considered forced instruction (without pupil interest) a destructive waste of time.[33] Earlier in his career, he wrote that human interest releases emotions that otherwise congests a person.[29] He added that education's role is to facilitate that release, with Summerhill actualizing this concept.[34] Neill never defines "true interest" and does not account for the social influences on child interest.[35] Bailey felt that this omission discredits Neill's position against external influence. Bailey also cited "adaptive preferences" literature, where human interests change based on their surroundings and circumstances, as evidence of how intrinsic interest can be externally influenced.[36] Bailey also dubbed Neill's views on intelligence as "innatist" and fatalist — that children had naturally set capabilities and limitations.[37] Neill saw contemporary interventionist practice as doing harm by emphasising conformity and stifling children's natural drive to do as they please.[16]

Neill did not identify with the progressive educators of his time.[38] They advocated far gentler authority in child-rearing, which Neill considered more insidious than overt authority and altogether unnecessary.[39] All imposed authority, even if meant well, was unjustified.[40] He felt that adults asserted authority for its feelings of power, and that this motive was a type of repression.[40] In Neill's philosophy, the goal was maintenance of happiness through avoidance of repressive habits from society.[40] Despite Neill's common citation as a leader within progressive education, his ideas were considerably more radical, and he was called an extremist by other radicals.[38] Unlike Friedrich Fröbel, Neill did not view children with romantic innocence. He saw their animalistic traits as qualities to be "outgrown with time and freedom".[41] Neill also considered his role in providing emotional support.[16]

Emotional education trumped intellectual needs, in Neill's eyes, and he was associated with anti-intellectualism.[42] In actuality, he had a personal interest in scholarship and used his autobiography near the end of his life to profess the necessity of both emotion and intellect in education,[43] though he often took jabs at what he saw to be education's overemphasis on book-learning.[44] Neill felt that an emotional education freed the intellect to follow what it pleased, and that children required an emotional education to keep up with their own gradual developmental needs. This education usually entailed copious amounts of play and distance from the adult anxieties of work and ambition.[45] Neill was influenced by Sigmund Freud's theories of psychoanalysis, Homer Lane's interpretation of Freud, and later, by the unorthodox sexual theories of Wilhelm Reich. The reverence for Reich appears in the abundant correspondence between them.[46] Neill accepted Reich's claims about cosmic energy and his utopian ideas on human sexuality. In Reich's view, "discharge" of sexual energy leads to happiness, whereas lack of such discharge leads to unhappiness and "rigidity". Although not a trained therapist, Neill gave psychoanalytic private lessons to individual children, designed to unblock impasses in their inner energies. Neill also offered body massage, as suggested by Reich. Neill later found that freedom cured better than this therapy.[16]

Richard Bailey placed Neill alongside William Godwin, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, and Robert Owen in Thomas Sowell's "unconstrained vision" tradition, where human potential is naturally unlimited and human development is dependent on environment and not incentives.[47] Bailey also compared Neill's thoughts on coercion to those of Godwin, who felt that regulation through reward and punishment stunted growth. Neill saw moral instruction as a wedge between natural instinct and conformity and thought children were best off without it.[25] Neill trusted the natural inclinations of children and saw no need to externally and purposefully influence their behaviour.[26] Denis Lawton likened Neill's ideas to Rousseauan "negative education", where children discover for themselves instead of receiving instruction.[32] Neill is commonly associated with Rousseau for their similar thoughts on human nature, although Neill claimed to not have read Rousseau's Emile, or On Education until near the end of his life.[48] John Cleverley and D. C. Phillips declared Neill "the most notable figure in the Rousseauean tradition", and Frank Flanagan credited Neill with actualising what Rousseau envisaged.[4] Marc-Alexandre Prud-homme and Giuliano Reis found the comparison "inappropriate" on the basis of Rousseau's views on gender.[49]

Peter Hobson found Neill's philosophy of education incomplete, oversimplified, without a "coherent theory of knowledge", and too dependent on his experience instead of philosophical position.[50][51] When presented with Hobson's position, four experts on Neill and Summerhill considered his assertions "irrelevant".[51] Joel Spring likened Neill's views on the family to that of Mary Wollstonecraft, in that the parents would share power equally.[52]

Freedom, not licence

See also: Freedom versus license

When Neill said children should be free, he did not mean complete freedom, but freedom without licence—that everyone can do as they like unless such action encroaches upon another's freedom.[53] As such, adults could and should protect children from danger, but not trample their self-regulation.[54] Neill emphasised that adult removal from child affairs was distinct from disregard for their security.[55] He felt that children met their own limits naturally.[16] Neill believed in equal rights between parents and children, and that undesirable "disciplined" or "spoiled" homes were created when those rights were imbalanced.[56] He felt it unnecessary to fulfil all of childhood's requests and had great disdain for spoiled children.[57] Summerhill children were naturally restricted by the school's limited teaching expertise and low funds.[58]

Bailey wrote that Neill did not have full faith in self-regulation due to his emphasis on the necessity of making specific environments for children.[55] Robin Barrow argued that Neill's idea of self-regulation was contradictory, when its intent was, more simply, the extent to which children need to abide by external restraints.[55] Bailey added that children cannot know the extent to which dull and unknown subjects can be exciting without guidance.[59] He felt that Neill's belief in children's innate and realistic wisdom did not accommodate human characteristics "such as error, prejudice, and ignorance", ascribed genius-level intelligence to children, and did not consider social aspects in child decision-making.[60]


Self-governance was a central idea to Summerhill, and is perhaps its "most fundamental feature".[56] Summerhill held a weekly general meeting that decided the school's rules and settled school disputes, where every member of the community—staff and student alike—had a single vote.[61] Almost everyone in the school attended the meeting, and children always held the majority.[61] Meetings were managed by an elected Chairperson.[61] At times, the school had over 200 rules.[62]

Summerhill sought to produce individualists conscious of their surrounding social order, and Neill chose the self-governance of Homer Lane's Little Commonwealth for the basis of that lesson.[63] The general meeting replaced teacher authority with communal control, which freed teachers from their roles as disciplinarians and instructed children in the role of democratic participation and the role of rules.[64] Additionally, reports of teacher–student disputes were rare.[65] Neill felt that the community's authority never created resentment in those subject to sanctions.[61] Sven Muller contended that the meeting was more useful than discipline for creating civic-minded citizens.[64] An ex-pupil recalled some of the wild ideas Neill would propose at the meeting, and while the students would vote him down, she later recounted how the exercise was also intended as a lesson for the staff on the power of the meeting and communal authority.[66] Neill considered self-governance "the most valuable asset in education and life" and the general meeting "more important than all the textbooks in the world".[64]

On occasion, Neill exercised unilateral decision-making as the owner of the school, despite his emphasis on the authority figure-less nature of the school.[65] Instances include when he once made a decision after the group's discussion protracted, and when he once asserted himself dictator.[65] Ultimately, the school's freedom was Neill's to structure.[65]


Neill wrote 20 books in his lifetime.[67] His style was simple and friendly, unlike didactic literature from the era.[68] His topics included the balance of authority and the thoughts–feelings relationship.[69]


Main article: Summerhill (book)

The 1960 release of Summerhill catapulted Neill into the public view. Richard Bailey described its result as "an American cult" of Summerhillian schools and their support organizations. The book sold well and made Neill into a figurehead of new interest in education. Bailey added that the unpretentious book's message was easier to impart than Deweyan thought, and that its release inspired Neill's education critic contemporaries as to the viability of their ideas.[70]

Reception and legacy

Critics regard Neill's influence and importance with mixed opinion.[71] Supporters counted Neill amongst the world's most influential educationists.[71] UNESCO listed Neill within its 100 most important educationists worldwide. The Times Educational Supplement listed him in its 12 most important British educationists of the millennium. Herb Kohl declared Neill "one of the greatest democratic educators of the last century" in 2005. Academics and teachers cited Summerhill as the common ancestor for free schools, and Neill was poised to become a public figure during Summerhill's heyday in the 1970s.[71] Its detractors do not classify Summerhill as a school. Max Rafferty called Summerhill "a caricature of education" and felt threatened by the implications of "the spread of Neill's hedonism to the majority of the next generation".[72] Others criticized Neill for his progressive ideals despite agreement on his critique of traditional schools, and bemoaned his "outdated radicalism" and "dangerously enthusiastic following in teaching training institutions".[73]

Richard Bailey wrote that Summerhill received most of its public attention in the 1920s to 1930s and in the 1960s to 1970s, which were milieux of social change (progressivism and the counterculture, respectively). Neill was known in British education circles by the 1920s and was "probably Britain's first educational celebrity" in the 1930s, though he was not driven by his reception. Journal reviews called Neill "the most popular writer on education today" and said of his works, "Nearly all the more alive and up-to-date teachers in Britain have read and argued about his notions". He was known via his books as a figure in the new psychoanalysis.[68] The accessible 1960 Summerhill crowned Neill the leader of a new avant-garde education and he became symbolic of the rebel decade.[69]

Neill is generally associated with democratic schools as a leader in its tradition.[74] H. A. T. Child associated Summerhill with the Bedales School, Alfred the Great, and Child's Dartington Hall School, and David Gribble wrote about schools around the world following Neill's teachings in 1998.[citation needed] Timothy Gray linked the release of Summerhill with the rise of writers Herb Kohl, Jonathan Kozol, Neil Postman, and Ivan Illich.[75] Scholars debate whether Neill fits best in a progressive or more radical tradition.[74]

Few of Neill's acolytes continued his work after his death.[74] His family maintained Summerhill, with Neill's daughter as its headmaster as of 2013. Others influenced by Neill included John Aitkenhead, Michael Duane, and R. F. Mackenzie. Richard Bailey wrote that Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner's followers were more evangelical in character, and that Neill deterred would-be devotees. He specifically discouraged American association with his school in both name and likeness.[74] By 1972, Ray Hemmings wrote that Neill's ideas were misinterpreted in the hands of other schools.[68] Hemmings found Neill to have moderate influence on state schools in areas such as teacher–student interactions. Neill's views on sexuality and non-compulsory lessons did not have widespread acceptance.[68] Herb Snitzer said that Neill "influenced thousand of teachers". Both George Dennison and Bailey felt Neill's influence to not be easily measurable, with Dennison adding that non-Summerhill schools continue to adopt Neillian thought.[76]

Neill was awarded three honorary degrees: a master's and two honorary doctorates.[43] One doctorate was from the Newcastle University in 1966.[43] He was reportedly very proud of the awards.[43]


1. Bailey 2013, p. 10.
2. Croall 1983b, p. 8.
3. Bailey 2013, p. 5.
4. Bailey 2013, p. 115.
5. Bailey 2013, pp. 6–7.
6. Bailey 2013, p. 8.
7. Bailey 2013, p. 9.
8. Bailey 2013, p. 11.
9. Bailey 2013, p. 12.
10. Bailey 2013, p. 13.
11. Bailey 2013, p. 14.
12. Bailey 2013, pp. 13–14.
13. Bailey 2013, pp. 15–16.
14. Bailey 2013, p. 16.
15. Hobson 2001, p. 1.
16. Bailey 2013, p. 137.
17. 2013, p. 147.
18. 2013, p. 144.
19. 2013, p. 145.
20. Waks 1975, p. 144.
21. Bailey 2013, p. 146.
22. Bailey 2013, pp. 146–148.
23. Bailey 2013, pp. 120–121.
24. Bailey 2013, p. 123.
25. Bailey 2013, p. 111.
26. Bailey 2013, pp. 111–112.
27. Bailey 2013, p. 113.
28. Bailey 2013, p. 116.
29. Bailey 2013, p. 124.
30. Bailey 2013, p. 122.
31. Bailey 2013, pp. 122–123.
32. Lawton 1977, p. 78.
33. Bailey 2013, p. 125.
34. Bailey 2013, pp. 124–125.
35. Bailey 2013, p. 125–126.
36. Bailey 2013, p. 127.
37. Bailey 2013, p. 141.
38. Bailey 2013, p. 107.
39. Bailey 2013, pp. 107–108.
40. Bailey 2013, p. 128.
41. Bailey 2013, p. 114.
42. Bailey 2013, p. 138–139.
43. Bailey 2013, p. 139.
44. Bailey 2013, p. 140.
45. Bailey 2013, p. 138.
46. Documented in Record of a friendship: The correspondence between Wilhelm Reich and A. S. Neill, 1936–1957 (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1981).
47. Bailey 2013, pp. 108–110, 112.
48. Bailey 2013, pp. 114–115.
49. Prud'homme & Reis 2011, p. 16.
50. Hobson 2001, p. 3.
51. Bailey 2013, p. 149.
52. Spring 2012, p. 190.
53. Bailey 2013, pp. 128–130, 132.
54. Bailey 2013, pp. 128–130.
55. Bailey 2013, p. 129.
56. Bailey 2013, p. 130.
57. Bailey 2013, pp. 129–130.
58. Bailey 2013, p. 136.
59. Bailey 2013, pp. 144, 142.
60. Bailey 2013, p. 143.
61. Bailey 2013, p. 132.
62. Bailey 2013, p. 133.
63. Bailey 2013, pp. 130–131.
64. Bailey 2013, p. 131.
65. Bailey 2013, p. 135.
66. Bailey 2013, p. 134.
67. Croall 1983b, p. 424.
68. Bailey 2013, p. 154.
69. Bailey 2013, pp. 154–155.
70. Bailey 2013, p. 155.
71. Bailey 2013, p. 151.
72. Bailey 2013, p. 152.
73. Bailey 2013, pp. 152–153.
74. Bailey 2013, p. 153.
75. Gray, Timothy (2009). "Fun City: Kenneth Koch among schoolchildren". Texas Studies in Literature and Language. University of Texas Press. 51 (2): 233. JSTOR 40755540.
76. Bailey 2013, pp. 156–157.


• Ayers, William (2003). On the Side of the Child: Summerhill Revisited. New York: Teachers College Press. ISBN 978-0-8077-4399-7. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
• Bailey, Richard (2013). A. S. Neill. Londo n: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1-4411-0042-9.
• Barrow, Robin (1978). Radical Education: A Critique of Freeschooling and Deschooling. London: Martin Robertson. ISBN 978-0-85520-170-8. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
• Cremin, Lawrence (1978). "The Free School Movement: A Perspective". In Deal, Terrence E.; Nolan, Robert R. (eds.). Alternative Schools: Ideologies, Realities, Guidelines. Chicago: Nelson-Hall. ISBN 978-0-88229-383-7. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
• Croall, Jonathan, ed. (1983a). All the Best, Neill: Letters from Summerhill. London: André Deutsch. ISBN 978-0-233-97594-8. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
• Croall, Jonathan (1983b). Neill of Summerhill: The Permanent Rebel. New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN 978-0-394-51403-1. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
• Hart, Harold H., ed. (1970). Summerhill: For and Against. New York: Hart Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0805500592. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
• Hemmings, Ray (1973). Children's Freedom: A. S. Neill and the Evolution of the Summerhill Idea. New York: Schocken Books. ISBN 978-0805234848. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
• Hobson, Peter (2001). "A. S. Neill, 1883–1973". In Bresler, Liora; Cooper, David; Palmer, Joy (eds.). Fifty Modern Thinkers on Education: From Piaget to the Present Day. Routledge. pp. 1–5. ISBN 978-1-134-59259-3.
• Lawton, Denis (1977). Education and Social Justice. London: Sage. ISBN 978-0-8039-9946-6.
• Neill, A. S. (1972). Neill! Neill! Orange Peel!. New York: Hart Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-671-81300-0. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
• Neill, A. S. (1960). Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing. New York: Hart Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-14-013559-6. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
• Placzek, Beverley R., ed. (1981). A Record of Friendship: The Correspondence Between Wilhelm Reich and A S. Neill 1936–1957. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-51770-0. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
• Prud'homme, Marc-Alexandre; Reis, Giuliano (Summer 2011). Comparing A.S. Neill To Rousseau, Appropriate? (PDF). Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning. 5. ISSN 1916-8128. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 December 2013.
• Purdy, Bryn (1997). A. S. Neill: Bringing Happiness to Some Few Children. Bramcote Hills: Educational Heretics Press. ISBN 978-1-900219-03-7. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
• Spring, Joel (2012). Wheels in the Head: Educational Philosophies of Authority, Freedom, and Culture from Confucianism to Human Rights (3rd ed.). Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-15537-7.
• Vaughan, Mark (2006). Summerhill and A. S. Neill. Maidenhead: Open University Press. ISBN 978-0-335-21913-1. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
• Walmsley, John (1969). Neill & Summerhill: A Man and His Work, a Pictorial Study. Baltimore: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0140801347. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
• Waks, Leonard J. (1975). "Freedom and desire in the Summerhill philosophy of education". In David A. Nyberg (ed.). The Philosophy of Open Education. London: Routledge. pp. 144–154. ISBN 978-0-203-86109-7.

External links

• Summerhill School official website
• Works by A. S. Neill at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about A. S. Neill at Internet Archive
• Works by A. S. Neill at HathiTrust
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:28 am

National Socialist Teachers Association
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



The National Socialist Teachers' Association (NSLB) was founded in 1929 as a party affiliation of the NSDAP affiliated association, developed from 1933 to the sole teacher organization with significant influence on the education under National Socialism in the German Reich and existed until 1943.

Organization and direction

The NSLB saw itself as an association of all persons who wanted to be understood or understood as an educator, regardless of education or training and regardless of the type of educational institution. His task was to make the National Socialist Weltanschauung the basis of education, especially of the school system. For this purpose, the ideological and political orientation of the educators should be influenced, in particular their further education in the National Socialist spirit promoted and operated. For this purpose, the NSLB followed the concept of so-called "camp training": In a total of 29 Gauschulen and 57 fixed training camps of the NSLB (1936) obligatory, in each case several weeks, topic-specific "teacher camps" for ideological, Nazi ideological training of the participants were carried out , Also organized mountain tours for teachers were in so-called Reich exchange camps to offer.

The journalistic central organ, with which the NSLB taught the ideological guidelines and racist didactics to the teachers, educators appeared as a member magazine from 1929 to 1945 under three different titles: From August 1929 to June 1933 as a National Socialist teacher newspaper . Kampfblatt des Nationalsozialistischen Lehrerbundes (NSLZ); from July 1933 to March 1938 as Reichszeitung of the German educators. National Socialist Teachers' Paper (RZDE); from April 1938 to January / February 1945 as The German Educator. Reichszeitung of the National Socialist Teachers' Association (DDE). [2] For students, the NSLB gave the newspaper Hilf! which packed racial and anti-Semitic propaganda into folk- harmonious frame narratives and, with a circulation of five million copies per issue, reached almost the entire student population every month from the age of ten. [3]

The seat of the organization was the House of German Education in Bayreuth . The founders and administrators of the organization were Hans Schemm (1929-1935) and Fritz Wächtler (1935-1943). In addition to its journalistic central organ National Socialist Teachers' Newspaper , the NSLB also published the monthly German Education and various regional periodicals, such as for the Gau Baden, the magazine Die Baden School , which appeared from 1934 to 1938 in Karlsruhe . For the organization of Kinderlandverschickung the NSLB was activated again after 1939, but otherwise fell into insignificance. The resolution 1943 took place in the course of the concentration of the forces on the total war , in order to save personnel and material resources (eg magazines). With the Control Council Act No. 2 of 10 October 1945, the NSLB was additionally banned by the Allied Control Council and a refounding prohibited.

Staff and members

The NSLB had the following organizational structure: [4]

Reichsleiter: Hans Schemm (1929-1935) and Fritz Wächtler (1935-1943)
Head of Staff / Managing Director (until August 1936): Max Kolb
Department of Education: Georg Roder until spring 1935, Hans Stricker (born 1897)
Training: Carl Wolf [6]
Literature: Paul Georg Herrmann [7] , from 1942 Walter Arnold
Organization / Managing Director (1936-42): Heinrich Friedmann (1942)
Press and propaganda: Heinrich Hansen [8] , from 1939 Walter Arnold
Economics and Law: Andreas Tränkenschuh
Treasurer: Hugo Jünger

For individual subjects, interdisciplinary areas or the five types of school were, mostly in the secondary office, Reichsachbearbeiter and Reichsfachschaftsleiter appointed (also called "Reichswalter"), often former officials of the dissolved professional associations, which were assigned to the district level Gausachbearbeiter and including Kreissachbearbeiter , z. B .:

Old languages: Friedrich Einhorn (1888-1978), Herbert Holtorf (Dep., 1891-1959)
German: Alfred chicken houses
Newer foreign languages: Heinrich Fischer [10]
Race questions: Karl Zimmermann
Philosophy, Psychology, Pedagogy: Johann Baptist Rieffert
History: Moritz Edelmann
Geography: Albrecht Burchard , from 1940 Friedrich Knieriem [11]
Geopolitics: Johann Ulrich Folkers
Civics: Walther Wallowitz (1904-1943)
Art Education: Robert Böttcher [12]
Music Education: Karl Landgrebe
Physical Education: Hans Berendes (until 1939), Albert Hirn (Deputy), Otto Stadermann (from 1942)
Speech training : Fritz Gerathewohl
Biology: Ernst Lehmann
Mathematics and Science: Kuno Fladt
Physics: Karl Hahn (from 1936) [13]
Female Education: Auguste Reber Mine
Housekeeping: Grete Buck
Higher schools: Rudolf Benze , from 1936 Karl Frank
Middle Schools: Nikolaus Maaßen [14]
Elementary Schools : Ernst Bargheer
Special schools : Paul Ruckau , from 1938 Fritz Zwanziger
Vocational and technical schools: Walter Pipke (born 1899) [15]
Social educational professions: Hans Volkelt 1934-1938
Schullandheime: Rudolf Nicolai until October 1935 [16]
School radio: Georg Brendel

As a result of the transfer of existing teachers' associations under the umbrella of the NSLB, which was by no means only based on pressure and violence, the organization rose to become the sole teacher association in the German Reich with around 300,000 members following the seizure of power by the National Socialists. 9,000 teachers refused to join. One third of the teaching staff was in addition to their membership in the NSLB also directly a member of the NSDAP - so the numbers from 1937. The powerful "Reichsreferentin for female education" in the association was Auguste Reber-Gruber , one of four leading female Nazi officials at all.

In July 1935, the first was separated with organized university teaching and connected in the National Socialist German Dozentenbund (NSDDB).


• Willi Feiten: The National Socialist Teachers Association. Development and organization. A Contribution to the Structure and Organizational Structure of the National Socialist System of Government (Studies and Documentaries on the History of German Education 19), Beltz, Weinheim 1981.
• Monika Meister: "German educator! You have to shape the future mothers of the people! "The teacher Auguste Reber-Gruber (1892-1946). In: Hiltrud Häntzschel , Hadumod Bußmann (ed.): Menacingly clever. A century of women and science in Bavaria. Beck, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-406-41857-0 , pp. 248-255.
• Saskia Müller / Benjamin Ortmeyer : The ideological orientation of the teachers 1933-1945. Herrenmenschentum, racism and hostility to Jews in the National Socialist Teachers Association. A documentary analysis of the central organ of the NSLB. Beltz Juventa, Weinheim 2016, ISBN 978-3-7799-3414-1 .
Web links
• National Socialist Teachers Association (NSLB) in: "Historical Dictionary of Bavaria" (Author: Fritz Schäffer )
• Ralf Klee: "Nazi educator with ice ax", one day, October 10, 2008
• Uwe Schmidt: Teacher in lockstep. The National Socialist Teachers Association Hamburg , Hamburg 2006 (PDF)
• Anja Nehls: Teachers in National Socialism . In: Deutschlandfunk , 14th December 2016

Single proofs

1. Andreas Kraas: Teacher camp 1932-1945. Political function and educational design , Bad Heilbrunn 2004, p. 89ff. and pp. 349ff. ISBN 3781513475
2. Saskia Müller / Benjamin Ortmeyer: The ideological orientation of the teachers 1933-1945. Master humanity, racism and hostility towards the Jewish National Socialist Association. A documentary analysis of the central organ of the NSLB. Beltz Juventa, Weinheim 2016, p. 28f.
3. Benjamin Ortmeyer: Indoctrination. Racism and anti-Semitism in the Nazi student magazine "Help us!" (1933-1944). Analysis and documents . Beltz Juventa, Weinheim 2013, p. 7 u. P. 39.
4. Most information according to NS-Lehrerzeitung, 1936, No. 7, for the inauguration of the House of German Education
5. Benjamin Ortmeyer: Nazi ideology in the NSLB journal "The German Elementary School" 1934 -1944 A documentary analysis. 2018, retrieved on 4 August 2019 .
6. Andreas Kraas: Teacher camp 1932-1945: Political function and educational design . Klinkhardt, Bad Heilbrunn 2004, ISBN 3-7815-1347-5 .
7. Herrmann (1899-1959) was an Upper Palatinate clan researcher, who led the appointed office in the NSLB. He wanted to record and analyze the pedigrees of all German educators. In addition, the censorship of the entire school literature (youth literature, educational journals, libraries, school teaching aids) was transferred to him. In 1941 he was drafted as a captain.
8. Heinrich Hoffmann (Photographer) , Heinrich Hansen (ed.): The room image. Stereoscopic magazine for time and space . 1938th
9. Erich Burck u. a .: Special issue on the history of the DAV. DAV, 1987, retrieved on July 22, 2019 .
10. Reiner Lehberger: Learning English in National Socialism . Stauffenberg, 1986, ISBN 978-3-923721-11-5 .
11. Henning Heske: And tomorrow the whole world: Erdkundeunterricht under National Socialism . BoD 2008, ISBN 978-3-8370-1021-3 .
12. R. Böttcher: The "art education". Bund Deutscher Kunsterzieher, 1938, accessed 22 July 2019 .
13. Hans-Peter de Lorent: offender profiles. The responsible persons in the Hamburg education under the swastika. tape 3 . Hamburg 2019.
14. My life in the service of the school, especially the middle school , 1959
15. Matthias Busch: Citizenship in the Weimar Republic: Genesis of a democratic subject didactics . Klinkhardt, 2016, ISBN 978-3-7815-2069-1 , p. 112 f .
16. Andreas Pehnke: biography of Rudolf Nicolai. In: Saxon biography. Institute of Saxon History and Folklore eV, retrieved on July 22, 2019 .
17. Saskia Müller / Benjamin Ortmeyer: The ideological orientation of the teachers 1933-1945: Herrenmenschentum, racism and hostility to Jews in the National Socialist Teachers' Association. A documentary analysis of the central organ of the NSLB. Beltz Juventa, Weinheim 2016, p. 11f. u. P. 22f.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:39 am

Rolf Gardiner
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



Rolf Gardiner at his wedding to Marabel Hodgkin in 1932. The North Skelton sword dance group form the guard of honour.

Henry Rolf Gardiner (5 November 1902 – 26 November 1971) was an English rural revivalist, helping to bring back folk dance styles including Morris dancing and sword dancing. He founded groups significant in the British history of organic farming. He was said to have sympathised with Nazism and participated in inter-war far right politics, but this was speculation based on his approval of the German Youth Movement's aims of involving townspeople in country community life, such as helping with the harvest. He organised summer camps with music, dance and community aims across class and cultures. His forestry methods were far ahead of their time and he was a founder member of The Soil Association.

Early life

He was born in Fulham the son of Sir Alan Henderson Gardiner and his wife Hedwig, nee Von Rosen.[1] He was educated at West Downs school from 1913,[2] Rugby School, and then at Bedales School.[3][4] He was a student at St John's College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the Kibbo Kift youth group.[5]

Initially he was a youth leader, involved in exchanges with Germany.[6] He was heavily influenced in the 1920s by D. H. Lawrence;[7] he visited Lawrence in Switzerland in 1928, and has been called his first genuine "disciple".[8]

At this period he was also much concerned with English folk dance, and convinced morris dance revivalist Mary Neal that morris was an essentially masculine form.[9][10] He founded the Travelling Morrice in 1924, with Arthur Heffer, having taken a team of English dancers to Germany in 1922, and in 1923 met a few of the surviving dancers while walking in the Cotswolds with the poet Christopher Scaife.[11][12][13] Gardiner was not, however, a founder of the Morris Ring, set up in 1934.

Land owner

He took over Gore Farm in Dorset, bought by Henry Balfour Gardiner in 1924, from 1927, and continued what became a large-scale forestation project, based on training he had received at Dartington Hall, with conifers and beech trees.[14] Here he set up a support group, the Gore Kinship.[15]

He married Mariabella Honor Hodgkin in 1932; she was the daughter of the Irish fabric designer Florence Hodgkin. In 1933 he and 'Marabel' bought the estate at Springhead, near Fontmell Magna, Dorset.[16] He became active in Dorset society becoming a member of Dorset County Council between 1937-1946, High Sheriff of Dorset 1967-68, President of the Dorset Federation of Young Farmers Clubs 1944-46, a Chairman and then President of the Dorset branch of the Council for the Protection of Rural England between 1957-1972 as well as other rural and landscape committees and working parties.

He and his wife developed the Springhead Ring as a music, theatre and crafts network, as well as farming the estate and developing forestry operations.[16] It also hosted much musical activity.[17] The rural writer John Stewart Collis spent a year after the Second World War working for Gardiner, thinning a 14-acre ash wood on the estate; this formed the material for his 1947 book Down to Earth.[18] He was a founder member of The Soil Association and applied organic principles to both farm and forest. The family owned tea-growing estates in Nyasaland (now in Thyolo District, Malawi), known as the Nchima Tea and Tung Estate, of which Gardiner became chairman.[19] Gardiner was active in the 1950s in dealing with colonial officials, with a view to conserving the underlying land.[20] He had written about erosion in Nyasaland and Uganda already in the 1930s, in the New English Weekly.[21] The Estate became the Springhead Trust in 1962.[22]

Politics of the far right

He was editor of the magazine Youth from 1923, when still a student. It had been founded in 1920, and at that point was left-leaning and supported guild socialism. In Gardiner's time it became internationally oriented and Germanophile, and his own political interests turned to Social Credit.[23] He also published articles by John Hargrave with whom he had associated in the Kibbo Kift.[24] After its split from the Woodcraft Folk, Kibbo Kift was in transition, en route for the Social Credit Party of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ("Green Shirts").

It has been suggested that Gardiner moved from the ideas of guild socialism and social credit, current in the circle of A. R. Orage, towards a search for a masculine brotherhood, through his involvement in the "folk revival".[25] His views of folk music and dance have been called "fundamentalist".[26] In any case he took up with and formed small groups, rather than political organisations. He expressly rejected overtures made to him by members of Mosley's party, which at the time was gaining ground in rural areas in response to the effects of the depression and tithe collection on farming.

Gardiner later broke with Hargrave, of whom Lawrence disapproved.[27] In 1929 Gardiner was writing with approval in the Times Literary Supplement of the Jugendbewegung (German Youth Movement) and its anti-scientific outlook.[28] He debated the German Youth Movement in 1934 with Leslie Paul, in the pages of The Adelphi.[29]

In a series of publications from 1928 he articulated racial theories (Baltic peoples versus Mediterranean peoples) and the need for national reversals of "impoverishment" of the stock.[30] It has been said that he was an "ecocentric" looking for a united and pagan England and Germany, and a supporter of Nazi pro-ruralist policies.[31] He reportedly expressed anti-Semitic views from 1933, writing first in German.[32] However, as his mother was half Austrian Jewish, this is unlikely, and in the late thirties he specifically repudiated this. His thinking moved from a belief in the honest value of work, to connection and belonging, and ultimately to a vision of the interplay between the health of soil, animals, crops and people.[18]

He was a member of the English Mistery, and then of the English Array, formed in 1936. Writing in the Array's Quarterly Gazette, Gardiner was an apologist for German "leadership" in Central Europe, dictatorships, and "racial regeneration".[33] He later wrote for the periodical New Pioneer set up in December 1938 by Lord Lymington and John Beckett, as a pro-German and anti-Semitic organ.[34]

After World War II, he kept in touch with Richard Walther Darré, an SS man and NSDAP food and agriculture minister of the Nazi era, who had been one of the chief proponents of the links between a people and the land.[35]

Kinship in Husbandry

In 1941 he formed with H. J. Massingham and Gerald Wallop, Lord Lymington the Kinship in Husbandry, a group of a dozen men with an interest in rural revival. It was a precursor organisation of the Soil Association, which was set up in 1946.[36][37] Original members were: Adrian Bell, Edmund Blunden, Arthur Bryant, J. E. Hosking, Douglas Kennedy, Philip Mairet, Lord Northbourne, Robert Payne and C. Henry Warren.[38][39] The group first met in Edmund Blunden's rooms at Merton College, Oxford, in September 1941.[40] They drew ideas from agricultural experts: Albert Howard, Robert McCarrison, George Stapledon and G. T. Wrench.[21]:3 Other members included Laurence Easterbrook[21] and Jorian Jenks.[41] In official eyes, this grouping or think-tank was treated with less suspicion than its correlated far-right political organisations. It had some effect on agricultural policy, particularly in relation to self-sufficiency.[42] It also affected the thinking of the Rural Reconstruction Association founded in 1935 by Montague Fordham, and the Biodynamic Association.[40]


Gardiner published in his maiden issue of Youth in June 1923, a first-hand account of The Cult of Nakedness in Germany by Harold Barlow. It was one of the earliest attempts to introduce German: Nacktkultur to a general British readership.[43]


• The Second Coming and Other Poems, 1919–1921 (Vienna 1921)
• Britain and Germany. A Frank Discussion instigated by Members of the Younger Generation (1928) editor with Heinz Rocholl
• World Without End: British politics and the younger generation (1932)
• England Herself: Ventures in Rural Restoration (1943)
• Love and Memory: a garland of poems (1960)
• Europe awaits British Ecological Leadership (1972)
• Water Springing from the Ground: an anthology of the writings of Rolf Gardiner (1972) editor Andrew Best


His father was Alan Henderson Gardiner, the Egyptologist. His mother Hedwig, née von Rosen,[3] was Austrian, though with a Jewish father and Swedish-Finnish mother. Margaret Gardiner, mother of Martin Bernal, was his sister.[44] The composer Henry Balfour Gardiner was his uncle (the folk-song collector George Barnet Gardiner, with whom Balfour Gardiner worked, was however not a relation).[45] The conductor John Eliot Gardiner is his son.[46] The artist Howard Hodgkin is another grandson of Florence Hodgkin.[47]

Latterday praise

Gardiner was a regular writer of letters to The Times.[48] In 2008, he was mentioned in that paper again in a report of the book Youth Culture in Modern Britain, c1920 to c1970 by Dr David Fowler of Clare Hall, Cambridge, who praised "people like Gardiner" as "true cultural subversives - pop stars before pop even existed. In terms of the influence he had on giving Britain's young people a sense of identity, there's no doubt [Gardiner] is just as important as Mick Jagger".[49]


1. "GARDINER, Henry Rolf". Who Was Who (online edn ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing. 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
2. "Old West Downs Society – ex-Pupils by Year". Retrieved 15 February 2014.
3. "Newsletter 20 (June 2000)". Retrieved 15 February 2014.
4. "Organic Nationalism". 3 December 1926. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
5. Gottlieb & Linehan 2004, p. 192.
6. Moore-Colyer 2003, pp. 306–324.
7. "DH Lawrence resources – The University of Nottingham". Retrieved 15 February 2014.
8. Ellis 1998, p. 397.
9. "England, whose England?". 1 April 2000. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
10. "Who Were the Kibbo Kift". Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
11. "Morris Ring: Information from". Retrieved 15 February 2014.
12. "Cmm History". Retrieved 15 February 2014.
13. "sidmouth94lect". Retrieved 15 February 2014.
14. "Fontmell Down". Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
15. Wright 1995, pp. 181-182.
16. Jump up to:a b "History". Springhead Trust. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
17. "fontmell". Retrieved 15 February 2014.
18. Collis 2009.
19. "NYASALAND (ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT)". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Vol. 526. House of Commons. 15 April 1954. col. 1358–1375.
20. Baker 1993, pp. 159-160.
21. Conford, Philip. "A Forum for Organic Husbandry: The New English Weekly and Agricultural Policy, 1939–1949" (PDF). p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
22. "Archived Newsletter, Issue No 6 ~ August 2006". Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
23. Griffiths 1980, p. 143.
24. Barberis, McHugh & Tyldesley 2000, p. 88.
25. Ebbatson 2005, pp. 182-183.
26. "Citing Georgina Boyes" (PDF). p. 3. Retrieved 15 February2014.
27. Mangan 1999.
28. "The First 1,000 Issues, 1902–1921". Archived from the original on 6 July 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
29. Tyldesley 2006, pp. 21-34.
30. Griffiths 1980, pp. 144-146.
31. Pepper 1996, p. 227.
32. Griffiths 1980, p. 75.
33. Griffiths 1980, p. 321.
34. Pugh 2013, p. 280.
35. "Patrick Wright interview" (PDF). p. 27. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
36. Moore-Colyer 2001b, pp. 85–108.
37. Moore-Colyer & Conford 2004, pp. 189–206.
38. Gottlieb & Linehan 2004, p. 187.
39. Brocken 2003, p. 45.
40. Jump up to:a b Moore-Colyer 2001a, pp. 187-209.
41. "Angmering History – Jorian Jenks – Angmering's Blackshirt farmer". Retrieved 15 February 2014.
42. Stone 2002, p. 53.
43. Tyldesley 2016, p. 88.
44. Morgan, Janet (5 January 2005). "Obituary: Margaret Gardiner". the Guardian. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
45. "VWML Online :: George Barnet Gardiner (c.1852–1910)". 19 January 1910. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
46. "John Eliot Gardiner Biography". Retrieved 15 February2014.
47. "Howard Hodgkin". Tate. 10 September 2006. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
48. See many entries in the Times Digital Archive between 1933 and 1971
49. "The 1960s? Sell-outs. Radical youth means the 1930s" by Ben Hoyle, The Times, 9 October 2008
• Baker, Colin (1993). Seeds of Trouble: Government Policy and Land Rights in Nyasaland, 1946-1964. I. B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-85043-615-7.
• Barberis, Peter; McHugh, John; Tyldesley, Mike (2000). Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations: Parties, Groups and Movements of the 20th Century. A&C Black. ISBN 978-0-8264-5814-8.
• Brocken, Michael (2003). The British Folk Revival, 1944-2002. Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-7546-3281-8.
• Collis, John Stewart (2009). The Worm Forgives the Plough. Random House. ISBN 978-1-4090-8840-0.
• Ebbatson, Roger (2005). An Imaginary England: Nation, Landscape and Literature, 1840-1920. Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-7546-5092-8.
• Ellis, David (1998). D. H. Lawrence: Dying Game 1922-1930: The Cambridge Biography of D. H. Lawrence. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-25421-2.
• Gottlieb, Julie V.; Linehan, Thomas P. (2004). The Culture of Fascism: Visions of the Far Right in Britain. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-86064-798-7.
• Griffiths, Richard (1980). Fellow travellers of the Right: British enthusiasts for Nazi Germany, 1933-9. Constable.
• Mangan, J. A. (1999). Shaping the Superman: Fascist Body as Political Icon : Aryan Fascism. Frank Cass. ISBN 978-0-7146-4954-2.
• Moore-Colyer, R. J. (2001a). "Rolf Gardiner, English Patriot and the Council for the Church and Countryside" (PDF). The Agricultural History Review. British Agricultural History Society Stable. 49 (2): 187–209. JSTOR 40275726. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2007.
• Moore-Colyer, R. J. (2001b). "Back To Basics: Rolf Gardiner, H. J. Massingham and 'A Kinship in Husbandry'". Rural History. 12 (01): 85. doi:10.1017/S0956793300002284. ISSN 0956-7933.
• Moore-Colyer, Richard; Conford, Philip (2004). "A 'Secret Society'? The Internal and External Relations of the Kinship in Husbandry, 1941–52". Rural History. 15 (2): 189–206. doi:10.1017/S0956793303001110. ISSN 0956-7933.
• Moore-Colyer, Richard (2003). "A Northern Federation? Henry Rolf Gardiner and British and European Youth". Paedagogica Historica. 39 (3): 306–324. doi:10.1080/00309230307468. ISSN 0030-9230.
• Pepper, David (1996). Modern Environmentalism: An Introduction. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-415-05745-5.
• Stone, Dan (2002). Breeding Superman: Nietzsche, Race and Eugenics in Edwardian and Interwar Britain. Liverpool University Press. ISBN 978-0-85323-997-0.
• Pugh, Martin (2013). Hurrah For The Blackshirts!: Fascists and Fascism in Britain Between the Wars. Random House. ISBN 978-1-4481-6287-1.
• Tyldesley, Mike (2006). "The German Youth Movement and National Socialism: Some Views from Britain". Journal of Contemporary History. 41 (1): 21–34. doi:10.1177/0022009406058670. ISSN 0022-0094.
• Tyldesley, Mike (2016a). Rolf Gardiner: Folk, Nature and Culture in Interwar Britain. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-06192-2.
• Wright, Patrick (1995). The Village That Died for England: The Strange Story of Tyneham. Jonathan Cape. ISBN 978-0-224-03886-7.

External links

• Springhead Trust, Dorset
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:48 am

Organic nationalism
by Utopia Britannica
Accessed: 8/16/19



Gazatteer entry

Springhead 1933 -
FOUNDER/ LEADER : Rolf Gardiner
Base of the Springhead Ring founded to promote the revival of rural life. Pioneered work in organic farming and reforestation alongside reviving countryside festivals and traditional song and dance. Became target of rumour of Nazi sympathys during WW2. Is now run by the Springhead Trust as a conference centre.
GRID REF: Gore Farm.Melbury Abbas.
REF: The Village that Died for England.

" We must plant ourselves again in the Universe."

-- D.H. Lawrence

From far and wide they came bearing salt, earth, sulphur and lavender to the edge of Cranbourne Chase to dedicate 'a centre for the gathering and training of men and women for the weal of Wessex.' The Springhead Ring, centred around the young blond Rolf Gardiner, wished to spark off a rural revival, 'from herb to the hymn', to restore England from the perilous state it had fallen into since the end of the First World War. Springhead consisted of a group of mill buildings arranged around a courtyard on the edge of Gore Farm owned by Gardiner's uncle. This was no romantic rustic revival that was envisaged - this was hard-nosed pragmatism. The plan was to `rebuild a hill-and-vale economy along modern organic lines', restoring the ancient breeds of sheep to the Downs and reviving rural industries along with the traditional rural festivals.

From Austro-Hungarian/Jewish/Scandinavian background on his mother's side and with a British father, the young Rolf Gardiner was educated at the Bedales co-educational school in Derbyshire and as a young man became involved in the thriving Europe-wide youth movement of the time, having contact with the German Wandervogel and becoming something of a roving European ambassador for the Kibbo Kift. He saw hope for a renewed Europe in the "self-supporting communities" of young people that he saw "springing up all over Europe today." He met and corresponded with the novelist D.H. Lawrence.

'I'm sure you are doing the right thing, with hikes and dances and songs. But somehow it needs a central clue, or it will fizzle away again. There needs a centre of silence, and a heart of darkness--to borrow from Rider Haggard. We'll have to establish some spot on earth, that will be the fissure into the underworld, like the oracle at Delphos, where one can always come to. I will try to do it myself. I will try to come to England and make a place - some quiet house in the country - where one can begin - and from which the hiker, maybe, can branch out. Some place with a big barn and a bit of land--if one has enough money. Don't you think that is what it needs? And then one must set out and learn a deep discipline--and learn dances from all the world, and take whatsoever we can make into our own. And learn music the same.'

-- D.H. Lawrence Letter To Rolf Gardiner.3 December, 1926.

English social leadership

Springhead camp

Gardiner set up the Gore Kinship and organised study groups and camps. This little group would turn into the Springhead Ring upon the purchase of Springhead Mill by his uncle and the work of building a movement for the revival of rural England could begin in earnest. Throughout the 1930s the Springhead Ring ran numerous camps with the aim of combating the effects of the depression years by creating a `reinvigorated stock of countrymen' from the unused material of the towns. Gardiner wrote a report for the Minister of Labour on the camps in which he gave details of a 'Harvest Camp' at Springhead. Sixty-nine young men and women `from different walks of life' spent a number of weeks gaining `a direct experience of community by thinking, playing and working on the land'. The 'different walks' included; teachers and social workers, one farm girl, three public schoolboys, six university lecturers, two house painters, two miners, a brass engraver and a cinema operator. Also taking part were twelve members of the German Youth Movement. Quite what this cross section of the nations unemployed made of the heady mix of activities on offer at the camp we are not told. As they progressed the camps developed a regular pattern. Rising at 6.30 to `the rhythmic beating of a mellow-toned gong' the campers would run barefoot behind the camp chiefs in single file snaking in and out of the tents in `circular evolutions' mimicking the twisting and turning rays of the rising sun coming to a rest around a central flagstaff where they sang a hymn to the dawn, whilst the Cross of St George with a Wessex Dragon emblazoned across it, flew above. After breakfast they worked on the farm, clearing neglected woodland, dredging the silted up millpond or planting willow for the revival of rural basket making. The afternoon was for quiet study and contemplation with singing or folk dancing at 4.30. An early evening lecture would be held on the subject chosen as a theme for the camp such as the Tradition of English Social Leadership or Land Settlement and Regional Reconstruction. The day would end by torchlight with everyone standing arm in arm singing:

The Earth has turned us from the sun,
And let us close our circle now to light,
But open it to darkness, and each one
Warm with this circle's warming,
Go in good darkness to good sleep
Good night.

At which point the camp herald would extinguish his torch and the members of the 'ring' would retire to their tents.

The camps were successful and attended by a wide variety of people including the comedian Jimmy Edwards and the composer Michael Tippet who provided music for some of the camps. Music and dance were important features of the camps with a strong emphasis on English folk songs. For a couple of years from 1932 the camps were extended to East Cleveland where Gardiner ran them for unemployed Ironstone miners creating allotments. Gardiner was highly critical of the other major example of rural revivalism of the time at Dartington Hall where he himself had been educated in silviculture, bemoaning its lack of soul and suggesting that it needed to "add an expert in social affection, an engineer in community joy" to its collection of experts on rural regeneration.

Phantom swastikas in the woods

Other more shadowy organisations were active in the Dorset countryside at the same time with similar aims as the Springhead Ring. The combative sounding Wessex Agricultural Defence Association and the much more overtly nationalistic English Array each with links to Oswald Moseley's British Union of Fascists. Each tried to woo Gardiner into their ranks. But whilst Gardiner was sympathetic with their talk of regenerating `English stock' and praise for unpasteurised milk and the cottage pig, he disagreed with the methods they chose to pursue their dream of an English revival and repeatedly distanced himself from their activities. This did not stop his name becoming associated with far-right politics and this along with his connections with the German Youth Movement, which he continued to support even after it was overrun by the Hitler Youth, meant that he became the target of rumours and smears at the outbreak of the Second World War. The most persistent rumour was that he had planted trees in the shape of a swastika to guide German bombers. And perhaps because of his blond hair and Scandinavian good looks and fondness for wearing lederhosen it was reputed that Hitler had him marked out as a local dictator for Wessex following an invasion. The great irony in all these myths and rumours was of course that given his mother’s Jewish heritage Gardiner would not have lasted long at all under Nazi rule. He himself considered the Nazis to be figures from some Wagnerian nightmare and later admitted he had been mistaken and misguided in his pre-war views of Germany.

Work camps continued at Springhead during the war years and groups of German prisoners came to work the farm. Gardiner inadvertently adding to the rumour mongering by greeting them in German when they arrived. The war also threw up an opportunity for a further venture in rural revival. In 1929 Gardiner became involved in developing the Wessex flax industry utilising a derelict flax mill at Slape in West Dorset. From this base Gardiner oversaw nearly 400 people as the government’s agent for flax production in the West Country. With a core of experienced flax workers and a host of school children, Women's Land Army members and even troops drafted in at harvest time, he tried to create a thriving rural craft industry based on independent growers, processors, spinners and weavers with the aim of organising them into a regional guild under the slogan `Wessex fabrics from Wessex fields'. He tried to instigate flax feasts and harvest festivals with accompanying folk song and dance, but was thwarted in his attempts by the Home Flax Directorate who wanted to see a highly mechanised, centrally controlled flax industry and in the end left Gardiner no choice but to part company with them in 1942.

Rolf Gardiner's achievements on his uncle's farm were impressive. He had taken over the running of the farm in 1927 aged only 25 and carried out a mass reforestation programme planting in total some 3 million trees. He believed that upland planting would raise the falling water table even on the porous chalk downs: a belief borne out when in the 1970s drought years Gore farm remained green whilst all around turned brown. His forestry management was way ahead of its time with methods pioneered on the Dorset Downs in the 1920s only recently being taken up by the Forestry Commission as good practice. The farm was (and still is) managed on organic lines long before it was fashionable and Rolf Gardiner was a founding member of the Soil Association on its establishment in 1945. Springhead is now owned by the Springhead Trust, set up by Gardiner's widow with the help and encouragement of Fritz Schumacher after her husband’s death in 1971 and is run as a conference centre hosting the like of the Other Economic Summit, the Soil Association and Voluntary Services Overseas.

Rolf Gardiner never did manage to totally shake off the tag of being a Nazi sympathiser with Springhead visitors still asking, 'Is this where the Nazi lived?' He never planted a swastika in trees on the Dorset Downs. How could he have done? He had carried out his reforestation programme in the 1920s long before the rise of the Nazis. He did however plant a different symbol on a Wessex hillside, Balflour's Circle, a ring of evergreen trees, each one a different North European species, marking the site of his uncle Balfour Gardiner's interred ashes and perhaps marking in the circle of diversity a different vision of Europe.

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