A.S. Neill se Summerhillskool as vergestalting van die 20ste eeuse irrasionalistiese opvoedkundige denke
This research was undertaken to determine whether A.S. Neill's Summerhill School is an embodiment of the twentieth century irrational philosophy of education. The twentieth century philosophy of education is characterised by the following qualities: the feeling of freedom reigns supreme; an over-emphasis of the ideal of individualism; full confidence in the autonomy of man; the indeterministic dissolution of the legal side into the subject side; over-emphasis of a non-analytical aspect of humanness; the reason only applied as an instrument; emphasis on useful and practical philosophy; freedom in a contingent situation; subjectivistic norms for the truth are regarded as a romantic approach. The aim of this research was to find answers to the following questions: What do the origin and qualities of the twentieth century irrational philosophy entail? What does A.S. Neill's educational and school theory entail as embodied in the Summerhill School? Is the Summerhill School of A.S. Neill an example of the twentieth century irrationalism? In carrying out this research a variety of methods were used. In the first place a literature survey in all its facets was applied. Philosophical methods, described as the principal reflective, the principal-descriptive and the transcendental-critical method were used throughout. In close conjunction with the already mentioned methods, the problem-historical and the scientific text analysis were also used. In reporting the research the following research fields were covered. In the first instance the origin and qualities of the twentieth century irrationalistic philosophy received attention. Secondly an exposition of Neill's educational and school theory was provided. Aspects examined include: A.S. Neill's life and world view, his educational philosophy and the Summerhill School as an outcome of the twentieth century irrationalism. In the course of the research certain conclusions were drawn. Some of the most important were: During the rationalistic era the reason was regarded as autonomous and there was an absolute belief and trust in the reasonable abilities of man. Irrationalism originated as anantipode to rationalism. Although man's reason was still regarded as important, it was used for a secondary aim by the irrationalists. A.S. Neill's Summerhill School shows definite traits of irrationalism, although some rationalist traits were also identified in the activities of the school. The general conclusion is that A.S. Neill was an exponent of the twentieth century irrationalistic philosophy. This conclusion is based on the fact that Neill's school indicates the characteristics of the twentieth century irrationalism to a large degree. The following research fields were identified during the course of the investigation: The reason for the continued existence of the Summerhill School in the current technical and capitalistic conjuncture; a comparison between the original Summerhill School and the other schools cast in the same mould as the Summerhill School concept; a study of the different types of irrationalism (among them neo-humanism, postmodernism, neo-Marxism) and the ways in which these trends enforce themselves in the educational philosophies prevalent in these schools.
- Education