When I was a teaching student I remember developing an interest in ‘the hidden curriculum’ and in particular the implicit messages that school transmitted to learners. This interest ws given the perfect opportunity to grow when I was lucky enough to be sent to Denmark for my rural placement when I was in 3rd year of the B.Ed at Dundee. This experience and opportunity led me to finding out about the socio-historic context of Danish Education which then resulted in my decision to investigate, compare and contrast the concept of autonomy as an aim in Danish and Scottish schools for my final year thesis. This proved to be quite a good thing to do at the time as luck would have it I found out that both Denmark and Scotland had certain key players who have played significant part in either framing the development of, or, encouraging debate in their respective countries.
The ideological father of the folk high school that is commonly found in Denmark
This idea of freeing the spirit and allowing the creativity in the individual to be nurtured and developed also came through in the thinking and practice of both R.F Mackenzie and A.S.Neill. I was hugely influenced by the work of both of these educators and would like to think that they have in some way contributed to the way I taught and how I view what learning should be about.
After that preamble I’ll get to the point! The reason for this post is just to let people know that BBC4 will be broadcasting a programme about life at A.S. Neill’s Summerhill school. Should be interesting and will I’m sure that it will definitely stir those youthful altruistic feelings of contributing to the greater good that made me want to teach.