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Free School Movement

The period of cultural and political upheaval during the 1960s included a passionate critique of schooling expressed in writings such as Summerhill (1960) by A. S. Neill, How Children Fail (1964) by John Holt, Death at an Early Age (1967) by Jonathan Kozol, The Lives of Children (1969) by George Dennison, and Deschooling Society (1970) by Ivan Illich, among others, and work by social critics like Paul Goodman and Edgar Z. Friedenberg. These critics argued that schools had become authoritarian institutions that repressed individuality, freedom, and the joy of learning, making education sterile and irrelevant both to students' lives and the serious issues affecting society. While some educators sought to introduce progressive reforms (such as “open education”) into public schools (as described in Charles Silberman's ...

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