Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Well, the first big swag of major assignments is all over, and I can now relax and let things go back to normal for a couple of weeks, before they ramp up again in preparation for my May prac.

I'm rather chuffed about one of the just-handed-in assignments, in which I was able to use the term "self-regulation". As a child, I was taught to understand that the way I was being brought up was a technique known as “self-regulation”, which was pioneered by my grandparents in the 1950s and the subject of several books they published. I also knew that while they were still in England my grandparents associated with a number of other people who were also at the leading edge of positive childrearing practices, including their good friend A. S. Neill, who ran the Summerhill school.

This year, for the very first time, I heard the term “self-regulation” from someone outside my family. Fifty years on from my grandparents’ first attempts to make people think positively about children, the term they used (and possibly helped to invent, I’m not sure of its origins) is now standard education theory. Woohoo!

Mum has copies of three of A. S. Neill’s books, and on a whim I borrowed them when I was there on Friday, along with my grandfather’s book Educreation and a little book of childrens’ contributions called The School That I’d Like . To my delight I was actually able to quote and reference Neill’s book  Summerhill on the value of self-regulation, in my assigment.

It’s really delightful to see my family’s long-standing childrearing beliefs – for which I am often ridiculed by the ignorant, even today – being embraced by the education community. As they should be! 


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