Freedom in Education
Cultural Writing. Education. Anarchism. Elizabeth Byrne Ferm (1857-1944) was principal of the Modern School at Stelton, a utopian-anarchist colony in New Jersey. Stating that “Education, free from outer interference, would flow as normally through human life as the sun, moon and stars move on their way and so fulfill their use and destiny,” Ferm proposes an educative practice distinct from pedagogy, one where the task of the educator is to get out of the way of the self-directed child. If at first this book seems addressed only to young teachers or parents, consider the first sentence: “If human life had been left free to reveal itself, there would be no need to consider the question of education.”
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