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After a number of years of pedagogical study and starting my own family (three children aged 10 month to 4 1/2 years), I am becoming increasingly involved in looking at ways to make my children`s childhood and youthful years as happy as possible; free from the one-sided intellectual demands of traditional schooling with ample opportunity for free-play, creativity and a zest for life ...

In the course of my studies, I encountered many different educational models, from Waldorf, Montessori, Rebecca and Mauricio Wild ... through to Summerhill. I was fascinated by the style and nature of life at Summerhill. However, I could not quite envisage that it would function in practice as well as it was presented in various books I had read. Above all, I asked myself to what extent former Summerhill pupils were themselves satisfied with the way they grew-up. Consequently, I wished to devote more intensive study to the Summerhill school as part of my degree thesis thereby getting to know the school itself and also former pupils.

After reading a lot about the school, I attended a visitors day at Summerhill in May 1992. Despite a certain coolness towards visitors, I felt quite contented there. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole atmosphere and were sorry to have to leave after a few hours.

I still have a lot of questions about Summerhill, some of which I hope to be able to answer by means of this questionnaire. Ideally, I would have liked to conduct personal interviews but with three young children this is impossible. I have tried to formulate very open-ended questions and would appreciate detailed responses where applicable. Of course, this information is purely to be used within the scope of my thesis and studies. For multiple-choice questions, please simply tick the appropriate answer.

Names, addresses and telephone numbers of respontents would be useful but are not, of course, necessary for my analysis. However, it could be helpful in some cases to have the possibility of following up the questionnaire with a telephone call.

If anyone is interested, I would be pleased to let them have a copy of the survey results (in German).

Sincere thanks for your assistance.

Margit Zellinger

Lest 1

A-4212 Neumarkt i.M.