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(p. 157) Do Progressive Schools Give Too Much Freedom to the Child? 

(p. 157) Do Progressive Schools Give Too Much Freedom to the Child?
(p. 157) Do Progressive Schools Give Too Much Freedom to the Child?

Donald W. Winnicott

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date: 07 July 2020

Winnicott looks at progressive schools in terms of their work with ill children and, sometimes, ill parents. For Winnicott, the diagnosis of children as healthy or maladjusted or deprived is of utmost significance when the place of progressive schools is being discussed. A group of deprived children can be said to both need a progressive school and, at the same time, be most likely to break it up. Winnicott considers that the challenge for progressive schools is that they tend to be used by persons trying to ‘place’ deprived children, which he considers a misuse of their function. He proposes that, under such conditions, any idea of providing opportunity for creative learning will be vitiated by the fact that a large number of the pupils will not be able to learn because they are trying to discover and establish their identities. Winnicott also believes that good progressive school education cannot to be measured in academic terms; it may be that all the school does is not expel a pupil until the time comes for passing him or her on to a wider area of living.

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