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Book Section

The Genesis and Disappearance of Homer Lane's Little Commonwealth: A Weberian Analysis

Available from: Springer Link

Book Title: Persistenz und Verschwinden. Persistence and Disappearance: Pädagogische Organisationen im historischen Kontext. Educational Organizations in their historical Contexts

Pages: 237-253

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Abstract/Notes: The case considered in this chapter is that of the Little Commonwealth, an innovative institution for delinquent and troubled youth that was established in Dorset in England in 1913. It was characterised by a form of self-government in which the inmates, or “citizens”, as they were referred to, enacted their own laws, executed them and punished offenders. It was also characterised by a commitment to the redeeming power of labour and by its adaptation of an approach developed in the United States, which drew upon elements of practice that first emerged in Europe. A brief account of the organization’s genesis is provided together with the career of its superintendent, Homer Lane. The social organization of the Little Commonwealth is then outlined along with a narrative account of its demise. Trying to capture the organizational culture of the Little Commonwealth is difficult, as the sources concentrate only on Lane and one of his colleagues. Given the commitment to self-government, it is ironic that the voices of the citizens are rarely heard and their perception of the organization is almost entirely absent. The second part of the chapter consists of a neo-Weberian argument for perceiving the Little Commonwealth as an organization dominated by paternalistic charismatic authority. As such it was likely to find organizational learning difficult and, on probabilistic grounds, it was more likely to disappear than survive. Probabilities aside, the traces of the Little Commonwealth that survived are mapped and some grounds are adduced for the reasons why Lane remains a potent symbol of a child-centred innovation in a hostile environment.

Language: English

Published: Wiesbaden, Germany: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2008

ISBN: 978-3-531-91125-0

Series: Organisation und Pädagogik , 5

Book Section

The Little Commonwealth

Book Title: Report of the Montessori Conference at East Runton: July 25th-28th, 1914

Pages: 130-146

England, Europe, Great Britain, Maria Montessori - Biographic sources, Maria Montessori - Philosophy, Montessori Conference (East Runton, England, 1914), Montessori method of education, Northern Europe, The Little Commonwealth (Dorsetshire, England), United Kingdom

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Language: English

Published: London: Montessori Society, 1914

Article

Birthday Luncheon For Little Folks

Available from: Chronicling America (Library of Congress)

Publication: Ashland Tidings (Ashland, Oregon)

Pages: 8

Americas, Mary L. Newland - Biographic sources, Montessori schools, North America, United States of America

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Language: English

ISSN: 2330-734X

Article

The Littlest Ones

Available from: ProQuest - Historical Newspapers

Publication: Washington Post (Washington, D.C.)

Pages: 7

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Abstract/Notes: "Little children of the Montessori School working at play and playing at work. They were one of the features of the Better Babies Week."

Language: English

Article

Making Little Books [notes on presentation by Allison Stern]

Publication: AMI Elementary Alumni Association Newsletter, vol. 37, no. 1

Pages: 10

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Language: English

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