1st Edition

The Barns Experiment

By W. David Wills Copyright 1945

    Originally published in 1945, this is a concise account of the remarkable experiment with boys carried out by the author of The Hawkspur Experiment. The war put this latter experiment into abeyance, but gave its author an opportunity to practice his principles on a group of younger difficult boys. Aged from eight to fourteen, these boys were the "throw-outs" of the Evacuation Scheme, but before the Barns experiment had been long in operation troublesome boys were being evacuated not primarily to escape bombs, but in order that they might have the treatment that Barns provided.

    Barns was a Hostel-school initiated by the Society of Friends, where lawless boys made their own laws, and where the principle instrument in their reformation was not punishment but affection. So successful were the unconventional methods here described that sceptics were convinced, and Barns has now achieved a permanent place in the field of "the therapy of the dis-social." Today it would be described as a therapeutic community and is one of the earliest experiments of its kind that raised awareness and paved the way for further research in this area.

    Preface.  1. Early Days  2. Punishment  3. Barns Boys  4. Sharing Responsibilities  5. Responsibilities Shared  6. Counsels of Perfection  7. Psychological First-Aid  8. Religion  9. Education  10. Schooling  11. Re-Education  12. Prudes and Besoms  13. The Sons of the Fathers  14. Last Words.  Index.


    W. David Wills