The Ferrer school was an early 20th century libertarian school inspired by the anarchist pedagogy of Francisco Ferrer. He was a proponent of rationalist, secular education that emphasized reason, dignity, self-reliance, and scientific observation, as opposed to the ecclesiastical and dogmatic standard Spanish curriculum of the period. Ferrer's teachings followed in a tradition of rationalist and romantic education philosophy, and 19th century extragovernment, secular Spanish schools. He was particularly influenced by Paul Robin's orphanage at Cempuis.
With this ideal in mind, Ferrer established the Escuela Moderna in Barcelona, which ran for five years between 1901 and 1906. Ferrer tried a less dogmatic approach to education that would try to draw out the child's natural powers, though children still received moral indoctrination on social responsibility and the importance of freedom. Ferrer championed practical knowledge over theory, and emphasized experiences and trips over readings. Pupils were free and trusted to direct their own education and attend as they pleased. The school also hosted lectures for adults in the evenings and weekends. It also hosted a printing press to create readings for the school. The press ran its own journal with news from the school and articles from prominent libertarian writers.
Following Ferrer's execution, an international Ferrer movement (also known as the Modern School movement) spread throughout Europe and as far as Brazil and the United States, most notably in the New York and Stelton Modern School.
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