Alternative Education: the Why’s and How’s
Alternative Education is more than a program – it is a perspective. It is structured around the principle that education can occur in many different types of environments and varied systems. It recognizes that everyone can be educated through an individualized and unique learning routine. Each student is given the ability to facilitate individual learning and progress through a “curated path” that a student can commit to. Alternative learning environments can occur through charter schools, independent school, and home-based learning systems.
Alternative schools consist of customizable education for each student. Learning occurs in a small and focused environment at the student’s own schedule. Without sacrificing basic subjects required for higher education, each individual can concentrate on programs and classes that they are interested in. Alternative schools develop well-rounded students that are equipped to be productive, educated members of society.
Because of its small school setting, students have the tendency to be more assertive and comfortable. There is a higher percentage of average student participation in alternative schools than in bigger public schools. The alternative learning environment also forges stronger relationships between students and teachers, as well as fellow students. This is due to more opportunities for one-on-one consultations between students and teachers, along with small group discussions. Students feel freer to share their thoughts, opinions, and takeaways regarding the subject matter on hand. In addition, greater exposure to hands-on activities stimulates students’ learning experience.
Since students can organize their schedule, they develop an immense sense of responsibility. More often than not, students are required to come to the site three days a week. Most of the schoolwork can be accomplished at home, and then discussed at school. This system not only encourages students to manage their time wisely, it also allows them to pursue their interests and passions.
Parents’ involvement and participation to their children’s education is another less recognized advantage of alternative education. The small population of students in alternative schools allows the faculty and staff to communicate better. This gives parents the chance to monitor their children’s progress. Students, parents, and teachers can all work together to facilitate the students’ education.
Lastly, perhaps the most important benefit of alternative learning is the hope and chance it gives to students. Alternative education provides students with the chance to follow the path that they want to take. It gives students and parents hope of a better future.
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