Friday, September 20, 2019

Definition and History of Alternative Schools :: essays papers

Definition and History of Alternative Schools The first thing one should know is what alternative schools are and how they came about. The World Book Encyclopedia (2003) defines an alternative school as, â€Å"†¦ any public or private school that differs from traditional schools in curriculum, purpose, or teaching methods.† This definition can be traced back to the 1960’s, when free schools were created. These types of schools usually consisted of a small number of students and staff. During this time period, there were many popular beliefs about children and education. First of all, people believed that children would learn things at their own pace. Secondly, teachers and faculty were supposed to be mentors, rather than figures of authority. In comparison to public schools, which were seen as oppressive, free schools were a suitable alternative for many students (Miller 2002). One of the main reasons why this was the case, is because the free schools took student’s needs into consideration (Boss 1998). The needs for a flexible curriculum and self-paced learning were met by the free schools. All of these ideas have remained a part of society, as seen by the development of current alternative school settings. Funding In order for alternative schools to continue to operate, adequate funding is necessary. Thus, schools should work to gain a place in the budget of the local school district. According to the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (2001), there are many ways in which alternative schools can be funded. Funds can come from local school districts, grants from state or federal governments, and or donations from local businesses. It is possible for some alternative schools to run based on a combination of sources. Purpose of Alternative Schools Students who attend alternative schools do not necessarily lack the ability to learn. The main issue that students struggle with is that they each have different needs when it comes to learning. According to the Waterville Alternative School (2003), located in Waterville Maine, public schools are created on a â€Å"one size fits all† basis. That is, there is one set curriculum, one set schedule, and one set teaching style. Each student is expected to learn at the same pace, however, this is not the reality. Thus, alternative schools have been created as a way to meet each student’s individual needs.

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