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Old 12-09-2011, 06:29 PM
102 posts, read 168,513 times
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Here's what I collected for a short class speech a few years back in an outline (there's probably flaws). Any opinions?

"90 percent of today's kindergarteners will work in jobs that don't exist yet." - Ross Home Educator's Family Times
"The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years. Half of what you learn in freshman year will be outdated by junior year." - Oregon Teacher of the Year 2007
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today's learner will have 10 to 14 jobs by age 38.

"The philosophy in the classroom of this generation is the philosophy of the government in the next."

Many students lack both enthusiasm and confidence.

Reasons for public schools to at least try alternative methods.
1. Schools reflect what we value, how we think and act.
The financing, bureaucracy, and behavior of school system are all examples of this. According to a survey in Time magazine, 48 percent of teachers left because of poor salary and benefits and 44 percent quit because of disciplinary issues. (Wallis, 2008)
2. When a majority leaves decisions to an unquestioned minority it leads to problems. Rules made apart from students leave out the essential ingredient of democracy: the responsibility of participation. (Milgram)
3. A former education professor at the University of Nottingham, Roland Meighan, stated that flexible systems create flexible people. If you don't have freedom to think or create, you can neither improve nor adapt. 42 percent of teachers quit because they don't have a voice. (Wallis, 2008)

Holistic Schools focus on the welfare of all living things, and all aspects of being human.
1. The Ajayu School in Bolivia brings all socioeconomic backgrounds together.
Quechua and Aymara values are an integral part, including languages. (Nagata, 2007)
2. In Thailand, the Village School doubles as a home for its pupils. Founded for abused children, it now accepts students of all backgrounds. The children have support, love and are taught the importance of compassion. (Nagata, 2007)

Folk Schools are exploratory so no diplomas are given.
1. They are for students who want to figure out what they want to do. (Hojskolerne)
2. A wide range of subjects are offered, similar to higher education. No homework and no exams - interdisciplinary discussion and experiential learning make the curriculum.

Free schools, or democratic schools are based on free-democracy.
1. They run on self-government, self-directed learning, respect for others and the environment. (Miller, 2002)
2. Over 200 schools span six continents and 34 countries. Examples in the U.S. include the Sudbury Valley Network. (Bennis, Graves, 2008)

Results of these schools have been published by leaders in alternative education.
A. Students are able to analyze and handle community problems. - Jerry Mintz, founder of Aero (Alternative Education Resource Organization).
B. Alternative schools have a positive atmosphere. Cooperation, respect, and sharing were emphasized; creating a sense of belonging and optimism. (Mintz, 1994) (Koetzsch, 1997) (Young, 1990)
C. Attendance improves because students have choice and care to learn. (Mintz, 1994)
D. Students have entered higher education. Many do go to college, some to top tier universities. (Mintz, 1994)

To reap these benefits, the major steps public education can take are:
A. Students are the reason for a school's existence, therefore schools should prioritize around the student voice.
B. Giving teachers more freedom leads to opportunities of effective teaching.
C. Experiential-based application allows students to see the relevance of material in their lives.
D. An atmosphere that cares about student well-being will improve his or her attitude.

Alternative education can provide the public system with a model for teaching methods.

"Schools should be a mirror of a future society."
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:29 PM
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And we expect the system to start listening now? The list reads like a Neil Postman manifesto.

Quoted from here

Before I became a teacher, I read a lot of pretty radical books on education. One was called Teaching as a Subversive Activity, by Postman and Weingartner. The premise was that good teaching is subversive because, among other things, it challenges students to think, to question things as they are, to envision and consider possibilities. A synopsis of the principles of "subversive teaching" can be found at http://www.inspiredinside.com/learning/postman1.htm (broken link) . The book's authors predicted that much in American education would be changing for the better. In some respects, it has; in others, it is depressing the same.

"Subversive" does not mean "liberal", however. Teaching in many respects is essentially a conservative activity, because as the institutions and the elements of culture which have served to protect children seem to be crumbling around us, teachers struggle to preserve and transmit intact that which is of value in our culture. And to do that well, we must be "subversive", to encourage students to think beyond the conventional wisdom of popular culture.
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:17 PM
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Well I don't know about these alternative schools but the ones I do know exist in many areas. However the alternative schools that are academically accelerated are usually by lottery to gain acceptance. At least the public ones. To me if this is the case the darn school systems need to start teaching this way for all schools.
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