Since writing first entry below, I started another blog on the relationship between social democracy, the folk school movement and happiness or well being. http://folkschool.wisrville.org/
I would still like to be part of a discussion on alternative education. This sounds as to the point as the well used term, “social change,” without the context of what you are changing from; alternative to what? “Alternative education” has been used to mean an alternative to what is normally accepted as the way to become educated. This is a broader concept than just higher education, which means beyond primary and secondary and includes informal, or nonformal and community based learning. Wikipedia’s first paragraph is useful:
Alternative education, also known as non-traditional education or educational alternative, includes a number of approaches to teaching and learning other than mainstream or traditional education. Educational alternatives are often rooted in various philosophies that are fundamentally different from those of mainstream or traditional education. While some have strong political, scholarly, or philosophical orientations, others are more informal associations of teachers and students dissatisfied with some aspect of mainstream or traditional education. Educational alternatives, which include charter schools, alternative schools, independent schools, and home-based learning vary widely, but often emphasize the value of small class size, close relationships between students and teachers, and a sense of community.
I’m interested in discussing what thrives and what directions educational organizations are going in. Certainly the mainstream has an important purpose however it is supplemented by other options which can challenge its premises.
What schools do you know about or appreciate that are alternative? What are their strengths and weaknesses? I will share some that intrigue me and if you know about them or others, please share that as well. I look forward to hearing your comments.