Over the years,
the approach to education has witnessed a change. Parents are ready to
experiment with the way their children learn and imbibe knowledge. The concept
of alternative schools has emerged as a game-changer in this context. These
institutions challenge the traditional pedagogical norms with innovative
approaches. Additionally, they reimagine education, nurture unconventional
talents, and foster a lifelong love for learning among students.
surprisingly, parents across the globe are keen to explore their options. While
alternative schools are limited in number right now, more institutions are
entering a realm. As a parent, you can expect more options in the future.
Meanwhile, you can dig deep into the concept of alternative schooling and
understand how it works. We also have a list of top schools that take a unique
approach to education. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the
concept and options worth exploring.
considering an alternative school for your child, you should know what makes
these institutions unique. These out-of-the-box features are the reason parents
pick these schools for their kids. Here are a few of them:
Your child gets
a shot at personalised learning as these schools prioritise individualised
education. They understand each student's unique learning style, interests, and
pace, and tailor teaching methods to match them. A customised approach enhances
engagement and promotes an in-depth understanding of subjects.
Another reason alternative schools are
different from the conventional ones is their student-centric approach.
Students get a chance to actively participate in their education through
independent problem-solving, critical thinking, and self-direction. The system
fosters a sense of responsibility and autonomy in learners, preparing them for
education prioritises holistic development, nurturing more than academic
excellence. Unlike conventional schools, these institutions encourage emotional,
social, and creative growth. They integrate music, art, and physical activities
into their curriculum, leading to a well-rounded development.
Smaller class sizes are another plus for
alternative schools. With a smaller number of pupils in the class, children
gain more individual attention from teachers. Moreover, small schools have
tight-knit communities where students, parents, and teachers collaborate
closely. It creates a supportive environment for personal growth and learning.
grading systems are stressful for students, but they are not a part of
alternative education. These schools use innovative methods such as portfolios,
narrative evaluations, and project-based assessments to evaluate students.
These methods ensure a deeper understanding of subjects and encourage critical
thinking over rote memorisation.
Now that you
understand the concept of alternative schooling, you will surely want to
explore your options. Fortunately, there are several institutions following
this core concept of education in global locations. Let us highlight a few.
Germany in 1919, the school serves as the foundation for the Waldorf education
system, developed by Rudolf Steiner. As of now, Waldorf schools
are found worldwide in major cities, suburbs, and even rural areas. The
education system of these schools focuses on a holistic approach to learning
for every student.
criteria for Waldorf schools are based on the compatibility of the child and
their family with the Waldorf philosophy. Specific requirements can vary from
school to school, but they pick students from families that understand and
accept the Waldorf teaching methods and principles. Institutions may interview
parents and observe the child's behaviour to pick perfect matches aligning with
Dalton School in New York was founded in
1919. Over these years, the school has run on the Dalton Plan, which leverages
a mix of teacher-led instruction and student-initiated projects. Every student
can pursue projects of interest, fostering a sense of freedom and self-motivated
learning. Teachers act as consultants and periodic examiners.
Like other private schools, the Dalton School
has a competitive admissions process. It considers factors such as academic
records, test scores, and teacher recommendations. Students and parents are
interviewed personally to check their inclination toward extracurricular
activities and community involvement besides a robust academic record.
Summerhill School in Leiston,
Suffolk, England, takes an unconventional approach to education with an
emphasis on individual freedom and self-expression. The school was originally
founded in Dresden (Germany) in 1921, while the Suffolk branch was opened in
1927. Children here are allowed to miss classes and horse around, making it a
place where they can grow freely without restrictions.
alternative schools, Summerhill School prioritises students and parents willing
to embrace its approach to education. Prospective families seeking admission
visit the institution to gain an understanding of its philosophy and ensure
alignment with their educational beliefs. Summerhill emphasises the
compatibility of the family with its ethos as much as the academic capabilities
A traveling high
school, THINK Global is the
epitome of alternative schooling. Students travel to different parts of the
world throughout the academic year. Although the school was established in the
US in 2010, it does not have a fixed location today. Instead, it has classrooms
in different countries around the world, giving learners impeccable
The admission process is competitive, as the
school seeks curious and adaptable class='table table-striped' learners who are open to diverse cultures.
Applicants are assessed according to academic achievements, extracurricular
activities, and personal qualities. The school also considers its ability to
contribute positively to its community. Applicants may have to attend
interviews, provide recommendations, and submit essays as part of the
Founded in 1972,
ALPHA Alternative School in
Toronto follows the ALPHA philosophy that considers every child to be unique.
The classes here have children of different ages, with peers adopting practices
from one another and elder students learning to take care of younger ones. The
school embraces a progressive education philosophy, emphasising active,
student-driven learning and an inclusive school community.
Alternative School operates within the public school system, following admission
guidelines provided by the local education authority. The factors taken into
consideration for admission include available space, proximity to the school,
and adherence to the school's philosophy. Parents looking to enroll their
students here should check the detailed admission criteria from the school.
Ørestad Gymnasium in Copenhagen, Denmark
was established in 2005. The school is recognised for its architecture and
sustainable design. It also takes a unique approach to education, covering
innovative courses on biotechnologies, globalization, digital design, and
different kinds of journalism.
The admission criteria for Ørestad Gymnasium
mainly include the final grade from the ninth score of primary school. The
process is competitive, so students need to work hard to stand out and secure a
place. The requirements might vary from year to year, depending on the overall
performance of applicants and the number of available spots.
Green School Bali is situated in the
beautiful locales of Sibang Kaja, Badung, Bali, Indonesia. It is surrounded by
lush tropical forests and is acclaimed for its sustainable campus design. The
school is truly an alternative in terms of its location, philosophy, and
Green School Bali is done on the basis of a holistic assessment to assess the
candidate’s fit with the school's values and ethos. The school looks for
creative, open-minded, and environmentally conscious students. Families
interested in enrolling their children in Green School should visit the school
and participate in orientation sessions. Since the school has a unique approach
and limited spots, admissions can be competitive.
Enrolling your child in an alternative school
is a life-changing decision as it opens them to unique forms of learning. You
can explore these schools by visiting their websites or in person to understand
how they work and pick the best one that aligns with your child’s learning
style, pace, and goals. The prospect is worth considering.