Alternative education is the practice that focuses on open learning structure and individual growth of students within the learning environment. It is commonly known as the non-traditional method of learning, and differs from the conventional school where children study in groups. It includes a different student-teacher relationship and individual focus on students.
Alternative education is adopted by independent schools which in this context are called autonomous bodies. It can also be practised by parents at home, which is called home-schooling. Children, in the case of home-schooling, are taught by their parents or a tutor.
The education given to home-schooled students is the same as they get in schools, with the advantage that they are given individual attention. This alternative education method is “child-centric” and allows the growth of children intellectually, emotionally, and socially.
The history of Alternative Education goes back to the 1960s when there was a widespread movement that challenged the public school system. Many writers during that time questioned the poor-quality education imparted in schools.
During this time, the first magnet schools with specialised courses were introduced in the US. This non-traditional schooling is not just about learning from books but also about behavioural learning. Its methods determine the interest of children towards a subject matter or field to obtain their true potential.
Alternative education exists in various forms like independent schooling, choosing the school of choice, and home-based schooling. They are often designed for children who have not been successful in regular schools or had to drop out of school for certain reasons.
Alternative education in these schools focus on the individual concerns of such students and give them a different structure of learning and growth. Ranging from kindergarten to college, they specialize in understanding a child’s potential and the direction in which they can be successful.