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This paper offers a heartfelt exploration into educational alternatives that exist today between the cracks of mainstream education and culture which are learner-centered, progressive, and holistic. It is not a conclusive writing on any one type of alternative; rather, it is intended to provide an initial window for seeing the similarities and differences among alternatives while pointing teachers and parents toward other resources for further exploration, making it possible to find (or create) educational alternatives in your own communities that best match your evolving beliefs and core values.

The descriptions below illustrate eight types of educational alternatives, along with resources and links for more information. The summary for each type of school does not necessarily reflect any one school within that category. With some exceptions (such as Waldorf, Montessori, and Sudbury-model schools), most philosophical alternatives tend toward less rigidity in how each school creates itself from the dynamics of the local community and the values, beliefs, and experiences of current members. Waldorf Schools (or Steiner Schools as they are called in Europe). Finally, we come to the growing phenomenon of the spiritually-based Waldorf education. Waldorf schools are based on the "anthroposophical" (human wisdom) teachings of Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th century. This approach aims to educate children to "become free, responsible, and active human beings, able to create a just and peaceful society". Waldorf educators consider themselves to be "child-centered" because one of their hallmarks is focusing on the needs of the whole child.

Paradoxically, however, in an important sense they are teacher-centered as they are clearly led by teachers. Waldorf teachers aim to help children in learning the life rhythms for creating an inner balance which helps prepare them for creating lives of outward balance. Structurally, Waldorf schools are similar in some ways to Montessori schools. Both tend to be private schools, with some trials as public charters as well. Both are mostly small schools for younger students, with a focus on the developmental needs of students. However, the core philosophies are quite different. Maria Montessori did significant research into natural learning and the unfolding needs of the whole child.

In contrast, although Rudolf Steiner founded the first Waldorf school in Stuttgart, Germany, in 11, overall he was more involved with the development of his own spiritual philosophy of human wisdom than with researching education or children. Nonetheless, his approach has a number of holistic elements that appeal to many parents as well as teachers. Steiner schools focus on integrating the inner rhythms of nature and child through music, art, and dance. Also, it is worth noting that both Montessori and Waldorf schools have their own special teacher credentialling programs. Further, both types of education have rarely been studied by outside educators or researchers who are not already committed to the school philosophies and structures. For a more complete summary and discussion of these and other types of alternatives, I recommend Ronald Koetzsch's book, The Parents' Guide to Alternatives in Education (17, Shambhala Press). In addition, the Informal Education Homepage ( is an excellent source for historic descriptions of core

An Introduction to Educational Alternatives educational philosophers and activists who are associated with these alternatives, including Paulo Freire, Carl Rogers, Maria Montessori, John Dewey, and many others.

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As opined by Florian & Pantic (2017), in the current scenario, mainstream education and schooling has been focusing more on achieving targets and testing, which in resulting pressurizes children to accustom in the contemporary society. However, there are better ways to prepare the children for a fair and sustainable future. Such concerns have been prevalent from a very long time and created a demand for alternative educational approaches by which children are able to learn better. Collinson & Tourish (2015) opine that alternative education differs from mainstream pedagogy. Since the world is undergoing changes and therefore, education system needs a revolution too. There are various alternatives which can be chosen other than a mainstream education system. The following review is about discussing on the various alternatives available for children to select and understand which can educate them better for the future.

Purpose of the review

As opined by Fägerlind & Saha (2016), alternative education has been prevalent due to establishment of compulsory education over the last two to three centuries. Educators and humanitarians have believed that education should help in the overall development of a child. Different countries and communities have different education systems which have helped parents and their children to understand importance of education particularly with the early years. Many educational institutions do not consider themselves as the traditional schools, but their intention still focuses on learning. Alternative education includes homeschooling, Waldorf or Steiner schools, Montessori, music schools, and self-education. The legal framework for each of the alternative education system in different localities is different in terms of their pedagogy, teaching style, teacher approach and teaching model. Coleman (2018) identifies that choosing an educational institution for a child is one of the most important decisions taken by a parent as the learnings will deeply affect the children as well as their parents.

However, there are subtle differences between the alternative ways of education and the traditional ways. The traditional schools follow the culture of standardized rules and regulations but on the other hand alternative education systems are more flexible and not tedious for children to follow. Alternative approaches often prove to nurture the child in order to build positive relationships and uphold the child's rights. It helps in fostering creativity and encourage independent learning so that children become open minded and curious adults. As suggested by Taggart, Fukuda & Lillard (2018), education systems like the Montessori education provides children an opportunity to learn and teachers act as facilitators. Montessori students generally learn the most important skills necessary for development in the early stage. Countries like India has implemented alternative forms of education such as Sri Aurobindo's international center of education, Krishnamurti schools and Visva Bharati University which have focused on nurturing the creativity and personality development of a student. Generally, these students learn the non-traditional education and then enter the mainstream higher education. As opined by Nicol (2016), Waldorf and Steiner schools have been widely accepted and successful due to their quality of education. Structurally, Montessori schools and Waldorf schools are similar as the aim at educating young children, however, the core philosophies of both the schools are different. There are democratic and free schools where children can learn with the expectation that they follow their own interests. Quaker schools act as traditional schools where teachers use traditional methods to discuss common academic subjects and utilize grades to measure the performance of students. Krishnamurti schools deal with cultivating the right attitude with good intentions. On the other hand, homeschooling was once popular in the 1990s where the homeschoolers grew in number and people started opting for de-schooling. Homeschooling and de-schooling is the result of modern and progressive thinking parents who believe in educating their children on their own.

The purpose of this review was to provide an insight on the choice of school programs available to parents and children which can certainly benefit them. Parents are majorly interested in wanting the children to learn the traditional basic teaching skills in order to become educated adults in future. The choice of School program also depends on the kind of parents who are willing to use it for their children. Many parents are more inclined towards educational quality, while some of them consider the atmosphere, some may investigate the social status of the school and some are more focused on the teaching approach and style of the schools. All these become an important deciding factor for parents being it the matter of future of their children. Down the lane, it is important for parents and education providers to understand what is best for the children and ensure that the curriculum is relevant for young children in today's world. Alternative education systems must foster skills, attitude and values among the children so that they live a purposeful life and make positive contributions to the society. Parents and teachers should act as role models to support the young children to learn the important aspects.


The following paper describes in brief the problems and loopholes in the current education system and presents the difference between traditional and alternative education systems. It can be concluded that the mainstream education is widespread among the population, however, people must understand the importance of quality education. Therefore, understanding that education is integral part of a child, alternative educational should not be marginalized but schools must consider these alternative choices to allow students a deeper level of knowledge on various subject matters. accepts instant and short deadlines order for Alternative Education Systems Assignment Help solution – order today for excellence!

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