The field of pedagogy is continuously evolving as a result of a never ending quest for better education practices. During this search, educators continuously evaluate and reevaluate learning styles and environments. Thankfully, in the pursuit of educational greatness, educators have found that learning is not a one size fits all scenario. Students learn in different ways and at different paces. With that information, there have been many different alternative learning environments created to accommodate all types of learners. Here are just a few.
Students with social anxieties or unorthodox family environments greatly benefit from homeschooling. The one on one instruction allows for a fluid curriculum and breaks free from rigid “in-class” schedules. Homeschooling is an exceptional alternative for students who find themselves working in the entertainment industry, have parents who have to relocate often for work, or simply because they respond better to a completely customized education track. No matter the circumstances, students who end up homeschooled have opted into it because they are able to receive a better education than if they were enrolled in a traditional school setting.
Increasing in popularity with each technological advancement, hybrid classes are another alternative route for students. Flexibility is often the key factor in deciding to partake in hybrid classes. Students taking hybrid classes receive face-to-face classroom time and instruction through online avenues. This type of education is not for everyone and requires a fair amount of discipline and motivation on behalf of the student.
Independent schools are not a new concept, but provide students with an alternative choice to public school. Private institutions like charter schools and catholic schools offer a different approach to education. These independent schools have even found their place in the realm of education due to their alternative instruction practices.
Montessori schools focus heavily on student-centered education. Students are encouraged to practice self-directed learning. There are many benefits to empowering children to choose how they want to spend their time while in school. With a little direction and guidance, students explore areas that excited them and keep them engaged. Montessori schools also do not prescribe to typical grade level and formal assessment norms. The schools are structured into 3 year age groups and tend to have less influences for unhealthy competition.
Steiner, or Waldorf, schools take yet another approach to education. They focus on educating the whole child – body, mind, and spirit. The schools aim to better prepare students for life. They are able to do so by focusing on creativity and social values. Additionally, there is a heavy emphasis on sensory-based learning for all learners up until the age of seven. Although the first Waldorf school opened back in 1919, the curriculum is still utilized as a whole or in part.