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alternative school what is an alternative school

An alternative school is an educational establishment with a curriculum and methods that are nontraditional.Such schools offer a wide range of philosophies and teaching methods; some have strong political, scholarly, or philosophical orientations, while others are more ad hoc assemblies of teachers and students dissatisfied with some aspect of mainstream or traditional education

Some schools are based on pedagogical approaches differing from that of the mainstream pedagogy employed in a culture, while other schools are for gifted students, children with special needs, children who have fallen off the track educationally, children who wish to explore unstructured or less rigid system of learning, etc.

There are many models of alternative schools but the features of promising alternative programs seem to converge more or less on the following characteristics:

the approach is more individualized;
integration of children of different socio-economic status and mixed abilities;
experiential learning which is applicable to life outside school;
integrated approach to various disciplines;
instructional staff is certified in their academic field and are creative;
low student-teacher ratios;
collective ownership of the institute as teachers, students, support staff, administrators, parents all are involved in decision making;
an array of non-traditional evaluation methods