Monday, August 1, 2011

"Why Alternative Education Needs to Go Mainstream"

An interesting piece from Good Education on using alternative education models for all students. You can read the entire piece here. Something to really think about.


"Research shows that alternative education—small learning communities, individualized, personalized instruction, a low student-teacher ratio, and support for pregnant or parenting students—works to get dropouts back on track. But ironically, notes creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson, current education reform efforts like the federal No Child Left Behind Act are "rooted in standardization" even though we know that a quality education should "be about personalization."

Robinson, whose lecture on how schools kill creativity is the most watched TEDTalk of all time, was part of a forum on dropout prevention hosted last week by the HeART Project, a Los Angeles-based arts education nonprofit. If what we now call "alternative education" methods became mainstream, said Robinson, "we wouldn't be discussing the dropout rate." He also debunked the myth that students who drop out are reacting to the system as a whole: "For any student, the classroom they sit in is the education system and that's what they're dropping out of." But the kids who get into quality alternative programs fall in love with learning because they're getting an individualized experience—and the support they need to address particular life challenges, like being a teen mom or being homeless."

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