July 31, 2005

Examples of Educational Alternatives

Alternatives come in many types. Here are four alternatives--unusual and extraordinary public schools with links for more information:
Jennings Experiential High School takes its urban students on two 35 day overseas trips, this year to Costa Rica and Ghana, West Africa. There they perform community service and study many aspects of the environment. They prepare for the trips with five weeks of intensive study.
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Minnesota New Country School (7-12) and River Heights Charter School (9-12) contract for staffing and other services with a cooperative of teachers. Students study topics of personal interest using the project method for learning.
Village School of Northfield (K-12) gives staff and students a vote about all aspects of the school. They follow the Sudbury model of permitting students to follow their interests at their own pace.Studio 4.jpg
High School for Recording Arts (9-12)joins a school with a commercial recording arts business, Studio 4. Their high-need students enroll because of an interest in popular music, hence the nickname, Hip Hop High. Records have been distributed nationally.

These experiential learning examples show the diversity among educational alternatives that parents, students and staff can choose from. Extending school choices for learning is the mission of IALA. This website's purpose is to promote thoughtful examination of the one-size-fits-all philosophy so much the central tenet of traditional education. We wish to assist policy makers and others who recognize the benefits of providing an array of educational choices.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2005

School Reform from England

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Roland Meighan of Bramcote Hills, Nottingham, England and his group, Educational Heretics Press publish hard hitting commentary on conventional schooling. Their newsletter, The Journal of Personalized Education Now, describes the harsh reality of traditional practices on the human spirit and learning. You won't find more radical writing about education than with their publications including the extraordinarily thoughtful 2005 book, Comparing Learning Systems: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Counter-Productive. They provide descriptions of new approaches to learning, vision statements, principles, alternatives to schools, critiques on testing, book reviews, upcoming conferences and more. They offer many books including several hard-to-find volumes.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2005

School Choice Report

The Congressional Research Service produces authoritative reports for Capitol.jpgCongress. The reports are not public but can be requested through your representative or senator, if you know what to ask for. Now a service makes these reports available and I recommend the first 10 pages of an excellent summary of all types of school choices ranging over: intra-district, inter-district, charter schools, tax subsidies, subsidies to private schools, school vouchers, and supplemental educational services. It also describes various types of federal assistance for school choice.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2005

Excellent book, Educational Alternatives for Everyone

Don Glines' excellent book, Educational Alternatives for Everyone: A Handbook for Educators, Families and Politicians is for sale at our online store. An unparalleled and extraordinary resource book on learning alternatives by the foremost advocate for alternatives. It presents the reasons why choices of a variety of learning environments are essential for the future of society, offers concrete descriptions of various practical programs, defines the potential outcomes and methods of assessment, provides an extensive bibliography and cites fifty relevant quotes by child-centered leaders. 410 pages, 2002. Price $35, Members $30.Buy it now to obtain the greatest resource on educational alternatives. It's many books of information in one volume.

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 09:28 PM