Alternative Education

by Scott Hughes

Alternative education goes by many names, including "education alternative" and "non-traditional education". It describes various approaches to teaching and learning. Basically, it includes anything besides traditional education. People can get an alternative education through many mediums, namely home-based learning, alternative schools, charter schools, and independent schools. Despite their variation, alternative education tends to include smaller class sizes and closer relationships between teachers and students.

What Alternative Education Opposes

Alternative education is unified by what it opposes more than by what it supports. Although they support different alternatives, proponents of alternative education generally oppose the mainstream form of standardized education that developed in the last few centuries. This opposition can stem from philosophical, political, and/or personal beliefs and desires.

We express our opposition as follows: We oppose the way government-run public schools create a standardized education that uses socialization to strip children of their individuality and of their naturally inquisitive nature, thus molding them unquestioningly obedient worker-drones for the corporatocratic world. We believe that those in power (megacorporations and governments) use compulsory education to achieve their own interests at the expense of students. Unsurprisingly, those in power give educations to students that benefit those in power, not the students. We support non-governmental and non-compulsory educations, such that students (and their parents) can each choose to individually study what they each want in the individual way that they each want.

Alternative Education Beyond School

The education a child receives influences, perhaps more than anything, the way the child thinks and behaves as an adult. Thus, opinions and choices regarding education and schooling encompass a person's general views towards society, as well as their political and philosophical views. In other words, an alternative education leads to an alternative lifestyle, whereas a traditional education leads to a traditional lifestyle. For the same reason, families with values that differ from those of mainstream culture and the status quo prefer alternative education, where as conformist families value the type of traditional education which turns their child into an unquestioning conformist.

Most recently, alternative education has become a prominent issue in movements associated with liberty. Accordingly, alternative education has influenced and been influenced by libertarianism, anarchism, and liberalism, in addition to various other groups and movements that have political or religious views that differ from the status quo.

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