Alternative Schools and New Forms of Learning

The school and education system is not any more suitable for our kids. I think that we all already know this. We still apply a system which is more than one century old and has not really developed since then. This system does not anymore suit the new generation and is totally impractical for the modern working world. Education has to be done for the good of our kids and has to be adapted to them. There is no point to adapt our kids to some educational system. And this is exactly what we are doing. I have many friends who are great minds but who couldn’t and don’t want to cope with the stupidities of the education system. I’ve studied maths and I love maths. But it took only two months to start to hate my university studies. And I had to study for four more years in the system I hated. Well, I could have quitted as some friends done. But then you are without a university education and this matter in our system, although it is totally unimportant. It’s important what you can and not what kind of diploma you have.

So I’m always happy when I see that there are already a lot of new learning methods and educational systems which are adapted to the behaviour and needs of our kids. In this article I would like to list some quintessence of these new methods.

The kids can choose when, where, what, how and with whom to learn. They can do what they want if they don’t narrow the freedom of the other kids. Both the kids and the teachers take all of the decisions. (Kapriole School Freiburg)

The function of school is not to convey as much abstract knowledge as possible, but to provide a setting in which the students can learn how to learn (National Association of Free Alternative Schools Germany)

To learn through natural life experiences like play, games, everyday life responsibilities, work experience, social interaction and many more. (Natural Learning)

The Waldorf educational approach emphasizes the role of the imagination in learning, developing thinking that includes a creative as well as an analytic component. The educational philosophy’s overarching goals are to provide young people the basis on which to develop into free, morally responsible and integrated individuals, and to help every child fulfil his or her unique destiny, the existence of which anthroposophy posits.

Montessori educational practice helps children develop creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and time-management skills, to contribute to society and the environment, and to become fulfilled persons in their particular time and place on Earth. The basis of Montessori practice in the classroom is mixed age group, individual choice of research and work, and uninterrupted concentration. Group lessons are seldom found in a Montessori classroom, but learning abounds.

As you can see, this alternative schools and methods have nothing to do with the accepted system and all of them are many children friendly.

A really important point is that schools are mixed with people from different backgrounds, from different social layers, from different countries, cultures and religions, different ages and even children with disabilities. Normally nowadays children with disabilities are early separated from the others and both can’t develop a sense how to behave with each other. This creates social problems later. I’ve used to study in a totally mixed primary school which was a kind of horror for me but I’ve learned quite a lot there from the other kids and this gave me the best possible start in life.

Here there are some examples for some alternative schools and new forms of learning:
1. Democratic Education
2. Natural Learning
3. Summerhill School
4. Sudbury Valley School
5. National Association of Free Alternative Schools Germany
6. European Democratic Education Community
7. Association of the Free Waldorf Schools
8. Montessori Education
9. Waldorf Education