Whether you are unsatisfied with the way in which punishment is dolled out or the style of school governance, or you simply believe that a non-traditional way of educating your child would be in his or her best interest, there is a veritable laundry list of non-traditional school models to consider for your child's enrollment. Throughout the course of this brief article, you will learn about just a few of these model types.
Curricular / Instructional Approach
Alternative curricular or instructional approaches to education are those that focus on how classes are taught. Rather than a strictly didactic or authoritative approach, many alternative school models take an approach that is more conversational or experimental. For example, Montessori schools take an approach wherein children are given the opportunity to explore what interests them, rather than a focus on a rigid curriculum that a child must fulfill in order to succeed.
Special Needs Schools
Special needs schools are schools that are entirely focused on the specific needs of a student's situation. For example, there are schools dedicated simply to fostering autistic child and others that cater to the needs of single teenage mothers. There are also schools that cater to a variety of "at risk" students, such as those with behavioral disorders or those on the verge of dropping out.
Experiential Learning Schools
Experiential learning schools are largely based on the writings of educational implementations of philosopher John Dewey. This might be confused with a pre-professional school, but while those schools focus on fostering the skills a student will need in order to fulfill a certain job, experiential schools operate by placing the student into a situation where he or she will be fully engulfed in the subject that he or she is studying. While this might take on a pre-professional tinge at times, there are examples where a student may be studying folklore of his or her heritage; instead of simply reading the stories passed down from him or her, they might listen to the stories as passed down from a skilled orator of the tradition.
These magnet schools with a career theme focus on fostering the skills needed for a student to succeed in his or her future profession. This could involve studying or "job shadowing" in any number of places, including law offices, banks, museums, and even universities.
If you believe that your child is not fit for traditional schooling and would benefit from an alternative model, then hopefully this brief guide has given you a bit of insight on how to proceed.