I have started research on alternative education systems. Right off the bat I found a website that summarizes some of these initiatives in the Indian context – Alternative Education in India. Two really interesting categories were Alternative Schools and Learning Cooperatives. I like the fact that the latter prefer not to be called “schools” at all.
Among the Alternative schools is the Atma Vidya Educational Foundation in southern India. If you look at the KPM approach (they started in Kerala and now have an extension in Austin, Texas), the focus is heavily on guidance, teacher involvement, learning freedom and experiential learning. I am impressed by the examples – but still need to research on how they really accomplish their goals. I next looked at a cooperative, Bhavya, which also looks like an interesting approach, particularly as it attempts to merge with the mainstream systems at a particular age. Mirambika is an example of a K8 school with an alternative approach too. I particularly liked the idea that there is a community out there that encourages and provides support for home education. Wonder how that works!
In the US, the trend in public education around Charter Schools is also encouraging. These schools are set up to innovate within the public school system as this report shows.
More on these systems as I move ahead. Would love to hear from you if you know an educational system or movement that is an alternate.