Test Your Knowledge on Alternative Education



9 Questions

What is alternative education?

What are some characteristics of alternative education?

Why did alternative education grow up?

What determines any obligation to conform with mainstream standard tests and grades in alternative education?

What are some alternative pedagogical approaches?

What are some sources of stimulus for alternative education?

Where is alternative education provided in Canada?

What sparked alternative education in Japan during the 1980s?

What are the four categories of educational alternatives in the United States?


Alternative Education: A Summary

  • Alternative education is a term used to describe forms of non-mainstream educational approaches.
  • Alternative learning environments may be found within state, charter, and independent schools as well as home-based learning environments.
  • Many educational alternatives emphasize small class sizes, close relationships between students and teachers, and a sense of community.
  • Alternative education grew up in response to the establishment of standardized and compulsory education over the last two to three centuries.
  • The legal framework for alternative education varies by locality, and determines any obligation to conform with mainstream standard tests and grades.
  • Alternative pedagogical approaches may include different structures, different teacher-student relationships, and differing curricula and teaching methods.
  • The sources of stimulus for alternative education would be from philosophers such as John Dewey in the United States, post-WW1 New Schools in Great Britain and the Steiner/Waldorf schools in Europe.
  • In Canada, alternative education is provided in some public schools, such as Mountainview Montessori School and Trille des Bois Waldorf school in Ottawa, as well as in independent schools, such as Toronto Montessori Schools and Vancouver Waldorf School.
  • In India, traditional learning involved students living in gurukulas, and although mainstream education in India is based on the system introduced by Lord Macaulay, a few projects aim to rejuvenate the earlier method.
  • In Japan, alternative education was sparked during the 1980s by student violence and bullying, school refusal, social anxiety disorder and suicide.
  • In the United Kingdom, there were about 70 schools offering education based on philosophies differing from that of the mainstream pedagogy in 2003, about half of which are Steiner-Waldorf schools.
  • In the United States, a variety of educational alternatives exist at the elementary, secondary and tertiary level in four categories: school choice, independent schools, home-based education, and self-education.


Are you curious about alternative education and its various forms around the world? Test your knowledge with our quiz on Alternative Education: A Summary. Learn about the history, philosophy, and different approaches of non-mainstream educational methods. From Montessori to Waldorf, and from Japan to the United States, this quiz will broaden your understanding of alternative education and its impact on modern-day learning.

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