||This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
Alternative education, also known as non-traditional education or educational alternative, includes a number of approaches to teaching and learning separate from what is offered by mainstream or traditional education. Educational alternatives are often rooted in various philosophies that are fundamentally different from those of mainstream or traditional education. While some alternatives have strong political, scholarly, or philosophical orientations, others are started by informal associations of teachers and students dissatisfied with some aspect of mainstream or traditional education. Educational alternatives, which include charter schools, alternative schools, independent schools, and home-based learning vary widely, but often emphasize the values of small class sizes, close relationships between students and teachers, and a strong sense of community.
Alternative education refers to any type of education which does not match the conventional standard. The public school system frequently sets this standard, although public schools use alternative approaches in some cases, as well. Other words used in place of "alternative" include "non-traditional," "non-conventional," or "non-standardized," although these terms are used less frequently and may have negative connotations or multiple meanings. Those involved in forms of education which differ in their educational philosophy (as opposed to their intended pupil base) often use words such as "authentic," "holistic," and "progressive." However, these words have different meanings which are either more specific or more ambiguous than the term "alternative."
"Alternative education" presupposes a kind of tradition to which the "alternative" is opposed. In general, this limits the term to the last two or perhaps three centuries, with the rise of standardized and, later, compulsory education at the primary and secondary levels. Many critics during this period suggested that the education of young people should be undertaken in radically different ways than the one in practice. In the 19th century, the Swiss humanitarian Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi; the American transcendentalists Amos Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau; the founders of progressive education, John Dewey and Francis Parker; and educational pioneers, such as Friedrich Fröbel, Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner (founder of the Waldorf schools); among others, all insisted that education should be understood as the art of cultivating the moral, emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of the developing child. Anarchists such as Leo Tolstoy and Francisco Ferrer y Guardia emphasized education as a force for political liberation, secularism, and elimination of class distinctions. After World War II alternative approaches to early childhood education were developed in Reggio Emilia, Italy; this is known as the Reggio Emilia approach.
More recently, social critics such as John Caldwell Holt, Paul Goodman, Frederick Mayer, George Dennison and Ivan Illich have examined education from more individualist, anarchist, and libertarian perspectives, that is, critiques of the ways that they feel conventional education subverts democracy by molding young people's understandings. Other writers, from the revolutionary Paulo Freire to American educators like Herbert Kohl and Jonathan Kozol, have criticized mainstream Western education from the viewpoint of their varied left-liberal and radical politics. The argument for an approach that caters more to the personal interest and learning style of each individual is supported by recent research that suggest that learner-responsible models prove to be more effective than the traditional teacher-responsible models. Ron Miller has identified five core elements common to many contemporary educational alternatives:
- Respect for every person
- Decentralization of authority
- Noninterference between political, economic, and cultural spheres of society
- A holistic worldview
A wide variety of educational alternatives exist at the elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels of education. These generally fall into four major categories: school choice, alternative school, independent school, and home-based education. These general categories can be further broken down into more specific practices and methodologies.
Public school alternatives include entirely separate schools in their own settings, as well as classes, programs, and even semi-autonomous "schools within schools." Public school choice options are open to all students in their communities, though some have waiting lists. Among these are charter schools, combining private initiatives and state funding; and magnet schools, which attract students to particular themes, such as performing arts.
An alternative school is an educational establishment with a curriculum and methods that are nontraditional.
Many such schools were founded in the United States in the 1970s as an alternative to mainstream or traditional classroom structure. A wide range of philosophies and teaching methods are offered by alternative schools; some have strong political, scholarly, or philosophical orientations, while others are more ad-hoc assemblies of teachers and students dissatisfied with some aspect of mainstream or traditional education. In 2003 there were approximately 70 alternative schools in the United Kingdom. In the UK public funding is not available for alternative schools and therefore alternative schools are usually fee-paying institutions. In the USA an increasing number of public school systems are offering alternative streams (language immersion, Montessori, Waldorf), but the majority of alternative schools are still independent and thus without financial support from the government.
In addition to schools providing an academic alternative, some states in the U.S. have established alternative schools for students who have had disciplinary or social challenges. These schools are organized to have a strong punitive aspect emphasizing discipline and providing a greatly inferior education. It is common in some states for children found to be delinquent by courts to be sentenced to alternative school as a punishment. It is also common in the United States for public school systems to operate alternative schools as a place to segregate special needs students, such as students with emotional disabilities. These students are thus often mixed with delinquents.
Certain alternative education initiatives have been created for Alternative Schools to help students achieve. These programs are found in separate alternative schools, and in separated school programs within a mainstream school:
Alternative Education of At-Risk Students and Drop Out Prevention
Advocates of programs designed to prevent, or discourage, students from dropping out before they graduate (usually from high school) believe that leaving school without a diploma negatively impacts an individual's professional and personal life. Collectively, this negatively impacts society.
Professionally, income is a direct reflection of educational attainment. The difference in income between those who have obtained a diploma or degree and those who have not is large. The average annual income of high school dropouts in 2007 was $8,358, while students with a high school diploma earned $14,601 and those with a college degree accrued close to three times as much ($24,797).
Their personal lives are also in jeopardy because dropping out of high school correlates with incarceration rates. When focusing on black males in particular, around one in 10 high school dropouts enter the prison system. As a whole, high school dropouts were 63 times more likely to be institutionalized than four-year college graduates in 2006-2007.
Advocates also argue that dropping out of school has a negative societal impact. The U.S. is losing economic viability from having fewer educated citizens. For example, the state of Georgia lost nearly $16 billion of lifetime earnings solely from the 61,500 students who did not graduate in 2010.
Possible Causes for Dropping Out
Data on determining risk factors can serve as predicting variables for students dropping out. Moreover, high risk students in alternative schools encounter formidable challenges that can further increase their risk. Finn discusses risk factors in his 1989 work, "Withdrawing from School" (as cited by Dynarski & Gleason, 2002). He creates two theoretical models in his attempt to examine the reasons students leave school without high school diplomas. In his “frustration-self-esteem model,” poor past academic performance leads to an “impaired self-view,” and "negative emotions" caused by this eventually cause the student to leave school (Dynarski & Gleason, 2002 p. 45).
Other possible causes have been examined in various studies. Gleason and Dynarksi cited studies finding that a student’s family income, socioeconomic status, and parental level of schooling are correlated with early school withdrawal. Limited English ability, membership to a family which receives welfare, neglect, having caregivers with drug addictions, other family members dropping out of school, needing to support family, and personal safety issues may also be correlated with the act of leaving school without a diploma. Non-profit organizations like the Association for High School Innovation, originally the Alternative High School Initiative, and Diploma Plus, Inc. have developed as a response to the growing national trend of diminishing graduation rates, especially as they impacted the United States' low income, minority youth.
Drop Out Prevention Methods
Individual schools in the U.S. have tried to tackle the problem through their own program initiatives. Three that have been used and studied for success are: the Check & Connect program; the Career Academies initiative; and the Talent Development High School model. These programs are designed to work with high risk students before they drop out of school.
The Check & Connect Program This alternative is a dropout prevention model that was developed in Minnesota through a partnership with the University of Minnesota, the local public schools and community service organizations. It was used in the Minneapolis public schools, specifically focusing in on students with learning, emotional and behavioral disabilities. The “Check” portion pairs each student with a mentor, deemed a “monitor”. This mentor figure assesses attendance, academics and overall performance with regular discussions about twice a month. The “Connect” aspect utilizes this individualized attention to connect this student with school personnel, family and community service providers that can intervene to keep the student on track.
Effectiveness: A 1998 study conducted by Sinclair and colleagues shows overall positive effects on 94 high school students from Minneapolis public schools in the Check & Connect program. The study found that students enrolled in the program were significantly less likely to have dropped out of school after the end of freshman year (9% compared with 30%). This positive outcome remained after the final check-up at the end of senior year—39% of students enrolled dropped out of high school compared to 58% of those not enrolled. In addition to actually staying in school, the study also found the students’ progress in school to be positive as well; Check & Connect students earned more course credits in their night-grade year than non-intervention students.
Cost Efficiency: According to the Dakota County schools in Minnesota, the cost of implementing the Check & Connect program is around $1,400 per student in 2001-2002. This model is very cost-inefficient, and now in 2011, the total may even be costlier.[dubious ]
The Career Academies Initiative
This alternative intervenes to target the most at-risk students. The Career Academies is a school-within-a-school model with a career-themed approach to learning. Developed 35 years ago, this alternative has evolved and around 2,500 academies are operated nationwide. It tends to be found in larger high schools and helps create a smaller community by keeping students with the same teachers for three or fours years of high school. The program requires students to take the career-related courses with the “Academy” in subjects such as finance or technology and even partners with local employers to offer internship opportunities.
Effectiveness: A 2000 study conducted by Kemple and Snipes shows overall positive effects for 1,700 high school students in nine different Career Academies. The study found that the most at-risk students participating in the program produced significantly fewer dropouts (21% compared with 32%). When assessing progress in school, the high-risk students earned more credits by their senior year and 40% had earned enough credits to graduate, as opposed to only 25% of non-intervention students, posting positive results for the program.
Cost Efficiency: According to the California Partnership Academies, average cost estimates for the Career Academies intervention are $600 more per pupil than the average cost for a non-Academy student in 2004. This figure does not include additional costs of intensive services for high-risk students.
The Talent Development High School Model
This alternative was developed in 1994 by The Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk and initiated at Patterson High School in Baltimore, Maryland. The Talent Development High School (TDHS) approach is an entire reform intervention, with dropout prevention as one component. It includes breaking the larger high school into smaller learning communities, like Career Academies, but is more extensive. There is a separate ninth grade academy, a career academy for the upper grades and an additional “Twilight School” afterschool program for those with chronic discipline and attendance issues. This model homes in on reforming students’ low expectations and schools’ poor academic preparation through a college-preparatory sequence in ninth and tenth grade as well as increased focus on English and Math courses.
Effectiveness: A 2005 study conducted by Kemple, Herlihy, and Smith, which followed 30 cohorts of participants for four years in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, shows positive effects of the Talent Development High School (TDHS) model, primarily on academic progress. The study found that students using this model earned more course credits over the first two years of high school than those not in the program (9.5 credits compared with 8.6 credits). These students were also more likely to move onto the tenth grade (68% compared with 60%).
Cost Efficiency: According to Johns Hopkins University 's Center for the Social Organization of Schools (CSOS), the developer of the initiative, average costs for a student participating in the Talent Development High School model run an additional $350 a year per student. This estimate includes the cost of materials and ongoing technical assistance.
These are just three of many possible alternative education models to help at-risk students.
The matter has also gained national attention. On March 1, 2010, President Barack Obama called on states to identify and focus on schools with graduation rates below 60 percent. Those districts could be eligible for federal aid as his budget proposal includes $900 million in "school turnaround grants" on top of $3.5 billion in federal dollars the administration has committed to persistently low-performing schools. With respect to keeping students engaged and on-track to graduation specifically, he committed $50 million to the Graduation Promise Fund.
Popular education was related in the 19th century to the workers' movement. Such experiences have been continued throughout the 20th century, such as the folk high schools in Scandinavian countries, or the "popular universities" in France.
Independent, or private, schools have more flexibility in staff selection and educational approach. The most plentiful of these are Montessori schools, Waldorf schools (the latter are also called Steiner schools after their founder), and Friends schools. Other independent schools include democratic, or free schools such as Sands School, Summerhill School and Sudbury Valley School, Krishnamurti schools, open classroom schools, those based on experiential education, as well as schools which teach using international curriculum such as the International Baccalaureate and Round Square schools. An increasing number of traditionally independent school forms now also exist within state-run, public education; this is especially true of the Waldorf and Montessori schools. The majority of independent schools offer at least partial scholarships.
Families who seek alternatives based on educational, philosophical, or religious reasons, or if there appears to be no nearby educational alternative can decide to have home-based education. Some call themselves unschoolers, for they follow an approach based on interest, rather than a set curriculum. Others enroll in umbrella schools which provide a curriculum to follow. Many choose this alternative for religious-based reasons, but practitioners of home-based education are of all backgrounds and philosophies.
There are also some interesting grey areas with defining alternative education. For instance, home-educators have combined to create resource centers where they meet as often as five or more days a week, but their members all consider themselves home-educated. In some states publicly run school districts have set up programs for homeschoolers whereby they are considered enrolled, and have access to school resources and facilities.
Also, many traditional schools have incorporated methods originally found only in alternative education into their general approach, so the line between alternative and mainstream education is continually becoming more blurred.
Alternative schooling in different countries
Preshil, in Kew, Australia, was established in the 1930s. Alia College, in Hawthorn East, Australia, was established in 1999. They are two of the few alternative schools in Australia that are unaffiliated with any doctrinal or theological movement. Preshil's primary school has run since established by Margaret Lyttle in 1931, and the secondary school since the late 1970s. See also Village School, Vic; Currambena School, NSW;Kinma, NSW; Melbourne Community School, Vic; Collingwood College, Vic; Fitzroy Community School, Vic; Lynall Hall, Vic; Berengarra, Vic Candlebark School, Vic; Brisbane Independent School, Qld; Pine Community School, Arana Hills, Qld, Edmund Rice Educaiton Australia Youth+ www.youthplus.edu.au (QLd) The Pavilion, West Heidelberg, Vic
In India, from the early 20th century, some educational theorists discussed and implemented radically different forms of education. Rabindranath Tagore's Visva-Bharati University, and Sri Aurobindo's Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education are prime examples. In recent years many new alternative schools have formed including Kanavu in Wyanadu, Kerala, Timbaktoo Collective, and The Peepal Grove School (Andhra Pradesh).
A traditional system of learning in India is now regarded[by whom?] as a basis for developing new methods of alternative schooling. Students used to stay in Gurukulas, where they received free food and shelter, and education from a "guru" ("teacher" in Sanskrit). Progress was not based on examinations and marks; tests were given by the gurus but not ranks. This system aimed to nurture the students' natural creativity and all-round personality development. While the mainstream education system in India is still based on that introduced by Lord Macaulay, a few projects aim to rejuvenate the early system, Some students in these and similar projects take up research work in the field of Sanskrit studies, Vedic studies, Vedic science, Yoga and Ayurveda. Others after completing their education in a Gurukula continue into regular mainstream education such as Bachelor degrees in Commerce, Science, Engineering etc.
Meiji, Taisho, Showa eras (up to World War II)
"The New Education (Neue Erziehung) movement" started at a British school Abbotsholme (founded in 1889) reached Japan, where it turned into "Taisho-era Free Education Movement" (Taisho Jiyu Kyoiku Undo 大正自由教育運動). They tried to establish a system focusing on children’s interests and to provide a liberal learning environment instead of the standardized inflexible system. Schools were founded, both public and private, based on this concept.
All public schools built under this new movement were subjected to the Militaristic and Nationalistic government control and turned into National Schools (Kokumin Gakko 国民学校) in 1941, modeled after Nazi’s primary education system. Many private schools survived and still exist today. Almost all of them maintain the Western influence, however some have lost its roots and enthusiasm. Others are still strongly known as a “unique school” such as Jiyu Gakuen (自由学園) for its high student-autonomy, Tamagawa Gakuen (玉川学園) as the only Round Square member school in Japan, and the Rudolf Steiner School Fuji, the oldest of the Waldorf schools (w:ja:シュタイナー教育) in the country.
After World War II
Japan’s recovery efforts from World War II and the subsequent so-called post-war economic miracle encouraged the mass production of educated work force and the highly competitive entrance exams, which gave little space for alternative education. All children with disabilities, regardless of the severity, were finally allowed to Special Schools (Yogo Gakko養護学校) in 1979.
To this date Japanese education has been run as a nation-wide standardized system under the full control of the Ministry of Education. The only alternative option has been accredited private schools that have more freedom to offer different curriculum including the choice of textbooks (public schools can use only the government approved textbooks) and foreign languages, teaching methods, hiring guidelines. However, almost all of these private schools require competitive entrance examination and tuition with very few scholarships available.
In the 1970s and early 1980s school violence was the major problem. Private non-accredited Totsuka Yacht School (戸塚ヨットスクール), one of such schools for correctional education, had multiple deaths and missing incidents.
Some public and private schools, usually non-competitive ones, had been functioning as American-equivalent of alternative schools to accept "at-risk” students, though most of them never claimed themselves as one. A private boarding High school, Hokusei-Gakuen Yoichi (北星学園余市高等学校), being one of the few exceptions, admitted its status as the alternative school and started to accept High school drop outs from all over the country since 1988.
1980s to present
Since the 1980s, the problem shifted from violence against people and property to ijime (bullying by peers) to drive a victim into School refusal, Hikikomori (acute social withdrawal) and in the worst case, suicide. It was in the 1980s that the second wave of alternative education movement entered.
There are two different forces which triggered the interest in alternative education: Ijime and Globalization.
- Ijime and Free Schools
Free school is the term used in Japan to describe a non-profit group or independent school which specialized in the care and education of children who refused to go to school. Tokyo Shure, (東京シューレ founded in 1985, was modeled after the American democratic school) and was the beginning of the Free School emergence in Japan. It started as a shelter for children who avoided the school environment, and then introduced homeschooling in 1998, soon creating several branches around Tokyo. It was approved as a non-profit organization in 2000 and was able to run a college, Shure University(シューレ大学. Different Japanese free schools have various policies and curriculum. Though most of them are democratic schools, there are also Jukus (cram schools) that house school-refusal children.
Taken from China’s Special Economic Zone policy, Japan introduced Special Zones for Structural Reform (構造改革特別区域) in 2003, which enables the opening of government-accredited schools which provide alternative education. In 2005, the first school was founded under the new law, a charter school called Gunma Kokusai Academy ぐんま国際アカデミー. It is an English immersion school for grades 1 through 12. In 2007, Tokyo Shure also started a free, school-based junior high school in the special zone of Katsushika, Tokyo.
- Globalization and International schools
Increasingly, parents are interested in sending their children to International schools to acquire a fluent command of a foreign language, usually English. Although international schools are not legally certified by the Japanese government, many of them are approved by their native country such as the US, Canada, Germany, France, Korea and China, and some offer the International Baccalaureate program. For the past two decades, international schools, especially American or English-based schools, have been very popular in spite of their costly tuition. However, a new trend in the early 21st century has been attending Chinese schools. Many think knowledge of the Chinese language and culture will be valuable, given an expected growth in Chinese economy. Compared to American schools, which cover all of the materials in English only, Chinese schools teach their curriculum in Chinese, Japanese and English for only a one-eighth to one-fourth of what American schools charge for tuition. .
In the United Kingdom parents have a right to educate their children outside school. Education Otherwise is a charity set up to support those who educate their children outside school.
Summerhill School, established by A.S. Neill in 1921 is known for its alternative approach to education. It is a boarding school (although it also takes day students) where students choose whether or not to attend classes. It is run as a democracy with children and teachers having equal voting rights at school meetings which are held 2-3 times a week.
There are a number of Steiner-Waldorf schools in the UK.
Sands School is an alternative school in the UK. It has only 65 students, with a high ratio of teachers. The students learn at their own pace in a supportive environment. The school is run democratically, with the students having as much say in how the school is run as the staff. Decisions are made by voting in a weekly school meeting, where matters ranging from what colour the new carpets should be, to the employment of new staff. The school offers a full range of subjects, and attendance to lessons is negotiated, not compulsory. The school also educates students on a larger range than most schools, and gives students choice in what they can learn. Their interests form a large part of what is offered in the curriculum.
AEF Schools in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a leading non-profit organization that attempts to create lasting changes in the lives of children in the United States and around the world. Many of these children have been diagnosed with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Asperger's syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, nonverbal learning disorder, etc. These children have average to above-average intelligence and are physically normal in appearance. But their learning styles and social communications delineate their need for an alternative teaching program.
New Vista High School in Boulder, Colorado is a small public high school that "emphasizes project learning, multi-cultural perspectives, active involvement in the community." Open since 1993, the school offers focused and unique classes, off-campus activities, and a supportive school community. Serving a heterogeneous student body, the school educates students in the conventional subjects as well as preparation for a variety of post secondary programs. The school also "helps each student identify and pursue interests or talents at which they are genuinely motivated to excel."
Another example of an alternative high school in the United States is Holden High School (California) in Orinda. Holden is a part of the National Coalition of Alternative and Community Schools (NCACS) and is accredited by the NCACS's legal counterpart, the National Association for the Legal Support of Alternative Schools (NALSAS).
Another example of an alternative high school is the Fusion Academy & Learning Center in California. Fusion operates on the philosophy of Caring, Acceptance, Tolerance, and Empathy (CATE) and is accredited by Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC), National Independent Private Schools Association (NIPSA), and National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA).
One of the oldest alternative high school programs in the country is the Academic Community for Educational Success, or ACES. This very small (approximately 25 students) school of choice is for very capable students who are not thriving in the traditional school. Students and staff become a community through a variety of events and trips. The school works to enable students to acquire knowledge in a more natural, authentic, and relevant manner. This high school follows the model of a one room school house in that all students and staff learn together as often as possible and they are with each other for the whole school day. Between 2010-2012, students who were at risk of dropping out have graduated at a rate of 100% with a plan to attend college.
At the level of higher education several alternative practices have arisen, especially since the late 20th century. Colleges such as Bennington College, Evergreen State College, Goddard College, Union Institute & University, Hampshire College, Johnston Center at the University of Redlands, Burlington College and New College of Florida have no grades, for instance, and use only narrative evaluations for assessment. Other colleges, such as Bard College at Simon's Rock, Marlboro College, Antioch College, Antioch University, and Shimer College do not have traditional academic departments and are instead organized around interdisciplinary units.
In regard to graduate education, there is Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center, Fielding Institute, Union Institute & University, the California Institute of Integral Studies and The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.
At the level of higher education there is Intercultural Open University, an alternative education provider for person-centered graduate education. In keeping with the philosophy of alternative education, the university does not issue grades; narrative evaluations are used for assessment. There are no traditional academic departments or paid faculty and staff; its faculty and staff are volunteers. Learners develop a self-directed individualized curriculum under the guidance of a faculty advisor.
- Alternative school
- Alternative university
- Gifted education
- School choice
- Exceptional education
- Special education
- Anarchism and education
- Democratic school
Pedagogies, pedagogues, & pedagogical movements:
- Anarchistic free school
- Sudbury Valley School (a "non-school" growing environment)
- Dartmoor School
- John Dewey
- Modern School Movement & Célestin Freinet
- Joseph Jacotot (intellectual emancipation, equality of intelligence, the ignorant teacher...)
- Friedrich Fröbel
- Waldorf education
- Reggio Emilia approach
- Montessori education
- Thomas Jefferson Education
- Deschooling Society & Ivan Illich
Out of school:
- Documentary film The Forbidden Education
- J. Scott Armstrong (2012). "Natural Learning in Higher Education". Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning.
- Ron Miller, Self-Organizing Revolution, Holistic Education Press, 2008
-  Definition of alternative school. Retrieved August 9, 2007. Archived 2009-10-31.
- "Alternative Schools Adapt", by Fannie Weinstein. The New York Times, June 8, 1986, section A page 14.
- Fiona Carnie, Alternative Approaches to Education: A Guide for Parents and Teachers
- J. Kellmayer, "How to Establish an Alternative School", Corwin Press (1996).
- Sum, A., Khatiwada, I., McLaughlin, J. (1 October 2012), The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts: Center for Labor Market Studies
- Alliance for Excellent Education. (2010, October). Georgia High Schools. Retrieved from: http://www.all4ed.org/ Dropping out may also increase the likelihood that these individuals will require public assistance.
- Tyler, J. and Lofstrom, M. (Spring 2009), Finishing High School: Alternative Pathways and Dropout Recovery
- "Intervention: Check & Connect". U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. 1 September 2012.
- The White House (2010, March 1). President Obama Announces Steps to Reduce Dropout Rate and Prepare Students for College and Careers. Retrieved from the White House website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-obama-announces-steps-reduce-dropout-rate-and-prepare-students-college-an
- a list of some alternative schools in India
- Japanese Wikipedia w:ja:学制 May 26, 2007. 18:53 UTC
- Japanese Wikipedia w:ja:日本教育史 May 16, 2007. 11:42 UTC
- People’s Daily Online 『中華学校が盛況、人気は三ヶ国語』(Japanese)
- "AEF Schools website, "An Overview" page. Retrieved March 6th , 2012". www.alternativeeducationfoundation.org. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
- "New Vista High School website, "An Overview" page. Retrieved April 25, 2008". Schools.bvsd.org. Retrieved 2009-02-20.
- "New Vista High School website, "Home" page. Retrieved April 25, 2008". Schools.bvsd.org. Retrieved 2009-02-20.
- Frenette, Liza (2012-05-23). ""Grad rates soar at alternative high school." May 23, 2012. NYSUT: A Union of Professionals. www.nysut.org". Nysut.org. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
- Korn, Claire V. (1991). Alternative American Schools: Ideals in Action. Ithaca, New York: SUNY Press.
- Trickett, Edison J. (1991). Living an Idea: Empowerment and the Evolution of an Alternative High School. University of Maryland: Brookline Books.
- Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) publishers of the journal Education Revolution; links to over 500 alternative schools and organizations worldwide
- International Association for Learning Alternatives
- AltLearn - a worldwide network of Natural Learners, Unschoolers, and support groups, linked
- Informal Education
- Special Education in Alternative Education Programs - ERIC Digest E585
- Alternative Education: The Challenge of Educators - by Prof. Antônio Luiz Bianchessi
together by map
- Holden High School
- Fusion Academy
- National Coalition of Alternative and [http://www.nisai.com www.nisai.com (Alternative Education Providers)] Community Schools
- National Association for the Legal Support of Alternative Schools
- Association for High School Innovation
- Aurinko Academy, Bangalore Indian School that welcomes Dyslexia and all Learning Difficulties
- Bhavya Learning, Bangalore
- eklavya foundation Madhya Pradesh Indian organisation that has developed alternative material
- Iowa Association of Alternative Education
- Blueprint Education, Phoenix, Arizona
- Oklahoma Technical Assistance Center
- Learning for a Cause - Alternative educational projects.
-  Union Institute & University,  Alternative university education for adults, offering BA, BS, MA, M.Ed.,Ph.D,Ed.D in online and low-residency programs.