There are quite a few different types of alternative teaching methods available for students, and the most common types often depend on the forms of schools around a person. Montessori schools are among the most common and well-known alternative educational institutions, especially in the US, though they are primarily utilized for younger students. Home schooling is also an increasingly popular option for those interested in alternative education and teaching, and there are numerous advantages and drawbacks to such an education. There are also forms of alternative teaching that blend traditional teaching with other methods, such as those that incorporate “off-campus” education into a standard curriculum.
Alternative teaching typically refers to methods of teaching and learning that go beyond “traditional” pedagogies in which students sit in a classroom and listen to a teacher lecture. One common form of teaching in this manner is done at Montessori schools, named after Maria Montessori, whose work formed the basis for the approach used in these schools. The Montessori Method typically allows students, especially younger children, to engage in self-motivated learning. Montessori’s research indicated to her that children have a natural motivation to learn, and this strives to let students learn through self-discovery and motivation in the manner that is most effective for them.
Home schooling is another popular form of alternative teaching, which involves students staying at home to learn, rather than attending classes. This type of education typically involves one or both of the parents teaching a child, often with assistance from books and websites that guide lessons. One of the major advantages of this type of education is that it allows for a more personal and private experience for a learner, and an education that is designed around his or her needs and understanding. This can have negative consequences regarding students’ abilities to develop social skills, however, and can eliminate opportunities for new experiences found in a classroom.
There are also alternative teaching methods that combine traditional education with non-traditional practices. Some schools, for example, have begun utilizing “off-campus” programs to augment the classroom experience. Students in this type of program are more likely to take field trips to see the principles and ideas they learn about in the classroom applied in a real world setting. This type of alternative teaching is especially popular and successful in technical schools or trade schools, where students learn practical skills and then put those skills to use in professional environments.