In the United States and some other parts of the world alternative schools are institutions providing alternative education. It is an educational establishment with both curriculum and methods that are nontraditional. All these schools have a special curriculum that offers a more flexible program of study than a traditional school. By these schools are offered a wide range of teaching methods and philosophies. Some of them have strong political or philosophical orientation while others are more ad hoc assemblies of students and teachers who are dissatisfied with some aspects of mainstream or traditional education. In USA these schools refer to a private institution that provides a learner centered informal education as an alternative to be regimen of traditional education in the United Kingdom. There were only a few alternative schools in operation in the United States in 1970. They originated to serve a growing population of students who were not experiencing success in the traditional schools. The number of these schools today continues to grow – they are thousands. The term “alternative” now is used to describe almost every type of school imaginable, but many share certain distinguishing characteristics such as close student-teacher relationship and student decision-making and skills gained daily.


Alternative schools

Alternative schools are not only intended to accommodate these students who are considered at risk of failing academically. Furthermore they are intended to accommodate students of all the academic levels and abilities who are better served by a non-traditional program. Many of the programs are specifically intended for students with special education needs and others address primarily social problems affecting students such as teenage parenthood or homelessness. In Canada these schools share many of the same characteristics as alternative schools in America. Separated by the municipality but funded by the province school boards choose if or not they wish to have such schools and how they are operated. These schools are well known in Germany – their number there is more than 200 including the first such school in the world founded in 1919. Each of these schools has its own national association whereas most other schools are organized in the National Association of Independent Alternative Schools. In South Korea also have such schools. They serve three big groups of youth. The first one consists of students who could not succeed in formative Korean education. Many of the schools serve such students who dropped out during their earlier school years, either voluntary or by disciplinary action. The second group consists of young emigrants. Several educators started to see the necessity of the adaptive education, specially designed for these emigrants as population of immigrants from both North Korea and Southeast Asia is increasing. The third group is such students choosing an alternative education because of its philosophy. As in many other countries in Asia Korean education is based on memorizing and testing. Some parents and students believe this kind of education cannot nurture a student thoroughly and choose to go to an alternative school offering a different way to learn for students.