An alternative to the alternatives: considering a progressive possibility for alternative schools

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Deborah A. Greene (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Silvia Bettez

Abstract: This dissertation is an exploration of alternative schools that are offered to students who might otherwise be kicked out or drop out of public schools. I examine the more traditional options offered by public school systems, as well as more unusual schools that offer a democratic education. My primary research question is: How can a high school create an engaging education around the values of peace and justice? After a discussion of my methods and how they have changed over the course of this project, I look at the history of democratic and progressive schooling, and compare and contrast that history with contemporary practices in public school. Then I look at the philosophy underlying school practices and policy. I examine how neoliberalist policies impact schools today, and then envision the philosophy of an alternative school that better serve students who do not experience success in more traditional public schools. From there I explore current practices, both in traditional schools and in schools that aim to provide a democratic education for students. I look at the benefits of providing an authentic, democratic, multicultural education that incorporates social justice and what I term spirit-learning, which aims to offer tools to students so that they learn how to create peace in their own, personal lives as they learn to work towards creating peace in their communities and in the world they will inherit.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Alternative school, Authentic education, Democratic education, Multicultural education, Neoliberalism, Social justice education
Alternative schools $z United States
Social justice $x Study and teaching $z United States
Multicultural education $z United States

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