Alternative Teaching Methods

Topics: Alternative education, Education, Pedagogy Pages: 9 (1634 words) Published: April 28, 2014

Educational Psychology
Alternative Teaching Methods
Professor Josephine Hauer

The following is an in depth overview of various teaching methods. Throughout time there have been different perspectives on what the best method of teaching might be. Many different extraordinary educators have created what they believe to be the best method of teaching. Some of those methods include Waldorf, Montessori, and Sudbury education systems, as well as the education system known today as Magnet schools. These types of schools offer an overwhelming different education to the traditional public schools of today. Although these schools can be a costly alternative, the reward at completion is immeasurable. These students have shown to move through out life much easier than many students of public schools and are much more balanced, than public school students, upon entry of college.

Alternative Teaching Methods
The basis of this research comes from my own experience throughout school. As I grew up I had the incredible fortune to attend an alternative education system to that of public schools. I was accepted into a magnet school, Multicultural Magnet School. From this experience, upon completing high school, I was equipped with a much richer understanding of the culture and huge differences of the world. Once I reached the college level my whole perspective of teaching changed, because I was no longer in a traditional classroom environment, and I was able to see a variety of teaching methods implemented at the college level. I soon realized that without the foundation I was so fortunate to build, I would never have gained the perspective of the world I have today.

The focus of the research presented mainly of elementary education. Plato once said, “Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” Through time there have been a vast amount of education methods, many of which follow the general teacher in front of a classroom model, lecturing students till they can no longer bear to listen. But a few creative alternatives have been able to withstand the test of time and have strived beyond traditional public education. A few of those types of educations are Waldorf, Montessori and the Sudbury model of education. These methods are very different from the traditional public education, but have been able to furnish incredible results in their students.

Waldorf Education
The first type of alternative schooling for students is called Waldorf Education, founded by Rudolf Steiner who created the first Waldorf School in 1919 after Steiner held a lecture in the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factor in Stuttgart, Germany. The name Waldorf became known for the education system, which is still held up today. The Waldorf education system is a very structured system that is built upon what they phrase as an accenting spiral of knowledge. It is a very detailed curriculum performed on a rhythmic pattern. Each day is begun with a long lesson based on one subject. A single subject is emphasized for weeks at a time during these long lessons, with a variety of different activities introduced about this particular subject. These long lessons my last well into 2 hours to give the teacher sufficient time to create many different activities and exercises based on the subject. After the morning session and recess, the afternoon is spent doing more physical activities based on music or speech emphasis. Using this method, the day runs on a rhythm that helps overcome fatigue and promotes balanced learning (Prescott, 1999). This unique form of education can be found all over the world, but mainly in Eastern Europe. These schools can also found in the United States but are very rare, which adds to their prestige...

References: Dennis Greenburg, M. S. (2005). The Pursuit of Happiness: The Lives of Sudbury Valley Alumni. Sudbury Valley School Press .
Gilman, D. a. (1984). Waldorf Education. Looking into the education system developed by Rudolf Steiner. An interview with Caroline Ostheimer. The Way Of Learning .
Kalakshetra, M. (1995). What is Montessori Elementary (Vol. 4). Cleveland, Ohio: North American Montessori Teachers ' Association.
Prescott, J. O. (1999). A day in the life of the Rudolf Steiner School.
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