Planning for successful alternative schooling: a possible route to education for all

Author: Joseph P. Farrel and Ash Hartwell
Year: 2008
Full Citation: Farrell, J. P., & Hartwell, A. (2008). Planning for successful alternative schooling: a possible route to education for all. Paris: UNESCO - IIEP
Resource Type:
  • Conceptual Review
  • Understand and Strive for Equity
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Latin America and The Caribbean
Overview: Literacy, as well as numeracy, and the basic primary education assumed to provide them, have become enshrined in international declarations and covenants as basic universal human rights. But in reality, in much of the developing world, that right is far from being attained. To a degree, the problem is a question of lack of resources, or resources poorly used, but the core argument here is that the problem is much more fundamental: The traditional model of education, which is now well-nigh universal, what is called in this book the ‘forms of formal schooling’, does not fit with what is now understood about how humans best learn, and inherently serves very poorly the learning needs of vast numbers of youngsters, particularly those most marginalized by circumstances of birth. (p. 36). This document presents a critique of the forms of formal schooling and their resistance to change, as well as an in-depth look at number of alternative education programs, which “By following a radically alternative form of pedagogy… are achieving remarkable learning results, even among some of the poorest children in the world” (p. 36). The authors conclude by posing three questions: How have programs institutionalized (planned and implemented) alternative education? How do young people [in alternative education programs] learn as well as they do? And how do adults learn so quickly to implement such a radically different form of pedagogy?

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