The Handbook of Alternative Education

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9780028973036: The Handbook of Alternative Education

The Handbook of Alternative Education

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Alternatives to mainstream education vary widely, but most are more experiential, offer more respect for student and teacher, and have greater emphasis on the individual learner, according to editor Mintz in the first part this directory, which covers options for preschool through adult students. Creation of this handbook was supported by the Alternative Education Resource Organization, and directory information was gathered from state and provincial education departments and alternative education associations, foundations, and publishers. Short essays in part 2, "Alternative Education Viewpoints," review the research on educational alternatives and describe public alternatives, Montessori and Waldorf schools, home schooling, and the challenges that alternatives bring to our assumptions about schooling.

The directory, part 3, is the largest section of the book and contains nearly 7,500 entries that are arranged by zip code within alphabetically ordered state listings. These are followed by Canadian and international alternatives and a resource section of associations, publishers, and home-based and Montessori resources. Many entries provide name and address only, but fuller entries may include district or county, contact person, telephone and fax numbers, boarding and nonprofit status, tuition figures, numbers of teachers and students, age range, grade levels, entrance requirements, affiliations and accreditation, governance, teacher qualifications, and special features. Such terms as choice, at-risk, and gifted are defined, and a glossary of abbreviations and acronyms is provided. Independent alternatives such as Montessori and Waldorf schools are included, as are public-choice programs (Colorado's Jefferson County Open School), magnet schools (Miami's New World School of the Arts), public at-risk schools (Maine's Penobscot Job Corps), colleges (Naropa Institute), and home-based groups.

In part 4, vignettes portray a day in the life of a student in seven alternative education settings. Part 5 contains a bibliography, a list of colleges that have accepted students from alternative schools, and lists of Quaker and Waldorf schools, alternative colleges, other independent schools, home-based education groups, and boarding schools. Part 6 is an index of institutions and associations.

This handbook will be especially useful for parents seeking alternatives for their children and educators looking for nontraditional positions. Although the directory is not comprehensive, omitting many Montessori schools and magnet schools in particular, there is no similar reference work, and it will fill a gap in the field of education directories.

From Library Journal:

This volume is a directory of nearly 7500 alternative schools, programs, and homeschooling groups located primarily in the United States (although there is also a listing of some Canadian and international alternatives). Entries are grouped by state and provide such information as name, address, contact person, type of school, number of teachers and students, and any special features. Seperate sections include viewpoints on alternative education, vignettes of alternative schools, and a bibliography of books and periodicals. The useful appendixes list schools by type. Comprehensive in scope, this tome covers every level of alternative education, from preschool to college programs. Recommended for public and academic collections. [For more books on homeschooling, see "An Educated Collection for Homeschoolers," LJ 2/1/95, p. 47-50.?Ed.]?Barbara S. Meagher, Central Connecticut State Univ., New Britai.
-?Barbara S. Meagher, Central Connecticut State Univ., New Britain
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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