Thinking Outside of “School in a Box”

Thinking Outside of “School in a Box”

Homeschooler challenging The Leaning Tower of Pasta project, to build a tower using only pasta and marshmallows and measure its height and strength. Date  25 August 2007, 16:10 Source  100_4451 Author  Jason Kasper from Harrisburg, USA

Stand back! There’s science in this!

By: Tracy Madlener

What do you think of when you hear the words alternative education?  Do you visualize zombie type children being taught in a cold, dark cave by alien lizard creatures?  Or is it the perception of those who can’t fit in with the rest of the norm?  Does the word alternative leave you feeling that there ought to be something wrong with the situation at hand?  I mean, come on… alternative must mean that it’s not first choice!

Let’s see, as I’m reading the definition for the word alternative, hmmm, let’s go with the thesaurus (Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus)… as an adjective it reads…

1 an alternative route: different, other, another, second, possible, substitute, replacement, alternate; standby, emergency, reserve, backup, auxiliary, fallback.

2 an alternative lifestyle: unorthodox, unconventional, nonstandard, unusual, uncommon, out of the ordinary, radical, revolutionary, nonconformist, avant-garde; informal off the wall, oddball, offbeat, way-out.

As a noun, it says this…

one of two or more available possibilities : audiocassettes are an interesting alternative to reading | she had no alternative but to break the law.

Replacement, backup, revolutionary, avant-garde, one of two or more available possibilities.  Does this sound like a bad thing to you?  It shouldn’t, as these are the notions of those who lead the way in creative thinking.

Alternative education simply means to think outside of the box when learning.  To think outside of the box when teaching.  To think outside of the box when thinking about how our children are being taught in the traditional schools.

Thinking outside of the box = Creative thinking that encourages ideas and solutions.

Scretary of State Clinton

Hillary Clinton

The thought that alternative education is only for those that have special needs or don’t fit in with the rest is a one dimensional way of thinking and is greatly antiquated.  Kind of like the traditional schools that our children are going to today.

Think about it, our country celebrates creative thinkers such as Hillary Clinton, Arrianna Huffington, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Melinda Gates… and yet, most traditional schools don’t teach creative thinking.  I think that if more parents put the word alternative in their vocabulary, they will soon find that alternative is really another word for Solution.

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  1. Anni Bricca says:

    Great article Tracy. Thank you!

  2. MM says:

    Excellent piece! I am a great believer in alternative thinking when it comes to education for all of our kids. Thank you for writing about this important topic!

  3. Fusion agrees completely! Thanks, Tracy!

    • Tracy says:

      What a nice surprise, thanks for stopping by Michelle! And of course Fusion is at the tops when thinking outside of “school in a box”…

  4. Tyeler Viel says:

    This is a great article Tracy! So true! We are slowly changing the way we think school should look-we are breaking the traditional “factory learning” model and creating education that fits our kids now, customized to their learning style, needs and creativity-it’s cool to be part of Fusion Academy and see this happening everyday. :)

    • Tracy says:

      Did Michelle share this with you Tyeler? lol Hope you’re doing well and yes, changing the way we think about education is a slow and long process, but I’m gonna try to help speed things up! Thanks for commenting.

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