PublisherAPH Publishing ISBN : 817648945X
Alternative schools in the 1960s and early 1970s emerged as idealistic havens. Although many of the students attending these schools may have been potential dropouts, the tendency was to fault "the system" for not meeting the needs of the students, rather than to blame the students for failing to conform to the system. Early alternative schools were designed to engage students who were "turned off" and had "turned out." They did so by encouraging creativity and focusing on individuality and personal freedom. The students, and in many cases the staffs, of these schools believed it was acceptable, possibly even honourable, to choose not to be a part of the establishment.
These early "alternatives" often allied themselves with the concept of progressive education, subscribing to the belief that education should focus on the whole child and should be heavily experiential in nature. The staffs of these schools encouraged students to "look within," to express themselves openly, and to participate in determining the focus and nature of the education they were to receive. Building on these concepts, early alternative schools often incorporated the phrase "Free School" of "Open School" into their names.
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