Increasingly there are more and more detractors of conventional classrooms. It is a space that practically has not shown evolution since the 19th century, when society was very different from the current one. Fortunately, access to education is almost universal and students receive a lot of external stimuli thanks to new technologies. The world evolves rapidly and the classrooms seem to have been stagnant. But there are many very interesting initiatives that are presented as very valid alternatives to the traditional school. Some are more popular than others, but it is clear that all of them are making their way. Here we present 4 alternatives to traditional school.
A radical change regarding conventional education is learning at home. Fathers and mothers become teachers, dedicating an hour each day to the education of their children. In most cases, follow a curriculum and create a dossier that documents the child’s learning and assessment.
The most controversial point of homeschooling is the lack of socialization of children with peers when not attending a school. There are many sociologists who demonstrate the need that the little ones socialize to benefit their social development. Many families opt for extracurricular activities to fill this gap when educating at home.
Although according to the law it is mandatory for children to attend an educational center from 6 to 16 years, it is estimated that more than 2,000 families practice homeschooling in Spain. In practice there are usually no legal consequences and more and more families are encouraged by this way of educating the little ones. In fact, it is a very common system in countries like the United States, Canada or South Africa.
It is not necessary to stay at home to get away from the classroom as it has been understood during the last century. There are already many schools that bet on hyperaulas. They are open and flexible spaces. Thanks to the versatile school furniture they can have very different configurations and accommodate bigger groups than usual. In addition, they allow to work both individually and in groups.
Beyond space, the most striking thing about hyperaulas is that they incorporate two teachers at the same time. In this way, it is easier to attend each student in a personalized way. In addition, they can complement perfectly demonstrating a cooperative work facing the students. The usual working methods include hypermedia and hyperreality. That is, the presence of digital media is enhanced, complementing the traditional text with video, audio, augmented reality or simulations, for example.
One of the educational models that has been hit hard in recent years is the Montessori school. It really has nothing modern, since Maria Montessori devised it a century ago. It is based on stimulation by sensory materials. All the materials of the class are within reach of the children, so that each one freely decides what they want to do and for how long. The teacher observes and accompanies, but in no case obliges to perform any activity or evaluates. A self-evaluation system is followed where the child values what is right and what is missing, increasing their sense of responsibility and self-esteem.
At higher levels of education, P2P (peer to peer) is very fashionable. These are courses on very diverse topics to complement the formal training. They are made online by the users themselves: all students and teachers at the same time. Anyone can create a course about their specialty and at the same time sign up for other courses on subjects that interest them. An example is the P2P University.