Alternative approaches to education

Formal schooling, and its resistance to efforts to bring about social justice, continues to be a source of great frustration to many individuals and groups seeking an alternative and more productive form of organised learning.

Formal schooling has been characterised as being large scale, hierarchical, prescriptive, and as having a high degree of conformity and disciplinarianism. Alternative education, however, has been characterised as having some or all of the opposite characteristics.

This module will critically examine the purpose of education, and the relationship between education’s capacity to bring about social change; focusing specifically on approaches to learning that challenge, in one way or another, mainstream forms of educational provision and practice - including radical education, critical pedagogy, home schooling, and deschooling.

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the formal school processes that create the demand for alternative education;
  • Draw upon existing literature and key debates to evidence and support arguments about the role and purpose of alternative education;
  • Critically assess a range of different modes of alternative schooling;
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the key concerns associated with alternative schooling in relation to social justice.


10 minute presentation and a 2,000 word supporting rationale (100%)