Category Archives: Uncategorized

Expanding Choices

IALA promotes learning alternatives for all. One size education does not fit all: therefore, options must be made available. That’s the direction for the future. Here are two resources highly supportive of that aim. The Brown Center on Educational Policy at the Brookings Institution has published “Expanding Choice In Elementary and Secondary Education: A Report on […]

Competencies for Teaching and Learning

A major option has arose around the concept of competencies for both teachers and students. For decades, the greatest underlying debate over the direction of education has been subject matter mastery versus competencies for life. For example, it is argued that mastery of social studies, math, science and language arts will produce a successful adult. […]

Learning Not Schooling

Don Glines, who has the premier book on educational alternatives (available in our store), has written Declaring War against Schooling: Personalized Learning Now. Dr. Glines has distilled 50 years of his forward thinking and practice into this profoundly important work. He finds that research supports radically different kinds of schools. In fact, the word “school “carries […]

Social and Emotional Learning Impact

CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning has promoted a thorough study, “The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions,” on the impact on social and emotional learning. Encompassing 213 studies involving 270,000 students, the authors find significant impacts from practices not only on academic learning but […]

How To Videos: Extraordinary Resource

EdVisions Schools have made their Design Essentials videos available to all. These are profoundly helpful in seeing how a variety of educational practices are conducted in project-based learning and non-course based schools or others moving toward student-centered learning. Here are examples from the category Self-Directed, Project-Based Learning: Self-directed, project-based learning primary focus; driven by constructivist […]

Rise of K–12 Blended Learning

A recent report The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning about online learning begins with this startling statement: “Online learning is sweeping across America. In the year 2000, roughly 45,000 K–12 students took an online course. In 2009, more than 3 million K–12 students did. What was originally a distance learning phenomenon no longer is. Most […]

Urgent to: Educational Alternatives Supporters

The International Association for Learning Alternatives (IALA) has shifted its focus from conferences to policy advocacy with a Position Paper outlining broad concepts to advance educational alternatives. The National Association for Alternative Education (NAEA) has recently endorsed the IALA Position Paper as have several state associations. NAEA is a growing membership organization that holds an […]

Alternative Certification

Attempts at circumventing conventional licensing have led to the availability of alternative certification, that is programs for becoming licensed to teach or administer without going through the traditional sequence. A valuable resource for examining this route is and then clicking on Alternative Certification. This continually updated website of 1,700 colleges and school districts contains valuable time-saving information including B.A, M.A and […]

Provocative Conceptions About Learning

TED brings the world’s leaders in various field: Sugata Mitra  invented the “hole in the wall” project with astonishing learning results, then continued the experiment around the world with the same impact. It can’t help but cause us to question conventional ideas about the ability of children to learn. His 17 minute talk at TED […]

Apple Offers Another Education Innovation

Apple has added another innovation to its list with the introduction of Challenge Based Learning.  Challenge Based Learning uses the concept of solving a problem or creating a unique solution to a real world situation through the use of technology and multi-media outlets.  This is an excellent way for schools to explore project based learning […]

Linda Darling-Hammond on Choice

In her new book The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future (Multicultural Education) Linda Darling-Hammond share her views on how schools can be improved for all students from all backgrounds.  She poignantly describes what the United States needs to do in order to build a stronger, more equitable educational […]

Gardner, Advocate for Educational Pluralism

Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard and well known for his books including Multiple Intelligences and Five Minds for the Future, writes of the importance of a variety of educational programs to fit different students. In a recent article, he writes that after studying various approaches such as Reggio Emilia (a program he particularly […]

Multiple Assessments: Hope Survey

What effect is the current standards movement and teaching to the test having on our students? What do you know about how students at your school view the school environment? Now your school can find out by seeing the school from the eyes of your students based on their responses on the Hope Survey. This […]

Prologue to Revolution: Exciting Approach

“Prologue to Revolution,” a seven page report by Francis Duffy, lists four “industrial-age” paradigms hampering school change, describes why they persist in the face of evidence to the contrary, and asks about the reader’s beliefs as a road to action. This readable piece provides a compelling argument for school transformation and suggests avenues for its […]

New Book Blames Students

Bad Students Not Bad Schools by Robert Weissberg, U of Illinois professor emeritus of political science, is a throwback to highly traditional education when principals exercised the power to throw kids out. This easy read, colorfully written with a degree of exaggeration, ultimately lapses in frustration at how to fix schools. Several chapters describe the failures of many […]