World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Free school movement

Article Id: WHEBN0041019082
Reproduction Date:

Title: Free school movement  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Brooklyn Free School, Alternative education, Scotland Road Free School, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Alternative school
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Free school movement

The free school movement, also known as the new schools or alternative schools movement, was an American education reform movement during the 1960s and early 1970s that sought to change the aims of formal schooling through alternative, independent community schools.

Origins and influences

Summerhill, the model for the first American free schools, 1993
As disenchantment with social institutions spread with [1] The movement's transference of ideas was tracked through the New Schools Exchange and American Summerhill Society.[1]

The definition and scope of schools self-classified as "free schools" and their associated movement were never clearly delineated, and as such, there was a wide variation between schools.[2] The movement did not cohere around a single ideology, but its "free schools" tended to fall into the binaries of either utopian cultural withdrawal from external concerns, or direct political address of social injustices.[1] Some schools practiced participatory democracies for self-governance.[1] The "free schools" movement was also known as the "new schools" or "alternative schools movement".[2] Author Ron Miller defined the free school movement's principles as letting families choose for their children, and letting children learn at their own pace.[3]

Growth

Allen Graubard charted the growth of the free schools from 25 in 1967 to around 600 in 1972, with estimates of 200 created between 1971 and 1972.[2] These schools had an average enrollment of 33 students.[2] Almost all of the first American free schools were based on Summerhill and its associated book.[4] Many of the schools were started in nontraditional locations, including parks, churches, and abandoned buildings.[3]

The movement peaked in 1972 with hundreds of schools opened and public interest in open education.[3]

Decline and legacy

The movement subsided with the rise of 1970s conservatism,[1] particularly due to the Nixon administration's education policies.[3]

The Huffington Post wrote in 2012 that "the movement is revving up again", citing Education Revolution's listing of over 100 free schools in America.[3] The schools are mostly private in America, and generally serve middle and upper-middle-class families.[3] Author Ron Miller credits the rise of standardization with grassroots interest in alternative schools.[3] CBS News reported in 2006 that the remaining free schools, while unknown in number, are "democratic", as the students share in the school's governance.[5]

Education historian Diane Ravitch said in 2004 that these schools function best for students from educated families due to the free schools' emphasis on individual contribution.[6] Victoria Goldman of The Manhattan Family Guide to Private Schools and Selective Public Schools and E. D. Hirsch, Jr. echoed similar thoughts, with Hirsch adding that "it doesn't work for children who haven't had those advantages."[7] Ravitch believed that the free schools' values would conflict with predominant student testing trends.[6]

Schools still operating

A number of schools founded during the Free school movement period of the late-60s/early-70s are still in operation. These include:

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h
  2. ^ a b c d Graubard 1972c, p. 1.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g
  4. ^ Graubard 1972c, p. 2.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^

Sources

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from iCloud eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.