This paper provides insights into the pedagogy in practice of non-mainstream education through a qualitative case study of an alternative school in the context of the Israeli school system. The school’s alternative agenda is based on being isolated from mainstream education. We explore the negotiations between the school’s pedagogy and mainstream educational standards. We point to the tensions stemming from the intersections between the school’s ideals and the external context. This issue is significant for understanding the voices that affect alternative education, in relation to its aspiration for autonomous practices, and the ways in which secluded practices are permeated by mainstream influences. Our findings reveal that these negotiations centre on issues relating to learning, knowledge, and assessment. Mainstream standards pass into the alternative educational schemes, creating challenges leading not to a rejection of mainstream demands but to a need to balance between the different educational approaches. The act of balancing does not negate the significance of the alternative school. On the contrary, the ability to suspend educational isolation by interacting with the surrounding educational context enables this type of alternative education to stay in touch with its radical educational agenda.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 Pedagogy, Culture & Society.
- Alternative education
- alternative schools
- non-mainstream schools
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies