These days, there is no shortage of angry intellectuals that are ready discuss their idealistic views and the flaws of society. Though, alternative education is rarely a part of the conversation. There is plenty of talk about problems in our school system and teaching your children “the truth” at home. Some parents have the luxury of homeschooling their children. Some are fortunate enough to enroll their children in private schools that support their religious or cultural beliefs. The reality is, most Americans can’t even afford the time it would take to complete an application for such a school.
Then there are the parents that never even thought about anything being wrong with the system. They view their child’s education through the lens of his or her teacher. They accept (or deny) that their child has trouble sitting still, is too vocal in class or has trouble concentrating. What’s worse? Those parents that have been told their child is “academically gifted.” These things may be true, but has anyone taken the time to figure out how the world around them affects each individual child?
Imagine the mastery level of a 25-year-old producer that had the opportunity to nurture his or her musical gift from the moment it became evident. What if history class had less to do with Christopher Columbus or The Lost Colony, and more to do with Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven? Musical chairs might not actually qualify as P.E. but you get the picture.
Alternative education goes beyond music. Instead of complaining about fashion-obsessed five-year-olds, use what they know.
This is how we could engage that child in math class:
Jack has six pairs of retro Jordan sneakers. Jill decides to play a prank and hides three pairs of Jack’s sneakers. What is the total number of sneakers that Jack has left?
That might be a little extreme, but it could produce extraordinary results. Maybe this is just some idle idealistic talk, but it’s something real to think about. How much more developed in your craft could you be? How much more confident would you be in yourself as an artist and a person? How much more would more could you have learned if someone had taken the time to meet you at the center of your interests and abilities?
Could alternative education have made a significant difference in your life as it is today?
We had the opportunity to interview an incredible poet that uses Hip-Hop in the classroom to teach NYC area students about literary devices and poetry. Subscribe to our updates, as you won’t want to miss this upcoming profile.
This summer, Pretty Menace lost a lot of its great content. Recently, we recovered some of our favorite articles and are in the process of adding them back to the site. Some articles have been updated with new information, which makes them just as dope. If you’re reading this for the first time, awesome! If you remember this article from back-in-the-day, we hope you’ve had an incredible experience rediscovering some of our work. As always: Read. Comment. Share.