America’s Different Educational Approaches

home-schoolEducation really varies simply because people vary. Not all people have the same learning approaches, learning skills and learning attitudes. Some may effectively learn through socialization, while some may effectively learn when alone. Some may even be honed well through a standard curriculum while others may prefer personalized approaches such that of an interest-based education.

Accordingly, American high school is divided into two: junior high school or middle school and senior high school or high school. America’s secondary educational set-up is actually accounted to US history wherein by 20th century the economic labor demand requiring secondary education skills increased due to the emergence of big businesses and corporations.

Moreover, this traditional or GED education generally is not suitable for students who have different or limited schedules. It is accepted that there are students who have compromised schedules different from typical race of students hence, US government developed different educational approaches to accommodate varying needs of its constituents. Among these educational approaches are the following:

Popular Education

This educational approach has been characterized as that of Scandinavian folk high schools and French universities. This also goes with the rise of the workers’ movement during the 19th century.

Independent School

Independent school is also called private school. They have flexibility in their educational approaches, curricula and personnel selection. Usually they come as Montessori schools, Friends schools and Waldorf schools. Plus, they only offer partial scholarships to those who want to pursue an entrance to this kind of school.

Further, independent school also comes as free or democratic school such that of Summerhill School, Sands School, Krishnamurti schools and Sudbury Valley schools; open classroom schools which are based on experiential teaching; and international curriculum like the approaches of the Round Square schools and International Baccalaureate.


As an alternative education, people who opt for homeschooling have either religious or philosophical grounds.

This is usually based on interest approach rather than curriculum approach. The student focuses on his or her skills and field of interest. But with the development over time, umbrella schools already came into being as they are home-based schooling but with standard curriculum. There are resources about home schooling such as this guide.

Higher Education

This educational approach is contrary to the typical discussion format or traditional lecture because here, the teaching is computer-based like homeschool programs online. The overall set-up is virtual where students perform different online tests. Educational documents such as high school diploma and transcript or records are provided with corresponding verifications after graduation when employers require them to be verified.


This educational approach is characterized by self-inquiry. This is more on educational research, educational philosophy, educational psychology and learning theory. Though it is an informal learning, it has already been recognized at all levels of education. Usually, this is also described as Autodidacticism with the principles of “learning on your own” or “by yourself”.

Differing in some degrees and preferences, whether it is traditional or non-traditional, learning approaches must be respected by the society. While formal education is the generally accepted standard educational approach, it is good to hear that alternative education such as homeschooling is also recognized by states.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *