Friday, June 19, 2009

Paths of Learning

Articles and Chapters

This section contains essays written by Ron Miller in recent years for conference presentations or for publication in anthologies or periodicals. These writings may be downloaded or quoted if properly cited.

  1. Caring Education and Meaningful Democracy
  2. Educating the Child's Inner Power
  3. Education for a Culture of Peace
  4. Educational Alternatives: A Map of the Territory
  5. A New Culture Needs a New Education
  6. What is Education For? Four Essentials of Education for a Green Society
  7. Philosophical Sources of Holistic Education
  8. Holistic Education: A Brief Introduction
  9. Holistic Education: A Response to the Crisis of Our Time
  10. Making Connections to the World: Some Thoughts on Holistic Curriculum
  11. Nourishing the Spiritual Embryo: The Educational Vision of Maria Montessori
  12. 'That of God in Everyone' The Spiritual Basis of Quaker Education
  13. Reflecting on Spirituality in Education
  14. Toward Participatory Democracy
  15. What Are Schools For? Alternative Philosophies of Education
  16. What Is Democratic Education
  17. Some Thoughts on Freedom in Learning

An Introduction to Educational Alternatives
by Robin Ann Martin

November 2000

Opening Comments
Terminology Confusion
Qualities for Distinguishing Alternatives
Types of Schools
Types of Education
School Choice
Concluding Remarks
For More Information

In addition, there are a number of trends in education-at-large that directly relate to approaches for learning and teaching which are used in both traditional and alternative settings. These trends relate most closely to the transactional and transformational orientations. Some of the core trends are described briefly below with links to related developmental topics from various web sites.

  • Character education -- attention to qualities of the students' being and acting in society that often focus on more intrapersonal and interpersonal aspects of student development. (Note: many works in this field also fall firmly into the transmission orientation as well, as can bee seen by browsing the books in Character Education Resources.)

  • Cooperative learning -- working with students in groups so that the students learn more about working together rather than just independently.

  • Developmental education -- focus on a child's growth across life stages, may include physical, intellectual, psychological, and/or spiritual development.

  • Experiential learning -- the heart of many alternative philosophies of education, this in its simplest form means merely learning by doing. It can be incorporated into any philosophical approach or hodgepodge of educational practices.

  • Learning styles -- refers to how each student often shows preferences for using various modes of learning such as learning best by reading, by hearing, or by moving their bodies. There are many ways to "cut the pie" for describing different learning styles.

  • Multiple intelligences and emotional intelligence -- two specific, well-articulated, and often-referenced bodies of educational research that involve the writings of theorists Howard Gardner, Daniel Goleman, and many others who have now begun applied research in these developmental fields.

  • Natural learning rhythms -- a more holistic approach to developmental education articulated especially well by Maria Montessori and more recently by EnCompass, through a series of programs for parents and educators.

  • Whole language -- a well-documented approach for helping students learn to read that involves learning in context (like we learn to talk), and not solely through techniques such as phonics, grammar, or written symbols alone.