© 2009

Alternative Education for the 21st Century

Philosophies, Approaches, Visions

  • Philip A. Woods
  • Glenys J. Woods

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Philip A. Woods, Glenys J. Woods
    Pages 1-13
  3. Ian Stronach, Heather Piper
    Pages 49-64
  4. Kevin Rathunde
    Pages 189-208
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 249-283

About this book


This is a unique collection of leading examples of education grounded in alternative philosophies and cultures – from initiatives to create more democratic schools, through Quaker, Buddhist, Islamic, Montessori and Steiner/Waldorf schools, to Maori and First Nations education in Canada and Palestinian Jewish schools in Israel.


culture democracy education Israel learning liberty Maria Montessori school schooling social justice Summerhill sustainability

Editors and affiliations

  • Philip A. Woods
    • 1
  • Glenys J. Woods
    • 2
  1. 1.University of GloucestershireUK
  2. 2.University of GloucestershireUK

About the editors

PHILLIP WOODS is Chair in Educational Leadership and Policy in the Department of Education, University of Gloucestershire, UK. 
GLENYS WOODS is Research Fellow in the Department of Education, University of Gloucestershire, UK.

Bibliographic information


"This is an important and timely book. Not only does it name and explore a range of convincing alternatives to an exhausted and exhausting present, through rich accounts of inspirational practice and incisive and imaginative analysis, it reconnects schooling and education in ways which take seriously the development of the whole person and the development of a vibrant and inclusive democracy." - Michael Fielding, Professor of Education, Institute of Education, University of London

"In an era of standardization, curriculum-narrowing, and high stakes testing, Alternative Education for the 21st Century provides thoroughly refreshing perspectives on education. The book is international in scope, and by introducing a wide range of different models of schooling in diverse cultures, it offers the reader fascinating alternatives to the current restrictive trends in education. I recommend this book highly; it has helped to restore my faith in the promise of a meaningful reflective, democratic and ethical education in which one size definitely does not fit all students and in which boundary-crossing between mainstream and alternative schooling can occur." - Joan Poliner Shapiro, Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, College of Education, Temple University

"Many educators today are worried about the narrow approaches to schooling so often being implemented to meet the perceived needs of a globally competitive environment. This extraordinary book provides them with a rich variety of alternative models of schooling to reflect upon and contrast with today s offerings. The alternatives presented in this book provide a vehicle for broadening schooling by deepening reflection on the other options available for more humanistic approaches to student development and equity and excellence in outcomes for students." - William L. Boyd, Batschelet Chair of Educational Leadership, Pennsylvania State University; Editor of American Journal of Education