Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type





College of Education

Primary Advisor

Ms. Molly Owen


This thesis intends to demonstrate the relevance and significance of alternative education within today’s educational climate. First, the literature review traces the historical backdrop of the American public school system and the founding fathers’ original purposes for education. It explores the shifts in policy and pedagogy that have led to current models and methods of education. Then, the literature review focuses on alternative educational philosophies, with an emphasis on the Montessori Method, and why they not only address the critiques of the public system but also better align with a child’s nature and development. The study backing this thesis lays out qualitative data comparing teachers’ perspectives on the systems in which they work. Interviews of public school teachers, Montessori teachers, and teachers of other alternative models illuminate trends in thought and give authentic voice to the importance of alternative education.