Progressive Approaches to Education

If you are looking for a progressive alternative to conventional education, you will find a list of approaches below, which clicks through to further information about each one.

Just for clarity – as Progressive Education means different things to different people – we’re going with the dictionary definition, using the adjective “progressive” referring to change, transformation and looking to the future, as opposed to maintaining the status quo, as per this definition:

For us, it’s about moving away from a top-down authoritarian approach, and prioritising autonomy, agency, student voice, choice, mental health and wellbeing, as well as 21st century life skills such as creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking.

Why Do We Need Progressive Alternatives to Conventional Education?

There are many reasons why progressive approaches are becoming more popular. Our website presents the concerns that people have with our state education system and fifteen changes that many are calling for.

Home Education



Democratic and Self-Directed Education

Reggio Emilia

Forest School

Waldorf Steiner

Small Schools

Online Schools


Other Innovators

Directory of Education Providers

Search our directory for progressive schools and learning communities near you.

In order to search, in some browsers you will need to click on “Filters”. From there you can search by keyword (e.g. location, school name), and you can filter by educational approach. In other browsers you will see these three icons at the bottom of the page:

You can click on the magnifying glass icon to get to the Filters option as per above. You can use the other icons to view education providers in a list (list icon) or on a map (flag icon). We aim to make the search functionality more sophisticated over time.

If you would like to add an education provider to our directory, please get in touch.

Books About Alternatives to Conventional Schooling

Alternative Approaches to Education: A Guide for Teachers and Parents, book by Fiona Carnie

Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School? the case for helping them leave, chart their own paths, and prepare for adulthood at their own pace, by Blake Boles

Other Education, the Journal of Educational Alternatives – This publication focuses on the theory, philosophy and practice of educational alternatives, such as home education, de-schooling, democratic schooling, Sudbury, Montessori, Steiner and alternative approaches within mainstream.

Other Websites About Alternatives to Conventional Schooling – Aims to raise awareness about different ways of educating and support and encourage people to work for transformative change. – Website for The Centre for Personalised Education Trust, which “seeks to promote educational alternatives for everybody, all of the time – This is the website of the US Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO). Their goal is to advance student-driven, learner-centered approaches to education. The site is a hub of communications and support for educational alternatives around the world.

You can sign up to AERO’s free weekly newsletter here. – Max Hope works as an independent scholar, facilitator, educator, researcher, activist and writer. Her website brings together alternative education, freedom, social justice and the wild world. – The website of self-directed/democratic East Kent Sudbury School has an interesting blog and a podcast which discusses SDE/democratic education, home education and various alternative approaches.