© 2016

The Palgrave International Handbook of Alternative Education

  • Helen E. Lees
  • Nel Noddings

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Nel Noddings, Helen E. Lees
    Pages 1-13
  3. Thinking Differently

  4. Doing Differently

About this book


This state-of-the-art, comprehensive Handbook fully explores the field of alternative education on an international scale. Alternatives to mainstream schooling and education are becoming increasingly recognised as pertinent and urgent for better understanding what really works in successfully educating children and adults today, especially in light of the increased performance driven and managerially organised economic modelling of education that dominates. For too long we have wondered what “exactly” education done otherwise might look like and here we meet individual examples as well as seeing what alternative education is when a collection becomes greater than the sum of parts. The Handbook profiles numerous empirical examples from around the world of education being done in innovative and excitingly democratic and autonomous ways from Forest Schools and Home Education through to new technologies, neuroscience and the importance of solitude. The book also sets out important theoretical perspectives to inform us why seeing education through an alternative lens is useful as well as urgently needed. 

Global in its perspective and definitive in content, this one-stop volume will be an indispensable reference resource for a wide range of academics, students and researchers in the fields of Education, Education Policy, Sociology and Philosophy as well as educational practitioners. 


Different Schooling Students School Progressive Child-centred Non-traditional Home schooling Autonomous Home education

Editors and affiliations

  • Helen E. Lees
    • 1
  • Nel Noddings
    • 2
  1. 1.Newman UniversityBirminghamUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

About the editors

Helen E Lees is Lecturer in Education Studies at Newman University, UK and founding Editor-in-Chief of Other Education – The Journal of Educational Alternatives. Her latest monograph is Education Without Schools - Discovering Alternatives (Policy Press, 2014). 

Nel Noddings is Jacks Professor Emeriti of Child Education at Stanford University, USA. She is a highly published, globally renowned philosopher of feminism, education and care.

Bibliographic information


“An ‘International Handbook of Alternative Education’ is indeed timely, given the intensifying critiques of global education systems. ... for a broader range of professionals and adults concerned with the mental, physical, moral and spiritual welfare of young people.” (David Leat, Other Education - The Journal of Educational Alternatives Volume, Vol. 7 (1), 2018)

“The Palgrave International Handbook of Alternative Education is a much friendlier and accessible text … . I think the real strength of this book is its diversity of research, writing styles and countries covered … . I think this book fills a much needed gap in the market of diverse and rigorous academic and practitioner research into alternative education and I would recommend it to students, academics and parents interested in learning more about educating differently.” (Alys Mendus, Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning, Vol. 10 (21), 2017)

“The Handbook convinces that the value of alternative education lies not just in the benefits it may provide to particular groups of learners who are engaging with it at any point in time. Rather, its ultimate value is in the challenge it can provide, to disrupt existing ways of thinking, doing and acting. For this reason, it is an essential read for all educators.” (Nicola Kemp, British Journal of Educational Studies, September, 2017)