A Subject of Education

  • My ancestors on my father's side came to the U.S. from Germany

    The decision to migrate to the U.S. was monumental in future generations obtaining the education and/or jobs that would make them successful.
  • Kalamazoo decision of 1874

    Supported development of the public high school by making secondary school (Kalamazoo HS) funded publicly and eventually spreading to the rest of the country (Spring, 237).
  • First woman graduated from OSU

    Just one year after the first class of six men graduated from Ohio State, the first woman graduated ("Ohio State History", 2012). This paved the way for many more women interested in earning a degree, including myself.
  • My ancestors on my mother's side came to the U.S. from Germany

    Similar to my father's family migrating to the U.S. for better opportunities, my mother's family migrated in order to have land as well.
  • Montessori method spread to the U.S.

    The Montessori method was of great influence in the preschool that I attended. Playing and exploring were ways in which we learned during my time in preschool. Montessori schools are an example of an alternative school, because they are more focused on play than traditional schools.
  • Every state requires children to attend school

    This year is when the entire country had requirements that all children must complete elementary school (Graham, 1974).
  • My great-grandma graduated from college

    My great-grandma graduated from Montana State University (where my grandma and mom later graduated as well) with a degree in Education. She rode her horse to a one room school house where she taught grades 1-8. She paved the way for her daughter, grandaughter, and great-grandaughter to get an education and become teachers, which we all did.
  • Summerhill School is founded

    Summerhill School A.S. Neill begins an independent boarding school that is founded on the belief that the school should be made to fit the child and not the other way around (Summerhill School, 2004). This is an example of an alternative school outside of the public school system. This type of school may have helped me better than a regular public school could have.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act signed by FDR

    This put regulations on children who wanted or needed to work to earn money. The Great Depression forced many adults out of work and they didn't want children taking their jobs, so they passed laws preventing children to work, including making school mandatory up to a certain age.
  • Dad began college at University of Illinois

    4 years later, he graduated with a degree in Business. My dad was the first in his family to attend college so this is a very important event. His commitment to lifelong learning has been passed down to me and my brothers.
  • Grandma graduated from college

    My grandma majored in Home Economics Education and taught in a small town while raising five children. She was very hard-working and wanted to be a good role model for her children. I believe this to be the reason my mom became a teacher.
  • Late '50's to early '60's: Public school criticized

    During this time, public school "...was highly criticized for being racist and exclusively designed for the success of the few" (Lange & Sletten, 2002). There is a growing need for children to take part in alternative programs, because public school is only made to work for a select type of individual.
  • Alternative programs in schools begin

    During the 1960's, alternative programs began in schools and helped students across the country. They continue to do so today (Lange & Sletten, 2002).
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act - President Johnson

    America, fighting poverty, decided to implement this act which supported schools and encouraged them to be a place of equality. The alternative programs and schools that came out of this were "...meant to offer equal and meaningful
    education to disadvantaged and minority students. (Lange & Sletten, 2002).
  • Mom began college at Seattle Pacific University

    5 years later, she graduated from Montana State University. Both of my parents graduated from college and they believed that all their children should do the same. There was an expectation that each of us would attend a university immediately following high school and graduate with a degree and this is what happened.
  • Dropout prevention programs

    "Major research on effective programs for dropout prevention that linked to characteristics of alternative programs did not begin until the 1980s" (Lange & Sletten, 2002). Since research findings take a considerable amount of time to be implemented in schools, I didn't know of any alternative programs to prevent me from dropping out while I was attending high school. Luckily, I continued and graduated without needing an alternative program, but it doesn't work out that well for everyone.
  • I began Preschool

    Took part in global holiday celebrations and was introduced to cultural diversity for the first time.
  • Seeing my mom in the classroom

    Beginning in preschool, my mom helped out in the classroom. She assisted in music class by playing the piano and singing. She also helped teach music while we were living in Sweden by bringing in her keyboard and teaching us a song from Jungle Book. Seeing my mom in the classroom from an early age made me feel comfortable and supported through my elementary school years. I'm pretty certain it implanted a love of teaching and learning in me as well.
  • My family moved to Sweden

    Attended International School of Stockholm with my two older brothers. We were taught in English, but took mandatory classes to learn Swedish and French.
  • I taught my family Swedish vocabulary words

    When we were living in Sweden, I was required to take Swedish and French and it was obvious that I preferred Swedish because I couldn't wait to get home and teach the rest of my family what I was learning. Looking back, I don't know why I didn't realize that teaching was the perfect job for me! I was learning vocabulary words for around the house like the word for "window" and after giving my family a "lesson" I led them around the house so they could put the swedish word on the correct item.
  • Traveled around the world with my family

    During this time my family traveled to many countries in Europe, as well as China, Japan, Indonesia, and Australia. Since this period in our lives we have continued to travel to new destinations to learn more about the world around us.
  • My family moved back to Ohio after living in Sweden for 2.5 years

    I had to re-enter the American school system and try to fit in all over again. It was easy to get re-aquainted with my old friends and even make new ones (because I was in 5th grade), but I felt somewhat behind after being at an international school for so long.
  • Considered dropping out of high school

    I feel uncomfortable putting an exact date on this event, because there were many months when I struggled with this decision. The fact that I was pretty desperate to find an alternate path or a different type of high school is very important in the discussion of alternative schools. Because I was in need of an alternative school myself, I want to research the history and possible future of them.
  • Volunteered at a bible school

    I helped my mom teach at a local bible school where we worked with 2nd and 3rd graders. I had a lot of fun helping children learn, even though it was religious material. It was really fun to plan activities that the children would enjoy.
  • Mom earned M.Ed

    My mom went back to school to become a better teacher. Because both of my parents earned Master's degrees, it was easier for me to consider graduate school as a possibility.
  • Dropped out of classes at OSU with no intention of returning

    At this point, I was very frustrated with how little I was contributing to society and needed to find my own alternate path. I thought I would never come back, because it seemed like college wasn't worth all the money. Fortunately, I had a great experience working in child care and decided to come back to school so I could be a teacher.
  • Worked at a child care center in Washington state

    While working at the child care center, I realized that I loved teaching and leading children. The center was in a public elementary school and I learned how much I loved that work environment. This is when I knew I wanted to have my own classroom.
  • Returned to classes at OSU

    This time around, classes were much more important to me and my focus was now on improving myself so I could be more effective in helping others. I understood the importance of dedicating myself to a cause bigger than myself. It is because of my imperfect educational experiences that I should be working in the educational field. My familiarity with alternative needs will help me be a more effective teacher.
  • Graduated from OSU

    Earned a B.S. in Human Development and Family Science (HDFS). This was a great achievement for me and proof that students of all ages should feel free to take alternative paths as long as they are still learning. Traditional schooling is not for everyone and it is because of my time out of school that I am dedicated and enthusiastic about education and teaching as a career.
  • 20,000 alternative programs/schools in use today

    It is estimated that there are about 20,000 alternative schools and programs in use today (Lange & Sletten, 2002). It is difficult to estimate this number because of the broad use of the term.