Rethinking alternative education to break the cycle of educational inequality and inequity

Jeong Hee Kim, Kay Ann Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The growing number of alternative schools seems to correlate with the mounting population of disenfranchised students. The higher the number of disenfranchised students, the more alternative schools are being built. This correlation may be caused by social, economic, and political issues that bring about pervasive social injustice, which reinforces the cycle of educational inequality. In this qualitative study, the authors examined 1 alternative high school from a critical perspective to determine whether the school benefited students to the extent that it broke the cycle of educational inequality. Using critical theory as a theoretical framework, the authors found that the school provided a caring environment for students and gained their trust. However, the school did not offer a meaningful and equitable alternative education that benefited the students. This failure led the authors to question for whom this school is truly an alternative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-219
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Alternative education
  • Cycle of educational inequality
  • Disenfranchised students


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