Case-Study: Exploring the Early Stages of an Alternative School in Montréal, Québec
The present qualitative case-study features the voices of the three educators-founders of a small alternative school in Québec, CA. Firstly, the paper explores the underlying factors that pushed the trio to leave the traditional system to create an alternative school and, secondly, presents some of the challenges encountered during the inaugural year. The most salient theme to emerge was a critique of the teachers' previous working conditions in state-sponsored education system. They reported incongruences between individual and organizational goals; low level of collegiality and stimulating professional interactions; a lack of support for professional risk-taking and experimentation; and the inability to influence school decisions. In the second part of the paper, challenges of the inaugural year highlighted the absence of well-defined educational aims and goals; development of collegiality among the staff; and relationships with the families / households. All these aspects will need to be addressed moving forward to ensure the sustainability of the school.
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