Is there any flexibility in the way the curriculum is structured and taught (alternative teaching methods)?

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Several Alternative Teaching methodologies have developed, particularly since the 1960's. The emergence of various teaching methodologies roughly correlates with theories of learning - i.e. Behaviorism (learning reinforced by reward or punishment) has dominated much of the curriculum based measurement seen in standard educational models. Constructivism, where the learner is seen as building his/her own concepts based upon prior experiences and understanding has had an influence in 'alternative' teaching styles, where the teacher is seen more as a facilitator, and the student is provided opportunities to learn by solving real-world problems. A few examples of this are self-directed learning, transformational learning, and experiential learning. More recently, the theory of Connectivism has emerged as a theory of learning, where the ability to build relationships and connections is emphasized in learning - this theory also incorporates machine learning into its paradigm. This theory has been coined "a learning theory for the digital age" because of how it incorporates the impact of technology on how we learn today.

For more information, please refer to the Driving Force: Tailored and Alternative Learning Systems

References:
- Learning Theory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_theory_(education)
- Song, Liyan and Hill, Janette. A Conceptual Model for Understanding Self-Directed Learning in Online Environments. http://www.ncolr.org/jiol/issues/PDF/6.1.3.pdf