In having finished the Modern School articles, I get the sense that alternatives were deemed viable options partially due to the environment of rampant social disorder. Anything was possible, given the current situation was perpetuating illiteracy and inequality. It seems to me that if more people were educated as to the rampant problems in our (US) schooling, there would be a more lively discourse as to such viable alternatives. Unfortunately, we've been taught to blame various factors in assessing education's 'failure,' including economics, geography, race, and lack of accountability. In that we are afforded these and countless other scapegoats, we fail to see that, in the big picture, there are problems inherent in the system. How do you get people to comprehend the level of social disorder that exists when it's so easy to shift blame to something too abstract or too primeval to alter or address? I honestly do not know. Yell, maybe.
I also got the sense that the Modern Schools spoken of in the chapters took full advantage of the natural evironment, which is something that poses logistical problems when in the 'concrete jungle' in which we find our public schools most in need. Even given this, an attempt must be made, in whatever environment, to get out and experience one's world. What a wonderful concept, yet one that is ignored in so many of our schools nationally.