Alternative education is normally needed for those pupils that need specialized teaching, often given by teachers with higher standards of training behind them. Teaching children with special needs is very difficult as is the teaching of very gifted children.
The basic lessons remain the same but the methodology is very different depending on the needs of the child. The hours of the lessons and the location of them will change if need be. If for example the children are disabled then the classroom may be set out to enable wheelchairs to be used or to allow plenty of room for children to move around with mobility problems.
A high quality environment will work the best if it fulfills all extra facilities needed for the alternative education taught. It may be needed to teach certain children in an alternative situation without any changes to a standard classroom design. Saying that a standard design can mean many things depending on its quality.
For example the lesson can be taught with an old fashioned blackboard but can also be taught using an interactive white board which allows video, computer link and for children to control images shown on the screen. The chance to get involved with the lesson will encourage the pupils to get more involved.
Also if you can get higher quality teachers involved you can get a better quality learning environment for all pupils in the alternative learning structure. They will tend to have an in depth experience in the environment and will be able to use these qualities to improve the situation.
Apart from this other people can be brought in too help with the alternative education, maybe someone who has experienced prison or the judicial system may be good for children showing behavioural problems.
A simple visit by parents and other volunteers in order to have one to one reading sessions will benefit both the alternative teaching groups as well as the main stream children.
An alternative education system may not improve if it simply has money thrown at it, it needs the right people and the right environment to succeed. In fact a lower financed system can work better sometimes if the staff are able to deliver a high standard of teaching with the facilities they have. They will need dedication, ability and an ability to improvise in order to counteract the lack of finance , this doesn’t mean that highly financed institutions fail but they aren’t always guaranteed to be the best.