ERIC Number: ED284324
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Home Schooling in Context.
Van Galen, Jane A.
The social context within which home schooling takes place is described, and the ideological frameworks and contexts within which parents (most of them fundamentalist Christians) make schooling decisions are examined. Research involved participant observation and interviews with 16 home schooling families (13 families self-labeled "conservative Christians") and various educators for 18 months. Results show that parents' beliefs fall into either of two categories--"ideologues" or "pedagogues." Ideological parents, when discussing the need for home schooling, frame their argument to educators as one of whether parents or public officials should determine what children are taught when the two parties disagree over fundamental issues. Pedagogical parents intend to teach their children essentially what schools would teach, but want learning apart from the bureaucratized institution. Educators claim that schools should protect children from their parents' provincialism, but this argument is speculative. Few schools are genuinely pluralistic and few seem successful at teaching much more than facts. The conflict between home schoolers and supporters of traditional education is essentially a principled power struggle between parents and schools. Study results demonstrate that home schooling is not merely an educational problem; the solutions usually recommended address not only parents' broader concerns but also the weaknesses of public education made explicit by the home schooling controversy. (CJH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Researchers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Washington, DC, April 20-24, 1987).