ERIC Number: ED480141
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Mar
Exploring the Democratic Tensions within Parents' Decisions To Homeschool. Occasional Paper.
Welner, Kariane Mari
When homeschooling parents discuss public schools, they often draw on their own notions of citizenship, and each parent's view of public schools is also likely influenced by his or her larger view of government's proper role in society. This article reports on a 3-year study designed to seek a better understanding of these issues. The study explored homeschoolers' interactions with broader social institutions, especially public schools, and examined the relationship between parents' homeschooling decisions and their notions of democracy. This article draws on democratic theory to highlight the tensions between the ideals that homeschoolers espouse and the implementation of these ideals in their daily lives. The investigation brought to light several tensions reflective of larger conflicts faced by Americans. In a pluralistic society, it is difficult to arrive at educational policies acceptable to all involved or that fully meet the needs of all students and families. It is often equally difficult for parents to steadfastly match their private decisionmaking to their public vision of schooling. The article explores these and other contradictions in homeschoolers' views of public schools and their actual practices and offers some insights into how inconsistencies surface in the broader discourse surrounding education in America. (Author/WFA)
Descriptors: Citizenship Education, Civil Liberties, Democratic Values, Elementary Secondary Education, Family Environment, Government Role, Home Schooling, Nontraditional Education, Parent Attitudes, Parent Influence, Parent Role, Parent Student Relationship, Parents as Teachers, Values Education
Teachers College, Columbia University, Box 181, 230 Thompson Hall, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027-6696. Tel: 212-678-3259; Fax: 212-678-3474; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.ncspe.org. For full text: http://www.ncspe.org/publications_files/690_OP45.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education.