For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-10-research
Around the middle of each month we post a quick roundup of some recent academic publications and news about homeschooling, offered for your interest. These are typically university research papers, and they may have a positive, negative, or neutral outlook on home education — and if they don’t seem appealing, just scroll on by. The title links generally point to the full text of each publication (often a pdf file). (Facebook readers should click to the attached blog post to find these links live.) The abstracts are quoted in full when possible, without editing. This month’s offerings (five items):
(1) 100 Reasons to Homeschool Your Kids — K. McDonald (2019)
Summary: From fostering creativity and freedom to providing impressive educational outcomes, homeschooling is an increasingly appealing option. [A popular article, but each one of the 100 reasons is linked to a report or discussion with additional details and supporting arguments.]
Abstract: Although problem-based learning (PBL) is not a new educational teaching method, little is known about the experiences of homeschool teachers who implement this teaching and learning approach with students with special needs. An increase in the number students with special needs being homeschooled made this study necessary and timely. The purpose of this study was to explore how publicly shared PBL experiences of homeschool teachers of students with special needs reflect 21st-century skills. The study was framed using 3 skill areas from a 21st-century skills framework including communication and collaboration, problem-solving and critical thinking, and cross-disciplinary knowledge. Data were collected from 20 blog sites that were each written by a homeschool teacher of at least 1 student with special needs. The sites had a minimum of 3 blog posts that referenced teaching and learning that aligned with the fundamentals of PBL. Deductive-dominant content analysis was completed on 87 blog posts through 2 levels of coding using both a priori and emergent coding. Key findings showed that the blog posts of homeschool teachers of students with special needs most often described (a) sharing, (b) creating inquiry environments and supports, and (c) cross-discipline content. Because the blog posts of homeschool teachers who use a PBL approach with their students with special needs reflect 21st-century skills, this study may encourage more teachers in the homeschool community to implement a PBL approach. The results from this study may contribute to positive social change by providing insights for homeschool teachers interested in purposefully implementing PBL experiences where students with special needs practice 21st-century skills.
Abstract: This presentation will present a brief overview of data from a study of homeschooling families. A specific focus of this study was understanding how the change from a public-school classroom to a homeschool learning environment affected children with special educational needs (SEN). The results of the study indicated that 50.8% of participating families had a child who attended public or private school before the family decided to homeschool. For this group of families that had a child who attended public or private school before homeschooling, 60.6% reported having a child with SEN. This was a significant difference compared to the group that had always homeschooled where 43.4% reported having a child with SEN. Parents’ perceptions about how the change in learning environments affected their child will be shared. The researcher and presenter is a professor of educational research and a former homeschool mother whose homeschooled son is now a public-school teacher. Findings from the study will be discussed in relation to classroom observations of this homeschooled public-school teacher’s practice using homeschool strategies.
(4) Unschooling and the Self: A Dialogical Analysis of Unschooling Blogs in Australia and New Zealand — A. O’Hare & J. Coyne (2019)
Abstract: Unschooling is a form of home education in which free play, trust and autonomy are highly valued. Unschooling is also a countercultural movement that began in the United States in the 1970s. Applying dialogical theories about the development and exchange of ideas through dialogue, unschooling can be seen as an internally persuasive, centrifugal discourse that resists an authoritative, centripetal discourse that assumes children’s education happens at school. The researchers conducted a dialogical analysis of 19 unschooling blog posts that contained autodialogue among multiple voices within the Self, including I-as-unschooler, I-as-mother, I-as-countercultural, I-as-learner, and I-as-thought-leader. These I-positions interacted with inner-Others, such as public figures in the unschooling movement, other bloggers, children, mainstream adults, and the school system. There were clear tensions as the bloggers engaged in imagined dialogue with their critics. As an exploratory, qualitative study on an under-researched phenomenon, the study opens up questions for further research, including how values, beliefs, and identities play out in unschooling families in practice, and contributes unique insights into the ways unschooling bloggers dialogically author their social identities.
(5) The Meaning of Learning: Homeschooled Compared with Schooled Children — A. Neuman (2019)
Abstract: Homeschooling is a practice in which children are not sent to school but instead learn at home under their parents’ supervision. The present research examined how children who were homeschooled, compared with children attending school, perceived learning. It included interviews of 50 elementary-school-age children (25 who were homeschooled and 25 who attended school) regarding their perceptions of learning. The findings indicated that in both groups, the children held mainly traditional views of learning, in which the subjects are academic and physical, and less associated with life skills. Possible explanations of the findings are suggested and ideas for further research that would shed light on learning in homeschooling are discussed.
What interesting homeschool news and research have you come across lately? 👩🏻🎓
❡ Explore more: If you’d like to investigate the academic literature on homeschooling, the best place to start is Google Scholar (scholar.google.com), the special academic search engine from Google. Just enter a search term or phrase of interest (“homeschool,” “unschooling,” “classical homeschooling,” “deschooling,” etc.), and Google Scholar will return a list of academic publications that mention your topic. 🔎
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