On the third Tuesday 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. The title links generally point to the full text of each publication, which is often a printable pdf file. (Facebook readers should click to the attached blog post to find these links live.) In some cases, a paid subscription may be required to read the whole article. The article abstracts or introductions below are quoted in full whenever possible, without editing.
We have three items this month — the first is an important edited volume with sixteen chapters that review the state of homeschooling around the world:
(1) Global Perspectives on Home Education in the 21st Century [Book] — R. English, ed. (2020)
Publisher’s description: Home education is the fastest growing educational movement in the world, yet the research remains limited on why and how it has become so popular. As more and more families seek to homeschool, it is imperative that further studies are undertaken to understand how students’ lives are impacted, as well as the challenges and opportunities that arise from this method of schooling.
Global Perspectives on Home Education in the 21st Century is an edited collection that focuses on the major factors behind the global rise of the home education movement and explores many of the current issues faced in relation to homeschooling. The book examines key themes that include parents’ and children’s experiences of home education, how and why families choose to home educate, and what happens to home educated children once they are finished. Including topics such as unschooling, self-directed learning, willed learning, and holistic education, this book is primarily intended for home educators, school administrators, policymakers, researchers, academicians, and students.
(2) Social Inequality in the Homeschooling Efforts of German High School Students During a School Closing Period — H. Dietrich, A. Patzina, & A. Lerche (2020)
Abstract: School closings have been a key policy measure worldwide for reducing the spread of corona-virus disease (COVID-19). In Germany, federal states closed schools in mid-March and started to reopen them in late April. This policy potentially increased parental obligations for supervision and support during homeschooling and, thus, might reinforce social inequality in educational opportunities. Therefore, this research note investigates social inequality in students’ homeschooling efforts. Moreover, it asks whether social disparities in home learning environments, social support, teacher support, and cost–benefit-related considerations account for the social differences in homeschooling efforts during the school closing period in Germany. To that end, we use data from an ongoing research project on high school students in their final years that were collected during the school closing period. Our results show pronounced differences in home schooling efforts by social background. Thus far, the mechanisms under study can explain only a moderate part of the social origin effect. In summary, the results show that school closings have the potential to exacerbate social inequality in educational opportunities. Therefore, future research should scrutinise the extent to which school closings reinforce inequality in educational opportunities.
(3) Parent-Created “Schools” in the U.S — A.R. Watson (2020)
Abstract: After a turbulent spring of COVID induced virtual learning, some traditional public schools in the U.S. are hesitant to reopen with face-to-face instruction in fall 2020. In response to this uncertainty, many parents are taking their childrens’ education into their own hands. Some are banding together to create their own kind of school, with small groups of students limiting contagion, referred to as learning pods. Many wonder what exactly these pods are and how they work. Even more pressing are concerns of equity and strategies ensuring that all families have access to this homegrown education option. Here, I define learning pods, examine what we know about the likely efficacy of learning pods, given current evidence, and discuss policy strategies that savvy innovators are trying across the country that could serve as quality guardrails and to expand access.
What interesting homeschool news and research have you come across this Cygnus Term? 👩🏻🎓
❡ Explore more: If you’d like to investigate the current academic literature on homeschooling yourself, 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. 🔎
❡ Explore more: For a comprehensive review of homeschooling research prior to 2020, see the paper by Kunzman and Gaither that is linked as the first item in our Research & News post for July 2020. 📖
❡ Stay in the loop: This is one of our regular Homeschool Research & News posts. Add your name to our weekly mailing list (riverhouses.org/newsletter) and get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🗞