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Record: Melissa Sherfinski, “Contextualizing the Tools of a Classical and Christian Homeschooling Mother-Teacher” in Curriculum Inquiry 4, no. 2 (March 2014): 169-203.

Summary: Sherfinski, a professor in West Virginia University’s College of Education and Human Services, has published widely on school reform issues ranging from class size reduction to universal pre-kindergarten programs.  This is her first published article on homeschooling, though she has been delivering conference papers about homeschooling mothers since 2010.

In this piece Sherfinski profiles a single homeschooling mother pseudonymously named April Greene.  Greene has two boys, ages 11 and 12, whom she has always homeschooled.  Due to the influence of an older sister and another respected friend she has decided to embrace the classical education model currently in fashion among many Christian homeschoolers.  Sherfinski calls her approach “Classical and Christian” throughout, which I’ll abbreviate as CC. Continue Reading »

Record: Albert Cheng, “Does Homeschooling or Private Schooling Promote Political Intolerance? Evidence from a Christian University” in Journal of School Choice 8, no. 1 (2014): 49-68. [Abstract Here]

Summary and Critique: Cheng, a doctoral student at the University of Arkansas, here reports the results of a quantitative study comparing college students who were homeschooled with those who attended public and private schools on a measure of political tolerance. Continue Reading »

Record: Roger Marples, “Parents’ Rights and Educational Provision” in Studies in the Philosophy and Education 33, no. 1 (January 2014): 23-39.

Summary:  Marples, a Principal Lecturer in Education at University of Roehampton in London, here makes a spirited argument against the legitimacy of non-government schooling in all but the most extreme circumstances.

Marples begins by asserting that the claims of parental “rights” go back to Lockean notions of property rights and to claims by philosophers like Robert Nozick and Charles Fried that the child is an “extension” of the parent.  Marples disagrees.  For him, “treating children as mere appendages to their parents is both to disrespect and undermine their moral status.” (p. 24) Continue Reading »

Record: Xiaoming Sheng, “Confucian Work and Homeschooling: A Case Study of Homeschooling in Shanghai” in Education and Urban Society, XX, No. X (2013), 1-17. [abstract here]

Summary:

The article under review here is a condensed version of a 2011 work by Sheng, recently reissued by Sense Publishers and available here.

Sheng begins by reminding readers of the profound economic changes that have taken place in China since market-based reforms were implemented in 1978.  Most significant for this study has been the rise of a large middle class in several of China’s cities.  Homeschooling, argues Sheng, has emerged along with this middle class in such cities as Beijing and Shanghai. Continue Reading »

Record: Norlidah Alias, Mohd. Nazri Abdul Rahman, Siraj Saedah, and Ruslina Ibrahim, “A Model of Homeschooling Based on Technology in Malaysia” in The Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Technology 1, no. 3 (July 2013): 10-16 [Available Here]

Summary:  The authors begin with a helpful overview of recent developments in Malaysian education policy.  In 2003 the Free and Compulsory Education Act was passed, which compels children age 6 and over to attend a school but allows parental choice for private or home-based learning.

Since that time a small but growing “homeschooling” trend has been documented, and research is being conducted on the families choosing this option.  Continue Reading »

Record: Braden Ryan Hoelzle, “The Transmission of Values and the Transition into Adulthood Within the Context of Home Education” in Journal of Research on Christian Education 22, no. 3 (2013), pp. 244-263.

Summary:  Hoelzle, a doctoral student in education at Southern Methodist University, here presents the results of a qualitative study of four young adults, all of whom had been homeschooled for eight or more years.  His goal was to assess the success of the strategy of using homeschooling to pass on parental religious and moral values.

Hoelzle reveals at the outset that he himself is an evangelical Christian who is hoping to use homeschooling as a way to transmit his values to his own children.  But so far the scholarship on this question is very thin.  He mentions Brian Ray’s oft-cited but methodologically weak 2004 survey of young adults who had been homeschooled, finding its generalizations too generic.  He wants to know in a deeper, richer way just what homeschooled children think about the religious convictions of their parents once they leave. Continue Reading »

Record: Lee Garth Vigilant, Lauren Wold Trefethren, and Tyler C. Anderson, “‘You Can’t Rely on Somebody Else to Teach Them Something they Don’t Believe': Impressions of Legimitation Crisis and Socialization Control in the Narratives of Christian Homeschooling Fathers” in Humanity and Society 37, no. 3 (2013): 201-224. [Abstract Here]

Summary: Vigilant, a father of homeschooled children who is also a sociology professor at Minnesota State University Morehead, here joins with two non-homeschooling colleagues to present one of the first studies ever of homeschooling fathers.  Vigilant and his wife, who are African American, turned to homeschooling upon moving to Minnesota, which in his words ranks “among the worst states in the nation for the achievement gap between black and white students in mathematics and reading.” (p. 202)  Noting that the sociological literature on parental motivation focused nearly exclusively on mothers, Vigilant wanted to learn what fathers were doing and thinking about homeschooling. Continue Reading »

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