Archive for February, 2013

This week again I have asked a guest to review for me.  In this case it was because the article is written in Spanish.  Thankfully, my sister Gretchen Abernathy is a professional translator with many years of experience translating Spanish language theological scholarship into English.  Here follows her expert summary and evaluation of a recent piece by three scholars from Spain.  I have again cross-posted this review on the ICHER website.  I’m encouraging my readers to familiarize themselves now with that site, for soon I’ll be moving over to it exclusively.

Record: Elizalde, M., Urpí, C., and Tejada, M., “Diversidad, participación y calidad educativas: necesidades y posibilidades del Homeschooling”[“Diversity, Parent Involvement and Quality Education: Needs and Possibilities of Homeschooling”], in Estudios sobre educación, vol. 22 (2012), pp. 55-72. [Available here]

María Ángeles Sotés Elizalde, Universidad de Navarrra

Carme Urpí, Universidad de Navarra

María del Coro Molinos Tejada, Universidad de Navarra

Summary: Elizalde, Urpí and Tejada, all representing the Universidad de Navarra in Spain, discuss in very general strokes the phenomenon of homeschooling in Spain and in a few other select countries, evaluating the issues of diversity, parental involvement and quality therein. Starting from the basic premise that education is necessary for children, especially in countries where millions of children and girls in particular have no access to basic formal education, they observe the irony that as baseline literacy needs are met in environments of material abundance, other problems arise: discipline, lack of motivation and mistreatment among students. The authors suggest that, given the transition from precarious to prosperous formal education in developed countries, the time is ripe to evaluate how homeschooling offers a positive pedagogical response and alternative that should be awarded legal credence and greater public acceptance. (more…)

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As I just noted in my previous post, I am now cross-posting reviews both here and at the International Center for Home Education Research (ICHER) Reviews section.  Eventually I’ll move completely over to the ICHER site and stop updating here.  But for now I’m still posting in both locations.

Today’s post was written not by me but by my esteemed colleague Cheryl Fields-Smith, whose pathbreaking work on African-American homeschoolers I reviewed here.  Given her expertise, I asked her to review this new article by Mazama and Lundy on African American homeschooling.  Here is her review: (more…)

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Regular readers of my blog know that I’ve been working with several other scholars to build the International Center for Home Education Research (ICHER) website.  ICHER was founded last year by an international team of scholars with the intent of both facilitating networking among scholars interested in homeschooling and of making the research on homeschooling more accessible to the general public.

Of course making the results of research available to the public is precisely what I’ve been doing on this blog since 2008.  Given that track record, my colleagues placed me in charge of the “Reviews” section of the ICHER site.  It does basically the same thing this blog has been doing.  I have spent the past several months transferring over the great majority of my posts from this blog to the ICHER site.  The only things I didn’t bring over were the occasional forays I took into current events or representations of homeschooling in literature or on film.

Over the next few weeks I’ll continue to do weekly posts both here and on the ICHER reviews section.  But eventually I’ll stop updating here and post exclusively on the ICHER site.  As I know I have many readers who have programmed their computers to give automatic updates through facebook or wordpress whenever I post something, I want to give you plenty of warning before I stop updating on this site.  I’d ask you now to begin familiarizing yourself with the new site in anticipation of the eventual move.  Thanks!

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The journal Other Education has just published an article Rob Kunzman and I wrote together titled, “Homeschooling: A Comprehensive Survey of the Research.”  It is the culmination of years of work by both of us compiling every piece of research on homeschooling ever written, culling through them all to select the best material, organizing them into coherent categories, and writing up the results.

Several months ago I reviewed Joseph Murphy’s excellent book Homeschooling in America: Capturing and Assessing the Movement, which is a very thorough review of the scholarly literature.  Our article is not nearly so long as Dr. Murphy’s book and thus it lacks some of the detail he provides.  Anyone interested in homeschooling research should read his book cover to cover and keep it on the shelf for frequent reference.  But despite its length and depth of coverage, there are some topics and a few key studies Dr. Murphy leaves out, and he sometimes fails to differentiate between high and low quality studies or between studies published recently and those published decades ago.  I think our article provides even more breadth and does a better job discriminating between sources.  Plus you can download it for free!  Do so here.

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In November of 2012 two important conferences, one in Berlin, Germany and the other in Madrid, Spain, were held.  Both were concerned primarily with fostering a political climate of openness to home education in European countries. (more…)

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