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Archive for the ‘Curriculum’ Category

Record: Peter Gray and Gina Riley, “The Challenges and Benefits of Unschooling, According to 232 Families Who Have Chosen that Route” in Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning 7, no. 14 (2013): 1-27. [Article]

Summary: Gray is a professor of psychology at Boston College, and Riley is an educational psychologist who teaches courses at Hunter College and Mercy College. Here they discuss the results from a survey they conducted with 232 unschooling families. (more…)

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Record: Ama Mazama and Garvey Lundy, “African American Homeschooling and the Question of Curricular Cultural Relevance” in Journal of Negro Education 82, no. 2 (Spring 2013): 123-138 [abstract here]

Summary:  Mazama and Lundy have recently published several important articles on the motivations of African American parents for homeschooling, all based on interviews with a sample of 74 such parents from seven U.S. cities.  In a 2012 article they first articulated their concept of “racial protectionism” as a defining motivation for many African American parents who want to rescue their children from the institutional and individual racism they experience at school.  In a 2013 article they added the concept of “educational protectionism” to the mix, which they characterize as an effort on the part of African American parents to replace the boring, unchallenging, and rigid curriculum of schools with higher expectations, relevant (often Afrocentric) curriculum, and student initiative.  In a 2014 article they explain how a small subset of their sample, about 15% of the overall group, did not identify with the racial dynamics expressed by everyone else.  For this small subset the motivation seems to be more exclusively religious (they call it “religious protectionism”), very like the motivations of the much larger group of white fundamentalist Christian homeschoolers.  In another 2014 article they explore how homeschooling is especially attractive to African American parents of boys given the discrimination black males regularly experience in public schools.   In the article before us today they examine how some African American homeschoolers are using the method to escape the Eurocentric curriculum that permeates public schools. (more…)

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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. (more…)

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Record: Donna M. Johnson, “Confrontation and Cooperation: The Complicated Relationship between Homeschoolers and Public Schools” in Peabody Journal of Education 88 (2013): 298-308. [Preview here]

Summary:  Johnson, an education professor at Dakota Wesleyan University, here summarizes a wide range of issues and initiatives connecting homeschooling and public schools. (more…)

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Record: Cheryl Fields-Smith and Monica Wells Kisura, “Resisting the Status Quo: The Narratives of Black Homeschoolers in Metr-Atlanta and Metro-DC” in Peabody Journal of Education 88, no. 3 (2013): 265-283.

Summary:  Fields-Smith of the University of Georgia, whose pathbreaking work on Black homeschoolers has been reviewed before on this site, and Wells Kisura of Trinity Washington University here combine the results of their qualitative studies of black homeschoolers to make several important generalizations. (more…)

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Record:

Christine Hahn, “Latin in the Homeschooling Community,” in Teaching Classical Languages 4, no. 1 (Fall 2012): 26-51. [Available Here]

Hahn is a homeschooling mother and owner of Latin for Homeschoolers, an online tutoring service.

Summary:

To date there has been very little research on the very popular form of homeschooling known as classical education.  Peter Leithart has explained the growth of the classical movement at the macro level.  Anthony and Burroughs have provided a careful study of four families associated with one classical cooperative.  Hahn’s study here goes well beyond anything that has been published in the past, giving us our first quantitative look at classical homeschoolers. (more…)

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Record:

Alan Thomas and Harriet Pattison, “Informal Home Education: Philosophical Aspirations Put Into Practice” in Studies in Philosophy and Education 32(2): 141-154 (2013) [Available Here]

British researchers Thomas and Pattison are frequent collaborators, most significantly on the 2008 revision of Thomas’ book How Children Learn at Home.  In this article they draw on some of their earlier empirical research to make several normative claims about informal home-based learning.

Summary:

Thomas and Pattison begin by noting that all children start out as informal, or what they call “osmotic” learners, mastering such complex tasks as learning to understand and speak language and to interpret social cues without any sort of formal, structured curriculum.  Many children go on to learn to read this way as well. (more…)

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