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Archive for the ‘Curriculum’ Category

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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Record: 

Tara Jones, “Through the Lens of Home-Educated Children: Engagement in Education” in Educational Psychology and Practice (2013): 1-15 [Abstract Available Here]

Summary:

Jones is a PhD student at the University of the West of Scotland.  Here she presents the results of a creative effort to learn about home education from children in the United Kingdom, in hopes that the insights gleaned might help school professionals better deal with children who are becoming disaffected from school.

Jones begins by noting that disaffection from school is a major factor motivating many families to turn to home education–factors such as bullying, special education needs, and erratic behavior are frequently cited.  Most of the research on this population in the UK, as with the research in the United States, has focused far more on the adults doing the homeschooling or making the policy than on the children themselves.  Jones wanted to change that. (more…)

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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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This post reviews Hilary Cooper, “Looking Backwards to Move Forwards: Charlotte Mason on History” in Curriculum Journal 23: 1 (2012), pp. 7-18.

Cooper, a member of the education faculty at the University of Cumbria, Carlisle, UK, here uses Charlotte Mason’s views of history education to critique trends in the British government’s approach to the issue. (more…)

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This post reviews Kathleen Ambruso Acker, Mary W. Gray, Behzad Jalali, and Matthew Pascal, “Mathematics and Home Schooling” in Notices of the AMS 59, no, 4 (April 2012): 513-521.

All four authors of this paper are affiliated with American University.  The stated aim of this misleadingly titled paper is to analyze the legal framework for homeschooling, noting especially the place of mathematics in it, and then to examine how well homeschooling prepares students for college and employment. (more…)

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Here follow a few brief summaries of various articles that have appeared in the past few months that, while not scholarly, are still interesting and informative.  They include a story on homeschooling in China, an advocacy piece by a conservative Catholic, a description of public/private/home school hybrids, and a homeschool diary by a New Yorker: (more…)

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This post reviews Joseph Murphy, Homeschooling in America: Capturing and Assessing the Movement (Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, 2012).

Murphy, Associate Dean at Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt University and author of many, many books and articles on a wide range of topics, here provides a remarkable synthesis of nearly the entire corpus of homeschooling research published from the 1980s to the present.

(more…)

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This is the second of a two-part review of Randall Curren and J. C. Blokhuis, “The Prima Facie Case Against Homeschooling” in Public Affairs Quarterly, 25, no. 1 (January 2011): 1-19.

In my previous post I argued against the historic backstory Curren and Blokhuis provide as the underpinning of their argument.  Today I will look at the argument itself.  In general they make two basic claims.  First, they claim that all children are entitled to equal public protection of their educational interests, which means that all forms of education, including private schooling and homeschooling, must provide equal educative opportunities.  Second, they claim that the nature of knowledge is such that, especially at the secondary level, parents (or any other citizen) can be presumed to lack competence to teach, and that anybody who wants to teach must overcome this presumption of incompetence by proving their merit.

Curren and Blokhuis elaborate on these claims through a three-part argument.  I will first summarize their argument and then offer some critiques. (more…)

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This post reviews Tina Marie Jorgenson, “Homeschooling in Iowa: An Investigation of Curricular Choices Made by Homeschooling Parents” (Ph.D. Diss.: University of Iowa, 2011). [Available here]

This doctoral dissertation uses data compiled from Form A of the Competent Private Instruction Report, which the state of Iowa requires all independently homeschooling parents to fill out.  From this data she was able to get a pretty good sense of what kind of Iowans homeschool, what curriculum they use, and why they do what they do.

(more…)

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This post reviews Kenneth V. Anthony and Susie Burroughs, “Day to Day Operations of Home School Families: Selecting from a Menu of Educational Choices to meet Students’ Individual Instructional Needs.” in International Education Studies, 5, no. 1 (February 2012): 1-17. [Available fulltext here]

Anthony, an instructor at Mississippi University for Women, and Burroughs, a professor of education at Mississippi State, here describe the daily activities of four homeschooling families, all of whom are part of the same classical education co-op in a “southeastern U.S.” state, which I presume to be Mississippi. (more…)

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