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Archive for the ‘Gender’ Category

Record: Lee Garth Vigilant, Tyler C. Anderson, and Lauren Wold Trefethren, “‘I’m Sorry You Had a Bad Day, but Tomorrow Will Be Better’: Stratagems of Interpersonal Emotional Management in Narratives of Fathers in Christian Homeschooling Households,” inSociological Spectrum 34, no. 4 (2014): 293-313.[Abstract Here]

 Summary:  Vigilant, a sociology professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead and 12 year homeschooling veteran, here with two of his former undergraduate students, continues a line of research the team initiated in a 2013 publication laying out Christian homeschooling fathers’ ideologies.  This article draws from the same sample of 21 white, Christian fathers whose wives homeschool, all from North Dakota or Minnesota.  Father age ranged from 29 to 56 years, with a mean age of 46.  Average number of children was 4, though family size ranged from 1 to 9 children.  Mean number of years homeschooling was 8, with the range being 1 to 19 years.  Fifteen of the 21 fathers were college-educated professionals, and the rest were blue-collar workers. (more…)

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Record: Jasmine McDonald and Elaine Lopes, “How Parents Home Educate their Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder with the Support of the Schools of Isolated and Distance Education” in International Journal of Inclusive Education 18, no. 1 (2014): 1-17. [abstract here]

Summary:  McDonald completed her doctoral thesis on how parents deal with the education of a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in 2010.  Lopes completed her doctoral thesis on Distance Education in Western Australia in 2009.  Here these two junior scholars combine their research to investigate the role of a distance education program in helping parents manage the education of children with an ASD.

They begin by explaining the history of the Schools of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE), a government program begun in 1918 as the Western Australian Correspondence School whose goal was to provide public instruction to students isolated from conventional schools due to geography or special needs.  This program has over the years used itinerant teachers, radio broadcasts, camp settings, and all sorts of distance education technology (audio tapes, videos, and now the internet) to reach isolated children.  While the students attending SIDE have historically been geographically isolated, the bulk of enrollments now are students with special needs that conventional schools cannot accommodate.  SIDE is thus a “school of last resort” for many. (p.3)

One group of children for whom SIDE is a resource are those diagnosed with an ASD.  McDonald and Lopes explain that an ASD diagnosis typically means that a student faces difficulties with communication, socialization, and behavior.  The clear trend over the last several decades in public education has been toward inclusion of these students into regular education, but in the last few years a small but growing literature has raised questions about this approach, as have many parents of children with an ASD diagnosis.  Some parents, reacting against the inclusive model and the lack of individualized instruction it sometimes entails, have felt forced to remove their children from institutional schooling and educate them at home. (more…)

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Record: Marcia Clemmitt, “Home Schooling: Do Parents Give their Children A Good Education?” CQ Researcher 24, no. 10 (7 March 2014), pp. 217-240. [Available Here]

Summary:

The CQ Researcher has long been an influential publication, especially among politicians and others connected to the United States Congress.  Clemmitt is a veteran journalist who has provided in-depth analysis of several educational issues in the past.  She brings her wide experience and the publication’s resources together here on the topic of homeschooling. (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: 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. (more…)

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Record:

Michael W. Apple, “Gender, Religion, and the Work of Homeschooling” in Zehavit Gross, Lynn Davies, and Al-Khansaa Diab, eds., Gender, Religion and Education in a Chaotic Postmodern World (Springer, 2013). Abstract Here.

Summary:

Apple, an education professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is one of the nation’s best-known education scholars and a long-time observer and critic of conservative educational efforts.  Readers of his 2006 book Educating the Right Way will find the contents of this new chapter very familiar.

Apple begins with a basic orientation to the homeschooling movement, noting its left-wing origins but stressing its dramatic growth among conservative Christians in the 1980s and 90s.  His preferred term for these conservative Christian movement activists is “authoritarian populists,” a phrase that acknowledges both the grass-roots nature of the movement and its long-term goal of restoring the vision of Godly and Patriarchal authority it embodies in the home to the broader American culture. (more…)

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