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Archive for the ‘research methodology’ Category

Record: Peter Gray and Gina Riley, “Grown Unschoolers’ Evaluations of Their Unschooling Experiences: Report I on a Survey of 75 Unschooled Adults” in Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning 4, no. 2 (2015): 8-32. [Abstract]

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. This post will review the first report of their two part series about unschoolers’ evaluations of their unschooling experiences. In Report I they review previous research on unschooling, describe their methodology, and present the unschoolers’ experiences and evaluations of these experiences. In Report II they address the participants’ experiences with higher education and careers. This study is largely a response to their 2013 survey of unschooling parents.

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Record: Chelsea McCracken, “How to Mislead with Data: A Critical Review of Ray’s ‘Academic Achievement and Demographic Traits of Homeschool Students: A Nationwide Study’ (2010).” Coalition for Responsible Home Education (15 January, 2014).  [Available Here]

Summary:  McCracken, who serves as the senior research analyst for the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, an organization advocating for increased regulatory protection of homeschooled children in the United States, here scrutinizes Brian Ray’s most recent study of homeschooler academic achievement.  For my own summary and critique of Ray’s study click here. (more…)

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Record: Andrea Vieux, “The Politics of Homeschools: Religious Conservatives and Regulation Requirements” in The Social Science Journal (9 July, 2014).  [Abstract Here]

Summary: Vieux, a Political Science professor at the University of Central Florida, here provides quantitative data to try to determine the degree to which a state’s percentage of religious conservatives correlates with its level of homeschooling regulation. (more…)

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Record: Alex Molnar, ed., Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2014: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research Evidence (Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center, 2014).  Available here.

Summary: This post summarizes the second of three sections of this report.  For a summary of section one, which surveys recent legislative activity concerning virtual schooling, click here.  For a summary of section three, which provides data about the number of online schools and the type of students attending them, click here.

Section two surveys the research literature on virtual schools.  It was written by Michael K. Barbour of Sacred Heart University.

Barbour begins with the general statement that despite the fact that we’ve had 20 years now of virtual schooling, the research base for this form of education remains very weak.  (more…)

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Record: Joseph Murphy, “The Social and Educational Outcomes of Homeschooling” in Sociological Spectrum 34, no. 3 (April 2014), 244-272. [Abstract Here]

Summary: Murphy, a professor at Vanderbilt University and author of the excellent book-length review of homeschooling scholarship Homeschooling in America, here again summarizes much of the literature on homeschooling, attending especially to studies of the outcomes of homeschooling on the children who experience it.

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Record: Sharon Green-Hennessy, “Homeschooled Adolescents in the United States: Developmental Outcomes” in Journal of Adolescence 37, no. 4 (June 2014): 441-449 [Abstract here]

Summary:  Green-Hennessy is a psychology professor at Loyola Maryland.  After beginning with a very strong lit review, she describes the methodology of the data set she’ll be using in this study, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).  It is a yearly, nationally representative survey of U.S. household residents age 12 and over.  Subjects are interviewed by trained professionals and paid $30 for their trouble, which results in very high response rates (between 69 and 77% during the years Green-Hennessy uses).  Green-Hennessy combined the data on children aged 12 to 17 for the years 2002-2011, which gave her 182,351 subjects overall.  The demographics of this massive sample reflects the nation at large quite well.  Since one of the questions asked on the survey was type of schooling, Green-Hennessy was able to use this data to determine to what degree homeschooling prevents or exacerbates behaviors known to put adolescents at risk for drug use.

Of the 182,351 adolescents surveyed by NSDUH between 2002 and 2011, only 1094, or .6% reported being homeschooled.  (more…)

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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. (more…)

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