Home education: risk, choice and marginalised communities

Martin Myers

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

Home Education or Home Schooling is being chosen by more families across Europe and in North America as their preferred option for the education of their children (Bhopal & Myers, 2009; Ray, 2015). This paper will draw on research conducted with 20 families who were home educating in England. The research focussed on the choices made by a variety of families including those from different ethnic, religious and class backgrounds to home educate. In this paper we discuss the trend in discourses around home education, (particularly in the media, but also in political policy-making and academic writing), to either celebrate or vilify parental choices (Bhopal & Myers, 2016). For example; a white, middle-class family choosing to home educate may often be described in positive terms surrounding the promotion of individual freedoms, creativity and seizing opportunities. By contrast, some Muslim families have been described in terms of withdrawing their children into protective, ‘radicalising’ bubbles in which the rights of their children to be a citizens are compromised. This paper argues that such binary discourses can be understood in relation to ‘risk’: both the risk that families might associate with mainstream schooling and the risks society associates with the educational choices made by families (Beck, 1992). Consequently the discourses around home education work to both marginalise and privilege different communities.

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Conference on Educational Research 2017
Abbreviated titleECER 2017
CountryDenmark
CityCopenhagen
Period21/08/1725/08/17
Internet address

Keywords

  • Risk
  • Marginalisation
  • homeschool
  • home education
  • Ulrich Beck

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