14 SES 05 B, Home Education in Marginalised Communities
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.
Beck, Ulrich. Risk society: Towards a new modernity. Vol. 17. Sage, 1992. Bhopal, K., & Myers, M. (2009). A pilot study to investigate reasons for elective home education for Gypsy and Traveller children in Hampshire. Chicago Bhopal, K., & Myers, M. (2016). Marginal groups in marginal times: Gypsy and Traveller parents and home education in England, UK. British Educational Research Journal, 42(1), 5-20. Hartley, J. (2004). Case Study Research,[w:] Essential guide to qualitative methods in organizational research, pod red. C. Cassell, G. Symo. Neuman, W. L. (1997). Social research methods: qualitative and quantitative approaches. Allyn & Bacon. Needham Heights, USA. Ray, B. D. (2015). Research Facts on Homeschooling. National Home Education Research Institute. Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research design and methods third edition. Applied social research methods series, 5.
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