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Education without schools

Education without schools: Discovering alternatives

Helen E. Lees
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  • Book Info
    Education without schools
    Book Description:

    At a time when education and school choices are under increasing scrutiny, this topical book considers education more broadly than ever before. The author, an experienced teacher and researcher, highlights what happens when parents discover that an alternative to school education exists and is legal. This under-researched topic highlights the lack of governmental interest in alternative education and also considers the human rights issues, conflation with safeguarding, the relationship of the state to education and parental education choice. Focusing on the discovery of elective home education (EHE) in England as a case study for new and necessary arguments, the ideas discussed are also relevant internationally. The book considers the global fact of education as not just mainstream schooling, but how the dominance of schooling has affected our ability to conceive of education as diverse and different. This thought-provoking book will appeal to academic, teaching and policy-making audiences.

    eISBN: 978-1-4473-0642-9
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. ONE Setting the scene
    (pp. 1-12)

    This is a book for educational academics and policy makers. But it is also a book for all educationists, especially teachers and parents. For both audiences it offers a double narrative. On the one hand it speaks about education and educational studies, on the other it relates directly to people’s experiences about how education affects lives and educational decisions. Both narratives are important and intertwined for both groups. I would even say that they can bring people together.

    I hope to broaden the hegemonic concept of education most of us currently work with, impacting upon it for change. This is...

  2. TWO Against educationism
    (pp. 13-28)

    Education is a plurality of possibilities. Yet, amazingly, at a deep conceptual and structural level this idea seems currently not yet to be in place. Some say education has even been foreclosed; that we exist enframed by a dominant and dominating discourse, deeply anti-democratic in its nature and perhaps irredeemably so (Flint and Peim, 2012; Peim, 2013). How do we know if education does lack structural, conceptual diversity? Because major end users of educational services – parents – do not yet have the idea or the concept of education asmodal. Modal refers to education as a model or models....

  3. THREE Why is elective home education important?
    (pp. 29-52)

    This book focuses in on discovery of EHE in particular for three reasons: (1) its radical difference, as a location for education, from school attendance of any kind; (2) the fascinating and important confluence of social, political, ethical and educational issues which meet at the juncture of EHE; (3) the common ground that EHE shares with other ‘alternatives’ in terms of theory and practice and the marginalisation of these practices within a mono-paradigmatic educational world view.

    When referring to educational alternatives it is useful to note that this phrase can often be used as a term for settings outside of...

  4. FOUR The theory of the gateless gate of home education
    (pp. 53-78)

    Setting out a new theory of education is complex. This is compounded if the terrain offered involves restructuring how we commonly see educationandis a shifting terrain open to iterability (repeatable in different contexts, each time with potential differences). The theory presented here is not one of learning but one of understanding education.

    In the previous chapter contextual issues around EHE discovery and its implications have been considered. Before moving in Chapter Five, to the empirical data of the ‘discovery moment’ showing signs of paradigmatic diversity in educational studies at a structural level, it is necessary to build first...

  5. FIVE Moments of discovery
    (pp. 79-102)

    So far there has been a lot of social and theoretical context setting. This was necessary to underpin onotherterms of the educational what it is will now begin to be considered in the empirical data. The methodology for the interview extracts to follow can be found in the Appendix.

    The moment of switch matters because it stands to restructure education. Crucial signs of gestalt switching will be shown in the latter part of this chapter. First, to recognise the fragility but power of the switch moment and its mirroring of a Kuhnian perspective on discovery and paradigm creation...

  6. SIX Against discovery of education without schools
    (pp. 103-120)

    The previous two chapters laid out first a theoretical vision of why EHE is for individuals to discover and then empirical data about what happens when this discovery is made. Limitations imposed on and of this scene are now discussed. Understanding factors of marginality of EHE discovery can help appreciation of the social and political issues touched upon previously, as well as the educational aspects running throughout the book.

    The UK government (as it relates to England) is well aware of the historical precedents within England of and for EHE as a legal and socially embedded practice. It is clear...

  7. SEVEN School exit and home education
    (pp. 121-142)

    There are viable alternatives to attending mainstream schooling which will allow education to happen. Some people are interested in these alternative options. They search for them. They need todiscoverthem. But why would anyone bother?

    This chapter looks at exit from schooling attendance as a phenomenon involving children intentionally deregistered from school rolls, but who once attended. It considers some of the reasons why leaving a school for home education might be a sane and important move. There are many factors that contribute to school exit. They interact and overlap to result in a deregistration. In the data in...

  8. EIGHT Understanding discovery differences
    (pp. 143-152)

    As previous chapters have attempted to outline, discovering EHE sits within a maelstrom of issues and whilst it can occur simply – in a moment – it also drags some complicated factors into the lives of those involved. These factors are linked to social, political, educational, familial and parenting matters.

    What I offer in this chapter is a way through the discovery thicket: a framework for discovery so that those who have a genuine desire to home educate can be left to educate according to the wonderful journey, philosophies, practices and developments possible in this alternative modality. A framework is...

  9. NINE Concluding remarks
    (pp. 153-158)

    When it comes to the education of children we have been conditioned as a society to assume that the word education refers primarily to schooling. Discovering that is does not have to, and can refer to something else as full-time practice, is a revelation for many people. They discover new possibilities. In this book I have tried to elucidate some features of home education which are ripe for development. The work here presented is part of a start in this direction and it sits within a rich body of excellent research and commentary on the phenomenon and fact of EHE...