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AbstractHomeschooling research to date has focused mainly on the perspective of homeschool educators.
However, heeding the voices of homeschool learners is essential for a reliable understanding of the
homeschool context. This article focuses on findings regarding one homeschool learner who was a
participant in a qualitative, multiple case-study of four homeschools. Homeschool educators and
learners were interviewed concerning their discourses and perspectives regarding their respective
homeschools. Projections were used that explored participants’ meanings at a deeper level, and there
were three sessions of non-participating observation in each homeschool. The views of the homeschool
learners corresponded, to a certain extent, with those of the homeschool educators, but also indicated
some significant differences. Although the limited scope of the investigation prohibits generalisation,
the homeschool educators all appeared to be convinced that they were acting in their children’s best
interests, and yet often without accommodation or awareness of their particular needs. The homeschool
learners did not communicate their needs or feelings on a conscious level, but instead bowed to the
educators’ wishes. The lack of congruence on a deeper level between the views of the homeschool
educators and learners is discussed from a bio-ecological perspective, thus giving due regard to both
the entire context of each homeschool and developmental factors. We shall consider the implications of
the findings for homeschool practice, further research and policy.
Lizebelle van Schalkwyk & Cecilia Bouwer (2011): Homeschooling: Heeding the voices of learners, Education as Change, 15:2, 179-190.