Home Education: Constructions of Choice



Families who choose to home educate generally do so due to dissatisfaction with schoolbased education. Common perceptions of home educators oscillate between images of the 'tree-hugging hippy' and the 'religious fanatic'. Whilst attempting to go beyond such stereotypical dichotomies, this paper will examine  three very different groupings of home educators and their varying constructions of childhood and the social world, demonstrating the spectrum between home education as an expression of human rights and of fundamentalism. The first grouping construct home education as a 'natural' choice, often presented in political opposition to existing social structures. For the second grouping home education is predominantly a 'social' choice relating to the conscious transmission of various forms of capital. Finally there are 'last resort' home educators for whom home education is not perceived as a choice. Based on qualitative research, this paper will argue that, even where home education is constructed as natural, the social aspects and impacts of home education choices cannot be ignored.


Educational Choice, Lifestyles, Alternative Education, Home Education, Homeschooling

Paper Details

Paper Details
Topic EU Education Programs
Pages 45 - 56
Issue IEJEE, Volume 3, Issue 1, Special Issue Out of School Education
Date of acceptance 10 January 2010
Read (times) 631
Downloaded (times) 342

Author(s) Details


University of Warwick, United Kingdom


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