Parents’ motives for home education: The influence of methodological design and social context

Main Article Content

Thomas Spiegler


Parents’ motives for home education are one of the most researched topics within home
education research. The focus of this article is on the question of the degree to which the results
regarding these motives are influenced and shaped by the applied methods and the
social context. The empirical basis is a meta-analysis of twelve research examples from the
last two decades. It is concluded that the diversity within the results can partly be traced
back to fundamental differences in the methodological design, to the absence of detailed
theoretical modelling and remarkable differences of the survey instruments and that the
role of the social environment and the process of the construction of motives in a certain social
context deserve more attention.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
SPIEGLER, Thomas. Parents’ motives for home education: The influence of methodological design and social context. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, p. 57-70, aug. 2017. ISSN 1307-9298. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 06 aug. 2020.


Arai, A. B. (2000). Reasons for Home Schooling in Canada. Canadian Journal of Education,
25, 204-217
Bauman, K. J. (2002). Home schooling in the United States. Trends and Characteristics.
Education Policy Analysis Archives, 10, (26). Retrieved from

Belfied, C. R. (2004). Modeling school choice: A Comparison of public, private-independent ,
private-religious and home-schooled students. Education Policy Analysis Archives.
12, (30). Retrieved from
Bielick, S., Chandler, K., & Broughman, S. P. (2001). Homeschooling in the United States:
1999. (NCES 2001-2003). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National
Center for Education Statistics.
Brabant, C., Bourdon, S., & Jutras, F. (2003). Home Education in Quebec: Family First.
Evaluation and Research in Education, 17, 112-131
Collom, E. (2005). The Ins and Outs of Homeschooling. The Determinants of Parental Motivations
and Student Achievement. Education and Urban Society, 37, 307-335
Hetzel, J. , Long, M. , & Jackson, M. (2001). Factors That Influence Parents to Homeschool
in Southern California. Home School Researcher, 14, 1-11
Kluge, S. (2000). Empirically Grounded Construction of Types and Typologies in Qualitative
Social Research. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1(1), Art. 14, Retrieved
Knowles, J. G. (1991). Parents’ Rationales for Operating Home Schools. Journal of Contemporary
Ethnography, 20, 203-230
Lois, J. (2009). emotionally layered accounts: homeschooler’ justifications for maternal deviance.
Deviant Behavior, 30, 201-234
Mayberry, M. (1988). Characteristics and Attitudes of Families who home school. Education
and Urban Society, 21, 32-41
Mayberry, M. (1989). Home-based Education in the United States: demographics, motivations
and educational implications. Educational Review, 41, 171-180
Mayberry, M., & Knowles, J. G. (1989). Family unity Objectives of Parents Who Teach
Their Children: Ideological and Pedagogical Orientations to Home Schooling. The
Urban Review, 21, 209-225
Mills, C. W. (1940). Situated Actions and Vocabularies of Motive. American Sociological Review,
V: 904-913
Nemer, K. M. (2002). Understudied Education: Towards Building a Homeschooling Research
Agenda. Occasional Paper No. 48. National Center for the Study of Privatization
in Education. Retrieved from files/114_OP48.pdf>
Princiotta, D., & Bielick, S. (2006). Homeschooling in the United States: 2003, (NCES 2006-
042) U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics,
Washington, DC: 2005.
Rothermel, P. (2003). Can We Classify Motives for Home Education? Evaluation and Research
in Education 17, 74-89.
Schuman, H., & Presser, S. (1996). Questions and Answers in Attitude Surveys. London:
Schutz, A. (1951). Choosing Among Projects of Action. Philosophy of Phenomenological Research,
12, 161-184
Spiegler, T. (2008). Home Education in Deutschland. Hintergründe – Praxis – Entwicklung.
VS Verlag: Wiesbaden.
Spiegler, T. (2009). Why State Sanctions Fail to Deter Home Education: An analysis of
home education in Germany and its implications for home education policies,
Theory and Research in Education, 7, 297-309
Stevens, M. L. (2001). Kingdom of Children: Culture and Controversy in the Home Education
Movement. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Thomas, A. (1998). Educating Children at Home. London: Continuum
Van Galen, J. (1988). Ideology, Curriculum, and Pedagogy in Home Education. Education
and Urban Society, 21, 52-86
Weber, M. (1985). Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Wissenschaftslehre. Edited by J. Winckelmann.
Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr (1. Ed. 1922)