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The Home Education Experience: what can it teach us?

Bowers, P; (2018) The Home Education Experience: what can it teach us? Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Despite rising in popularity, home education remains a controversial practice in the UK. Currently, Local Authority Educational Psychologist (EP) involvement with home education is limited to Statutory Assessment procedures, and many EPs have little experience with or understanding of home education. Yet EPs are a service for all children, particularly those who are experiencing non-traditional educational paths as home educated children are. With the additional emphasis placed on the voice of the child and the voice of the parents within the Children and Families Act (2014) and associated Code of Practice (2014), it is even more important that EPs and other professionals seek a greater understanding of the context of home education, both for Statutory work and for possible greater involvement in home education in the future. This study aims to provide a meaningful exploration of the experience of home-educating children and parents through qualitative analysis of interviews with home educated young adults, as well as parents who are or were home-educating their children, with a view to informing the practice of Educational Psychologists. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with participants, and analysed through Thematic Analysis. Several themes were identified, including core themes of authenticity and freedom, and the research offered a constructive perspective of the social development of home educated children. This is particularly important as concerns about social development are often central to the negative view of home education held by many people unfamiliar with home education. These themes were explored in terms of how Educational Psychologists could use them to understand the home education ecosystem in a more meaningful way, as well as using lessons from home education to provide deeper insight into school-based education.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The Home Education Experience: what can it teach us?
Event: UCL IoE
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Home education, social development, thematic analysis
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1572345
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