PhD research on Home Education

nelson

New member
Hi all,

I am undertaking research into elective home education (EHE) for my PhD at the School of Education, University of Birmingham. I am funded as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) 1+3 scholarship, and have just finished the Masters component of this programme.

I am relatively new to the field and I do not have any particular ideological convictions either for or against home education.


I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and would be delighted if you would be interested in helping me with my research project.

I am interested in investigating childrens' and young adults experiences of EHE and thier aspirations for the future, as this is an area that has essentially been overlooked in academic research in the UK. I aim to rectify this and would value any advice or support in making this possible. Any opportunities to engage with families would be welcomed greatly.

I would also be grateful to hear about any ideas and suggestions you may have.

If you have any questions or comments about my research, please do get in touch with me.

Email: JXN747@bham.ac.uk



Thank you



All the Best



Jeanette
 

nelson

New member
Hi Diane,

At this stage I would like to focus primarily on young peoples' views of EHE and their future intentions (i.e. 14-16 years) as this is an area which is lacking in UK research, as opposed to US research. I think young people have much to contribute to the debates around EHE. Although having said that I know it is a difficult group to access, so would value any advice you might have.

The methods I intend to use would include a questionnaire survey to gain as many views as possible. Then interviews with young people who decide they want to participate after completing the questionnaire. There might also be a longitundinal element to the research as well - as it is over a period of three years, although this is undecided.

So if anyone has any advice about what I can do in terms of accessing youth EHE organisations or are aware of anyone who would like to participate I would really appreciate it.

Thank you,

Jeanette Nelson

http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/jeanette-nelson/22/417/478
 

nelson

New member
Hi Diane,

At this stage I would like to focus primarily on young peoples' views of EHE and their future intentions (i.e. 14-16 years) as this is an area which is lacking in UK research, as opposed to US research. I think young people have much to contribute to the debates around EHE. Although having said that I know it is a difficult group to access, so would value any advice you might have.

The methods I intend to use would include a questionnaire survey to gain as many views as possible. Then interviews with young people who decide they want to participate after completing the questionnaire. There might also be a longitudinal element to the research as well - as it is over a period of three years, although this is undecided.

So if anyone has any advice about what I can do in terms of accessing youth EHE organisations or are aware of anyone who would like to participate I would really appreciate it.

Thank you,

Jeanette
 

HomeEdMum

Well-known member
Hi,

I have some teens, but we wonder; what drew your attention to elective home education? I wonder what interest the economic and social research folk have in us?
 

Diane

HEdups
Good questions, HomeEdMum.

My particular aim was to free my children from the abuse meted out by the state schooling system. Jeanette, I'm afraid that, if you haven't read - at the very least - John Taylor Gatto's 'Weapons of Mass Instruction', I can't really be answering personal questions.

Like a lot of minority groups, home educators are sick of being researched and finding that nothing fundamental changes (in a good way).

Diane
 

nelson

New member
Hi,

I'm coming at this research from a point of interest, as I have studied Education for 5 years now. The ESRC also funded Dr Paula Rothermel who is a key academic researcher in home education. They have no sway over what I do.
I haven't read that specific book Diane, but thanks for mentioning it, I will read it.
I appreciate that not everyone will be interested in my research or want to be involved and that is fine. However, if you are then please feel free to email. If you have any more questions then I will be happy to answer them.

Jeanette
 
I'd be interested in the nature of your questions, because they would reveal much about your bias on the subject. I've seen questionnaires from other researchers and the questions just scream that the researcher is treating home education as an extension of school and its methods, usually due to ignorance. If you can find a receptive local home education group, you could talk to them to find out about the wide range of different approaches in use. It may introduce a different bias, but you could try writing up some questions first and then reviewing them in the light of what you learn from the talks.

Please take this as constructive comment - if you want to concentrate more on the field of home education, it may save you looking back in a few years once you've seen how it works and wincing at your early attempts. Too many questions I look at and say I can't answer them because they have no relevance to our educational approach. Even local authorities get this wrong - mine had a very 'school-at-home' form they'd ask parents to complete, but to their credit, the current one (revised last year) makes a lot less assumptions.
 
Hello Jeanette

Don't be entirely put off by the fact that home educators are extremely wary of people wishing to conduct research. There has been a great deal of 'stuff' flying about this past year or two, most of it negative and much of it invidious.

I would suggest that perhaps you should put up some firm outlines of your aims and purpose, for whom the end-product of your work is intended, etc,. Dr Rothermel's work is regarded very favourably by a lot of us but it is beginning to be quite dated, so maybe there is an avenue there.

Best wishes!
 
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