Homeschooling advocates generally make two overarching claims about the benefits of homeschooling: that the practice is more effective and more efficient than public education. This chapter explores those claims of effectiveness through a critical lens and offers a more nuanced analysis of the connection between homeschooling and academic outcomes.
Homeschooling advocates generally make two overarching claims about the benefits of homeschooling: that the practice is more effective and more efficient than public education. This chapter explores those claims of efficiency through a critical lens and offers a more nuanced analysis of the real costs associated with homeschooling and the financial privilege it requires to homeschool. Detailed analysis of the true costs show that homeschooling is far more expensive than public education.
Homeschooling, the oldest form of teaching children, has steadily grown as a chosen option of schooling across the United States and the world over the past few decades. Families choose to homeschool their children for myriad reasons, chiefly religious or political reasons, and often make sweeping claims about the efficacy and efficiency of homeschooling. This raises significant questions about such claims but also about the historical, contemporary, and future practice of homeschooling itself. In this introduction chapter, the broad practice of homeschooling is explored along with the demographics of those who homeschool, rationales for homeschooling, and how homeschooling fits into the larger movement of school choice. The phenomenon of schooling-at-home during the COVID-19 pandemic is also explored and discussed.
This culminating chapter provides an overview of the myriad of alternative rationales for homeschooling beyond those specific to religion, politics, and claims of benefits. Further, this chapter summarizes the general landscape and practice of homeschooling – including a discussion of the impact of COVID-19 – and concludes with a call for a recommitment to public schooling.
Continuing from the Introduction, this chapter explores in greater detail the homeschooling landscape including the rationales that families use to justify the practice. Chiefly among them is a “concern about the environment of schools” and a “desire to provide religious instruction.” Much of the justification for homeschooling rests in a comparison to public schools that are characterized by the homeschooling community as deficient, dangerous, and a threat to the family’s religious and political dispositions. Discussion of the history of teacher preparation is taken up along with an exploration of the question of who is (or should be) capable of teaching children.
While not as overtly prominent as the religious rationale for homeschooling, many families choose to homeschool for what could be understood as political reasons – which can often overlap with religious doctrines. Much of the political rationale for homeschooling rests on a political disposition of individualism verses the collective and that is discussed at length here. Discussion of the connection between neoliberal ideologies rooted in Friedmanism and the practice of homeschooling as an individualistic act is explored along with conceptions of meritocracy.
One of the primary rationales for homeschooling is for religious purposes. The religious doctrine of “quiverfull” is explored as it relates to family dynamics and political agendas that seek to promote and religious nationalism. Much of the religious justification for homeschooling and the quest to charge homeschooling families with political obligations centers around a persistent culture war in the United States surrounding the clash of religion and science.
This article explores whether digital communication technologies have applicability in reducing social isolation and loneliness among older adults. Issues of social isolation and loneliness among older adults are important as they are identified risk factors for mortality, disability, cognitive ability, depression and poor wellbeing. This problem is more urgent due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has required older adults to physically and socially distance from family, friends, neighbours, communities and health services. In the context of the present Covid-19 pandemic, this article is of interest to educators, social workers, community service providers, health service practitioners, gerontological scholars involved in preparing older adult communities for present and future traumatic events resulting in socially isolating experiences. The literature identified that use of technology to promote social connection and enhance wellbeing for older adults can be an effective intervention, but more information is needed as to what aspects of such interventions make them effective. This research advocates for improvement in wellbeing and social connectedness of older adults through consideration of interventions through a model for flourishing and wellbeing. The research contributes to our growing understanding of how to change the way we think, feel and act towards older adults, ageing and flourishing.
covid-19 has changed the way we sing in choirs and has seen the extraordinary uptake of Zoom as a video chat platform across society. This is a reflective tale of four choirs members and their insights into how they improvised with traditional choir singing in a Zoom space. It consideres how zoom pedagogies allowed them to bridge social isolation during the pandemic. It includes the voices of the conductor; music teacher/technician; the voice of a media savvy artist choir member and finally the voice of a singing visual educator. The article embeds Deleuzoguattarian thinking. It draws on the concepts of the machinic assemblage and becoming as choir participants who embraced Zoom to facilitate song. Singing in a zoom virtual choir brings forth a burgeoning new relational way of being. To find ways to sing and imagine life and self without physical, temporal and spatial borders.
covid-19 is an omnipresent feature of 2020, both globally and within Australia. For university students, a consequence of this has been the shift from on-campus to online delivery. Exploring these visual realities for lecturers and students, this article engages in Bakhtinian dialogism; a dialogic interaction that is born between peoples searching for meaning (). To do so, the authors engaged with and responded to students’ survey data whom they lecture and coordinate. Although the survey had limited responses, it enabled the authors to dialogue about received knowledge (istina) from students and contemplate this in relation to the authors’ own perspectives and experiences (pravda). Through this engagement, they suggest the importance of visually imbued emotive connectivity and dialogic relational care within web-conferencing, as well as didactic lecturing as valid forms of visual engagement.