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Problematising home education: challenging ‘parental rights’ and 'socialisation'

By Daniel Monk


In the UK, Home Education, or home-schooling, is an issue that has attracted very little public, governmental or academic attention. Yet the number of children home educated is steadily increasing and has been referred to as a 'quiet revolution'. This article neither celebrates nor denigrates home educators, its aim, rather, is to identify and critically examine the two dominant discourses that define the way in which the issue is currently understood. First, the legal discourse of parental rights, which forms the basis of the legal framework, and secondly a psychoanalytical/common-sense 'socialisation' discourse within which school attendance is perceived as necessary for healthy child development. Drawing on historical, doctrinal human rights and psychoanalytical sources and post-structural and feminist perspectives, this article suggests that both discourses function as alternative methods of governance and that the conflicting ‘rights claims’ of parents and children obscure public interests and fundamental questions about the purpose of education

Topics: law
Publisher: Wiley
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.bbk.ac.uk.oai2:312

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