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Curriculum and Instruction News

The Guardian utilizes expertise of UW-Madison’s Apple to examine rise of home-schooling

November 07, 2018

UW-Madison’s Michael Apple is quoted in a recent news report from The Guardian headlined, “ ‘School is very oppressive’: why home-schooling is on the rise.”

The deck headline explains: “Exams, rules, timetables: do teachers know what’s best for children? Increasing numbers of British parents don’t think so.”

The Guardian reports: “The home-schooling movement emerged in the 1970s, when it was considered a fringe pursuit. Today, it is probably the fastest-growing form of education in the UK. The number of home-schooled children has risen by about 40% over three years, according to recent research by the BBC. Around 48,000 children were being home-educated across the UK in 2016-2017, up from about 34,000 in 2014-15. But the real number is likely to be higher. Data is not collected centrally, and while local authorities keep a register of home-educated children, this only covers children who have been withdrawn from school. Children who are never put into school are currently not required to register.”

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The report adds: “Many parents who opt to home-school their children say they are avoiding bullying, exam pressure and stress. Others have concerns about special educational needs, not getting a place at the school of their choice, or the school environment.”

Apple, who is the John Bascom Professor Emeritus of Curriculum and Instruction, and Educational Policy Studies, is utilized by The Guardian in an effort to help put some of this topic in perspective.

Reports The Guardian: “Critics argue that the cocooning’ desire of some home-schooling parents is fueled by a romanticized vision of the past. ‘It is not just about seeking an escape from the problems of the “city” (a metaphor for danger and heterogeneity), it is a rejection of the entire idea of a city. Cultural and intellectual diversity, complexity, ambiguity, uncertainty and proximity to “the Other,’ writes educational theorist Michael Apple in ‘Away With All Teachers: The Cultural Politics Of Home Schooling.’ He likens home-schooling to a ‘gated community,’ mirroring the filter bubbles that have been created by the internet.”

“Even with evident shortcomings,” Apple says, schools “provide a kind of ‘social glue,’ a common cultural reference point in our polyglot, increasingly multicultural society.”

But make sure and check out the entire in-depth report for free on this The Guardian web page.

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