Home education: then and now

Richard Davies

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Elective Home Education is a legal, minority approach to the compulsory education of children. I review the potential contribution of the historical analysis of ‘domestic pedagogies’, presented in this Special Issue, for home education practice in the UK. By drawing on narratives of a period at the cusp of the perceived normalcy of ‘schooling’, I consider an alternative discourse to articulate the purpose of, and approaches to, education. In particular, I focus on the family not only as the site for educational practices, but also as critical for our understanding of what constitutes a ‘suitable education’. Along the way, I show how distinctions, common in home education practice, illuminate the historical debates on ‘domestic education’. I conclude by suggesting we cannot disassociate discussions of a suitable home education from the family within which such an education occurs
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-548
JournalOxford Review of Education
Issue number4
Early online date01 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • home education
  • homeschooling
  • family
  • MacIntyre
  • educational aims
  • padagogy


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