Chelle Oldham


The last 20 years has seen a global increase in studies investigating various aspects of Home Education (HE) and the physical location of learning in relation to schooling; the physical location of learning outside of schooling remains under researched. This paper provides a review of some, but not all, of the existing literature, leading us to see where there are potentially gaps in the research as well as gaps in the opportunities for creative methodologies. The review starts with Home Education within the context of Scottish/UK education history and policy. It should be noted that at present there are very few differences between Scottish Home Education Policy and that from Westminster. Then we move to the exploration into Education Capital and how Bourdieu’s theories and ideas may or may not apply in the Home Education context. Firstly, this review finds that there is a very limited body of research that is specifically concerned with the voice of the home-educated children, who experience and live learning, in alternative provision; secondly this review notes the limited number of studies concerned with just what education means, to home educating families, or the value they place upon education in spaces outside of schools. It cannot be assumed that because a family have chosen to home educate, that the decision was entirely ideological. Very briefly, due to the recent lockdown of March 2020 onwards, a small amount of research is included following Covid-19 and the nationwide Home Education of most of the children in the UK. Strikingly, and despite how new this research is, the value of education within the home is still missing from core topics as is for the most part, the coproduction of data with the children’s voices at the heart of Home Education research.

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