Whilst googling around, I came across this paper, and couldn’t resist tearing it to shreds:
UNIVERSITY OF OSLO, INSTITUTE OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH. Article from the research project: “Home education in Norway”.
HOME EDUCATION AND SOCIAL INTEGRATION
Dr. Christian W. Beck
A. Professor of Education
Institute of Educational Research
University of Oslo, Norway
If school attendance is important to social integration, then out of school practice like home education (HE) could represent a threat to social integration. The findings of a Norwegian research project that surveyed socialization among Norwegian HE- students from different regions are presented and discussed in terms of socialization theory and a theory of cultural order. Among the conclusions: Pragmatic motivated HE-students are often well social integrated. Religious motivated HE- students with value distance to society, is not necessarily social isolated HE-students. With more openness and more communication HE-students could better meet criteria to social integration.
School attendance is not important to social integration, this is simply not the case. For generations and right to this very day societies are tightly integrated without mandatory school attendance. Out of school education is a threat to brainwashing of the type that produces people who create articles like this. In this very first part of the article, the author says that HE students are often well social integrated (sic) but then says that with more openness and more communication HE students could better meet ‘criteria to social integration’. If HE students are already ‘well social integrated’ then what more is there to say? The socialization argument is MOOT. Of course, anyone that has done a real study of HE and is willing to report about it without a biased agenda, knows that lack of socialization is a myth propagated by people who are hostile to Home Education.
Socialization is the process whereby the helpless infant gradually becomes a self aware, knowledgeable person (Giddens 2006). Education can be seen as methodical socialization of the young generation (Durkheim 1956). Education must assure, among the citizens a sufficient community of ideas and sentiments, without which any society is impossible (Ibid). Sufficient community is for Durkheim solidarity and the meaning of social integration. Social integration includes systems of integration, but also reciprocity of practices and communication between either actors or collectives (Giddens 1988).
I do not agree with any of this.
The process of a helpless infant becoming self aware happens well before school age, and is done by the nurturing provided by the parents. It has nothing to do with formal education. Children are not born as the property of a state, and therefore, the education they recieve does not have to convey a ‘community of ideas and sentiments’ if the parents do not wish to teach their children whatever that is. Solidarity with a society, obedience to it and integration with it is something only an adult can decide to choose to do; in fact, children must be protected from the predations of the state and its aparatchicks. People are not born as property of a collective. This is absolutely fundamental to human life and freedom.
Home education is increasing in Norway and other modern countries (Beck 2006).
Why is it increasing? It is increasing precisely as a result of the destruction of every decent value that people hold, at the behest of monsters who are trying to engineer a new world. Any decent person runs away from these predatory social engineers if they have the chance, and Home Education is a very effective way to do it, without any cost other than financial, and a plethora of benefits.
If school attendance is considered important to social integration, non-attendance due to home education can be viewed as a threat to integration.
Home Education is a threat; it is a threat to the robotic, socialized, collectivist, immoral nightmare world that a small group of social engineers are trying to create. It is a threat because it creates people who, while law abiding, will not go along with the non legislated agenda that the state relies upon to maintain order.
Home education challenge how strong parental rights and other fundamental human rights should apply in democratic societies before they counteract the idea of public education and social integration. Too restrictive practice of such human rights could on the other hand counteract reciprocity between home educators and society and the increase the possibility of segregation of home educators.
Home education is not a challenge to anything, except the absolute power of the state, and the social engineers who want to eliminate the family as the centre of human life. The fundamental human rights that all men have when they are born exist and will continue to exist no matter what these inhuman beasts try to foist upon everyone. The ultimate question is wether or not these people will assert themselves en masse or not. Certainly in the USA it is too late to outlaw Home Education. THere are literally millions of people doing it, and they are an army. In europe however, where the people are more cowed, inured to ‘democracy’ and being slaves, it is proving to be easier to steamroller the already partially flattened population.
The social integration of home-educated students has become controversial, following a recent ruling of the European Human Rights Court (2006) in a case concerning home education in Germany.
That ruling was completely wrong, in the same way that courts which ruled in favor of miscegenation were wrong. The people who uphold those Nazi era laws should all be ashamed of themselves.
The ruling expresses concern about the development of parallel communities comprising distinct ethnic groups and immigrants in European countries.
This is a completely bogus pretext. First of all, ethnic Germans are the ones who are Home Educating. Second, distinct parallel communities can be kept distinct and segregated by the members of the group forming their own religious schools and then attending them. This ruling is aimed not at the Turks, but at the Christian Germans.
To avoid such social fragmentation, the Human Rights Court put the child’s right to an education above parental rights. The state must guarantee the rights of children to an education which — according to the ruling — must also guarantee the child’s right to social integration through participation in the school community.
This is total nonsense. First of all children do not have rights in the same way that adults do; they are a special form of property that is the responsibility of parents (the people who made the children). Since children are human beings, they are born with all the rights of a human being, but some of these rights only become active when the parents decide that the child has reached her ‘majority’ where she is able to then make decisions for herself without having to refer to her parents.
Education is a good not a right. Children have the right to life, but it is up to the parent what form and pace of education their children should have. It is not the proper role of government to compel people to be educated, or to create rights out of thin air which they use as a pretext to engineer social control. That is exactly what the UN and this illegitimate court decision are doing; engineering social control.
The ruling also asserts that parents’ religious influence over their children must occur in such a manner that the children understand the consequences of their religious training.
It is not the place of the state or of any court to specify how religious practice should occur. This is one of the most fundamental features of a free society; that people can practice their religion free from interference.
The ruling represents a shift from previous rulings in similar cases, in that the status of parental rights has been diminished. The conflict has become more pronounced in democratic societies between the need to integrate immigrants into the main society and the need to preserve the rights of individuals in the context of human rights.
This ruling, once again, is bogus. No court can diminish your rights, any more than they can change the nature of a hydrogen atom. Immigration problems and the need to integrate them into society is not a problem of the ethnic Germans; if immigrants will not integrate, then some other form of plan must be hatched to make them conform. As I said above, if these immigrants (Muslims) are allowed to form their own schools and then attend them, then any idea that school has something to do with social integration should be thrown out of the window and HE families left in peace.
The aim of this article is to give further knowledge about home education pupils and their socialization and integration in to society. The article is structured as follows:
1. A brief introduction to the international status of home education.
2. Analysis of motives for home education as a possible cause for poor social integration of home educated pupils.
3. Socialization theory and international research on socialization of home educated pupils.
4. Presentation of a survey of home educated pupils in Norway and a regional analysis of results concerning such pupils` socialization and social integration.
5. A further discussion based on Mary Douglas theory about cultural codes and cultural purity.
6. Concluding remarks.
2. The international status of home education
Legal, social and educational frameworks that encourage home education vary among countries and within them. In Sweden and Estonia, for example, home education is treated as an exemption from compulsory schooling. In most US states, in the UK, Australia, and other English-speaking countries, and in the Nordic countries other than Sweden, home education is a way of providing compulsory basic education on a par with school attendance. Other countries take some position mid-way between the two (Beck 2006, Glenn 2006, Leis 2005). Although home education is prohibited in Germany, some 500 families in Germany practice home education (Spiegler 2004b).
The prohibition of home education in Germany stems from a Nazi era statute, the specific aim at the time the law was passed, was that Hitler wanted a cohesive society. It is very important to state the true origin of the Home Education ban in Germany, so that those who support it must also explain why they are in favor of a law written by Nazis.
Students educated at home in effective learning environments appear to achieve the same scores as school attendees on tests of their knowledge (Baumann 2002, Welner and Welner 1999), although there are large groups of home-educated students over whom public authorities have limited oversight and control (Opplinger and Willard 2004).
This is not the case. Home Educated children routinely outperform school educated children. This is one of the reasons why parents choose to Home Educate; not only do their children outperform their peers, but they also have a better family life and all of the other benefits of Home Education.
Registered home-educated students, however, appear to be well socialized into society (Medin 2000), although there is concern in several countries regarding isolated home-educating families and their children. An estimated 40 percent of home-educators in Quebec, Canada, are not registered (Brabant, Bourdon, and Jutras 2004).
This is absurd. Home Educated students are not separate from society and school is not the only place that people learn how to get along with each other, form friendships and do all of those other important things. The basic premiss of this report is flawed; that school is the key place where people are ‘socialized’ it is simply not the case, and anyone doing real research into this subject would find that out within ten minutes of hitting the Google.
Wether Home Educators are registered or not also has nothing whatsoever to do with being ‘well socialized’, whatever that means.
3. Motives for home education
There are various categories of home educators; the categories are based on the family’s primary reasons for choosing home-based education. Differences in assessed social integration that may result from the varying motivations have been the subject of research. Two early attempts at categorizing home educators are found in Mayberry (1988) and Van Galen (1988). Mayberry describes four motivational categories: religious, academic, social (students are better off, in terms of social factors, at home than at school), and New Age (alternative lifestyle). Van Galen distinguishes between ideological and pedagogic home educators. Ideological home educators emphasize family values and conservative values, and are motivated by disagreement with schools as to values; they are often loosely referred to as religious fundamentalists. Pedagogic home educators consider breaking with institutional schooling key, along with pursuing more desirable pedagogic approaches.
The intensity of the home educator’s motivation can be a reflection of his or her sense of conflict with society-at-large.
This is almost meaningless. When a parent decides to Home Educate, there is no ‘intensity’ after the choice is made; you simply start to do it. It is neither intense or sedated; it is what it is, depending on the people who are doing it. That a parent choses to Home Educate in the first place shows only that they are motivated parents demonstrating a proper and admiral level of care for their children. Home Educators should be held up as model parents in this age of feral children who murder children and all the other gradations of crime beneath that. In britain the state is considering fining parents who are not looking after their children properly. Instead of putting resources into those people, they instead, with the sophisticated and loquacious justifications of academics and lying ‘experts’, are trying to eliminate good parenting in the form of Home Educators. How STUPID.
For some, home education is an act of conscience in a secularized society and secularized schools. The US sociologist Mitchell Stevens (2001) distinguishes between heaven-based and earth-based drives for homeschooling. The heaven-based category expresses motivations that are mainly matters of principle, religion, and life view, and adherence to ideological pedagogic approaches. According to Stevens, earth-based home educators are acting on situation-specific, pragmatic, and other specifically pedagogic issues. Thomas Spiegler (2004a) has concluded that the growth in home education in Germany is most pronounced among families acting on so-called heaven-based motivation. Because of their religion or life view, they tend to find themselves in conflict with schools more frequently than so-called earth-based home educators. Thus, they stand to gain more than earth-based home educators by withdrawing their children from school and home-educating them. Nevertheless, earth-based reasons for homeschooling are also cited by the heaven-based category.
There is an ass for every seat. Quelle surprise.
Social costs are associated with home education. Home educators may find themselves in conflict with their local communities, schools, and school authorities. Heaven-based home educators are better able to minimize such social costs than earth-based home educators, due to their faith and their fellowship with others who share their faith. Home education based on religion and life view may tend to make home educators more prone to stronger bonds within their particular subcultures.
The rich Home Educators also never have any conflict with anyone. Schools and school authorities do not go up against anyone with money and therefore full access to the law.
In the United States, some 40 percent of home educators cite religious or moral convictions as their key motivating factors, although more than 90 percent of them also cite pedagogic reasons for homeschooling (Bauman 2002:9-10). In Canada, motivations are largely pedagogic or related to other home- and family-centric values; a mere 14 percent of Canadian home educators cite religious reasons as key (Brabant, et al. 2003:117-119). In another Canadian survey, 72 percent of respondents stated that they home educate for pedagogic reasons (Priesnitz 2002: 5). In the UK, the majority of home educators cite pedagogic reasons as primary. Educational freedom and flexibility, as well as providing individualized education, are cited by about two-thirds of UK home educators. Only 4 to 5 percent of UK home educators report that they are homeschooling for religious reasons (Rothermel 2003: 79).
And it is the pedagogic rationale that is the most threatening to the established order. Home Educated people numbering in the millions will change society if they are not stamped out now. As this report says, Home Education is growing in Norway. If the Norwegian state wants to keep its insane speeding regulations (for example) then they need to stop Home Educators right now, otherwise, the very nature of their society will change forever.
4. Home education, socialization and social integration
Some educators question whether home education does more than remove children from school, and actually isolates them from society-at-large.
Yes indeed. These are the education professionals whose livelihoods and position in society are directly challenged by Home Education. Every time a statistic comes out showing that Home Educated children outperform state schooled children, it is a stinging humiliation for them; here are a group of children who are learning without teachers and who are performing better than their institutionalized children. Home Education is a threat to them, not only because it makes people question wether or not teachers are needed, but it also puts pressure on them to greatly improve their performance. To sum up, teachers do not like Home Education. Period. When they chime in on this subject, their words must be taken with a pinch of salt, since they have a vested interest in destroying all forms of education that do not involve them.
Similarly, many have expressed doubts as to whether home educated children are sufficiently socialized. Apple (2000) believes home educators in the United States isolate themselves into separate clans, which undermines both school and society.
First of all, Home Educated children are socialized to a greater degree than school educated children. Secondly people do not exist to serve schools or society, so to say that Home Educators undermine schools is absurd; children are not the property of the state. They are not on this earth to bolster a school or unwillingly serve any man.
Michael Apple views homeschoolers as playing an important role in populist, neo-liberal, and neoconservative movements that have gained a great deal of influence in the present-day United States. Apple perceives homeschooling families as viewing themselves as stateless due to the secular humanism that now characterize public schools. Also, they find themselves in a deep value conflict with public school’s ideology (Apple 2000). The great socio-cultural distance between secularized and post-modern values in schools and conservative Religious values anchored in the family, can engender more conflict than might seem necessary. A dispute in Norway concerning dancing in schools ended up in the supreme court — the country’s highest court — as a home education case (Straume 2004).
Necessary TO WHOM? And none of this has anything to do with the core of this subject: who owns children? The groups mentioned above all have one thing in common; they all believe that the state does not own the citizen. In Germany, Sweden and other retrograde countries, the people believe to some extent that they really are the property of the state. That is their affair; what they cannot do is simultaneously claim that they are free people.
Social integration include both a cultural, life-view-oriented aspect and an instrumental social interest aspect (Hoëm 1978). Hoëm distinguishes between specific and general parts of the socialization process, which may be home and school, respectively. Successful integration relies on a sufficient commonality of values and interest between specific and general social elements.
Culture is an emergent property that is constituted from the collected interactions of families that all live in a geographic area. Examples of this are Morris Dancing and Swiss Coin Music. When the practitioners of these acts of culture cease to exist, the culture dies with them. Morris dancing is not superior to or a substitute for Swiss Coin Music. There should be no state ordained culture that everyone should be forced to participate in – the sort of people who believe that there should be are Nazis. It has to be pointed out that Home Educators are more likely to be eager participants in Morris Dancing than children who go to school.
Obviously, home educators and schools have, to a greater or lesser extent, a conflict of interest.
Actually, they do not. Schools are interested in educating children, and Home Educators are also interested in the same thing. The conflict that exists between these two groups is over who owns the children and who has the right to ultimately direct the development of children. The schools are trying to usurp the role of parent. They are against nature, against the family and are most certainly in the wrong. That parents all over the west are waking up and fleeing them seems not to faze them in the slightest. No matter what they produce (hoards of foul, feral illiterate children) it seems that some schools are hell bent on getting every child into their maws. Knowing that they are not capable of outperforming Home Education but persisting in having EVERY child no matter what is a testament to their corrupted nature. And we must remember that the schools we take for granted today are a very recent phenomenon in human history. Schooling is by no means ‘normal’ for human beings, and it is quite easy to imagine a time when schools as we know them today cease to exist entirely.
However, that does not necessarily mean that their interests or values conflict with those of society-at-large. Self-sufficiency, a focus on home life and equality are key Norwegian values (Gullestad 1985). These very values constitute the values of home educators (Beck 2006). Different groups of home educators have varying degrees of value and interest commonality/conflict with school, their local/regional community, the national community, and global society, regarding overarching social elements. Here, it is probably best to focus on conflicts with society-at-large, and to a lesser extent conflicts with schools.
There is no such thing as society:
But apart from these difficulties in the Georgist position, the natural-rights justification for the ownership of ground land is the same as the justification for the original ownership of all other property. For, as we have seen, no producer really “creates” matter; he takes nature-given matter and transforms it by his labor energy in accordance with his ideas and vision. But this is precisely what the pioneer — the “homesteader” — does when he brings previously unused land into his own private ownership. Just as the man who makes steel out of iron ore transforms that ore out of his know-how and with his energy, and just as the man who takes the iron out of the ground does the same, so does the homesteader who clears, fences, cultivates, or builds upon the land. The homesteader, too, has transformed the character of the nature-given soil by his labor and his personality. The homesteader is just as legitimately the owner of the property as the sculptor or the manufacturer; he is just as much a “producer” as the others.
Furthermore, if the original land is nature- or God-given then so are the people’s talents, health, and beauty. And just as all these attributes are given to specific individuals and not to “society,” so then are land and natural resources. All of these resources are given to individuals [p. 35] and not to “society,” which is an abstraction that does not actually exist. There is no existing entity called “society”; there are only interacting individuals. To say that “society” should own land or any other property in common, then, must mean that a group of oligarchs — in practice, government bureaucrats — should own the property, and at the expense of expropriating the creator or the homesteader who had originally brought this product into existence.
Human beings are not the property of the state, or of any ‘society’. This is the central problem with the propositions in this article and all articles that are against Home Education. Men and women get married (or not) have sex, and produce children. While the fetus is in the mother’s womb, it is the property of the mother alone. When the child is born, it is the property of both the parents, but the child is a special form of property that is different to all other forms of property in that it is a human being born with rights. None of what I have just written has anything to do with the state or ‘society”.
Home Educators like the ones in these two videos come to this realization not through political indoctrination, but through the irrational knee jerk reactions of school educated (brainwashed) people, who ask them every manner of absurd question, and not only that, but different people keep asking the same absurd questions, verbatim. When you are confronted with this phenomenon of different people all thinking exactly alike and irrationally, you cannot help but come to the conclusion that there is something fundamentally wrong with school education, you immediately sense that since you are successful, happy and centered, that it is possible to be like that without being brainwashed. It becomes clear to you that the sky will not fall if people do not go to school, and more than that; people would be better off if they did not. There would be more people who could think for themselves and the country would be a much better place for it.
A meta survey on how home educated students develop socially and emotionally has been conducted (Blok 2004). Blok asks whether they learn interaction with other children and adults, if they develop character traits such as endurance and self confidence. He reviews eight studies, most of them qualitative, with a participation of between 20 and 224 students. The conclusion drawn is that home-educated students appear to be as well adapted as school students — or better. Blok concludes his review by pointing out that it is incorrect to claim that home-educated students grow up in isolation from other children and youngsters.
All true. And this means that any fears about Home Education isolating people should be permanently put aside. It is clear that they are performing academically, are socially integrated, and are not causing harm to anyone. What the state is doing however, is causing a massive amount of harm to people in its insane and relentless quest to make everyone uniform. It is not only immoral, but there is no scientific reason to do it, if that were to be the basis of such an immoral plan.
Medin (2000) characterizes research on socialization of home-educated students as a young research discipline without a developed theory and with poorly developed research design and measurement methods, poorly defined research questions and is often studies featuring self-selection of a small number of interview subjects. Nevertheless, Medin draws the following conclusions from the available research:
1. Home-educated students participate in the daily life of the families and networks they are part of.
2. They are not isolated; rather they associate with and feel close to all sorts of people.
3. Parents encourage home-educated students to maintain social contacts beyond the family.
4. They have solid self-esteem.
5. They appear to function well as members of the adult community.
So despite hostility to the methods, research design, research questions and measurement methods, Medin still finds that Home Educated children are performing and functioning properly. So, what is the problem? The problem is that Sweden and Germany do not want citizens with solid self-esteem and all the other things that Home Education brings. They want a population of brainwashed drones who will repeat by rote and obey everything that is poured into their ears in a classroom.
A preliminary conclusion must be that organized and registered home education does not pose particular problems as to students’ socialization.
Registration has no effect on any aspect of the effectiveness of Home Education. The author simply cannot stand the idea that there are people who are prospering outside the aegis of the state. Get over it. No one needs the government to tell them how to educate their children; it is not the proper role of government to register families in this way, and anyone who calls for it is a promoter of totalitarianism.
5. The Norwegian home education survey – a regional analysis
A Norwegian survey based on a questionnaire answered by parents for 128 home educated pupils (90 % of all asked), from all regions of Norway, about 36 % of the Norwegian home educated pupils population estimated to 365 (2002). The difference 237 (365 – 128: 64 %) could be a tentative but clearly overestimated guess of numbers of unregistered home educated pupils in Norway. The analysis identified four main groups of home educators (Beck 2006):
1. Structured home educators. These are frequently religious well educated middle-class parents who are role- and position-oriented and well educated (Bernstein 1977), and who provide traditional, curriculum focused education in the home.
2. Unschooling. Well educated, often with radical political and cultural viewpoints, middle class, anti-establishment, person- and identity-oriented (ibid), who provide child-centered home education with a low degree of structure and planned curricula.
3. Pragmatic home educators. Typically rural, working-class families with limited formal education, who emphasize home education anchored in practical work.
4. Unregistered home educators. Romanis; unregistered immigrants; socially troubled families, frequently with substance abuse problems; and some fundamentalist religious families, some of these appear to use home education as part of a self-imposed isolation from society.
Unschoolers: Well educated, with ‘radical political and cultural viewpoints’. There is no such thing as a ‘radical political viewpoint’. People who may have advocated the freeing of slaves during the Roman Empire would have been called ‘radical’ were they right or wrong? The same goes for the insane marriage laws that stopped people from ‘mixing’ were the people who said these laws were wrong right or wrong? That is the only thing that matters; what is radical today is common sense tomorrow. Academics should not use the word ‘radical’ to describe someone’s beliefs; they should spell out what they are without passing judgment on them, lest they find themselves on the wrong side of history.
The more you read about Unschoolers, the more they become attractive. If you are a radical thinker that is.
The four categories of home educators may have varying degrees of value and interest commonality and/or conflict with schools and national society
The conflicts that home educators are involved in are, primarily, conflicts of interest with the schools in which their children would otherwise be enrolled. Schools want to educate their children; parents want to educate them themselves, at home
No. This is, once again, about who owns the children. Schools do not own children, and so it is entirely wrong and inappropriate to say that, “schools want to educate THEIR children”. Schools do not produce children, they are there to provide a SERVICE to PARENTS which parents may avail themselves of or not. Schools and parents are NOT equal in status. Any conflict that occurs here comes from a misunderstanding of the role of schools and the government on the part of the people who work at schools, who are mistakenly appropriating the role of the parent.
While such conflicts may be founded in a value conflict between home and school, this is generally not the case. If schools view the non-educational aspect of school participation as valuable and necessary, then a limited disparity of interests and values between home and school regarding the provider of education can develop into a more severe, principled rift over value differences regarding home-based and school-based education.
This is all irrelevant. Schools need to understand what they are and what their proper role is. They are SERVANTS not MASTERS or OWNERS.
Seen as a whole, unregistered home educators generally comprise groups that in various ways may be said to be poorly integrated into the national community.
This is complete and utter nonsense. The performance of Home Education has no relationship to registration or non registration.
A key, articulated concern is that their children may become isolated in socially deviant, religious fundamentalist home environments.
“A key, articulated concer”” is academic speak for ‘Some people say‘. Once again, we have an academic paper trotting out illogic in the push to eliminate Home Education. On the one hand, the author gives plenty of evidence that Home Education is perfecly fine, but litters the piece with references to registration, and now, this unfounded nonsense about social isolation (when previously the paper said that HE people are NOT isolated) and the very strange phrase ‘socially deviant’…. which means WHAT exactly? And as for ‘religious fundamentalist home environments’ I am quite sure that this author is not talking about Muslims, who are never to be questioned at all an in any way. In fact, if you want to Home Educate and be guaranteed that no aparatchick will disturb you, convert to Islam, and then it will be ‘hands off’.
In the worst cases, there is suspicion that such isolation covers up inadequate parenting or even child abuse in some instances. Only limited research and documentation are available to shed light on such suspicions.
And here we have the lie that is clearly spreading like a disease in the sick minds of ‘experts’. We all know that there is no evidence of any of this, and that in fact, Home Educators are statistically safer than school educated children (thanks to AHED) so why include this line when there is no evidence to support any of it?
I snipped out the next section, because I do not live in Norway, and I do not care about he petty details. Norwegian parents have the same rights as every other human being. Period. Wether they are able to get it together to take their rights is a problem they have to face.
5. Conflicts in home education — a cultural anthropological explanation
Activities and functions that promote the spirit of a community are prominent features of schools. In Norway, as in other countries, public schools are perceived as key to national community (Telhaug 1994: 130-131).
This perception is false. National community existed before compulsory state schooling, so this is just nonsense.
Slagstad (2001: 388-394) emphasizes the role of public schooling in nation building. He establishes that public school’s task was to raise a nation and to provide public education. School’s most important tasks were to level out societal differences and to implement social integration. Public school’s importance to national cultural community, social justice, and national independence is emphasized. Breaking with school becomes a threat not just to school itself but to national identity.
And there you have it, put explicitly. Schools are there to build nations, to raise a nation, and the schools most important tasks is to level out societal differences and to implement social integration. In other words, school exists to destroy the individual, to break her and make her subservient to the state; to create supplicants, serfs and slaves. The idea that breaking with school is a threat to national identity is completely wrong; who is it that defines what national identity is? If it is people like New Labour, or Hitler, or the Swedish government or the author of this paper, you can see what sort of nightmare nation you would end up with.
Mary Douglas provides analysis of the connection between cultural codes and what she calls cultural purity. In her classic work, Purity and Danger, she hypothesizes that what is anomalous or impure in a community is an outgrowth of that community’s order and rules of cultural and societal rules. The purpose of a society is to protect what is pure. In this way, all societies feature some aspects that would be considered “dirty,” something impure that needs to be dealt with (Douglas 2004). This can apply to the most profound and religious sensibilities. Generally, the concept here involves morality. A society has norms for right and wrong. If one violates these, one becomes a criminal to be punished, or one is regarded and treated as one who has deviated. Such an understanding of purity also applies to daily life, in the form of common rules for proper behavior (Wuthnow 1987: 84-92). Douglas points out how quickly changes in and of themselves may increase the threat to the established social and cultural order, as well as social unity.
This is the sort of thinking that is undermining the very foundation of the west. This is the talk of social engineering. This is the sort of thing they are reading and which informs their misguided, irrational policies.
Mary Douglas presents a hypothesis on the interconnection between the drive toward cultural purity, and cultural classification and boundary setting. Applying Douglas’ analysis is useful to understanding the high level of conflict associated with home education.
The hypothesis is about the position of what is pure or impure/dirty. Douglas sets forth the claim that which is impure or dirty in society is not so in and of itself, but because of its position (Douglas 2004: 43-50.
Home educators may, to varying degrees, deviate from the educational content provided by public schools. Most home educators accept the importance of a shared foundation of knowledge in society and they largely support the fundamental values of society and institutions of society beyond school. It is neither home education’s content nor methods that are perceived as threatening by public authorities, but the fact that home educators break with the public school system and conduct students’ education in the home, outside of established schools.
If we are to take any of this seriously, it is the mere fact that people are different that is causing the problems, not the content or intent of what they are doing. Well I have one thing only to say about this.
Get over it.
False perceptions, wrong headed ideas and the need to make everyone the same are all perfectly fine, but as soon as you contract to use violence against people who you do not agree with, you are immoral. Whatever people want to believe is their own business. Mind your own business and there will be no problems between anyone. This is the libertarian idea; voluntary interactions between all, and never ever violence or force against anyone.
Returning to the notion of things that are out of place being threatening, home education becomes a threat to public school and to national community. Home education in and of itself is not dangerous, but its placement — outside of school — is. Applying M. Douglas’s terminology, home education is declared “dirty” to protect social unity and to prevent the shutting down of public schooling. When the place at which education is conducted, is moved from the schoolroom to the home, it becomes important to both public authorities and home educators to maintain and defend their values and interests based on the choices made and to proceed according to the new situation that has arisen.
And the author buys right into this delusion by calling for registration with the state to turn Home Education from ‘dirty’ to ‘clean’ since the state is the detergent that washes away all sins as defined by society.
Public authorities accomplish this by a negative attitude towards home education and ill will toward flexible solutions. Nowadays, compared with just a few years ago, public authorities seem to be more restrictive when it comes to allowing split solutions that provide some school attendance and some home education. Public authorities may thus be emphasizing the border that distinguishes school participation and home education. A national community under pressure may in and of itself be an independent factor that reinforces the conflict level between home education and public schooling, and may promote the fear that home education leads to social segregation.
Once again, who owns the person? This is the core, not what is written here.
Embarking on home educating is a difficult choice for a family to make; for most people, the threshold to cross is very high. Once the choice is made, many experience stigmatization by schools and, perhaps, by others in the community. Like-mindedness is an issue. Douglas’s purity hypothesis may hold particular internal significance to home educators who begin to home educate due to religious beliefs. These often break with public schooling because, in their view, it has become inadequately religious and over secularized. The holy and pure in their lives is threatened. Thus, they seek greater community in their own religious environments and with other religious home educators. Mary Douglas’s purity hypothesis is turned upside down. Religious home educators may perceive school authorities as dirty and threatening to the purity of their own beliefs and in their own home education.
This is not the case. Religious Home Educators do not want their children indoctrinated with the actual dirt that is being taught in schools. There is also the matter of taking religious instruction and acting on it. “Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate” is an example of a clear instruction to separate yourself from the unbelievers. That any state thinks it should stop people from obeying their religion, once again, is an outrage of the first order. Douglas’s purity hypothesis does not stand when we are discussing Home Educators and their need to do what they do. Home Educators are are a real thing, society is not.
Having been placed outside of the school environment, home educators tend to seek out contact with other home educators. They seek advice from experienced home educators, with whom they exchange advice and opinions regarding home education, public authorities, and other topics.
“no man is an island entire of itself”
In interactions between home educators and school authorities, new social and cultural boundaries between “us” and “them” are readily codified. Both home educators and authorities characterize the other party as dirty and apart from their own environment, and they prefer to stick with the “pure.” The “outsiders” easily become scapegoats for anything and everything that goes wrong. This pattern maintains and reinforces conflicts associated with home education; it may also be an independent reason for inadequate social integration of families that home educate.
These boundaries were always there. They are the result of the state adopting a posture other than servant. They are caused by the irrational and hysterical behavior of Local Authorities, who set themselves up as the masters of the people they are meant to be serving. They kidnap children and cause people to live in fear. All of this has nothing to do with the purity hypothesis, but rather, the practical realities of having your children brainwashed, kidnapped, abused and your life destroyed, as the German Home Educators are finding.
6. Concluding remarks
Sustained, long-term home education can occur due to parents’ religious beliefs and practices, pedagogic preferences, and pragmatic needs for fulfilling children’s compulsory, basic education outside of public or established private schools. Home education, particularly among the religiously motivated, can challenge social unity. Nevertheless, among homeschoolers who are registered and monitored, home-based education also appears to produce well-socialized students. The greatest difficulties regarding social integration are in the category of unregistered home educators.
There you go with the registration again. Completely ridiculous and without rigor. There is no difficulty regarding social integration in the imaginary category of ‘unregistered home educators’. This is just total and unrefined garbage.
Post-modern national society is overloaded with subjective identity-management tasks that are best handled at a local level (Bauman 1997). When a centralized public school emphasizes universal national, secularized, and objective values, home educating environments may constitute post-modern, particular, local communities of shared values, which could be a threat to social integration, but could also be constructive and essential for maintaining social diversity and necessary to overall social integration. Home education on individual, local and national levels depend on Giddens` reciprocity of practices, upon an atmosphere of open-mindedness and open communication. With such conditions home education could be an integrated part in a more pluralistic public education.
Open communication with WHOM? Home Educators communicate frequently, intelligently and vigorously. What this author is talking about in a very roundabout way is communication with the STATE of a COMPULSORY kind.
Home Education is here to stay. It is going to continue to grow, and as they have found in New Zealand, wasting money monitoring and regulating them is just that, a waste of money.
Hopefully the practice of analyzing and recommending changes to Home Education, which is in vogue at the moment, will soon fade away, and these busybody statists will find some other subject to suck their salaries off of.