The purpose of the research was to understand the relationship between the advent and wide-scale diffusion of computer and communication technologies and the growth of home education in the U.S. As a qualitative study, 27 practicing and former homeschool parents from the greater Albany, NY region were recruited to participate in five focus group interviews. Questionnaire, one-on-one interview, and participant reflection data were collected, coded, and analyzed as well.
As a group, participants perceived that modern media and internet technologies, along with several confluent social, political, and economic forces had facilitated, and perhaps fuelled, growth in homeschooling in the U.S. Participants felt that access and use of modern technologies had enabled their capacity to educate their children at home. Most participants perceived that modern technologies helped provide the emotional and intellectual capital needed to make the leap to homeschooling.
Results indicated that computer and communication technologies had helped parents lower informational, interpersonal, instructional, and psychological barriers of entry during the process of deliberation leading up the decision to homeschool. Once participants had committed to homeschooling, modern technologies helped them create,access, and sustain communities of practice. In addition, results showed that technology had helped participants energize latent or percolating ideologies of choice, individualism, and parental sovereignty.
Future investigation should broaden the scope of the research to identify and examine the political, social, and cultural forces that, along with modern technology, have enabled the growth in homeschooling the U.S. Future research should aim to validate and extend the findings from this study in an effort to develop an explanatory framework for understanding the modern homeschooling phenomenon.
|Advisor:||Franklin, Teresa J.|
|Commitee:||Brooks, Gordon, Franklin, Teresa, Muhammad, Najee, Slade, Joseph|
|Department:||Instructional Technology (Education)|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational sociology, Information Technology, Education, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||Communication, Homeschooling, Internet, Private education, Technology|
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