Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Holding Tight to the Tail of a Shooting Star: An Autoethnography of Unschooling as Just Education
by Purcell, William H., Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2019, 317; 27547537
Abstract (Summary)

Unschooling in general, and in particular in North Carolina, remains an undocumented educational homeschooling experience. The absence of homeschool and unschooling stories may close off the possibility of choosing those options to those who might otherwise seek an educational alternative to public or private schooling, especially for those families with children who experience disability.

I seek to articulate one experience of unschooling, so that the concept and available options can be better known and understood not only by parents seeking an alternative homeschool path, but by medical, educational, and service practitioners, and policy makers who might better serve families by knowing alternative schooling practices outside the context of compulsory public schools.

Adding stories of unschooling adds a theoretical tool to the schooling experience that could be used to teach pre-service teachers, educate administrators and policy makers, and inspire families to realize that there are alternatives to public and private schooling, and that there are alternatives under the often monolith term of homeschooling. In addition, I focus on unschooling as an alternative space for both the typical student and the student who experience disability.

In this dissertation I explore the unschooling experience by creating an autoethnography based on my and my immediate family’s experience over the past nine years doing homeschooling as unschooling. This example of autoethnography explores life on the margins of schooling practices, the tensions between inclusion and exclusion, access and equity, and the possibilities of unschooling as new space of liberation. The work uses critical theory and disability theory frameworks to inform its methodology and analysis.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lashley, Carl
Commitee: Villaverde, Leila, Cooper, Jewell, Chiseri-Strater, Elizabeth
School: The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Department: School of Education: Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education philosophy, Educational leadership, Disability studies
Keywords: Autoethnography, Critical theory, Deschooling, Disability, Homeschooling, Unschooling
Publication Number: 27547537
ISBN: 9781392524305
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