Sunday, July 19, 2009

An Inflection Point for Homeschooling?

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a fellow guest at a BBQ celebrating the engagement of one of DH's grad school buddies. This gentleman had a PhD. in Education from Stanford and is a past recipient of the prestigious Soros fellowship. He was on sabbatical from his job as an ed school professor to write a book about the persecution of his grandfather by Josef Stalin.

Anyways, the conversation turned to the subject of homeschooling and to my surprise, he was extremely in favor of the practice. He went on and on about the benefits of home education and the evils of compulsory schooling. Turns out he's a big fan of John Taylor Gatto. I had to leave partway through the conversation to deal with some issue with the kids but it made a big impression on my DH. My DH has heard most of the arguments before from me; however, I suspect it was more persuasive coming from someone with a doctorate and professorship in the field of education.

This conversation made me wonder if our society is at an "inflection point" in the acceptance of homeschooling. When somebody who is a professor of education starts approvingly quoting Gatto's work, that's a sign that home education has turned from being a fringe movement to a serious part of the discussion among the eduwonks.


Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Interesting. I have heard favorable comments about homeschooling and charter schools among my fellow doctoral students in Special Education here at UNM, as well. Profs seem neutral, and are not hostile. This may be because Special Ed students generally do not get their needs met in public schools, despite the several revisions of IDEA.

What is the research emphasis of the professor you spoke to?
Maybe it's becoming more and more common.

christinemm said...

Wow what a great conversation!!

Thanks for sharing this story with us.

I had a long talk w a public school teacher last week. I should blog it...