Friday, March 30, 2007

US Study Implies that Home Schooling Promotes Social Mobility

From Homeschooling in Perspective, we hear that the National Home Education Research Institute found that in test scores

"homeschool students outperformed public school students by an average of 30 to 37 percentile points in math and reading. The same survey also stated that the income and education level of homeschool parents did not have an effect to (sic) the success of their children."

HT: Home Education and Other Stuff


33, 452 said...


Didn't we just have a reeeaallly lengthy conversation about the importance of not doing this sort of thing? ;)

You know, not judging kids by arbitary standards that we never accepted as valid in the first place? That kind of thing?

Carlotta said...

You are, of course, right insofar as I think that the essential factor is that a person should be able to act as an autonomous being and make their own choices about the standards for which they strive.

However, in the "AEd Child in the Workplace", we had another discussion about the importance of being prepared to be judged by external criteria too.

The thing is, AEd children will be judged by others. It would be not autonomy-respecting for the person doing the judging, to insist that they were not, and in actual fact, we do all make these sorts of judgements about others all the time: about whether a person is likely to become a good friend, whether or not a blog post is up to scratch, whether a person is likely to be able to do a certain set of tasks etc, etc.

Sometimes these judgements will seemingly have very good explanations underpinning them, and one could argue that judgements such as test scores, are one such example, since if nothing else, they show whether or not you can do tests.

We can help our children be prepared for such judgements and for the likely criticisms that they are going to face in the world. Not to help them with this reality is likely to put them in the coerced state of not being familiar with dealing with this sort of judgement. It risks limiting their choices.

So we could, for example, explain to them that for certain jobs that they may want to do, many employers will not even look at a CV which doesn't have 4 A* A-level grades and that either we conform to this expectation (hopefully autonomously) or we go about thinking of creative ways to get round this, but we should not pretend that this sort of criteria is not being applied.

The main differences in the applications of judgement is therefore whether or not these judgements have good explanations and whether or not these judgements are used and experienced coercively. Do these judgements and criticisms enhance autonomy or restrict it?

So in this case, it might depend upon who is reading this argument. If the reader is someone who values test scores, who has the power to decide whether or not to leave HEors alone, it would like as not enhance it, would you not say?

(In actual fact, that IS why I posted it!)

33, 452 said...

"If the reader is someone who values test scores, who has the power to decide whether or not to leave HEors alone, it would like as not enhance it, would you not say?"

No, I wouldn't say that. Quite the opposite. I think it would make those with the power to leave HEors alone decide that they would leave them alone *as long as they were performing at least as well as schooled children in certain areas*. This is the whole point of my argument.

Once again, you are agreeing to allow HEed children to be viewed as competing academically with schooled ones! Only this time, it seems that you understand fully that you are doing this. If so, that's your free choice, and I'll leave you to it. :)

Just understand that some HEers don't see it this way at all. Some of us HE for the express purpose of avoiding such arbitary judgments and meaningless comparisons.

I guess my reasons for HEing are very different to yours, but I'd like to put forward my POV here, just so that anyone reading this does not assume that *all* HEers are happy with these comparisons.