A Social Contract for Home Education: A Framework for the Homeschooling Debate
Keywords:Education policy, Home education, Social contract, UNESCO, Homeschooling
Elective home education has become an international trend characterized by considerable public controversy and much legal fragmentation. Issues related to whether it should be permitted and how it should be monitored are currently being debated in many countries. Homeschooling regulation seems to have become a “wicked problem” with no definitive solution. A case has been made for moving beyond the polarization that tends to label it as either intrinsically good or inherently bad. By drawing its foundations from a UNESCO report published in 2021, this conceptual study is meant to be a contribution to the discussion about the social and legal legitimacy of homeschooling through the delineation of a tenable “social contract for home education”. It has been argued that in light of this social contract, homeschooling should neither be banned nor unregulated. Hence, a shift of perspective is being encouraged to include home educators in a pluralistic dialogue on the future of education towards policy decisions that are sensitive to this complexity.
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