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Media representations of parents’ choice to homeschool their children: A thematic analysis of Swedish homeschooling parents living in Åland
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Department of Child Studies.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Homeschooling has been illegal in Sweden since 2011, leading some families to move abroad to continue this type of education. These families are commonly known in media as ‘school refugees’. This study aims to understand how parents’ choice to homeschool their children is represented in media, as well as what understandings of children/childhood, family, education, and society can be identified in how parents’ reasons to homeschool are argued for.

Through thematic analysis of newspaper interviews with Swedish homeschooling parents living in Åland, three main themes, or reasons to homeschool, where identified. The first theme was that of negative experiences of school. The second theme, pedagogical reasons, was divided into two subthemes: individualized pedagogy, and pedagogy of real life. The third theme, family reasons, also consisted of two subthemes: the best place for a child, and parental rights.

Children were understood as being unique individuals and natural learners, and childhood was viewed as a special time worthy of protection. Education was understood to be something larger than schooling, and mainstream school was understood as failing to cater to the individual child. The family was understood as being the foundation of society, a place from where to safeguard childhood and secure the best possible development of the individual. Societal norms were criticized, but at the same time the parents expressed a wish for their children to partake actively in society.

Further, the results of this study show that there was a focus on the best interest of the individual child, as understood by the parents. In their view, homeschooling is the best way to cater to the unique abilities of the individual, whilst at the same time shielding the child from the negative influences of society. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 38
Keywords [en]
homeschooling, childhood, education, parenting, thematic analysis
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-144928ISRN: LIU-TEMAB/MPCS-A—17/010—SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-144928DiVA, id: diva2:1180822
Subject / course
Master's Programme in Child Studies (120 ECTS credits)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-04-26 Created: 2018-02-06 Last updated: 2018-04-26Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf