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Through the lens of home-educated children: Engagement in education

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/06/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Educational Psychology in Practice
Issue number2
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)107-121
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date18/01/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Engagement and participation are important for successful outcomes in education, yet disaffection in the UK, according to some exclusion and absence statistics, shows a growing trend. The purpose of this research was to develop a starting point for a theory of children's engagement in education using grounded theory method. Evidence from home-educating families suggests that disaffection is a problem that is unique to school education. The research investigated home educated children's perceptions and experiences of home education. A flexible, semi-structured, qualitative design, encouraging children to determine the structure of their narratives was employed, using photovoice. Analysis followed grounded theory method and the results highlight themes for future development, refinement and further investigation. Important findings are that perceptions of self, and flexible and supportive learning contexts that provide children with a sense of active and autonomous involvement are linked to learning engagement and enthusiasm for learning. The conclusion outlines reasons why educational psychologists should become involved in discussion and research relating to home education. Limitations of the research are discussed and issues for future research are considered.