What type of institutions prevailed in teacher training in Europe during the first decades of the 20th century? What was the reception of the German, French, or English models in Spain? What type of dialogue did Spanish teachers establish with the Escuela Nueva movement? What pedagogical elements were adopted to configure a new type of teacher, accounting for the different situations of the time? There is no doubt that teacher training, throughout the period mentioned, became one of the main educational and political issues. Teachers were among the fundamental actors, together with the pupils and the contents to be transmitted; the aim was that educational practices typical of the pedagogical renewal movement would take place in schools. Thus, a generation of innovative teachers had the opportunity, thanks to a scholarship from the Junta para la Ampliación de Estudios e Investigaciones Científicas (1907–1939), to attend different teacher training colleges in Europe. This is fundamental for understanding the creation of the Escuela de Estudios Superiores del Magisterio (1909–1932) and, of course, the Plan Profesional of the Republican government (1932–1939). In short, the main innovations coming from the European movements of pedagogical renewal in the field of teacher training are those related to the incorporation of a non-encyclopedic general culture and pedagogical training, either theoretical, as in the history of education courses, or practical, by learning a wide range of new teaching methods.
Pedagogical Renewal and Teacher Training in Spain in the Early 20th Century
Jordi Garcia Farrero and Àngel Pascual Martín
History of Education and Emotions
The encounter between the history of education and the emerging field of historical interest in emotions is a phenomenon of recent and fast development. Researchers must bear some specific dilemmas and challenges implied in attention to affective ties regarding the past of education, being the first to define critical concepts for the delimitation of the topic. Furthermore, this new path requires that theoretical and methodological issues be addressed. Among these issues are the difference in the development of educational historiographical research in countries or cultural regions. There are challenges for education historians interested in emotions and their efforts to overcome methodological chasms, as for example, the disparities between discourse and experience. Given the fact that the research on the history of emotions applied to education is still in its first steps, it is possible to outline some potential advances in the confluence of the historic-educational and the emotional fields.
Kelly P. Vaughan
The field of curriculum studies in the United States has transformed from an area of study primarily concerned with curriculum development in schools to one focused on understanding and theorizing curriculum inside and outside of schools. Since the 1960s, the field of curriculum studies also has become more historical. Curriculum history, as a subset of curriculum studies, originated during the reconceptualization of curriculum studies and debates about revisionism within those studying histories of education. The field of curriculum history emerged with a range of perspectives (revisionist, critical, international, postmodern), areas of focus (intellectual histories, single event accounts, biographies, institutional practices), and source materials. The differences in both theoretical perspectives and methodologies require that we move away from the idea of a singular account of curriculum history and toward the concept of a multiplicity of curriculum histories. In the period of post-reconceptualized curriculum studies, curriculum historians have moved the field in multiple methodological and theoretical directions. The areas of curriculum studies and curriculum history continue to develop and change. There are efforts to create a more international understanding of curriculum history. There are also efforts to move beyond linear narratives of progress and revisionist efforts to speak into this field’s silences. Within this complex field, curriculum studies scholars and curriculum historians will continue to grapple with the relationships of past, present, and future; with connections between theory and practice; and with expanding (both geographically and epistemologically) ways of understanding.
The History of Educational Inclusion of the Disabled in Italy
The early integration of disabled pupils in Italian schools and the parallel disbanding of special schools have given this country a pivotal role as an example of total inclusion, to be studied and imitated or criticized for its weak points. A better understanding of the singularity of the Italian case can be gained from studying the history of this process. In the 1970s, Italy arrived at revolutionary legislation that was driven by democratic values but also by a utopian, as well as courageous, spirit. The Italian state had long ignored the rights of disabled children and adults, recognizing the rights of only the war disabled. In the first decades of the republican state, after World War II, segregation and exclusion dominated the seducational and psychiatric scenarios. But researching the history of Italian special education leads to the discovery of a tradition of excellent special schools and institutes and of pedagogical and medical theories and practices, quite advanced for their time, that respected the dignity of the person and aimed to integrate them through work. In spite of the great names of doctors and educationalists, both Catholic and secular, such as De Sanctis, Montessori, Montesano, and Gemelli to name just a few, and their high level of specialization, society struggled to keep pace. The state did not support special education, leaving it to priests and doctors. Rich northern cities were able to provide better structures for disabled children. Moreover, children with sensory and physical disabilities, who were considered clever and therefore educable, received attention and had highly specialized schools in the 19th century. Only at the beginning of the 20th century were the needs of children with mental disabilities properly addressed through a pedagogical and medical approach. The great scientific advancements, however, got partially lost in common practice, and after World War II the school and welfare systems struggled to cope with a rising number of institutionalized children. The changes brought about by a new generation of psychiatrists, led by F. Basaglia, and educationalists who were antifascist and could not tolerate the segregation and exclusion of institutes; the radical spirit of 1968; and a new widespread consciousness of the shame of segregation for a democratic state produced revolutionary legislation that aimed at genuine inclusion. The history of Italian special education is quite recent; hence, it still draws on local and national studies. But the work done so far allows us to reconstruct the path of this process, which has not been linear, and shows the tensions, the continuity, and the innovation, as well as the steps backward. An inclusion policy concerns universal anti-discriminatory legislative measures, but this article, while refererring when necessary to other categories, focusses on disabled persons and their educational inclusion.
Citizen Ideals and Education in Nordic Welfare State School Reforms
Christian Ydesen and Mette Buchardt
Education has long been held to be the nucleus capable of producing national identities, citizenry, and citizen ideals. It is the locus wherein the majority of children and families most actively experience their first encounter with the state and the societal order in the guise of state-sanctioned professionals, practices, culture, technologies, and knowledge. Starting from this observation and making a comparative, historical investigation of continuities and ruptures offers insights into the production of citizen ideals and the purposes of education. The Nordic states—Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark—have often been characterized as the cradle of the distinct—and, to many people, attractive—Nordic welfare state model known for distributing equal rights and opportunities among the entire population, for instance, by providing education free of charge. In addition, the educational system has been viewed as a means to create a citizenship mentality to support the welfare state program. A central feature cutting across place and to some extent time is the apparent dilemma that exists between creating social mobility through education and thereby including “all,” while still finding the means to differentiate “under the same school roof” because pupils are individuals and must be taught as such to fulfill the ultimate needs of society’s division of labor. At the same time, the welfare state school must educate its pupils to ensure a level of equal participation and democratic citizenship among them as these youth advance through the system. School must be mindful of retaining different approaches to teaching that can accommodate differing levels of intelligence and learning abilities in the student cohort. The Danish school reforms of 1975 and 2014 are examples of how Denmark’s political leaders answered such challenges. The reforms also reflect a moment in time wherein politicians and administrators worked to resolve these challenges through modifying and recreating welfare state educational policies.
Interdisciplinary Expansion and the History of Education in Sweden
The field of the history of education in Sweden has distinct features, yet also shares common characteristics with the history of education in other countries. As elsewhere, it has developed from being a field mainly occupied by schoolmen in the early 20th century to a research field firmly entrenched in the humanities and social sciences from the 1960s and onward. Like in other countries, the topics and theoretical frameworks have multiplied, making the history of education into a broad field of research. There are, however, several features that stand out in an international context. Most important, the history of education in Sweden has expanded in terms of active researchers and output since the early 2000s due to the favorable conditions in Swedish higher education presented in this article. It has also never developed into a discipline of its own but instead has remained multidisciplinary, with a strong base in the disciplines of education and history. As a result, the history of education in Sweden has remained quite independent from the international field. While it is certainly possible to identify the impact of various international trends, including those of the new cultural history of education, the history of education in Sweden is marked by the disciplines that it is part of. From this follows that this national field is less determined by international associations, conferences and journals, and the so-called turns that one might identify in these. Instead, it is the Swedish context of educational research, Swedish curriculum theory, social history, economic history, history education, sociology of education, and child studies that provide the history of education in Sweden with a character of its own—that is, a field with research groups, conferences, workshops, and a journal that encompasses several research fields.
Biographical Approaches in Education
Belmira Oliveira Bueno
Since the 1980s, in different countries, researchers and educators have put into action a number of studies of teachers’ biographies, teachers’ narratives and stories, as well as other ways of employing life history methods, in order to renew the field of education. A vast literature has been produced in the last decades on this perspective, giving testimony to a surprising growth of the educational area under the impulse of such approaches. There was a clear need for a methodological renewal of this field but also a need of a revision of the functions of school and to the way of conceiving education. The idea of lifelong learning frames this scenario and the expectations outlined in the turn of this century, altering profoundly the functions of school and the ends of education. The biographical approaches are taken as an attempt of meeting such demands. However, the work with life histories and biographies has shown different directions, following from a conjugation of factors and from more specific demands for education present in the respective contexts where such experiences have taken place. Such approaches are part of a broader movement of individualization and subjectivism that characterizes contemporary society. The two perspectives focused on in this article—that of English-speaking countries, with a predominant focus on the life and career of teachers; and those developed in Francophone environments, with the focus on the continued education of adults—have shown great growth particularly during the 1980s and 1990s, giving testimony to the appeal that biographical approaches exerted upon researchers and educators. It presents the features of these two trends preceded by an incursion into the field of sociology aiming at highlighting some relevant methodological and epistemological issues. By this way we intend to emphasize the potentiality of biographical approaches to the knowledge of education, drawing attention to the challenges for individuals’ lives in the contemporary society and for the emergence of new ways of conceiving the subjectivities by the new human and social theories.
The Age of Enlightenment and Education
The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement that took place in Europe in the 18th century, whose main characteristic was criticism. For the Enlightenment theorists, it was assumed that the idea of reason should be the basis of all actions taken in every sphere of social life. The aim of the present study is to investigate the entanglement between Enlightenment and education. In order to do so, we first resort to Kant’s thought. Kant characterizes the Enlightenment as man’s emergence from his own immaturity, defining immaturity as the inability to use one’s own understanding. One can say that the Enlightenment has an intrinsic pedagogical dimension. The enterprise of Diderot’s Encyclopedia consisted of a project that could be regarded as pedagogical, since it aimed at spreading the new breakthroughs of knowledge in all fields to an increasing number of people. The belief of the Enlightenment was that progress in science and technology did not only depend on advances in accumulated knowledge. The achievements of science would also—beyond the new discoveries in the various fields of knowledge—be furthered through the irradiation of that knowledge. The expansion of access to the achievements of science for an increasing number of people was one of the main objectives of the Enlightenment theorists, and particularly of the Encyclopedia. It should be noted that these pedagogical projects were based on the thesis that the schooling of society was a strategy with which to secure and consolidate the path of reason, and to protect it against dogmas and prejudices against it. For this reason, the Enlightenment consisted of organization of the intellectual world, whereby the activity of thought effectively became a struggle in favor of freedom of reasoning and freedom of belief. In the Enlightenment ideas of education as set out in Diderot’s Plan of a University or of a Public Education in All Sciences, written while he was under state guard, one can see how the idea of instruction is linked to the concept of civilization. It was believed that, through education, the nation could be enlightened, and the people would also be better prepared to live as good citizens. In addition, it was believed that school education would give people the opportunity to develop the talents nature had endowed them with. The idea was that allowing everyone to have free access to the instruments of rationality and freedom of judgment would bring about the possibility of a fairer, more egalitarian society in which distinctions between its citizens were based on merit rather than inequalities of fortune. Finally, Condorcet’s proposal for the organization of the public education undoubtedly constitutes the matrix of our contemporary idea of the state school. To develop reason presupposes, from the point of view of the Enlightenment, using the instruments of that reason so it can be expressed. This implied the formation of public opinion, which was, per se, a pedagogical task. Also, and most importantly, this implied the necessity of the creation of schools.
History of Special Education in South Africa and the Challenges of Inclusive Education
Sigamoney Manicka Naicker
Altering a dual system of education (special and ordinary) in South Africa to an inclusive system requires substantial change in terms of thinking and practice. After almost 20 years of implementing Education White Paper 6 (published by South Africa’s Department of Education in 2001), it is very important that theories, assumptions, practices, models, and tools are put under intense scrutiny for such an inclusive policy to work. Such a single system of education should develop the capacity to address barriers to learning if it wants to include all learners into the system. What are the main barriers that deprive learners from access to a single system of education and what changes should take place so that a truly inclusive system can be created? South Africa introduced seven white papers in education but all of them were implemented in ways that were not entirely influenced by the theory and practice of inclusive education. Inclusive education requires the system to change at a structural level so that mainstream education takes ownership of the ideology and practice of inclusive education. This change should bring about consistency in relation to other white papers; for example, curriculum development, early childhood education, and adult education. In implementing inclusive education, South Africa did not take seriously the various barriers to inclusion, such as curriculum, in providing access to learners who experience difficulties. Thus, an in-depth analysis of the history of special education is provided, with a view toward specifying recommendations for attempts to create the right conditions for a truly inclusive system of education in South Africa.
Learning in History
Liliana Maggioni and Emily Fox
At first glance, learning in history might be characterized as committing to memory sanctioned stories about the past. Yet a deeper consideration of this process opens up several questions about the specific features that make the generation of shared knowledge about the past possible and meaningful. Some of these questions regard the very object of such learning: What makes specific aspects of the past historically significant? What relations among people, events, and phenomena are especially salient in fostering understanding of the past? Another set of questions regards the affective and cognitive traits and abilities that characterize a successful learner in history. Researchers from different countries have worked at the intersection between history, history education, and educational psychology, and have investigated how experts and novices address historical questions on the basis of sources provided to them, identifying certain differences in their strategy use, their ability to contextualize information gleaned from the sources, their use of prior knowledge, and their ideas about the nature of historical knowledge and historical evidence. Researchers have also studied the influence that learners’ epistemic beliefs, school curricula, pedagogical practices, testing, and classroom discourse may have on student learning in history. By their variety, these studies have illustrated the complex nature of learning in history and evidenced several tensions among educational goals and between these goals and educational practices in the 21st century.
Gender and Latinx Pedagogy
The education of Latina/o/x populations in the United States has been the focus of debates, struggles, and community engagement for over 100 years. From linguistic inequalities, deficit perspectives, and community battles, to contemporary rhetoric on access, this entry explores the relationship between schools/schooling and Latina/o/x communities, both historically and in the contemporary context. Important to these narratives is the role of Latinas. To understand their centrality, it is important that the works of Latina and Chicana theorists and scholars are in conversation with one another to contextualize the role of Latinas, whether as community organizers, educators, or mothers, in the education of Latina/o/x populations, and by extension in the overall well-being of their communities. Similarly, the scholarship on and by Latinas complicates the role of stories and their positionality in education research.
Oral History Approaches in Education in Brazil
This article analyzes the relationship between oral history and education in Brazil. First, it addresses changes in theoretical and methodological approaches in some disciplinary fields, a move that increasingly questions production based mainly on quantitative research and favors a renewal of qualitative research. In this context, qualitative research incorporated discussions of life histories and the subjects’ narratives as methods of collecting data. At the same time that shifts in sociology and history drew both disciplines together in research that used the biographical approach and oral reports, qualitative research on educational issues was becoming stronger in the field of education. Questioning routine forms of research in these various fields ended up addressing common themes of interest to all of them. Such an approach allowed for the introduction and development of oral history in Brazil as an interdisciplinary field in which questions flowed from one discipline to another, in which sociologists, anthropologists, historians, and educators took part. Oral history is understood as a methodological approach to research in which the researcher commits to the object of study, approaching it based on the oral reports of the subjects involved along with other written, iconographic, and material sources in order to understand the different representations of the subjects. Oral history brought fundamental changes in education: subjects were incorporated into the production of knowledge about the history of education, social relations in the educational field, the way of looking at the formative processes of educators, discussions regarding curricula aimed at diverse social groups, group cultures, among other aspects; the educational field was no longer analyzed mainly from an educational, pedagogical-methodological approach, but one based on the centrality of the subjects and their demands. This change in perspective, no longer only on the part of the State or supporting institutions, provided a link between school and non-school education, as well as in the processes of participation of social groups. It also encouraged the incorporation of diverse data sources and their preservation. New research topics were also taken up, which has had a strong influence on the process of training historians and educators. Educational issues have been at the fore from the first incursions of oral history in Brazil and, precisely because of the exchange being built, new research paths are now being developed.
Music Education Research
Koji Matsunobu and Liora Bresler
From rites of passage to closer community bonding, the practice, enjoyment, exchange, and transmission of music—regardless of the setting—is an integral element of the history of human civilization. While the field of music education research has long focused on school music and institutional teaching, it is increasingly reaching out to the wider community, in the process involving people at different life stages who are operating in a variety of societal contexts. Consequently, research in music education explores a broad spectrum of musical engagements (including composition and improvisation, in addition to singing, playing, and listening) and a wide-ranging repertoire (including jazz, popular music, folk, and world music), together with diverse pedagogies both inspired by and borrowed from these genres. This process reveals how these forms of musical transmission can, on the one hand, create new meanings and experiences at individual levels, and, on the other, shape collective identity formation through the facilitation of cultural sustainability and transformation. By means of quantitative, qualitative, historical, and philosophical methods, and typically drawing on the fields of—among others—psychology, sociology, and anthropology, music education researchers have addressed social, cultural, pedagogical, and ethical issues of music teaching and learning.
Vietnamese Education and Neoliberal Policy
Any nation’s educational policies are forged in settlements that serve as a discursive frame, which is subject to inherent destabilizing tensions and contradictions bounded within identifiable historical and geographical periods. Vietnamese policymakers have viewed education as central to nation building, which was first realized through the forging of a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist educational settlement when independence was attained in 1946. Then a second settlement was achieved as part of its neoliberal Doi Moi policy pivot in the late 1980s, which has led to the nation’s global political, economic, and cultural integration. This pragmatic resetting, aimed at nation building through increased foreign investment and scientific and technical links with regional competitors and Western liberal democracies, swept aside past presumptions while retaining a strong one-party state. Vietnam’s initial revolutionary educational settlement was forged in the years prior to 1945 and 1954. One of its achievements was the use of Vietnamese as the principal language of instruction in education. Pre-independence, in the late 1930s, mass education drives were important influences on this new policy. The French colonial regime was compelled to use Vietnamese for translation and communication, replacing Mandarin as the medium of instruction in schools and the language of the previous feudal civil service. One of the first acts as part of the revolutionary educational settlement initiated in 1945 was to proclaim Vietnamese as the official language of the nation, which was expanded to North Vietnam in 1954 and later consolidated in the nation’s reunification in 1975. From its inception, Vietnam’s revolutionary educational settlement faced a legitimacy problem that undermined its nation-building agenda. It was mistakenly believed that economic advancement would follow revolutionary educational schooling. Voluntary mass education gave way to bureaucracy and careerism, and a traditional curriculum took hold; the Vietnamese state struggled to build and support schooling. A burgeoning young population meant it was difficult for state expenditures to meet the need for classrooms, qualified teachers, and quality instruction. Faced with challenges that were exacerbated by the collapse of the Soviet Empire, in 1986 the Sixth National Congress of the Vietnamese Communist Party broke with its previous policy frameworks. Termed “Doi Moi,” this “renovation” realigned its command to a market economy. Subsequent related educational reforms overhauled preschool, general vocational, and higher and postgraduate education. In a radical departure from its past, these reforms established a dual system of state-built, -operated, and -managed public and private schools. Educational settlements are partial and tenuous. Just as there were tensions within its revolutionary educational policy settlement, so too the hegemonic nature of Vietnam’s current neoliberal consensus has its own stresses. Two are ongoing concerns about the quality of teaching and learning and the weight of a strong culture of centralism in decision making as an aspect of Vietnam’s revolutionary legacy.
History and Microhistories of Social Education in Spain
Victoria Pérez de Guzmán, Juan Trujillo-Herrera, and Encarna Bas Pena
Social education in Spain has become increasingly popular in recent decades as both a socio-educational action/intervention and as a profession. The history of social education is a combination of various microhistories that have evolved within different areas. In order to understand the “micro” component of these histories, we need a perspective of the “macro,” while also keeping in mind that the microhistories are essential to understanding the true development of social education on a general level. The goals of this research are: to approximate the key historical antecedents that have influenced the development of social education in Spain as both a socio-educational action/intervention and a profession, to demonstrate the importance of analyzing the history of social education through microhistories, and to indicate the key elements and criteria necessary to carry out our microhistory of social education. Our methodology is the state of the field documentary research modality, which facilitated our study of the collective knowledge addressing a pedagogy of social education. This qualitative-documentary and critical-interpretive methodology followed these steps: contextualization, classification, and categorization. The main conclusion will indicate the definition of key points as well as the criteria necessary to be able to carry out a microhistory of social education.
Diversity and Multiculturalism
The words diversity and multiculturalism are ubiquitous in the contemporary educational lexicon. They are certainly hallmarks in many educational conversations. Recent trials, tribulations, and triumphs in the areas of diversity and multiculturalism are not without historical context or educational precedent. The evolution of diversity and multiculturalism in the United States has been and continues to be a struggle. The lofty language that is immortalized in the United States Constitution and the Pledge of Allegiance promises all U.S. citizens the right to life, liberty, safety, happiness, and so forth. However, this promise has not always been kept for all U.S. citizens. The full recognition of one’s rights in the United States has depended on one’s race/ethnicity, gender, social class, religious beliefs, ability status, and so forth. Consequently, the United States has also denied, ostracized, and oppressed groups of people based on these same aforementioned identities (e.g., slavery, segregation, sexism, etc.). This resulted in amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the American Civil Rights Movement, and the Women’s Rights Movement, as well as others. These movements were no panacea; they simply weakened overt manifestations of bias, and allowed for more nuanced, covert, and/or institutionalized forms of bias. The elimination of overt bias also creates the illusion of success. People begin to think that the problems are solved because they are not obvious anymore. This highlights the need for diversity and multiculturalism in order to identify and expose covert bias and remind people that the struggles of the past are not just part of history; they undergird the problems we face today (e.g., achievement gaps, disproportionate discipline, and misidentification for special education). Ultimately, diversity/multiculturalism has the ability to provide a kind of interconnectedness among people by having them face the perplexing problems of equity, equality, social identity, and personal philosophy. Embracing and understanding diversity/multiculturalism is the key to unlocking its transformational power.
Malay Philosophies of Education
Malay philosophies of education refer to the educational thoughts of Malay philosophers from the period of the Islamization of the Malay world in the 13th century up to the present. Malay refers to an ethnic group with the Malay language as the major language of communication. The Malay world refers to the region in Southeast Asia comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, southern Thailand, pockets of Indo-China (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia), and the southern Philippines. Prior to the introduction of Islam to the region in the 13th century, the Malay people were influenced by Hinduism, and some remnants of Hindu practices such as the conduct of the wedding ceremony and yellow being the color of royalty are still visible today. Islamization revolutionized the Malay worldview with a new ontology, cosmology, and monotheism. Moreover, the Malay language was elevated as a scientific and literary language and became a lingua franca that was widely used for communication, while Jawi script (Arabic) was used in writing, such that the region became known as the Malay world. Malay philosophies of education are very intricately related to Islamic philosophy or the Islamic worldview. Hamka, a 20th century Indonesian scholar, states that his Malayness is totally integrated with Islamic elements. Thus, the Malays’ understanding of Islam determines the goals of education. Historically, the goals of Malay education developed from the focus on the hereafter and sufism due to the nature of Islam received by the Malays at this particular time. Al-Ghazali, al-Shafie, and al-Ash’ari were among the scholars who exerted great influence on Malay scholarship. The philosophy of Malay education changed as a result of colonization by Western powers that established schools offering a liberal, secular education. However, contact with Muslim reformers in Egypt, specifically Muhammad Abduh, led to the reform of Islamic traditional schools. Hence, there was a shift in focus to reason, philosophy, and science with a closer reading of the Qur’an and Sunnah, and the goals of education emphasized the study of the acquired sciences and the use of reason. As a consequence, there were many efforts to change the existing educational institutions in terms of their curriculum. Finally, after independence, attempts were made to integrate the dualistic educational system—liberal, secular public school and traditional, religious schools—through an educational philosophy and curriculum that is holistic, integrated, and balanced, but that is also faith-based. It is not adequate to have both the acquired and revealed sciences merely coexisting but compartmentalized in the curriculum, for their values may still be conflicting. Thus, the concept of the Islamization of contemporary knowledge was deliberated and subsequently attempted. This is the climax of the unity of knowledge that is enshrined in the Islamic worldview. The educational landscape in the Malay world has been shaped by the thought patterns of Muslim scholars and the Islamic worldview.
Homeschooling in the United States: Growth With Diversity and More Empirical Evidence
Brian D. Ray
Homeschooling (home education) is parent-directed, family-based education, and is typically not tax-funded, with parents choosing assistance from other individuals or organizations. Home-based education was nearly extinct in the United States by the 1970s but grew rapidly during the 1990s to about 2.6 million K–12 homeschool students in March of 2020 to then about 5 million in March of 2021. The demographic variety among homeschooling families rapidly increased during the 2000s to the point that in 2016, 41% of homeschool students were of ethnic minority background, with about 79% of those living in nonpoor households, and with parents’ formal education levels similar to national averages. Since the early 2000s, parents’ main reasons for homeschooling have shifted from an emphasis on religious or moral instruction to a somewhat more emphasis on concern about institutional school environments and the academic instruction in schools. Empirical research shows that the home educated, on average, perform above average in terms of academic achievement, social and emotional development, and success into adulthood (including college studies). However, there is scholarly debate about whether enough well-controlled studies have confirmed these overall benefits. Some theories have been proposed to explain the apparent positive effects. They include the concept that elements such as high levels of parental involvement, one-on-one instruction, low student-to-teacher ratios, effective use of time, more academic learning time, customization of learning experiences, and a safe and comfortable learning environment that are systemically a part of home-based education are conducive to children thriving in many ways. However, more research is needed to test these theories.
The Palestinian K-12 Education System: History, Structure, Challenges, and Opportunities
Anwar Hussein, Shelley Wong, and Anita Bright
The Palestinian education system in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) reflects a long and complex history of control by other countries: the colonial British Mandate over historic Palestine (1917–1948); the Jordanian government over the West Bank, including East Jerusalem (1948–1967); the Egyptian government over the Gaza Strip (1948–1967); and the Israeli occupation (1967–1993). This external control has resulted in multiple forms of apartheid, including restrictions on freedom of movement as a means of control over Palestinian lands and people. Beginning in 1967 at the end of the Six-Day War, the Israeli government took control of Palestinian educational systems, controlling the entire educational experience of Palestinian students, including curriculum, construction, and maintenance of schools, and employment of educators. In 1993, after the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority took charge of the Palestinian education system. Although with the development of the first Palestinian curriculum, the Palestinian Authority has made many innovative breakthroughs in education, they are severely restricted by the Israeli occupation. They do not have the right to build or renovate schools (or other buildings) without Israeli building permits. The current apartheid system is a multifaceted economic blockade, with walls, checkpoints, and armed military guards denying Palestinian students and teachers access to a range of essential services, such as education and healthcare. All of these restrictions of movement and encroachments by the Israeli government and military represent violations of the United Nations human rights conventions. Given its history, the Palestinian educational system faces many challenges, including the marginalized status of the teaching profession, the quality of teacher education programs, implementation of the education strategic plan, and others. Despite the numerous systemic challenges and obstacles under occupation, Palestinian educators continue to demonstrate tremendous tenacity, creativity, innovation, and optimism.
The study circle is a “free and voluntary” pedagogy that has become a mass phenomenon in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. It was initiated within the popular movements in the first years of the 1900s as a tool for education among their members. Around 10 adults typically meet a few hours a week to develop their interests, for example, in art, political topics, music, or foreign language. The “study circle grammar” includes voluntary participation, an extremely wide span of topics to be studied, no requirements of a teacher, and no entrance qualifications, grades, or exams. Tradition stresses deliberations among participants, but practical topics often have a workshop pedagogy. They have received subsidies from the state and from municipalities through various organizational structures depending on country since the early 1900s. They grew and spread fast, reaching a peak in participation in the late 1900s, but have since stagnated; however, a substantial share of adults in Nordic countries continue to engage in them.