Lees, Helen Elizabeth (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis investigates the moment of discovery of educational alternatives and in particular contemporary discovery of elective home education by parents and other adults in England. The discussion highlights an empirical and theoretical context for this discovery. Questions involve whether there is a moment of ontological conversion in the self of people discovering another way of educating from mainstream authoritarian schooling. The research data presented suggests that a moment of ‘gestalt switch’ conversion exists between what can be called different ‘worlds’ of education, following Thomas S. Kuhn’s framework of scientific discovery. By finding the existence of such a moment, the data indicates that education hegemonically conflated with mainstream authoritarian schooling is illegitimate: education is a paradigmatic field wherein all differing paradigms of educational theory and practice have equal legitimacy, irrespective of resources and participants. The moment of discovery investigated is characterised by surprising elements. Discovery of an alternative way of educating children seems to have a strong positive impact on both the adults and the children involved. The study shows that parents want information on various educational modalities to be widely available and provided by the government in the process of choosing education for their children.
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