Home Education Voices: A Family Narrative of How Education is Valued and If/Where Education Capital is Transferred.

Would you like to participate in Home Education research?

Researching Home Education


The purpose of this study is to investigate the transference and reproduction of capital, within a family who have elected to Home Educate (HE). The study also considers any correlation between education capital and if/how a family value education overall.
In 2020, following the outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown, a unique opportunity arose to include, in this study, families who chose to continue Home Education after schools re-opened in August 2020. Covid-19 which caused children to miss many
months of schooling, may now engage more families in HE and this study seeks to identify any correlation between increased education capital and any change in the perceived value of education in the home. There is also a gap in the existing research; no existing research considers change in the education capital within a family’s home environment (excluding academic capital). This study questions whether education capital can be reproduced from children to their parents/carers rather than the more traditional observation that capital is reproduced from parents to their children children (Bourdieu 1973, Bourdieu 1986, Nur 2020), as part of the overall cultural capital .


A number of researchers have looked into aspects of Home Education, such as, pedagogy and curriculum (Liberto 2016); reasons why parents choose home education (Beck 2010; Morton 2010; Rothermel 2002; Nuhula et al 2019; Spiegler 2010); home schooling and home education comparisons (Amber-Fensham Smith 2020); SEN & Home Education; Registration (Rothermel 2010); Off-rolling and behaviour (Burke n.d.); Parents Roles in Home Education (Harding 2011); relationships between Local Authorities and HE Parents (Eddis 2007; Petrie 1992); Religion, Culture and HE (English 2016); History of Home Education (Firmin & Wilhelm 2009); Self-esteem and achievement (Ray 1991; Rothermel 1999; Shyers 1992). However, no one has looked at, if and how education capital changes within a Home Educating family, or at the value of education within the home learning environment. This is important research at a time when the UK and Scottish Government are reviewing Home Education. Investigating how families value Home Education, and including the voices of both children and parents, is timely and of value to the sector.


To investigate these questions, a mixed method design will be applied;
Stage 1: Online Survey The intention is to distribute amongst Home Education organisations across the UK. Families will have the opportunity to declare their interest to participate in the next stages of the process.

Stage 2: Photovoice (also see Photovoice instruction sheet under Additional Documents)
Once families have been selected, they will be asked to photograph their activities and select 7 images (Photovoice) (Harrison 2002, Strack, Magill et al. 2004, Wilson, Dasho et al. 2007, Hergenrather, Rhodes et al. 2009, Latz, Phelps-Ward et al. 2016, Latz 2017).
Families will use the images to narrate their own story (Harrison 2002, Garvis 2015, Simmonds, Roux et al. 2015, Stauffer 2020); they will select images that represent how they value education in their home (Latz 2015). As part of the Photovoice stage, families will
engage in semi-structured interviews where they will be encouraged to discuss the image, context, and value. The researcher will carefully structure questions so to encourage the participants to critically evaluate and reflect upon their choice of images, with
specific reference to value, and how education is valued.


This is a mixed method study using an inductive, thematic analysis of participants’ contributions. Data will be collected using an online survey tool providing some quantitative data (e.g. demographics ) and more qualitative data that will be analysed
inductively and used to design interview questions that are unique and specific to each family, with an aim to use the photovoice process to document participants’ reality, thus empowering participants to share their narrative using a visual research methodology
(Liebenberg 2018).

  1. Read the attached participant information sheet
  2. Complete the consent form and return it using either of the two email addresses provided
  3. Complete the online survey
  4. Consider the second stage of the research: PhotoVoice
  5. Contact the researcher if you would like to continue with the research

Please read participant information sheet available here

Follow this link to participate in this research


Please complete the consent for and return it to B00380363@studentmail.uws.ac.uk or chelle.oldham@uws.ac.uk

Stage Two of the Research Project


What is PhotoVoice-Narrative?

Photovoice is a research method that enables individuals, groups, and families to document and analyse their own stories. Photovoice is gaining ground within the research community as a powerful participatory opportunity, for the investigation into the lives of people, who exist within marginalised communities. Communities like LGBTQ, black and ethnic communities of women and Home Educators who are on the fringes of traditional learning experiences. Photographs stimulate discussion and has the potential to contribute to social change.

Narrative Inquiry is also a popular method for researchers and in the creation of a narrative, individuals and communities are empowered to tell their stories in a way that is personal and emotive. This may be written or maybe expressed through social media. This may also be through the transcript from interviews. Reflection and critical dialogue may occur prior to interviews if participants wish to create their own written narrative.

For more information please down load the Photovoice Information Sheet, here

Participant Information Sheet_Aug21.docx

Published by Chelle Oldham

Woman; Mother; Wife; Ex; Researcher; Academic; Lecturer; Teacher; School Teacher; University Teacher; Manager; Planner; Swimmer; Artist; Author; Poet; Reader; Editor; Santa; Nurse; Counselor; Disabled; Single; Cook; Cleaner; Supervisor; Administrator;

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