Homeschool Families in China

Chinese flag
Chinese flag

Last year, Milton Gaither wrote a review of a study entitled “A Qualitative Study of Educational Needs of Homeschooling Families in China.” The study includes law case studies involving five home educating families in China. These families chose homeschooling for a variety of reasons including disillusionment with “the drill-and-kill pedagogy of Chinese schools” and frustration with “the lack of freedom and individual initiative in Chinese schools.”

While homeschooling is still officially illegal in China “home education is growing, especially among the urban middle classes.” The study goes on to mention a website – China Homeschooling Association – that helps to organize 200 or so spontaneous groups that have formed around the country. The study also mentions that “since 2010 the 21st Century Education Research Institute in Yunnan Province has hosted a National Homeschooling Conference.  In 2013 it was joined by the International Homeschooling Symposium in Beijing.”

The study cites an estimate that there might be as many as 18,000 children being educated at home in China and reasons that these numbers reflect a value-change “from the utilitarian instrumental rationality of examination-oriented education to the ultimate value rationality of the child’s free comprehensive development.”

From Gaither’s review of the study:

A large percentage of Chinese home educators tend to create more cooperative, even fully communal arrangements rather than the single-family homeschooling common in the United States (though this exists in China as well).

To read all of Gaither’s review and appraisal of the study, click here.

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