Law and Conflicts in Home Educations: Nordic Experiences
                    Dr. Christian W. Beck
                                        A. Professor Univ. of Oslo
                                        E-mail: c.w.beck@ped,uio.no
 
 
                                   Summary
 
Internationally, national laws on home education have three different dimensions: 1) Human rights, 2) Registration procedures, 3) Control/supervision. Comparing the four Nordic countries on HE give following conclusions:
 
1.       A liberal law seems to give more visible HE (Norway)
2.       A strict law and control seem to give less visible HE, but more
                                     underground/hidden HE (Sweden).
                              3.   If loyalty to public schools is good, authorities HE control is more
                                     relaxed (Finland).
4.      Liberal access to small private schools give less HE (Sweden, 
      Denmark)
 
The best HE-law fundament seems based on maximum trust, openness and communication from authorities and home educators. Detailed HE-law sections could increase HE-conflicts. Law conditions for HE should be simple:
  
    1. HE is a human right for everyone
    2. Home educators give a notification/letter about their HE .to the local school
         Authorities.
    3. School authorities supervise HE in a reasonable way, in cooperation with the parents
    4. There should be a national HE-council (Conflicts, general discussions) (Tasmania)
 
Fear of social segregation seems to be a serious cause to HE-conflicts. When school is an important institution for social integration, then out of school movements like home education could be seen as a threat to integration. If home education is forbidden it would be to ignore parent rights and other fundamental human rights, then HE could partly go underground and again become a threat to integration.
 
HE is important not only because of human right arguments, but also to secure adequate national knowledge diversity in a rapid changing global world. Home education is a positive modernization force in education inside and outside school, away from traditional mass-education to more personalised education based on free choice. Positive HE need to be supported and protected not forbidden and counteracted.
 
Better access to small free-schools and an opening of the school-institution for more flexible solutions with some school and some home education is today important issues in Norwegian HE.