Law and Conflicts in Home Educations: Nordic Experiences
Dr. Christian W. Beck
A. Professor Univ. of Oslo
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
4. Liberal access to small private schools give less HE (Sweden,
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
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.
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