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Elective Home Education and Traveller families in contemporary times: Educational Spaces and Equality.

D'Arcy, Kate (2012) Elective Home Education and Traveller families in contemporary times: Educational Spaces and Equality. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Traveller communities form a distinctive and ever-growing group of home-educators in England. This thesis examines the reasons why Traveller families take up Elective Home Education (EHE). Although there is a substantial research literature about the difficulties Travellers experience in school, there is limited research on Traveller families’ experiences of EHE. The aim of my research was to explore the reasons why Traveller children are home-educated and to illuminate issues of educational inequality that lie therein. I wish to inform current understandings of the education system, as experienced by a marginalised community and to work towards making this system more socially just. This study considers equality issues in education for Traveller children within two educational spaces, mainstream school and EHE, by documenting the rarely-heard accounts of a sample of Traveller families. I interviewed 11 different Traveller families and the main professionals responsible for EHE in one particular Local Authority in England. Critical Race Theory (CRT) provided an appropriate theoretical framework for this study. CRT focuses on concepts of racism and inequality as well as providing methodological approaches such as storytelling and counter-stories to give voice to Traveller families. I found that although many Traveller families were satisfied with home-education as preferable to mainstream school, they were all compelled to take it up, rather than adopting it as a positive and desirable choice. Racism, bullying and discrimination in school were commonly cited reasons for the uptake of EHE. EHE was chosen by my Traveller families as a safe educational space. My study reveals how current education systems do not facilitate the opportunities which many Traveller families desire for their children’s success. Wide-spread racism still denies many Traveller children equitable educational opportunities. This study’s findings will, it is hoped, inform new understandings of racism and education to address these inequalities.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Kate D'Arcy
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2013 09:57
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3761

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