Methods

My research is a small-scale qualitative study, involving 10-15 home educating families. Because existing evidence suggests that home educators tend to change their practices as they settle into home education I am studying families who have been home educating for more than 18 months.

Initially I will be carrying out informal face-to-face interviews with families. I will then carry out further interviews and observation with some families, aiming to involve children themselves in the research process through interviews and a photographic study.  (07/11/07 – due to access and practical issues as well as the themes emerging from my initial data, I am now focussing more upon parents’ viewpoints of home education as well as using indirect methods with home educated children such as getting them to write short pieces or picture diaries of their experiences of home education)

Initial interviews with some families will be carried out in the early summer of 2007, with further interviews and data collection occurring over the following 9 months.

Ethics

Warwick University, its Sociology Department and the British Sociological Association all have extensive ethical guidelines which I will apply to my research process.

Informed consent will be gained from all participants in advance of interviews or any other data collection, with all participants being free to withdraw from the study at any point, should they wish to do so.

All data gathered will be treated confidentially and will be anonymised prior to use in any publication, conference paper or my PhD thesis.

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