I’ve recently been contacted by former US home schooler, Devon Rose Turner, now studying in the UK. She’s keen to research home education over here as part of her degree and asked if I’d get in touch with my readers to see if you would mind completing her survey. I thought the best thing would be for her to post here as it’s always fascinating to read what grown up HEors are getting on with.
So here’s her post:
Home Education and Museums & Galleries: Building the Bridge
It seemed only natural to research home education when it came time to do my dissertation for my MA in Museums and Galleries in Education at UCL IoE.
When I was a child, I was home educated by my mother alongside my two younger sisters in the United States. In our small Pennsylvania town, my mother was really a pioneer; choosing to home educate her children and paving the way for many more home educating families over the years. Visiting museums, galleries and heritage sites was routinely part of our curriculum and my mother sought out visits according to our growing interests.
Fast forward 20 years and I’ve found myself in London immersing myself in the vibrant arts and culture scene. I’m currently working with contemporary artists for my work placement at the V&A with the Residency Programme. I’m also a volunteer with St. Paul’s Cathedral in the Schools and Family Learning department and a programme facilitator with ‘Learning Through Artefacts’; educational object handling sessions with home educating families within Greater London. These experiences have helped to form the museum educator I am today, and have also provided a great background for my current research.
For my dissertation, I’m interested in finding out more about the relationship between home educating families and museums and galleries. What types of educational museum programmes are available for home educating families? How do they market to individual families v. various schools? Knowing that there are often children of various ages present, how are the programmes structured? I intend to find out more about all facets of this relationship and use my findings to help museums improve their educational offer. Each year the number of home educated students has increased in England, and I aim to find out how educational teams at museums and galleries have responded to this expanding audience.
I have a survey that I am circulating within England for all currently home educating parents. If you fit the bill, or know someone who does, please consider helping me with my research! (Link below)
I’ve met some fantastic people through social media (particularly Twitter) who have helped me hone my research focus and provide me with lots of helpful background information about home education in England.
With the help of these contacts, I’ve arranged two case studies this summer, one in Birmingham at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, and the other at Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle upon Tyne. In Birmingham, I’ll be observing and interviewing individuals involved in a specialized home education programme and in Newcastle upon Tyne, I’ll be observing a home education takeover day and interviewing the administrator of an extensive excellence in the arts award for home educators.
I’m so excited to see some amazing museum programming in action and to meet lots of inspiring people along the way! And to see how my research can be of help to home educators with the development of a museum resource guide and programme list.
Here is the link to my survey, https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/S5KR5N5
My Twitter handle is @DevRoseTurner if you’d like to connect further. Follow me for updates on my research!
Thanks to Devon for her interesting piece. Do click on the link and help her with her survey as I’m sure it will help provide more resources for home educating families in the future
Meanwhile, if there are other home educators who are moving on now and would like to tell their story, do contact me!