‘Unschooled ; A Heuristic Study’ is comprised of interconnecting spheres of visual research surrounding families who’s children are electively home-educated, rather than attending mainstream schools, These are philosophical and pedagogical choices, made by parents who choose to home educate long term for most, or all of their child(ren)s educational years.
Born from the artists first-hand experience, as a home-educating parent of four children herself, offering her a unique insight into the issues experienced by the community, as well as the positives that arise from individualised academic paths.
The research combines photography and video with parental interviews and audio from the families who take part in the project, to understand their journeys in their own words. Further contextualised through the interweaving of U.K legislation and guidance on elective home-education.
The study explores the many reasons families choose this way of educating, from philosophical and pedagogical beliefs, to unmet special educational needs and bullying within schools; in addition illustrating the diversity of pedagogical methodologies practiced by the home-educating community, from structured ‘school-at-home’ following the national curriculum, through to fully autonomous or child-led learning, where the child chooses what and when they wish to learn, and the parents facilitate this in many different ways.
Created by the artist in response to the visual void of real life stories or representations of the home-educating community, the work bridges the knowledge gap that currently exists between government educational bodies, the general public and home educators, exploring what individualised journeys of home-education can look like.
Heuristic – adj “enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves” – oxford dictionary –