From Dr. Brian Ray at the National Home Education Research Institute.
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Scholars Garvey Lundy and Ama Mazama first take their readers through a fascinating account of various facets of African American males in the American educational system.
They write the following:
The struggle on the part of African Americans for a quality and equitable education in America is well documented …. This struggle was prompted by the educational inequities that continue to color the lives of young African American males …. The following sections of this manuscript highlight four sources of inequity experienced by African American males: (1) low teacher expectations; (2) the over-referral to special education programs; (3) school safety and aggression; and (4) the growing alliance between schools and the criminal justice system [the school to prison pipeline]. These factors, we argue, have preoccupied homeschooling parents and contributed to their decision to homeschool. (p. 55)
The authors then flesh out the research on each of the preceding four points.
Garvey and Mazama move on to situate their overview of black male education in the current history of homeschooling. They explain the following:
Numerous attempts have been made to explore the motivations for homeschooling among American parents …. What clearly transpires from a review of this literature is that American homeschoolers do not lend themselves to easy and neat classifications. At best, we arrive at categories that must be broad enough to encompass the multitude of experiences that they claim to capture. Yet, their very broadness undermines their usefulness … At the heart of this difficulty lies the fact that the homeschooling population’s heterogeneity has considerably increased over the past decades. Thus, the “pedagogical” and “ideological” categories which were once proposed by Van Galen …, and managed to capture the two main groups of homeschoolers in the 1980s – namely, the libertarian political left and the religious right – must be considerably enlarged to include parents who homeschool because of … [other reasons]. (p. 54)
These two researchers decided, about 30 years into the modern homeschool movement, “… to capture the African American homeschooling experience …” (p. 58).
Garvey and Mazama conducted 74 interviews across a wide geographical area, stretching along the Mid- and South-Atlantic, and the Midwest. In addition to the interviews, they “… also relied upon surveys, focus groups, and participant observations of African American homeschooling parents in order to provide a comprehensive view of the African American homeschooling experience” (p. 58). The majority of their subjects were urban, and the largest pool of subjects came from Chicago and its surrounding areas (29.7%), followed by the metropolitan areas of Philadelphia (25.7%), Washington, D.C. (17.6%), New York (10.8%), and Atlanta (8.1%).
The researchers “… used the constant comparative method to explore emerging themes, common categories, and subcategories. In other words, we sought connections among the various emergent categories, which in turn became the basis for the emergent theory …” (p. 58). “In producing the emergent themes, steps were taken to triangulate the data. The authors kept extensive journals of the research process, making observational notes of interviews, setting, and interaction, which on several occasions placed us as participant observers of homeschooling events” (p. 59). They also conducted informal focus groups with homeschooling parents and kept notes thereon.
Read more here.