While this blog gets far less traffic than the sites on which I have posted my recent paper, I wanted to call it to readers’ attention. The paper, Homeschooling in Germany and the United States, is about the divide in current literature and culture regarding homeschooling and public education. I compare the United States and Germany because of the stark contrast the two countries provide. The United States’ approach to homeschooling is mixed and caught up in the constitutional debates that have raged for decades. Issues such as religion and parental rights over the education of their children guide the debate. In Germany, an emerging democracy (recall the revolution in 1989) is still trying to sneak out of the shadow of Nazi Germany and the nationalistic domination of things like state education. Rights of parents were usurped by the state in favor of a homogenous culture and educational system. Local states and the national federal state clashed time and again over which should control the education of children. In the midst of this battle, parents who wish to homeschool are trying to work their way into the interstices of the national education structure to find some way to retain control over their children’s educations.
Many of the issues remain unresolved, and much of the progress that is to come will come in legislatures and not the courts. The article is a primer on the major issues involved and should help readers to frame the debate. The paper has been well-received thus far, being ranked in the top ten for downloads in one category on the Social Science Research Network. It will be published in the spring issue of the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law. (Disclosure: I’m the Editor-in-Chief.)