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Title: Exploring the motivations and practices of parents home educating their children with ASD
Author: Daniels, R. M.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis focuses on the experiences of eight families who chose to home educate their children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Each child had previously attended pre-school or primary school and their parents withdrew them due to a concern that their full range of needs were not being met. The thesis adds to the existing research on home education which is underresearched globally and in the UK, especially in connection with children who have a special educational need and disabilities (SEN/D), specifically autism. The fieldwork for this two-phase qualitative design took place during 2013-2015. The findings are based upon parental questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with 15 parents and eight of the children, and four informal observations in four different family homes. This thesis examined four research questions. Firstly, the characteristics of the parents and their children with ASD; secondly, parents' motivations for home educating and the processes that were involved; thirdly, how parents organised their home education, the approaches and practices applied and what resources they used; and finally, their views on the perceived advantages and disadvantages of home education are discussed. The thesis draws upon theories of child-centred education and Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Findings demonstrate that multiple factors influenced parents' decision to home educate such as their child's dislike of school, and educational professionals' lack of knowledge and understanding regarding their children's needs. The eight mothers, who were the main educators, used different pedagogic approaches that were informed by their children's holistic needs. These generally involved the use of first hand experiences and kinaesthetic learning; similar features are found in the theories and practices of child-centred approaches. The thesis concludes by discussing its contribution to knowledge about home education and autism, especially in relation to highlighting inflexible and inconsistent practices at school, and a lack of understanding about the individual needs of children with ASD by educational professionals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available