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Introduction: Homeschooling Rising Into the Twenty-First Century: Editor's Introduction

Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 88, No. 3

Brian D. Ray, National Home Education Research Institute


It is easy to forget history and that thinkers holding fundamentally different worldviews have been thoughtfully critiquing institutional mass schooling for many decades (e.g., Cole, 2010; Freire, 1970; Gatto, 2001) and calling for something radically different than that which nearly 96% of all American children now experience. It is also easy to forget that institutional state schooling did not involve the majority of what are now called school-age children for most of the “school year” until after 1900 (Ray, 2012). With so many educational scholars, policymakers, journalists, and even the general public forgetting such history, it is not difficult to comprehend why the modern-day, parent-led home-based education movement—that is in many ways radically different from mainstream and institutionalized schooling, both state run and private—stirs up many a curious query, negative critique, and firm praise from those in varied walks of life.


Brian D. Ray (Ph.D., science education, Oregon State University; M.S., zoology, Ohio University; B.S., Biology, University of Puget Sound) is internationally known for his research on homeschooling. He is the founding president of the nonprofit National Home Education Research Institute in Oregon, U.S.A. ( Dr. Ray is a former professor of science and education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, a former classroom teacher in both public and private schools, and he has taught homeschool students. Dr. Ray does research and speaking across the United States and internationally that focuses on home-based education research and pedagogy, and serves as an expert witness in court cases and to government bodies.