Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name



Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. William H. Denton


This qualitative study explored the nature of civic education in home-based educational programs. A second purpose was to determine if there is a set of issues which distinguish African-American and European-American home schooling families. A multiple-case study design was developed to gather data relevant to answering eight research questions. Case studies of eight families in metropolitan Atlanta were generated based on responses to questionnaires, intensive interviewing, and direct observation. Books, articles, newsletters, and other documents were also analyzed. A multiple-case analysis showed that while parents' reasons for home schooling vary, their primary motivation is to situate the process of values transmission within the home. These values relate not only to religious or moral beliefs, but also to desired roles for their children as adult-citizens. Parents favor the cultivation of an independent, critical perspective as the basis for civic culture. Questions are raise about the feasibility of attaining this goal in homes where the dominant concern is imparting a monolithic world-view. The findings further suggest that the home schooling movement is more diverse than has been thought previously. This diversity is not only philosophical or ideological, but cultural as well. For African-American home schooling parents, their shared experience as members of a cultural minority sets them apart from the general home schooling population and has a significant impact on their programs. Therefore, additional investigation is warranted in order to assess the civic education found in home-based educational programs and to fully understand the motivations, goals, and practices of cultural minorities who home school their children.

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