Aaishah’s choice: Choosing home education in the Muslim community


  • Rebecca English Faculty of Education Queensland University of Technology Kelvin Grove Campus Victoria Park Road KELVIN GROVE QLD AUSTRALIA 4059


School choice, Home education, Muslim home education


In Australia, the decision to home educate is becoming increasingly popular (cf. Townsend, 2012). In spite of its increasing popularity, the reasons home education is chosen by Australian families is under-researched (cf. Jackson & Allan, 2010). In addition, the decision to home educate among minority groups, such as Australian Muslim families, is absent from the literature. This paper reports on an interview with one Muslim mother who chose to home educate her children. An in-depth, qualitative interview was conducted with Aaishah (pseudonym), a mother who lived in one of Australia’s most populated cities. Data were analysed using the Discourse Historical Approach to Critical Discourse Analysis. The analysis revealed that there were similarities between the discourses of Christian parents described in the literature, in terms of the reasons Aaishah had given for her decision to home educate. In particular, analysis reveals Aaishah’s fears about schools, their negative experiences on her children and her hopes for her children’s futures.

Author Biography

Rebecca English, Faculty of Education Queensland University of Technology Kelvin Grove Campus Victoria Park Road KELVIN GROVE QLD AUSTRALIA 4059

Faculty of Education
Queensland University of Technology
Kelvin Grove Campus
Victoria Park Road


Anthony, K., & Burroughs, S. (2012): Day to Day Operations of Home School Families: Selecting from a Menu of Educational Choices to Meet Students' Individual Instructional Needs." International Education Studies, 5(1), 1-17.

Anthony, K., & Burroughs, S. (2010). Making the transition from traditional to home schooling: Home school family motivations. Current Issues in Education, 13 (4).

Appadurai, A. (1993): Patriotism and its futures. Public Culture, 5(3), 411-429.

Appadurai, A. (1996) Modernity at large: Cultural dimensions of globalisation. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota.

Apple, M. (2000). Away with all teachers: The cultural politics of home schooling. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 10(1), 61-80.

Apple, M. (2005). Away with all the teachers: The cultural politics of homeschooling. In Cooper, B. (ed). Home Schooling in full view: A reader. 75.

Apple, M. (2007). Who needs teacher education? Teacher Education Quarterly, 34(2), 111-130.

Archer, L. (2010): ‘We raised it with the Head’: the educational practices of minority ethnic, middleâ€class families, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 31:4, 449-469

Bilge, S. (2010): Beyond Subordination vs. Resistance: An Intersectional Approach to the Agency of Veiled Muslim Women, Journal of Intercultural Studies, 31:1, 9-28

Bourdieu, P. (1973). The three forms of theoretical knowledge. Social Science Information, 12:1, 53-80.

Bourdieu, P. (1984) Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bourdieu, P. (2005). Principles of an ethnic anthropology. In Smelser, N., & Swedberg, R. (Eds), The handbook of economic sociology (2nd ed.) (pp. 75-89). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Bourdieu, P. (2011). The forms of capital: 1986. In I. Szeman & T. Kaposy (Eds.), Cultural theory: An anthology (pp. 81-93). Chichester, UK: Blackwell Publishing.

Collom, E. (2005). The ins and outs of homeschooling - The determinants of parental motivations and student achievement. Education and Urban Society, 37, No. 3, May 2005, 307-335.

Cooper, H. (2012): Looking Backwards to Move Forwards: Charlotte Mason on History. Curriculum Journal, 23:1,, 7-18.

Essers, C., Benschop Y. & Doorewaard, H. (2010): Female Ethnicity: Understanding Muslim Immigrant Businesswomen in The Netherlandsg. Gender, Work and Organization. 17:3 , 320-33925 320..339

Fairclough, N. (2001). The discourse of New Labour: Critical discourse analysis. In M. Wetherell, S. Taylor & S. Yates (Eds.), Discourse as data: A guide for analysis (pp.221-260). London, UK: Sage.

Fontana, A., & Frey, J. H. (2008). The interview: From neutral stance to political involvement. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials (pp. 115-159). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gaither, M. (2009). Homeschooling in the USA: Past, present, future. Theory and Research in Education. 7, No. 3. 331-346.

Gehlbach, H. (2010): The social side of school: Why teachers need social psychology, 22:3, 349-362.

Green, C. L. & Hoover-Dempsy, K. V. (2010): Why do parents homeschool? A systematic examination of parental involvement, Education and Urban Society, 39:2, 264-285.

Gubrium, J., & Holstein, J. (1998). Analyzing interpretive practice. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 487-508). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage..

Hall, S. (1997). The work of representation. In S. Hall (Ed.), Representation: Cultural representations and signifying practices. London, UK: Sage. 13-74.

Henry, P. (2002): Systematic variation in purchase orientations across social classes, Journal of Consumer Marketing, 19:5, 424 – 438

Jackson, G., & Allan, S. (2010): Fundamental Elements in Examining a Child's Right to Education: A Study of Home Education Research and Regulation in Australia. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 2:3, 349-364.

Lois, J. (2010). The Temporal Emotion Work of Motherhood: Homeschoolers’ Strategies for Managing Time Shortage. Gender and Society, 24(4), 421-446.

Mirza, H. S. (2013): ‘A second skin’: Embodied intersectionality, transnationalism and narratives of identity and belonging among Muslim women in Britain, Women’s studies international forum, 36(2013), 5-15.

Moore, R., & Moore, D. (1981). Home grown kids. Waco, TX: Word Books.

Morton, R. (2012) Home education: Constructions of choice. International electronic journal of elementary education 3 Issue 1. 46-56

Reisigl, M., & Wodak, R. (2009). The discourse-historical approach (DHA). In R. Wodak, R. & M. Meyer (Eds.), Methods of critical discourse analysis (2nd ed.) (pp. 87-121). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Rogers, R. (2004). Storied selves: A critical discourse analysis of adult learners’ literate lives. Reading Research Quarterly, 39(3), 272-305.

Rogers, R., Malancharuvil-Berkes, E., Mosley, M., Hui, D., & O’Garro Joseph, G. (2005). Critical discourse analysis in education: A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 75(3), 365-416.

Rogers, R., & Mosley, M. (2008). A critical discourse analysis of racial literacy in teacher education. Linguistics and Education, 19 (2), 107-131.Saghir, A. (2011): An introduction to homeschooling for Muslim parents (Masters Dissertation). Retrieved from http://csus-dspace.calstate.edu/bitstream/handle/10211.9/1252/FINAL%20FINAL%20THESIS.pdf?sequence=1

Scott, D., & Morrison, M. (2006). Key ideas in educational research. London, UK: Continuum.

Titscher, S., Meyer, M., Wodak, R., & Vetter, E. (2000). Methods of Text and Discourse Analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.de Cillia, R., Reisigl, M., & Wodak, R. (1999). The discursive construction of national identities. Discourse & Society, 10(2), 149-173.

Townsend, I. (2012). Thousands of parents illegally home schooling. ABC News: Background Briefing, January 30, 2012. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-28/thousands-of-parents-illegally-home-schooling/3798008

Van Galen, J. (1988). Ideology, Curriculum, and Pedagogy in Home Education. Education and Urban Society, 21, 52-86

Van Galen, J. (1991) Ideologues and pedagogues: Parents who teach their children at home. In J. Van Galen and M.A. Pitman (eds) Home Schooling: Political, Historical, and Pedagogical Perspectives. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing.

Vincent, C., Rollock, N., Ball, S. & Gillborn,D. (2012a): Being strategic, being watchful, being determined: Black middle-class parents and schooling, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 33:3, 337-354

Vincent, C., Rollock, N., Ball, S. & Gillborn,D. (2012b): Intersectional work and precarious positionings: Black middle-class parents and their encounters with schools in England, International Studies in Sociology of Education, 22:3, 259-276

Vincent, C., Rollock, N., Ball, S. & Gillborn,D. (2012c): The educational strategies of the black middle-classes. In Richter, M. & Andresen, S. (eds). The Politicization of Parenthood: Shifting public and private responsibilities in education and child rearing, 139-152

Wodak, R. (2001). The discourse historical approach. In R. Wodak & M. Meyer (Eds.), Methods of critical discourse analysis (pp. 63-94). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Wodak, R. (2002). Friend or foe: The defamation or legitimate and necessary criticism? Reflections on recent political discourse in Austria. Language and Communication, 22(4), 495-517.

Wodak, R. (2004). Critical discourse analysis. In C. Searle, G. Gobo, J. Gubrium & D. Silverman (Eds.), Qualitative research practice (pp. 197-213). London, UK: Sage.

Yardley, L., & Bishop, F. (2008). Mixing qualitative and quantitative methods: A pragmatic approach. In C. Willig & W. S. Rogers (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research in psychology (pp. 352-370). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.






Peer Reviewed Articles