Book Review: Education Without Schools - Discovering Alternatives, Helen E Lees

  • Will Curtis University of Warwick
Keywords: Educational alternatives, progressive education, alternative education, difference, educational theory, educational philosophy, home education, education policy


There is a debate to be had about the responsibility of our politics and our systems to open themselves educationally to more than just the school (Lees, 2013, p. 133)

Education without Schools provides a great starting point for such a debate. The book makes a compelling argument that our educational horizons and choices are limited by a pervasive narrative which conflates education with schooling—what the author terms “educationism.” Within this dominant discourse, educational difference is narrowed to the institutional variations that distinguish types of school from one another. There is implicit bias against anything that sits outside the mainstream. Alternatives are judged according to mainstream standards or excluded altogether. The parents and children who chose alternative educational activities are subjected to prejudice and hostility...



Book Review/Review Essay