The Global Home Education Movement

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations — Matthew 28:19

I recently spent a week in Rio de Janerio at the 2016 Global Home Education Conference. The first GHEC event was held four years ago in Germany. The next one is already in the works for 2018.

Homeschoolers from twenty-three countries gathered in Brazil to hear speakers present workshops on topics ranging from policy, law, and research to support, promotion, and practical advice. The theme of the week was “It’s a Right!” and this message resonated with the nearly 200 attendees.

My thirteen-year-old son joined me, and he mixed well with peers from Spain, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States. He engaged in conversations with several adult leaders, too, and even learned a little Portuguese along the way.

I met old friends from Kenya, Canada, and the Philippines and was captivated to learn about the issues facing homeschooling families in countries such as Australia, France, Poland, South Africa, Taiwan, Russia, and Brazil.

One of the keynote speakers was Sugata Mitra from the United Kingdom. Mitra is a TED Talk prize winner for his research on education. He asked questions that stretched our imaginations and forced us to think way outside the box. For example, he spoke of an experiment where he put twenty kids in a room with four computers connected to the Internet. He would then pose a big question to the kids and leave the room. Mitra observed that the children self-formed into groups and that initial chaos eventually turned into undeniable order. One conclusion he reached is that the absence of a teacher can actually be a good educational pedagogy.

Professor Mitra also showed us photos of current classrooms next to a photo of an industrial assembly line and pointed out the eerie similarities, illustrating that the goal of mass education is to produce submissive employees who don’t think or ask too many questions.

Next, he showed us a picture of a typical contemporary work environment. The photograph was of three people collaborating around a laptop. Then he posed this question: Shouldn’t our modern-day classrooms look like our modern-day work spaces?

Mitra also challenged our notions of standardized testing, wondering why kids aren’t allowed to use the Internet. He said this is like asking a student to tell you the time but insisting that they can’t look at a clock.

Although his worldview differed from mine, I respected the fact that he didn’t claim to be able to predict the future. People who lived a century ago couldn’t have imagined a world with highways, airplanes, TV, mobile phones, computers, or the Internet. I was reminded that the world and how people will learn several generations from now probably won’t look anything like it does today.

As far as homeschooling around the world, I would sum up what I learned this way: The movement in most countries is where the United States was thirty years ago. On the positive side, this means these countries will most likely see tremendous growth in home education in the years to come. Of course, there is no guarantee that laws will be put into place protecting this right. I certainly hope and pray that they are.

There are also very real concerns regarding the availability of curriculum in the language and culture of each country. This takes time to develop. On an encouraging note, I had several conversations with leaders about translating Apologia material into various languages. Can you imagine the potential impact of putting creation-based science and biblical worldview curriculum in the hands of families all over the world?

If this news resonates with you, and you would like to help support homeschooling families in other countries, then read on.

Apologia Mission is the charitable arm of Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. Being an officially recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Apologia Mission can accept tax-deductible donations. We hope you will join with us to support translation projects and to invest in the global homeschooling community for the glory of God. The soil is good and likely to bring forth a harvest that is thirty, sixty, or a hundred times what we sow. You can read more and make an online donation at www.ApologiaMission.org.

What questions do you have about the global homeschooling movement? How would you like to help?

Walking by faith and enjoying the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime!

Davis Signature

© 2016 Davis Carman

homeschoolcastles.com

Davis is the president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation-based science and Bible curriculum. He is also the author of three illustrated children’s books designed to instill a biblical worldview. Good Morning, God is based on Deuteronomy 6, and A Light for My Path is an ABC book based on Psalm 119. His latest, In the Beginning, is based on the Creation account in Genesis. He believes that if there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now!

 

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